There are five Tuesdays this month, so you get a bonus issue. Merry Christmas in July!

While some of you may be disappointed that we’re not sending you to New Zealand, where the winter chill would slap these 100-degree temps silly, there is pie. And murder. And wasps.

There’s Southern summer heat in all three pieces this week, but you’re the coolest readers we could ask for. So let me offer you a special thanks this holiday season. You are wonderful. I would kiss you if I could find some mistletoe.


In Chase Wynn’s short story, “Fireworks,” a Southern fire-and-brimstone preacher is held accountable for his vision of Armageddon while a murderer goes free. A new year doesn’t erase the past. Dun-dun-DUNNNN.

As the narrator of Beverly Akerman’s flash, “Pie,” self-consciously observes, “You can only compare a boy and a pie so far.” But patient hands make the perfect pie. I’ll take chess, please, but pecan will do in a pinch. Winter pies, yes, but it is Christmas.

The conceit of Monique Gagnon German’s poem, “Shrines,” is the speaker’s identification with wasps as they build their nest, perfect and holy. I love the shape, the groove. I’m feeling all George Herbert-y over here, and I’m also feeling pretty good about our decision to not kill the young wasp family (not to be confused with the young W.A.S.P. family) that built a home on our front-door awning this spring. ‘Tis the season.






Photo by Matthew Paulson on Flickr