The Man in the Parallel Universe

The man in the parallel universe loves me. He’s tall and grey-haired and handsome still and looks just like Murtagh, but he’s not like him at all. He makes different decisions and chooses different things. And he doesn’t have Murtagh’s dilated eyes.

The October 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is by award winning Irish writer Dolores Walshe. 'The Man in the Parallel Universe' is a portrait of a wife of a Vietnam veteran, who is soon to be a widow, but grieving a man she lost long ago. This tale is not only an exploration of grief, but of survival, and the moments of compassion that sustain us. READ 'THE MAN IN THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE'.

Volcanoes! by Hubert Vigilla

This thing is Greg all over. He read a Greek mythology book and the assignment was to make a board game, so here’s our beat-up Fireball Island from the garage with “Olympus! The Game!” written on one side in white out. He’s hot-glued some of his action figures at the corners. Superman (minus the cape) is Zeus, I think. I can’t really figure out the rest so I ask.

     “Dad,” he says and rolls his eyes. “That’s Batman, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.”

     “But which Greek gods are they?”

     “They’re just Batman, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.”

     “That doesn’t make any sense.”

     He points at a sticky note that reads, “This is very creative, Greg!” A-minus, smiley face. Greg beams and presses his tongue through the gap where a baby tooth used to be.


Photo © Kerry Sellers

The September 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is 'Volcanoes!' by Hubert Vigilla. This story invites readers into a stay-at-home father's fantasy world, where tomorrow's lunch is left going stale on the counter while a rumbling volcano is growing in the garage. READ 'VOLCANOES!'

Housebroken by Evelyn Walsh

The night of the robbery Ruth had gone to bed early with The Housebreaker of Shady Hill. She was stunned by this coincidence; it was her opening line in class the next day. We were robbed last night, and guess what I was reading.The kids hooted and crowed in jolly disbelief, or rather the kids who had actually read the story fell about laughing and the others quickly caught on. Ruth laughed along with them. She supposed she should be more upset. 

Photo © Aurélie Bellacicco. 

The August 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is 'Housebroken' by Evelyn Walsh, with a photo by Aurélie Bellacicco. Evelyn Walsh, the 2015 winner of the Seán Ó Faoláin International short story competition, often scrutinises the drama of everyday life in her work. Home, neighbourhood and the workplace are observed with a literary lense, and her characters' lives are relayed with wit, compassion and an unrelenting honesty.  READ 'HOUSEBROKEN'

The Landlord's Daughter by Guy Ware

"He had often wondered at the time how Mr and Mrs P – who were both large and soft and spread themselves widely – could have produced so slight a daughter, a girl whose skeleton one could always sense, just below the surface. He had pondered childhood illnesses, consumption even, before reminding himself it was the twentieth century."
Photo © Sacha Lenz

Photo © Sacha Lenz

July 2016's edition of Long Story, Short Journal is by writer Guy Ware, whose debut novel The Fat of Fed Beasts was declared "brilliant" by Nick Lezard in the Guardian. This month's short story, 'The Landlord's Daughter', confronts the fragility of memory and the vulnerability of the individual facing the classic question: how well one can truly know another human being? READ 'THE LANDLORD'S DAUGHTER'.  

Laureate by Andrew Meehan

"This week, I have at last found some work—chauffeuring dignitaries to and from a gathering of Nobel-prize winners at the old university in Heidelberg. This particular Laureate resembles a handsome pope. He looks seventy and he looks virile, the kind of man who would attempt intercourse with a tree from a high-speed train."

Photo © Raul Lieberwirth.

Take a hallucinatory chauffeured tour of Heidelberg to dive bars, academic luncheons, and the homes of unmentionable historical figures in Andrew Meehan's 'Laureate'. The protagonist has a voice you won't soon forget. Read the June 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal: Laureate. Photo by German photographer Raul Lieberwirth.