April 2017: The Antihero takeover

Inside This Edition

For the month of April, Defiant Scribe is proud to present stories united over one theme: antiheroes. The bad guys of stories; the flawed characters stuck on the sidelines; the protagonists who don’t act the part. The lunatics, the murderers, the misunderstood, all given lead roles and a chance to shine in biting stories (and a possibly nonfiction piece) written by some very talented (and sometimes, a little twisted) writers.

The issue begins with a bang, via Zofia’s Three Little Girls—a dry and grim account of the lengths three preteen girls are willing to go to in order to achieve a better life for themselves. Startling, raw and real, Three Little Girls is—much like its protagonists—unafraid to venture into even the darkest and most uncomfortable places.

Riley’s Cover Letter, on the other hand, is an acerbic piece that may or may not be real—that’s up to the reader to decide. As penned by a clearly-unhinged though wildly hilarious “blackballed bartender” (and current bowling alley employee), the very-memorable Riley is good for a laugh—and an excellent example of how you should not write a cover letter.

Cameron Mitchell’s letterS cAN savE my life is a rumination on mental illness, coping and reflection, via a series of letters that are thought-provoking and insightful (without being patronizing); Samantha Smith’s And Anna Begins tells a different sort of love story—brooding and sad, featuring a closed-off protagonist unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the idea of commitment—that makes good use of pretty, descriptive prose with twangs of poetry and a smooth sort of rhythm.

The Mutants by Greg Burkholder is a laugh-out-loud farce that explores some weighty themes, including an on-point examination of the condescending pity that is heaped onto those considered unusual and/or unfortunate—regardless of whether or not they want it. Written in an unmistakable, clever voice, the story pokes fun at writing conventions as well as society at large—with the help of some absurdist hilarity and extremely compelling characters.

Alive and Well by Jess Ortega is an atmospheric piece set at the Salinas River Beach, a seemingly simple short story that packs a surprising amount of punch. It’s charming, relatable and nuanced all at once, with distinctive, winsome writing.

Zofia’s Mingling with Misery is a sharp and snarky take on pretentious, self-absorbed writers and the resentful jealousy that comes when one friend has a professional success that the other craves.

As for Holiday by Matthew Heimgartner, you can expect some light-hearted suspense and an exciting premise, but what’s most captivating is the story’s clever, glamorous, and amusing protagonist—who becomes an unlikely hero when things take a turn.

Meanwhile, Crim by Pseudo Nym is the gritty tale of an unlikely criminal that offers a brief—though chilling—glimpse into her unfathomable life, full of heartache, loss, and bad deeds that the protagonist dismisses with a wave of a hand. (“We’re all bad people,” she maintains.) On the heels of that story is Jessica Rose Davidson’s King of the Jungle, which is—as the title hints—written from the point of view of a tiger, and takes a hard look at humans with the expected edge of a scorned, hunted beast.

Rounding out our April edition, we have The System by Ilan Herman, a highly-stylized piece with a surprising conclusion and attractive, offbeat writing. And finally, there’s Sour Tastes & Bitter Waifs by Zofia, a story of a wronged lover and the revenge she willfully seeks out.

We hope all of you misfits and weirdos out there see yourself in these characters, and enjoy our ode to the unsung antiheroes. Admittedly, we at Defiant Scribe have a weakness for antiheroes—both the fictional kind, and the real-life variety. And, by the end of this edition, no matter who you are, we’re confident you’ll feel the same.