December 2018: The Gift of Family

Inside This Edition

The holiday season, for better or worse, has become synonymous with family—the one gift you can’t return. So, for our December edition, we’ve selected a diverse, dazzling array of stories that both celebrate and critique this gift.

Whether you’re a cynic or idealist, the fifteen stories that comprise this issue will satisfy any mood, any outlook. From the highest highs of familial love to painful lows of rejection and dysfunction, these tales present people in all their multitudes. Genre-wise, they run the gamut from humor to drama, realistic to fantasy.

To begin our edition, The Eggshell Floor by Maddie Adams is at once gut-wrenching and hopeful, with distinctly lovely writing. Well-paced, the story is a quick read—but doesn’t skimp on its satisfying conclusion.

Message in a Bottle by Ines Novak is about coming to terms with one’s self and the people who make us. Readers will not only be a told a story by the piece’s narrator but bear witness to an intricate unraveling of emotions. Creatively expressed and beautifully written, Message in a Bottle is a striking piece.

Andrew Feldman’s We Can Plant a House is a perfect blend of tragedy and comedy, of realism and absurdity, with fully fleshed-out characters and a story that will grab you from the first line. Delightful from beginning to end, this piece is a rollercoaster. Prepare to laugh and to cry—possibly at the same time.

Christmas Ghosts by Greg Roensch imagines the ghosts of Christmas past not as literal, Dickensian figures but rather the ghosts that lurk in our memories. A series of short paragraphs tell two very different tales: one of the protagonist’s current, bleak Christmas and one of the wondrous Christmas of yesteryear. Heartbreaking and haunting, this work of flash fiction paints a stunning portrait in very few words.

We hope you get the chance to leisurely peruse all fifteen phenomenal stories. It’s the holidays, after all: a time to treat yourself to some hygge, and what better way to do that than with a great read (or several)? Like an actual family, this edition is, at times, wacky and wonderful, while at other moments, dark and shocking. And, as any good family member would say, we couldn’t be prouder.

From everyone at Defiant Scribe, happy holidays!