Kryos: Chapter 9

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“What are you going to do?”

Ryard Vancing stared out the window of the tenement flat and turned to the querious woman with whom he shared it, his face a fretting blank.

“I’ve no idea.”

He looked back to the reflective pane and noticed the unruly whorls of his hair, matted his tresses and put his hands in his pockets, surveying the deteriorating vista. Consortium drones swarmed the air to the north, vainly attempting to dissuade the rioters who there stormed the streets. Ryard noticed a thin column of smoke building beyond the broil in the hazy distance of the eatery district. “Mechanical failure?” He wondered with rising agitation, “Or arson?”

“Indecision is uncharacteristic for you,” Lind Howell declared with concern, filling two cups with hot coffee from a insulated metal container, which sat the table in the middle of their small, plainly furnished living room; the device was battered, ornateless and strange against the black-matte tabletop, a relic from a bygone age, inherited from Howell’s late uncle, who had himself inherited the item from his father. Lind raised a cup to Ryard, who ambled to the couch and took it, setting himself heavily down with a sigh. He pressed the cool glass to his forehead and then took a sip before speaking.

“I suppose it is. I just don’t want to make the situation worse.”

“I’m sure you wouldn’t.”

“No you’re not.”

“I’m trying to be supportive.”

“I know.” He forced a smile and swirled his glass, watching the bean juice slush like oxidized blood. He frowned briefly, set the glass down and slowly rotated it with his fingertips. “How was work?”

She sighed, “Terrible. More so than usual. Had to spend almost the entire morning cloud-side.”

“Because of the riots?”

She nodded, “Watched it spread. Like a bushfire in a high wind. Had to go up and retether one of the aerostats just beyond Southern. Someone, or ones, had cut it free. Haven’t got an ID yet. They must have thought it would just float away.”

Ryard raised his glass suddenly, “A toast, to our invaluable sky-techs.”

The woman half-heartedly raised her glass and downed the rest of its contents.

“I just don’t know what’s gotten into people lately…”

“I suspect the Eastern Federation has had a heavy hand in it. This recent chaos.”

“I heard some people talking about it on the news. The Federation envoys say that allegations of their involvement in the protests and the riots are just propaganda. I don’t know what to think. Everything that the media comes out with is propaganda about propaganda. You said it was Lanning that contacted you?”

“Yeah. Still had that ridiculous coat. I suppose he thinks its stylish. Said his wife and daughter have been getting on better, after the move.”

“Lanning’s wife had the right idea. Moving to the colonies.”

Ryard shook his head and rose, “I’ve heard a lot of talk like that recently. Of departing the city because of the southers coming in, or because of the way the Consortium has changed, or because of the Federation’s subversion; I can’t agree with it. I’m glad Lanning’s family are happy now, but consider what would happen if most people here thought that way; if most people decided to pack up and leave the moment things take a turn for the worst. When conflict becomes unavoidable. When fear flares. Its uncivilized.”

“Uncivilized?”

“Civility is more than manners.”

Next chapter

The Silence & The Howl, and, Tatter, now available from Gumroad

The novellas THE SILENCE & THE HOWL (2020) and, TATTER (2020) by Kaiter Enless are now available from Gumroad in EPUB formats.

Previously, Logos Literature ebooks were available exclusively to our Patreon patrons, but, understandably, not everyone will want to support on a continual basis; and so, for those who wish to purchase our ebooks directly, Gumroad will now be the place to do so.

PDF & EPUB Editions Of The Silence & The Howl (Book I) Revised

Both the PDF and EPUB editions of the novella The Silence & The Howl (Book I) have been revised and updated to correct for minor spelling errors and improper line breaks present in the previous EPUB version.

Additionally, a new original composition titled Synnefo Isle (a soft, ethereal waltz piece) has been added to the download archive.

Fiction Circular 6/6/19

§00. Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. The ‘authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘organizations’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques. All author/publication names arranged by alphabetical order (including ‘the’).


§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: a publication is considered ‘independent’ if it is self-contained and sustaining, that is to say, if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess or financial backing of large corporations, academies, governments or other large entrenched organizations. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will not be included on the list, not due to the quality or lack thereof of their work, but rather, because they are supported by Utah State University (and thus, are not independent). All works which are included are those which were read by the editor during the week of publication; their inclusion does not mean that they were published the same week as the circular containing them.


§.AUTHORS

From Always Trust In Books, a review of The Girl In Red by Christina Henry (from Titan Books).

The book sounds ridiculous.

The Girl in Red takes the spirit of a classic tale (Red Riding Hood), spins it on its head and injects it into a post-apocalyptic world where one wrong move could get someone infected by a deadly virus or worse, captured by the government for quarantine or the new militias that roam to lands seeking people to impart their nefarious urges upon. Red only has her sharpened instincts and calculated approach to traversing the terrains to rely on for survival. If anyone gets too close then Red does have her trusty axe to protect herself.

 

— Review of The Girl In Red


From Shreya Vikram (who never fails to impress with her syncretic poetic acumen), a number of recent pieces, including, Faith, When Dreams Die, Monster, Insomnia, Even When I Do Not Scream, I Hurt, and most recently, Faulty Taps.

“I have written this play for myself and I know how it ends.”

 

— Faulty Taps


§.ORGANIZATIONS

From New Pop Lit, a republication of Lost Face by Jack London from the similarly titled collection of short stories which recounts a gruesome tale of a Russian adventurer named Subienkow who is captured by ruthless Amerindians in the Yukon.

“It offended his soul. And this offence, in turn, was not due to the mere pain he must endure, but to the sorry spectacle the pain would make of him.”

 

— Lost Face

Also from New Pop Lit, This Is, by Sophie Kearing.

I don’t hide my sacred rituals out of malice.

 

—This Is

And further, New Pop’s debut ‘3D short story,’ Vodka Friday Night by Karl Wenclas. A gritty, multi-perspective crime drama. Full review forthcoming.

Kirk sat drinking vodka in an after hours den near downtown Detroit with a skinny black prostitute named Jakayla,  the kind of spot where if you’re white and male you’d better arrive with someone they know because otherwise they’ll think you’re a cop.

 

— Vodka Friday Night


From Reflex Fiction, A Careless Smile by Lee Hamblin.

She throws the cutting at my feet, repeats, and all the while that stupid cat of hers sits perched on the sofa’s armrest, watching like he understands all that I don’t, being more a man than I’ll ever be.

 

— A Careless Smile


From Spelk, Salt & Vinegar Tongues a charming tale of an idyllic, sea-side meeting by Steven John. I really liked this piece and hope we get to see this relationship develop in future stories.

Also…

Suntanned. Smells of seaweed. Shelters in a cave…

I suspect she’s a mermaid.

“This one will win,” I say, and give her one of my coins.

Three cherries. A hundred penny coins pulse from the machine. She shrieks and laughs. She unties the knot in her shirt-front and, holding up the hems, fills the cotton pouch. Her loose shirt shows the freckles between her suntanned boobs. I give her another penny and the same thing happens. Then I tell her we’ll lose ten pennies, then we’ll win again.

“Are you a fucking freak?” she says and tries to take my notebook. I hide it behind my back. Her up-close skin smells of vanilla ice-cream and seaweed.

 

— Salt & Vinegar Tongues

Also from Spelk the confusing, The Fabric of Tombstones by B. F. Jones.

Found this piece rather confusing. It is not explained why she resented the memory of her son nor how he died (if indeed, as is implied, he died at all). Seemed to me that for narrative coherence, the tale should have been longer. I didn’t care for it.

He calls her one evening, slowly resurfacing, rebirthed once again. She knows he won’t be there for long. He will be gone soon, forgotten by her faulty brain, and her heart will break over and over again with each one of his deaths.

Don’t call me again, son.

Don’t come over anymore.

And she hangs up the phone, killing him, one last time.

 

— The Fabric of Tombstones

Fiction Circular 2/22/19

§00. Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. ‘Independent individual authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘independent publishing organizations’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques.


§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: a publication is considered ‘independent’ if it is self-contained and sustaining, that is to say, if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess or financial backing of large corporations, academies, governments or other large entrenched organizations. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will not be included on the list, not due to the quality or lack thereof of their work, but rather, because they are supported by Utah State University (and thus, are not independent).


INDEPENDENT INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS

From Byron F. McBride, A Long Night. Reminded me of the first episode of the tv series The Hunger.

The night was over, and I was heading home. Bennett Vandermeer had invited me for dinner, on account of his being featured at the art gallery Pluto-Neon, and his need to shove my face in it.

 

— A Long Night


From The Dark Netizen, a brisk but amusing fractal, Sinking.

The mermaids smile back at the sailors, unaware of the radioactive nature of the submarine’s doomed contents…

 

— Sinking


INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING ORGANIZATIONS

From Defiant Scribe, Grope, by Ian Simons, a surreal comedy concerning the monumental consequences of small happenings.

“The deer gave her a curious grunt as she flew by, and then she continued moving out into a fold in space, a maelstrom amongst the stars that was spinning, smearing old light in the darkness.”

 

— Grope


From Fictive Dream, Solitaire, by Travis Cravey. A flash fiction about mental illness.

“She didn’t say goodnight, or kiss my forehead, or tuck me in. She just kept playing solitaire. Sometimes I could hear her crying. But she never stopped playing.”

 

— Solitaire


From Flash Back Fiction, The Fur-puller, by Peter Burns, a dour, historical fiction concerning a poor, afflicted family struggling in England. Whilst it is somewhat maudlin in a begging-Mr. Bumble-for-gruel kind of way, its also deftly written. The tonally resonant audio-reading accompanying the story further adds to the Dickensian experience.

Mr. Matthews lays the sack on the scales. Rose doesn’t blink, for fear of missing the tilt of it, doesn’t breathe, for fear of losing more than she already has. Billy coughs like he always does, dry and brittle.

 

 

— The Fur-puller


From Reflex Fiction, White Line, by John Brantingham, a brisk flash fiction piece which follows a man’s reflection on violence, basketball, scars and stoicism.

From Storgy, The Perfect Family, by Susan Bloch, a sorrowful tale of a seemingly wonderful family that hides a dark secret. A study of inaction and its consequences.

That was the last time I saw Holly before sirens went off at midnight. Before medics carried out a black bag on a stretcher.

 

— The Perfect Family


From Surfaces, Not Me, by the inimitable Manuel Marrero. A impressive, soaring, dizzyingly baroque debut for the Paul Allen business card of literary websites. * best of the week

American life had subsided into an almost zen-like complacency, the Hegelian end, anathema for the Judeochristian disciples, ripe agency for the monolatrists. But vatic forces were gathering now to disrupt their binary equilibrium.

 

— Not Me


From The Rational Argumentator, The Wales Technique, by Gennady Stolyarov II. The story of a actuary who grapples with the problem of a blank spot in his predictive models. Mr. Stolyarov’s story is quite refreshing, as it is the only scifi story I can remember reading this year that isn’t a grim dystopia.

“The Black Hole… I can see it clearly in the region with fewer data points.”

— The Wales Technique


From X-R-A-Y, Spores, by Lukasz Drobnik. A surrealistic and metaphorical take on the superhero genre. Superb prose.

The monkeys can see her from afar with their laser eyes, their shark-like teeth glistening in the dark.

 

— Spores


LITERARY EPHEMERA

From Adam Lock, Is The Talented Writer A Myth? The short answer is “no,” it is a reduction. For those without preternatural receptivity to literary ends, practice avails. Mr. Lock writers: “Good writing is a talent. This idea has always frustrated me because it is indiscriminate and takes no heed of the hours of hard work a writer puts in to improve their craft.” I would contend that good writing IS a talent (the baseline for all human behavior is genotypic), but it is not only arrived at by way of individual genetic proclivity (ie. where sociality comes into play). Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the premise which Mr. Lock attempts to untangle, his piece is well worth a read (especially if one happens to be a author or would-be author).

-is there is a distinction between mindless repetition and deliberate practice.

 

— Is The Talented Writer A Myth


From The Arcanist, It Cost Ray Bradbury $9.80 in Dime To Write ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ by Josh Hrala, a historical-philosophical piece concerning how it was that Ray Bradbury came to write his well-known science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451 (originally titled, The Fireman) on a dime-rented typewriter. One of the reasons the piece stands out is its focus on work ethic (and the lack thereof amongst the writerly class); a topic which the author notes in the opening,

“There’s this false notion among non-writer folk that in order to sit down and write a novel, conditions must be perfect. As if writers have to perform a series of rituals designed for channeling an elusive, just-out-of-touch muse. Writing only by candlelight after sipping Colombian espresso on Thursday mornings while wearing a smoking jacket and facing true north, for example.”

A excellent piece. Highly recommended reading, especially for would-be authors.

I got a bag of dimes and settled into the room, and in nine days I spent $9.80 and wrote my story; in other words, it was a dime novel.”

— Ray Bradbury


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