Rejection and fear of rejection are universal themes that plague the lives of all. As children, we desire not to have to fulfill certain obligations; we hope and dream that something will cause a disruption, that it will give us a pass from having to participate. The following flash fiction piece, “The Doorbell,” answers the question: “What if, as an adult, I chose something different?”
The story “Movier & Stillier” looks at how, as adults, we accept the use of misleading language as normative and how, when our perceptions are challenged, indeed, even when our perceptions are bested, we revert to what we know. It also bespeaks the use of language for control: in the story, a young girl decides to use more honest language, and is teased for it, thereby causing her to abandon her principled stance on word use. In short, this is a story about human habit, and how words are used to enforce that habit.
It can be easy in today’s world — when many people’s horizons have shrunk to their living rooms, or at most a necessary outing to the darkened streets — to forget that small, seemingly insignificant acts can have both personal and political significance. This also holds true for animals. ‘The Midnight Boys’ attempts to dig under the surface of one household’s experience for the ruff truth of the human condition.
What would happen to humanity and human behavior if our societies no longer relied on monetary value at all? Could we return to a barter system? Or, is currency and its use so ingrained in the human condition that all societal achievement and advancement would cease without it? Who are we without a system that encourages and demands production?
The following flash fiction/script originated from a nightmare that left the writer in a panic. How does the act of creation serve to transform negative experiences into positive ones? Is art the defining feature of humanity — the primary difference between us and all other animals? Though art has the potential to be dark and disturbing, it often exalts features of our human condition unlike any other act. What can we learn about ourselves through the art we create from confusion and suffering?
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States in a way that leaves US citizens wondering how this great nation could be affected so severely. On top of facing a pandemic, US citizens have been met with increasing polarization both in the media and in politics, leading to mass confusion and ignorance — how are we to solve a problem we can’t fully understand?