Or at least the print proof of our Spring 2015 issue is. We never get tired of that first glimpse of the book in its ink and paper glory, even if it’s an unbound proof.
Sadly for the rest of you, it will be a few weeks more before bound copies are ready to ship to your doorsteps. However, to tide you over until then, here’s a snippet of the cover story, ‘The Inner Light’ by Raven Contest winner Krista Wallace, based on the cover painting by Dutch artist Tais Teng.
And if you haven’t ordered a copy yet, be sure to subscribe here to make sure yours will be in the mail.
The Inner Light
by Krista Wallace
“I’m trying my best,” Matilda said.
“Yes, of course I hear you.” Matilda stared into the shiny blackness.
“I know.” Matilda stroked the glossy surface.
“I’m sorry.” Matilda’s pitch rose as anxiety crept up her throat. “There is more coming, I promise.”
“No, please. Please don’t.” Fear scratched at her chest. “Please. I promise there’s more. Lots more. Just please leave Andrew alone.”
Matilda backed away, her fingertips kissing the cold sphere before finally disconnecting. Then she turned and hastened out of the lobby and into the theatre, where the cast was waiting. The stage manager had handed out scripts, and they were all seated around the table on the stage. Waiting for her. Ah. There was Andrew, at the head of the table, of course. She strode down the stairs through the seating in the house.
“Right, ladies and gentlemen.” She articulated the next word distinctly. “Macbeth!”
Predictably, the theatre erupted in the hysterical shrieks of high-strung, superstitious actors. Matilda went up the stage-right steps two at a time, while Lady Macbeth dashed down the stage-left steps and ran through the house into the lobby, likely to turn around three times and yell, “Shit!” Banquo and Duncan fled into the back hall, probably to do the same. Macduff spun around on the spot and spat on the floor to his left, while the three witches clung to each other and recited some piece of verse to chase away the evil spirits Matilda had summoned by not referring to the work as ‘The Scottish Play’ within the theatre. The rest of the actors made all sorts of noises and protestations, complaining that Matilda should have known better. The stage manager had to go and invite Lady Mac, Duncan, and Banquo back into the theatre.
“And it must follow, as the night the day / Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Lady Mac intoned the line from Hamlet to nobody in particular, thereby completing her antidote to the curse. Only Andrew — Macbeth himself — remained completely calm; he had stayed seated at the table, patiently awaiting the read-through, with only a glance and an eye roll to indicate he was aware of the panicked bustle surrounding him. Andrew’s calm was an important element of his character.
Matilda smiled to herself at the minor chaos. Fear. Anxiety. Irritation. Anger. If only she could see the sphere from here.
Read the rest in Pulp Literature Issue 6, available soon!