While you consider submitting to CLOCKHOUSE Volume Nine, here's something to read from Volume Eight. Submissions are open until December 15, and the guidelines and submissions upload button are on the website.
from Laura Ruby's "Our Last Kiss"
Maybe it started with an octopus named
Amelia, who chucked rocks and bad shrimp
out of her tank, clocking her handlers one by
one, then vanished through a drain the size
of a dime.
Or maybe it was the squirrels, little
hangnails, chattering a litany of
losses—nuts, kits, trees. The dolphins
in no mood for tricks. The deer arranged
on the frosted lawn like the angriest Christmas
pageant after eating the poison set out
to keep them from the holly.
from Monet Lessner's "Midnight in the Garden"
I remember a night from my childhood with such unnatural precision that I can recall the number of scuffs along the floorboard I saw when I woke. There were three. Dark smudges at different heights. Two to the left of the door and one to the right. I can’t remember the name of the rabbit I owned briefly that year, or the face of my third grade teacher, or why my mom threw away all my candy the day after Halloween, but I know that my window curtains didn’t meet completely in the center; just enough moonlight entered to give everything a worrisome glow. Sometimes when I walk into my daughter’s room at night, the string lights cast shadows around her bed, and an overwhelming melancholy fills me. Old visions rise up, and I have to push them away, kiss her sleeping forehead, pray that her youthful musings will always be sweeter than mine.
There was a little table beside my bed with an ivory lamp. The shade was worn pink, probably something passed down to me from cousins. I can hear the click as I turned it on in semi-darkness, a distinct sound in the paranormal silence. It was winter; my sheets were cold, but I felt a sickening heat, starting in my stomach and coming out like dew along my body. And I remember the dream.