Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 49
Into Dust
by Sofie Bird
Souls Are Like Livers
by Aurelia Flaming
...Or Be Forever Fallen
by A. Merc Rustad
Going Green
by Jennifer Noelle Welch
The Soul Mate Requirement
by Kelly Sandoval
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
Accept the mystery
by Chris Bellamy
Vintage Fiction
Yesterday's Taste
by Lawrence M. Schoen
Bonus Material
Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard
A Novel by Lawrence M. Schoen

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The Soul Mate Requirement
    by Kelly Sandoval

  Listen to the audio version

Paula wakes, shaking, to the press of lips against her shoulder. She's been crying in her sleep again, chasing memories of Marcus. Dante is holding her. She can hear the patient rhythm of his breaths; her own gasping sobs slow to match him.

"Forever, forever, forever." He makes it a mantra, kissing the promise into her skin.

She has never really loved him.

"Well?" Dante asks, as he flicks on the garage light. "What do you think?"

There is a moment, as the bulb warms to life, when everything is shadow, and she can imagine safer surprises. A puppy. A new car. A loaded gun.

But no, there's the crib, just as she expected. As an object, it's beautiful. The wood is dark, highly polished, and carved with a pattern of oak leaves. He has worked hard on this. She's smelled it on him, sawdust and hope, for months. Ever since her last promotion, when they could finally afford the application fees.

She presses her open palm to her flat stomach and tries to imagine what it might feel like to have life flutter there.

She has always dreamed of a child. A daughter, actually, with impossible hair and dirty nails. For the past three years, since she and Dante bought the house, she's imagined her daughter with his crooked smile and her long eyelashes. And even still, Paula dreams her daughter with Marcus's bright, infectious laugh.

"Paula?" Dante sounds worried and more than a little hurt.

She's forgotten to act happy.

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