Letter From The Editor - Issue 62 - April 2018

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Issue 61
Stories
Bare-knuckle Magic
by Michael Ezell
Tomorrow Is Monday
by Jacob A. Boyd
Money in the Tortoise
by J.D. Moyer
Real Estate Listing
by Ari B. Goelman
IGMS Audio
Real Estate Listing
Read by Dave Thompson
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Bonus Material

Writing Fantasy

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Tomorrow Is Monday
    by Jacob A. Boyd

Tomorrow Is Monday
Artwork by Anna Repp

Gladys says it's Monday. She always says it's Monday, and she has to go to the bank. There's a bus that goes there that picks up at the corner. The schedule shows the times, outlines the routes. She grips the folded paper of the schedule in the same shaky hands that once perfectly julienned onions for television and insists she'll be back before lunch.

We print the bus schedule for our residents. We draw the bus route. The route map goes far beyond the enclosed boundaries of Hawthorne Heights and sustains a sense that a world full of consequences and deadlines and wonders is still at our residents' fingertips, which for their own safety is no longer within their reach. The ten-acre open air campus of Hawthorne Heights is their world.

The bus never arrives.

Gladys stands at the bus stop until it's lunchtime, when I usher her to Sol Sisters Bistro, the de facto cafeteria.

"Tomorrow, then," she says. "There's something wrong with the bus today. The driver probably hit someone, and the accident put the kibosh on the whole route until the gore can be power washed off the grill and the dent can be hammered out of the fender. Tomorrow, though, it'll be running without a trace. It's terrible, what they let people get away with."

Gladys uses Jergens hand moisturizer. Only the kind that comes in a jar. The tube kind has too many chemicals. She makes a conspiratorial face whenever she says "chemicals." We're in on it together. We know that a secret master race of lizard people puts chemicals in practically everything to pacify us and make us susceptible to suggestion. Her hands are smooth and camera-ready. It's amazing, really, how young-looking she has kept her hands.

Gladys is seventy-nine. She never had kids. She never speaks of family.

Gladys is my resident. My first. If I do well with her, I'll get others. At three, I get a raise.

I keep her in Jergens. And Johnson's shampoo. Mint Colgate, too, not wintergreen. Wintergreen is chemicals. Gladys likes all the old brands. We have a storehouse full of the stuff that we buy in bulk. I siphon off a little here and there with special syringe-like things, and squirt it into her jars whenever I notice she has used some. I'm like a reverse burglar. She invites me in, I secretly resupply her with things she doesn't know she'll need, and I let myself out when she asks me to stay.

She'll never experience a time when she has to scrape a finger under the fluted lip of the Jergens jar to get at the last bit of lotion, thinking something is amiss; last she remembered, the jar had quite enough for a week.

It's always Monday for Gladys, and she has to go to the bank.

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