The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

“What’s Your Name, Again?” By Kimberly Saunders

 

 

In college I was known for wearing thrift store jeans and over-sized tee shirts. I smothered my insecurity in loose-fitting clothes and obvious sarcasm. Those around me, the few I tolerated, interpreted my indifference as attitude. However, they didn’t realize I suffered from a rare medical condition known as Resting Bitch Face, a disease described by unaccredited websites as a chronic expression of anger or disgust, which apparently made me unapproachable. While most who struggle with this affliction constantly reassure the public that it is just an uncontrollable feature of their personality, mine was a blessing. I was perfectly content being left alone. Well, not completely alone.  

In fact, most of my post-pubescent existence was lacking a certain ceremonial rite of passage: having a boyfriend. I’d had one or two informal flings in my early teens, but I regretfully graduated high school with my virginity hanging over me like a Vegas marquee. I looked forward to college as an opportunity to find that life-altering love affair, or at least someone to fondle until the former arrived. Continue reading

“I Have a Fairy Godmother” By Gary Kidney

 

Please don’t tell anyone. They’ll make fun of me and already they do enough of that. Boys aren’t supposed to have fairy godmothers. And boys have other meanings for the word ‘fairy.’ They already call me enough names.

My fairy godmother’s name is Fée Marraine. I can’t pronounce it. I always say Pee Marinade. She doesn’t seem to mind. Some years ago, I try to tell my mother about her. I climb onto the counter while Mom cooks chicken for dinner. I know how Mom like to share recipes with her friends. Pee tells me a chicken recipe and I want to share it with Mom. I say, “Ma, want help from Pee Marinade?”

Mom looks at me with a horror-filled face. “Why would you say that?”

I cry. I know I disappoint her terribly. I’m not very good at understanding what someone else is feeling. But, when she looks at me, I see love in her eyes while the rest of her body is frustration and sadness. I know I should be a better boy. I try so hard. I never know why I fail. Every night, I pray about it. I know all of the incantation’s magic words like hallowed, kingdom, trespasses, and temptation. But I never be a better boy. Pee says it’s not my fault. She says: “Contrary to the wisdom, the fault isn’t in ourselves but in our stars.” Continue reading

“The Sermon,” by Fang Bu

 

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,

by the gazelles or the hinds of the field,

that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.”

–The Song of Solomon

 

What I thought

as he ran languid fingers

down the expensive territory,

waist and hard hipbone,

squeezed my ass like sweet

dough to be devoured

as his eyes ate greedily before,

mouth to lip, tongue

binding tongue close(d)

as a tight contract Continue reading

“Barred,” A Snippet of a Play By Lauren Jane Redmond

NOTES FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT:

I once read that New Mexico had abolished the death penalty, but that the repeals do not apply retroactively, leaving inmates currently sentenced on death row. This play was inspired by my imagining how those inmates must feel, knowing they are the last unlucky few to be executed.

When the script feels fast, it should go fast. When the script feels slow, especially in the pauses and towards the end, it should be slow.  

It should take its time.
Continue reading

“10 Alternative Rules for Writers” by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

#1 Cultivate social anxiety and some sort of an addiction. This will prevent you from getting a job.

 

#2 Scorn the work of other writers, preferably anonymously on the Internet. It makes you feel strong and powerful.

#3 Do not waste time ‘improving self-esteem’. You are a bad person. This is the only thing that makes you interesting.

#4 Do not read. It will make your work less original. Watch television if you need ideas.

#5 If anyone asks what kind of books you write say, ‘High literary fiction’. If they ask what this means, smirk and walk away.

#6 Do not strive for wisdom or insight. Concentrate on ‘cool’. If you need a definition of this, you’re missing the point.

#7 Never re-read one of your own sentences. You are a genius.

#8 Do not exercise or take care of your health. You have no pension or income and would do well to die as young as possible.

#9 Develop overconfidence and mediocrity in equal measure. It’s the only way to make people like you.

#10 Spend most of your time on the Internet. Everything else is distraction.


Rajeev Balasubramanyam is the author of In Beautiful Disguises (Bloomsbury), The Dreamer (Harper Collins) and Starstruck (The Pigeonhole). He was a winner of the Betty Trask Prize and the Clarissa Luard for the best British writer under 35. He is a fellow of the Hemera Foundation for artists with a meditation practice, and was recently write-in-residence at the Zen Center of New York City.
Visit www.rajeevbalasubramanyam.com and follow him on Twitter @Rajeevbalasu.

The Old Capitol, a short story by Karl Harshbarger

 

    The secretaries who worked in his father’s outer office didn’t even say hello to Casey.  That was because two of them weren’t really a secretaries at all but just students at the university.  They kept typing on their typewriters and listening to their Dictaphones.  And Mrs. Tish, the real secretary for the outer office, didn’t say “hello” either because she was talking on the telephone back at her desk.

    Well, it didn’t matter.  Casey walked right past the secretaries’ desks into the second office.

    “Hello, young man.” said Mrs. Paskow, who was his father’s personal secretary.  She had a drawer of one of the file cabinets open.

    “Is he here?” said Casey.

    But he had already gone over to the door and looked in.  What he saw was his father’s big desk and his father’s big chair pushed back from the desk and the painting of rounded hills of corn fields and rounded trees up on the wall behind his father’s chair.
Continue reading

2017 February Writing Contest

We at the Furious Gazelle cordially invite you, the reader of this message, to submit to our 2017 February Writing Contest.

Valentine’s Day alone is about love, hate, fine lines between emotions, heartbreak, loneliness, togetherness, etc. With all that riding on one day, we’ve decided to go ahead and celebrate the whole damn month.

Join us as we consider the many wonderful things jammed into the year’s shortest month.

Whatever you can connect to the great month of February is on the table, whether that’s President’s Day, Cupids, Black history, the magical extra day of leap (leap day), it’s all fair game.

Where: Thefuriousgazelle.com

When: Right Now until January 20th at 11:59 pm EST

What: The Winner will receive $50 and a book in the genre of their choosing. All finalists will be published on the furiousgazelle.com (which offers a priceless amount in bragging rights) and they will also appear in and receive copies of the February edition of The Furious Gazelle. That’s right! For the first time ever the Furious Gazelle will be creating an an old-timey print magazine, which you as a winner/finalist will be in and receive a copy of.

Why: Reasons

How: For this contest we will be charging a $3 entry fee (gotta fund that prize money somehow) which you must pay to be considered. Visit https://squareup.com/store/the-furious-gazelle. Upon receipt of your fee you will be sent a link for your submission. Please direct any questions to submit@thefuriousgazelle.com. We accept all genres of writing, and up to five pieces from a single entrant. If submitting multiple entries, please send each separately.

Submissions should be under 7,000 words and submitted as a .docx or .doc.

Interpret the theme however loosely or literally you wish. We are hoping to get at least one story in which George Washington’s heart is torn out of his chest as part of his quest to find true love & found the United States.

Stay Furious,

The Furious Gazelle Editors

“Miss Smith Speaks to the PTA,” a short play by Adam Seidel

Cast:

MAGGIE- 40 something teacher.

Place:

Auditorium at a school.

A microphone on a stage.

MAGGIE, a proper woman in her forties dressed plainly comes up to the microphone. She looks around the room a moment to gauge the audience. Then she begins.

MAGGIE

Hi. I wrote a statement and if it’s alright I’d like to read it before you all vote. A beat. She takes out a piece of paper, clears her throat and starts to read.

 

MAGGIE

First off I’d like to thank the Saint Robert School parent teacher association for allowing me to speak. I would also like to thank you parents who have sacrificed your evening to participate in tonight’s vote.

(A beat.)

I assume most of you know who I am by now, but for those who don’t, my name is Margaret Smith, or as my students refer to me, “Miss S”. For the past seven years I’ve taught the second grade here at Saint Roberts Elementary School and I’d like to take a moment to tell you about my methods as an educator. Beyond adhering to the curriculum requirements mandated by the state I strive to get my students to be mindful of the world around them. I want them not just to be successful inside the classroom, but outside of it as well. To do this I, on occasion, have my class read books which aim to teach fundamental life lessons. Last week we read such a book. “Skippy goes to the Vet.”

Continue reading

2016 Halloween Contest Winner!

Happy Halloween! Thanks so much to everyone who entered our 2016 Halloween writing contest! We received hundreds of submissions, but after careful consideration we’re thrilled to announce this year’s winner:
Congratulations, Thaïs! She will be receiving $50 and a book in the genre of her choosing.
Thanks again to everyone who participated! Next year’s Halloween contest will be open to submissions starting in August, 2017. You can also submit all year round to our general submissions. If you missed it, please go back and read our excellent Halloween finalists:

2016 Halloween Contest Finalist: “Four Eyes, Four Eyes” by R. R. Moore

2016 Halloween Contest Finalist: “How to Hunt Pumpkins” by Lanette Cadle

2016 Halloween Contest Finalist: “The Last Ghoulies of the Season” by Sean Patrick Whiteley

2016 Halloween Contest Winner: “Der Wechselbalg in Tribeca” by Thaïs Miller

 

PART I: ERASMUS

The autumn breeze quivers my tiny, cotton collar. I survey the pumpkins lying haphazardly on Stuart’s Farm. Then I call out in the high-pitched voice of a three-year-old: “Pun’kin! Pun’kin!”

Susan’s red hair cascades into my stroller, shrouding my view. “Which pumpkin do you want, sweetie?”

I have never felt a propensity toward gourd shopping, especially not in Granite Springs, though now that she insists that I voice my opinion, I have no choice but to share it. I pull her hair aside.

“That one!” I point to the farthest and largest pumpkin in the patch, which takes us five minutes to approach.

Upon closer inspection of the plant, I reject it by stomping my feet against the stroller. I never tire of this performance, not in all my twenty-eight years of experience. Truly, the acting is unnecessary. This performance is something I add for pleasure. I am the epitome of toddlerhood. I have a small, button nose, large eyes, and peach-colored cheeks. Besides, with the right words and a little peas-blossom, I take on the exact appearance of the child I replace. When looking at me, you would never guess that I am middle- aged. Hardly! My skin has the sour and sweet perfume of diapers and baby powder. The fact that Susan has dressed me up for this inane holiday seems superfluous, and frankly, ridiculous. I do not want to be dressed as a stegosaurus. I am already pretending, why should I put on another mask?  
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