The Furious Gazelle

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Search results: "spring 2020"

Spring 2020 Contest WINNER: “We Regret to Report an Anomaly” by Joanna Grant

We Regret to Report an Anomaly

 

Kandahar Airfield, January, 2013

You know, it had not been the best day of my life, that day back in the early spring of the year before when my mother had posted on my public Facebook wall that “your doctor’s office called and said your cholesterol is too high and they’ve written you a prescription for Lipitor.”  

“Mom, you can write those kind of private things in a private message,” I reminded her in a text. 

Gawd, cholesterol, I grumbled to myself, ripping open the box of mail my mother had forwarded to me there at my new Ed Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan. What could be worse?

This could. This letter from my doctor, the one I’d self-addressed to my Georgia address without giving it a second thought. It went a little something like this:

“We regret to inform patient ****** ***** (my name handwritten in the form letter blank) that her recent mammogram has come back abnormal. We regret to report an anomaly and we recommend that she follow up as soon as possible with her primary care provider and/or any recommended specialists.” I read it again, and again, and then again. Anomaly. Specialist. 

And then I refolded the form letter, put it back in its envelope, and laid it flat on my desk, my own breezy handwriting looking back at me.  Continue reading

Spring 2020 Contest Finalist: “The Hobo Queen” by C. Christine Fair

Trigger warning: child abuse, sexual assault and violence

 

Sketch by C. Christine Fair“Cuz Christy, if you ever show up around here, I’m gonna kick your ass. And you know I can”; her heavy emphasis upon “know” reflected her conviction that she had done so previously.

Struggling to appease her fury, I conceded “Baby Sandy. You can kick my ass. But I’m still a pretty good runner and I’m not sure you’d catch me. We’re both old women now.”

“Oh, I’d catch you alright and knock that fuckin’ useless head off your shoulders,” Sandy snarled.

“But why? I’ve just been trying to help. What did I do? I love you. Always have. Always will. I worry about you every day and night. I wonder where you’re sleeping and eating. Are you safe, happy? The questions keep coming. But I get no answers. Ever.”

Without hesitating, Sandy barked “Because you left. You fucking left us here.”

The worst part about this allegation? 

It was true. 

And I’d do it again. Continue reading

Spring 2020 Contest Finalist: “Another Failed LDR” by Jennifer Ruth Jackson

Another Failed LDR

 

I taste him in your mouth, his name stretched

past three syllables on your frosted tongue.

Combination of lime & taffy dreams. Lipstick

 

on your teeth like perfumed blood. Kiss goodbye

blotted on the bathroom mirror. You hold

phones in place of babies & beaus. Condensed

 

love pressed to your ear like a conch shell.

It isn’t waves you long to hear, anymore

but merry message-chimes. Acronyms

 

absorbed into your workday. I’m shocked I hear

him in your voice, your disconnected overage,

the lack of hang-ups as you brush my gums

 

in your need to feel something IRL.

We all sound the same in text form. You won’t

even have to close your eyes & pretend.

 


Jennifer Ruth Jackson is an award-winning poet and fiction writer whose work has appeared in Red Earth ReviewBanshee, and more.  She runs a blog for disabled and/or neurodivergent writers called The Handy, Uncapped Pen from an apartment she shares with her husband. Follow her on Twitter @jenruthjackson

2020 Halloween Finalist: “The Law of Indifference” by Daniel Olivieri

Hardly anyone paid much attention to me until my execution. Or, that isn’t entirely true. I had an incredible amount of attention paid to me when I was a baby. But that attention wasn’t any fun at all. I don’t remember it, but I can be pretty sure. It can’t have been much fun to be the damning piece of evidence in my parent’s trial.

 

A little after I was born, people started wondering how I’d come to be. My parents couldn’t claim that they’d adopted me because they didn’t have any paperwork to prove it. They also couldn’t claim to have given birth to me—they were both men. And so how had they come into possession of such an adorable little baby girl? Had they summoned her out of thin air with a cauldron and some magic stones?

 

Yes. Yes they had. That’s exactly what they’d done.

 

For proof, the accusing lawyer showed the court my belly button, or rather my lack of one. I had no belly button, she argued, because I’d never needed an umbilical cord. Or so I’m told. I didn’t have much patience for legal proceedings when I was eight months old. From what I understand I spent most of the trial trying to fit my foot into my mouth. In any case, the jury found the belly button argument convincing enough that my parents were convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death.

 

It’s not easy growing up knowing that you were the piece of evidence that got your parents executed. Especially when your foster parents remind you of this just about every morning. “Strayala,” they would say, “You should scrub the floor harder. You have much to atone for. Don’t you know that you were the reason your parents were executed?” Even before I was old enough to know what “executed” meant, I didn’t like to hear that. When I finally did find out what the word meant, I liked it even less.

 

That said, I hear that my parents held themselves a marvelous execution. They were known for throwing the most fun parties. Their execution was no exception. They began planning it on the very day they were convicted. They hired an up-and-coming executionist, had a jazz band play, a few minor celebrities even attended. It was a huge success. The ticket sales from the execution were enough to cover my college tuition.

 

When it came time to plan my own execution, I tried to make them proud. Nasha and Oliver helped me plan it. They’re less than half my age, Nasha and Oliver, but we still spend all our weekends together. Sometimes the weekdays too. We do witch things together: binding up spells and practicing cantrips and cackling very loud. Though, the cackling has very little to do with us being witches and very much to do with Oliver being hilarious. He can play the trumpet and the accordion at the same time. He bugs his eyes out when he does it and he gets this crazy expression—but I guess you’d have to see it to understand.

Continue reading

Spring Writing Contest

The Furious Gazelle’s Spring Writing Contest will be closed for 2021.

View the 2020 winner and finalists here.

 

If you would like to enter a free creative writing contest, our Halloween writing contest will reopen in August 2021.

Please check the page for more information.

 

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Submit

SUBMIT TO US

Before you submit to the Furious Gazelle, ask yourself the following about your submission: Does it have a good story? Is it compulsively readable? Are you a living human being who has written some words? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, we encourage you to submit.

 

Halloween Contest – 2020

The Furious Gazelle’s 2020 Halloween writing contest is open! The deadline is October 14, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST. Click here for guidelines.

Click here to view our 2018 finalists.

 

REGULAR SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

We consider short fiction, micro fiction, poetry, short plays, novel excerpts, and creative non-fiction.

LENGTH:

Poetry – please submit no more than 5 pages of poetry at a time.

Prose (fiction and nonfiction) – up to 7,000 words. (If submitting flash, please submit no more than 5 individual pieces at a time.)

Plays – please submit no more than 20 pages at a time.

 

FORMATTING: 

Please submit your work as .doc, .docx or .pdf files. We’re flexible on formatting as long as your formatting is clear and easy to read. Please do not paste your story into the body of an e-mail.

Also, please note if you have special formatting as it sometimes does not display correctly in Word. This way we can check with you if something looks incorrect. I.e. if your poem about whales is in the shape of a whale, tell us.

Plays should be in standard play format.

HOW TO SUBMIT:

Send your work to submit@thefuriousgazelle.com following the formatting and length guidelines listed above. If you don’t, we’ll find you. And make you.

Just kidding. But we are angry.

 

 

Things that Make Us Furious

We are always accepting submissions to our column, Things That Make Us Furious. We invite you to tell us, in satirical essay, listicle, rant, whatever, as long as it is well-informed words with a biting humor that makes you furious too.

We accept essays of any word count sent as an attachment to submit@thefuriousgazelle.com.

Book Review Requests

The Furious Gazelle is currently open to book review requests. To submit a book for review consideration, please send an email to tess@thefuriousgazelle.com and ekirshe@thefuriousgazelle.com with “BOOK REVIEW REQUEST” in the subject.

 

 

Six Questions for…

We participated in Jim Harrington’s Six Questions for Editors project. Read our interview to find out more about what we’re looking (or not looking) for in submissions.

 

Spring Contest – 2020

Our spring contest is currently closed. Click here for last year’s submission guidelines.

The contest has no theme. Submissions are free, but please consider supporting the contest with a donation or by purchasing a critique.

During the submission period, regular submissions will be closed. You can continue to submit but all normal submissions sent during this period will not be read until after the contest is over.

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