issue 24: May - June 2001 

 | author bio

dodgems and death chamberIf King Hammurabi
Heather Fowler

mma Ray watched a squirrel skitter up a branch, and Lyell blurted, "I tell you Em, something big is wrong. She looks worried. Cornelia never worries."
      "Hush, Lyell," Emma Ray said. "Maybe she’s just tired or has a disease. Or, maybe it’s what we read about this morning. Did you put the letters back?"
      "Of course I did, dummy!"
      "Just checking."
      "She sure is a hawk about checking the mailbox!" Lyell muttered.
      "I’d check it myself, too," Emma Ray said. "Especially if I was receiving love letters."
      "I want to go hunting," Lyell said. "Blast it! I thought this week would be fun. Where is the aunt we used to have? A ninny has taken her place!" A mournful pitch entered his tone.
      "It will be fun," Emma Ray said. "Just you wait."
      Lyell gave her a shove, then she gave him a shove, and they raced to the guest bedrooms and put on their nicest outfits. Twenty minutes later they sat at Cornelia’s dining room table, waiting for her to speak. She inhaled deeply. Her fine blond hair was wrenched from her scalp into a tight, high-sitting barrette. "Where we are about to go," Cornelia whispered, "must remain a secret. Can you children remember that?" They nodded. "Today, we embark on a farewell mission," she said, "a goodbye mission for a friend who will enter the other side—which is to say, children, that he will be killed."
      They gasped. "How do you know?" Emma Ray said, and Lyell asked, "Can we stop it?"
      "No, children," Cornelia said, placing her fingers on Emma Ray’s hand. "No one can stop these acts." Cornelia’s smooth fingers were flat and almost textureless, stroking Emma Ray’s hand like a tanned hide. She smelled like hay, fresh and earthy.
      "Why not?" Lyell asked. "We can save him!" Suddenly, his day brightened.
      "If King Hammurabi can do it, so can the state of Missouri," Cornelia said. "Now this might be your first witnessin’, but whatever you do, don’t upchuck. I’ll do all I can to get you in there to see Raymond, so don’t embarrass me."
      Emma Ray poked at her lacy dress and Lyell yanked at his trousers. "You look very pretty," Cornelia told Emma Ray.
      "Thank you, ma’am."
      "And doesn’t your brother just look fine? Raymond will appreciate these gestures."
      "When are we going?" Lyell asked. "And who’s Raymond?"
      Emma Ray elbowed him and gave him a significant look. Out of Cornelia’s sight, she crooked her finger at the pile of letters they’d replaced on Cornelia’s desk.
      Cornelia clenched one letter to her breast and said, "The friend I told you about. A real nice man. He’s changed his ways, no longer a sinner—and now has become—the love of my life." She looked down at the letter as if she were about to eat it, then stared at the children.
      Both looked down. Cornelia put her arms around them and began to bawl. She said, "I don’t often ask you for support, little birds, but I’d like some today." Emma Ray grabbed Cornelia’s hand, and her aunt’s smooth fingers had gone cold. Cornelia’s hand, dangling over Emma Ray’s shoulder, felt reptilian, but Emma Ray reminded herself that it was indeed Cornelia, and she should keep hold of it.
      "How do I love thee, Raymond," Cornelia murmured. Lyell sniffed the air as if he smelled dog shit. His nose crinkled up. An unfamiliar scent exuded from Cornelia, which was, in fact, a perfume. They shifted in their seats. "Go outside and play, children," she said. "I need to put on my dress. We’ll leave in five minutes."
      "Lyell," Emma Ray said, as the screen door whacked shut behind her, "The R is for Raymond."
      "Sappy romantic crap," Lyell said. He imitated the letters, swelling his voice with a sickly tone, "’Dearest C, You are the light of these dim days. Blah, blah. Blah blah blah—this guy’s a fruitcake!" he concluded, then added, "Puke. Girl stuff."
      Emma Ray sighed. "It’s so romantic. I never thought anyone would talk to Cornelia like that."
      "Why?" Lyell asked. "She’s not ugly."
      "Yes, but Cornelia—" Emma Ray replied, thinking how best to express it, "is different. Did you hear her say that she’d put on a dress? Does Cornelia even own a dress?" Both imagined Cornelia’s walk-in closet, stuffed from shelf to shelf with slacks and flannel shirts.
      "You’re right," Lyell said. "But what’s this malarkey?—" Lyell stood on the nearest rock and put his hand to his heart, "‘If I could only touch your blond hair and take you on a trip. These bars are all I see.’ Emma Ray, if I have to talk to a girl like that before she likes me, I think I’ll die first! Hey, Emma? Do you know where Raymond is?" With a flourish, Lyell announced, "In prison! We’re going to see an e-lectro-cut-ion! Ha!"
      "Are not!" Emma Ray said.
      "Are so! Corny’s friend’s gonna die. She said so herself! Weren’t you listening?"
      "Is not!"
      "Is so, and I think it’s crappy. Corny loves a jailbird. Didn’t you look at the addresses? Potosi Correctional Center. And then all that talk of the 'other side.' I feel bad about reading that stuff now, especially after Corny’s getting all dressed up." Lyell’s face darkened.
      "What do you think the dress will look like?" Emma Ray asked, already imagining a beautiful black gown.
      "Who cares," Lyell said.
      Emma stared toward the house and said, "You better brush your hair or Cornelia will be angry."
      "I don’t need to," he replied. "Cornelia’s not mom. You’re just peeved I don’t care what she’s gonna wear!"
      In that instant, Cornelia opened the door, wearing a fitted pale blue dress, which flared into a long skirt. She looks like a pioneer bride, Emma Ray thought. Hobbling on a pair of ivory pumps with tiny pink pearls, Cornelia looked as odd as a horse with a hat. Both children faced her as she approached, then ran to the passenger side of her truck.
      Her ankles would be sore by day’s end, Emma Ray thought. And that lipstick! It was the palest pink Emma Ray had ever seen. Before they got in, Lyell whispered, "Told you so! We’re going to death city, death central, death row!"
      "Are we going to death row, Cornelia?" Emma Ray asked.
      "What are we going to see?" Lyell asked. "Will we be there long?"
      "It wasn’t always this easy," Cornelia ranted, pushing her bobby pins deep in her scalp and starting the truck, "They used to drown ‘em. Sometimes, they beat ‘em. If not those things, burn ‘em alive and of course there was impalement. Do you kids know about impalement? You take a nice sharp stake—and wham!" Cornelia’s hand came down hard on the steering wheel.
      "Cornelia," Lyell said, "What in the heck are you talking about?"
      "The death penalty," she said, pulling onto the highway. "The history of capital punishment. Now, I believe in survival of the fittest. That’s why we kill animals and eat them, but there comes a time, when an individual commits a crime and runs off. If they capture him, they confine him in a cell and then, years later, trapped in a room, they murder him. I say, why not kill him outright? I’ve never been one for torture. Do you kids like to wait for punishment?"
      "No," Lyell said.
      "Raymond," she continued. "Will be injected with a shot that puts him to sleep, much like a dog or a cat. Now, Raymond was a nice boy from Tallahassee. Good thing he’s not from Texas…they might have fried him."
      "Didn’t he kill someone?" Lyell asked.
      "Yes," Cornelia said. "A long time ago, he smuggled packages through the border and killed a police man. The shooting was an accident, but today, his life will be snuffed out like a candle."
      The children looked out the windows. Cornelia reached over the seat for Lyell’s hand. He offered it up, but as she drove, brought his other hand close to his head and twirled a single finger near his ear. "Loony," he hissed at Emma Ray.
      Thirty minutes later, they passed a sign that read Potosi. Cornelia got on the 8, then hopped over to O, and they arrived at the Center. She floored it down a dusty road and approached the gates. Barbed wire glinted dangerously over the fences like a thousand arrowheads in the sun. "Men get raped in prisons," Lyell announced, but Cornelia and Emma Ray paid him no mind. They could not see far inside, but outside the gate a hundred or so men, women, and children held up placards and chanted, "Give not take. Live not bake. Yes, he sinned; don’t do him in," and a variety of other catchy slogans.
      "He has no appeals left," Cornelia whispered, stomping her foot on the brake. The truck, a ruby red Bronco, skidded to a halt. She rolled down her window to address the guard.
      "What business do you have here, ma’am?" he asked.
      "I’m here for Raymond Burton," she said.
      "What’s your name?" He consulted his clipboard.
      Cornelia said, "Cornelia H—" but he threw up his hands, and said, "Ma’am, you have children in that vehicle. They can’t come in."
      "They must come in," Cornelia said. "They are his love children and want to see their daddy one last time."
      Mother would be mortified, Emma Ray thought, but Lyell sat back and grinned. At last! His vacation had begun. "I’m sorry ma’am," the guard said. "They can’t come in. No one under eighteen enters the facility. You should have brought them for visiting hours."
      "But, they have to see Raymond," she pleaded. She lapsed into loud, false blubbering that, due to its pitch, rapidly inspired real blubbering.
      "You’ll have to drop them at a sitter," he said. "No one under eighteen has access to the viewing room, no matter what the case. I’m sorry."
      "We can see criminals on the street, where they can kill us, but not here, where there are cages and guards," she replied. "Kind of a reverse zoo mentality, don’t you think?"
      "No children on the facility to view an execution, ma’am," he said. "This is a maximum security prison."
      "Fascist," Cornelia muttered under her breath, "pig, slimeball, dirtbag," and sopped her face with a tissue from her purse.
      "We are not leaving," Lyell announced. "It’s tough being bastards with a daddy on death row." Emma Ray’s mouth drooped with a paralyzed expression.
      The guard said, "Takes all kinds." He rolled his eyes and Cornelia glared. Both children thought it lucky that Cornelia did not have her rifle in the car.
      "All right," Cornelia said regally. "Thank you very much for nothing at all. I’ll manage."
      "You’ve got at least an hour," he said. "See you when you get back."
      Cornelia got on the freeway cursing. "Damn bleeding hearts," she said. "I want to share my life with you children, and what do they do?" The children remained silent. "Keep you out!" she insisted. "They lockdown these prisoners hours ahead of time. Raymond told me so. But now what? Where can you go?" Lyell looked out the window, picking his teeth. "We are nowhere near the house, and—wait! I know!" she shouted. "How would you like to go to the mall? I can give you money! I know you two are disappointed—but those liberals have to have their stupid say. I say, if children can watch the television, they can watch an execution." She sighed. "But, money and the mall! How about it?"
      "Money?" Lyell asked. He said the word as if it were an oddity like "orangutan" or "Chilean pear." In all the time they had known her, they had never seen money in her wallet—just credit cards, stamps and receipts.
      "Oh darn," she said. "The nearest mall is miles away." Her face clenched in agony. "So many letters," she said. "Such a conversation was never had, children. That man could identify each and every one of my guns." Though both began to tune out her ranting, Emma Ray recognized one of the letters in her mumblings—Cornelia recited it, word for word.
      Though such a memory was unlikely, Emma Ray recalled a nasty incident between Cornelia and her mother when Cornelia had repeated every vile thing Eugenie had ever said to her, and Emma Ray believed Cornelia could do so. When Eugenie had smugly asserted that she had not ever wronged Cornelia, the listing was Cornelia’s response. It had been pleasant to watch Cornelia dress their mother down, Emma Ray concluded, but she also remembered never to tell Cornelia anything she didn’t want remembered. Lyell grabbed her arm and shook it.
      Suddenly, an amusement park sign cropped up from the landscaping. Cornelia, oblivious to anything but her own thoughts, swerved delicately, half in and half out of her own lane. "Aunt Corny," Lyell called out, pointing. "We can wait for you there."
      "Where?" she asked.
      "There!" Lyell said. A miniature golf course loomed on the hill.
      Despite the angry honk of a red Honda Civic, Cornelia hopped three lanes and got off at the next exit. "Excellent, Lyell!" she said. She dropped them in front of an enormous blinking clown. "This clown looks like Satan," she said. The marquee read Funland in flashing blue bulbs. She gave each of them a hundred-dollar bill from the pocket of her purse. "Don’t leave with any strangers," she warned.
      "We won’t," they chorused.
      "Don’t vandalize," she said.
      "We won’t."
      "Be good, children," she requested. She stood under the blinking clown, patted them on the backs, then opened her door and got in. "All right," she said. "I must be off." She screeched through the parking lot, cutting off a beige Volvo.
      Emma Ray said, "I don’t think Cornelia can drive anywhere without getting honked at."
      Lyell said, "So what? She doesn’t care."
      The scent of popcorn and hot-dogs filled the air. Pinballs from a hundred video games seemed to clang against the scoring rods, and the children saw plenty of games up ahead. "Poor Cornelia," Emma Ray said, giving her aunt one last thought. She sniffed her hundred-dollar bill. It smelled minty and strange. She imagined a drug dealer using her bill like a straw to snort cocaine, maybe a drug dealer on the run, who had shot a cop.
      "Indeed," Lyell said, mimicking their father. "A sorry state of affairs."


Cornelia drove back to the prison. Though disappointed the children could not meet Raymond, she was happy she found a fun place to leave them. She gave the guard her full name. As Raymond promised, he’d set up clearance and the guard easily found her on the list.
      Through her driver’s side window, she heard the protesters chant, "Killers, killers, killers," but she knew they had no chance of ousting Raymond. Protest, without a gun or important paper, was seldom effective. In Missouri, the Governor was required to get a non-binding recommendation from the Board of Probation and Parole to stop a sentence. She pitied their liberal souls. Mixed with this pity, she felt an unusual connection. If only he would not die, she thought. If only, if only… In trying to stop the execution, the protesters had unwittingly aligned with her greater self, but their mooing was the idealistic bleat of liberal fanatics whereas her pain was personal. She ignored them and focused on the matter at hand. Removing the pink pearl lipstick from her purse, she applied it again and wiped the extra from her teeth. She would see Raymond for the first time today and did not want to miss watching his (she was sure) beatific face. With Raymond, Cornelia had known ecstasy. She recalled one of his best and brightest letters by heart:

Dear C,
      If I could only sift your blond hair through my fingers and take you camping on the Missouri River. We could bring your rifles and do some hunting. Some days, I try to imagine your sweet face. These bars are all I see. Day in…day out…and the faces of hardened criminals. My day is coming soon—so soon I weep for the lost days of my childhood. I weep for the loves I never knew, and also, for how foolishly I killed Officer Hardy. If I had escaped, I would have mourned him—but now, I do not. I am here and that is enough. Living in prison is terrible. Some nights, I look up at the lamps and wish I could see the stars. There are no stars in my cell, Cornelia. I feel trapped here.
      I remember in your first letter, how you said that you were interested in an affair of the minds. You did not want the physical to interfere. We found that affair, but I cannot help but long for a female touch. I cannot help but wish that one night I’d close my eyes and you would be pressed close to my chest—sleeping beside me. I cannot tell you how much comfort that would bring. You will never know.

      Yours truly,

      PS. Did you oil your gun like we talked about? It works better doesn’t it?

      As she walked down the hallway beside her armed escort, heavy metal doors clanging behind her, Cornelia repeated his letter again and again. "It does work better, Raymond," she said. "That gun works much better." The men escorting her shot her funny looks, but she ignored them, saying, "I should have sent him a picture. I should have let him get closer. Damn Eugenie for telling me not to let these people know where I live! Men make mistakes, after all." Her escorts stared away from her then.
      She brushed past them and took her seat in the viewing room, crossing both arms over her chest. She fingered her crucifix again, wondering, but not really caring, if it made her look religious. She’d worn it only because it was her only formal jewelry.
      "Five more minutes," a woman wearing a cat sweatshirt called out.
      Cornelia imagined the woman was Officer Hardy’s ex-wife and peered down at her own digital watch. She wanted to stand and make a sign when he came in, something that said: "It’s me, Raymond, Cornelia," but a heavy curtain veiled the inner room and she could not see him.
      Already assembled were members of the media, herself, an old woman who bawled, some of the victim’s family, a priest and some cops. Everyone watched the curtain. Not a rustle. Another letter came to her mind and she recited it aloud:

Dear C,

      I have been thinking incessantly about the day when death will take me, and decided that lethal injection will be the best possible way. Since you mentioned in your last letter that you do not know how it works, I will offer this brief explanation. Lethal injection uses a short-acting barbiturate, combined with a paralytic agent. They say these drugs may be harder to inject for former addicts. Since I was an addict, this may be a problem. Minor surgery may be required to cut into a deeper vein. I know exactly how my procedure will happen and I am prepared to grin through it. I considered appearing repentant, but have decided that if the victim’s family is cruel enough to attend my death with smiles, I shall also grin. I hope you see this action for what it is—a statement that they have not beat me, though I am enslaved by the jail and poisoned for my own instantaneous pressure of a trigger finger. Hardy was the only man I ever killed. I want you to know that. Though I’ve killed many a bear in my time, a few gators and a million deer, he was the only man. I have to go now, my love.
      Will write more later,


      Cornelia wondered when the proceedings would start. She found herself reliving his paper words, chronologically remembering those moments spent opening each letter, sitting at the dining room table or in the breakfast nook and reading. Raymond will be dead soon, was all she could think, before my eyes, dying. Over the loudspeaker, they announced that the execution was about to begin. The curtain swung open.
      Raymond lay strapped to a gurney, wearing a white sheet. The needles were already attached to his arms. Attendants connected the tubing, and Cornelia watched the chemicals drain into him from the IVACs. His legs were muscular beneath the thin, white fabric, but she could not see his face. She waited for seven excruciating moments. He twitched once. She stood up and switched seats.
      When she did, she noticed a huge grin, the grin he promised, spreading from ear to ear. A journalist whispered, "He’s smiling. Can you believe that smile?"
      A moan issued from the old woman, and everyone sat trapped inside its echo. Cornelia leaned back in her plastic seat, holding the crucifix.
      "What is going on," a newslady said. "This is taking too long."
      Abruptly, the speaker cut out. They could see the room, but could not hear inside it. The warden shouted with flaring lips; the coroner came in, stood over the gurney and pointed to the straps; and, as abruptly as it had opened, the curtain dropped.
      Raymond, you are a brave soul, Cornelia thought, and I commend you.


Emma Ray and Lyell rode the bumper boats, revving the smelly engines until each craft went as fast as possible. On their first ride, they focused on hitting each other. Emma Ray’s blue boat drenched Lyell’s orange one at least five times before they docked. He splashed hers at least three. Exhilarated, they got in line again. Soaked, thighs pimpled from the water, Emma Ray wondered if smashing bumper boats was similar to enacting a car crash without injury, rocking back and forth in the impact of someone’s quick hit. She decided that this was the exact game for her mood, and Lyell felt the same.
      He found his crashes most exciting, one after the next. He was glad Emma Ray suggested this ride and told her so. "Let’s hit someone else now," he said. "Why focus on each other?"
      "That lady in the blue cap, with her son."
      "Okay," Emma Ray said, watching the gasoline rainbows on the water. She barely looked up when Lyell nudged her—in fact, she hardly heard his voice at all. "Whoohoo, trippy," was all she said. The next three turns, they paired up to annihilate strangers. Already wet, they did not mind getting hit. Their clothing dried quickly in the heat, and with each new victim they felt a rush of adrenaline when the stranger realized that they had targeted his or her craft, and that whoever they were, they should prepare to get rammed, again and again.
      "Very fun," Lyell said, after the last bout.
      "Yes," Emma Ray said. "But let’s go inside. My hands are vibrating from the throttle and I smell like gas."


Cornelia knew that something was remiss after the injection and that she’d only see Raymond when he was declared officially dead. While the curtain was drawn, she pictured him smiling as the chemicals poisoned his blood. To her left, a male reporter whispered, "They tightened the straps too tight and restricted the blood flow, poor bugger, but, we’re going to have a great write up! Make sure to mention they turned off the sound. What a botch up!" The woman beside him grinned.
      Cornelia’s gut ached. "What’s taking so long?" she shouted. "Why has the prisoner been alive for more than twenty minutes? Open the damn curtain." The old woman who had been bawling, bawled louder. Her cries perforated the air. Cornelia unlatched the crucifix, warm from her neck, and handed it to her.
      "It’s almost over now," a man said to her right. "Just a little longer."
      Exactly thirty minutes after the injection began, the curtain opened, and Raymond lay dead. Cornelia strode to the glass and pressed her nose close against it. His cheeks were pocked. His smile was gone. He looked closer to fifty than thirty.
      She looked at him, expecting to feel recognition, but she did not. He was a corpse, after all, no man any longer! Still, another of his letters rankled in her mind:

Dearest C,
      I know you are angry because you haven’t written in nearly a week. I try to tell you things that will amuse you, but think sometimes that we are only talking to ourselves. We’ve never seen each other, and if we were not attracted to each other, this connection could be lost. There are times when I appreciate your secrecy, but in talking only to your mind, I obliterate the rest. We can be ourselves in this correspondence. Finally ourselves. Will write more later and hope that you will write back.


      She glanced at the man on the gurney and looked away, seeing no one she knew. Grabbing her purse, she walked out. A guard escorted her to her car. Angrily, she drove to the amusement park. He’s right, she thought. I did not know him. That dead thing was not the man that I wrote to—because the man I wrote to never existed. A hunter, like me. A romantic, like me. I am somebody’s fool. Suddenly, she laughed.
      She stretched her arms above her head and mused, "Why am I wearing this obnoxious dress?" She chucked her pumps out the window onto the facility road. Each mile she drove lifted her spirits. She pulled into a parking space in front of the amusement park’s blinking clown and walked up the walk. Inside, the children were busy with the joysticks of adjacent games, clicking miniature triggers. Walking behind them, she watched each destroy toy cars and animated people. She craved her shotgun and a vast expanse of land. A deer, she concluded, was not a deer the minute it became meat. A corpse was not a person either, and that’s just how it went.
      "Let’s go, kids," she announced. Emma Ray and Lyell stared up at her, shocked to see a world beyond the screens, and to view Cornelia, wearing no shoes, standing above them. Their quarters expired in exactly the same instant. The game-over music played. Kill or be killed, Cornelia thought, or maybe kill and be killed. "So my little monsters, how was your day?"
      "We played bumper boats and batting cages and games in the arcade," Emma Ray said.
      "Yeah!" Lyell said. "Emma and I teamed up to nail people."
      "Did you have fun?" Cornelia asked.
      "Yeah, sure as Satan," Lyell said. "Did your friend die?"
      "Yes, he did," Cornelia said, lowering her voice.
      "Was it gross?" Lyell closed his eyes as if commiserating but smirked too, so Emma Ray said, "Lyell! Shut up!"
      "No," Cornelia said. "It wasn’t gross, but all things considered I don’t think I’ll attend one of those again—or get another penpal."
      Cornelia took one of each of their hands, clenched them gently, and asked, "Would you like to go hunting when we get home? Hiking, or maybe fishing?" She felt radiantly happier by the instant. The ordeal with Raymond shifted out of her thoughts, as if it had never occurred, and the children shifted in.
      "I do," Lyell said.
      "Me too," Emma Ray chimed, and Cornelia wrapped her arms around their shoulders, humming as she walked to her car. The feet of her nylons were black from the asphalt. "We have a lot to do today, children," she said, "so let’s get started. What did your mother tell you not to do this time?"
      "She didn’t say anything," Lyell said. "But I bet I could think of things."
      "How about eating a pound of candy?" Emma Ray asked. "Or going outside at night? Or shooting something and stuffing it?"
      "A grand place to start, Emma Ray," Cornelia commended, and floored the gas pedal, skittering the car like a pinball into a volley of traffic. Right away the children noticed the absence of the heavy cross around her neck and the return of her fine spirits. Both thought in their private hearts: Cornelia was back, finally, truly back.
      They watched the light of the blinking clown as they left the lot, grinning like ole crazy-face himself, then looked to the road, which curved like a slithery snake beneath them, carving out the long route home.

© 2001 Heather Fowler

This story may not be archived, reproduced or distributed further without the author's express permission. Please see our conditions of use.

author bio

Heather FowlerHeather Fowler is a southern California native, recently relocated to Modesto in the hopes of completing her first two novels, three books of short fiction, two books of poetry, and several screenplays, but short fiction is her favorite genre. She received her M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University in May of 1997, and alternately teaches part-time at California State University, Stanislaus and Modesto Junior College.
      Her short fiction has recently been published or selected for publication in the following journals: Exquisite Corpse, Quercus Review, Penumbra, B & A New Fiction, Barbaric Yawp, Zoetrope All-Story Extra (October and December 1999), and Mindkites December 1999 and June 2000. She has worked as a Guest Editor for Zoetrope All-Story Extra in March and April of 2000. Her poetry has been published in the Map of Austin Poetry, The Coast Highway Review, the Driftwood Highway 1999 Anthology, Joe's Journal, Best of the Beach 1998, The Publication, and the Cityworks Literary Anthology, Volume 6. She may be contacted at: fowlerhm@hotmail.com


barcelona review 24           May - June  2001


James Ellroy: excerpt The Cold Six Thousand
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez: Buried in Shit
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez: Stars and Losers
Terry DeHart: About Half-Crazy
Heather Fowler: If King Hammurabi
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James Meek: Two Stories
Alicia Erian: When Animals Attack

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