Issue #2

(May/June 1994)

enjoying the rain - #2 Cover

cover drawing by Ferrilyn Sourdiffe

Table of Contents

full or partial text is availablefor highlighted items




July 9, 1996

© Copyright 1995 EchoesMagazine

All stories, poems, and drawings are protected by copyright andmay not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form, by copyingor by any electronic or mechanical means, without written permissionfrom Echoes Magazine. Individual stories and poems are also copyrightby their authors; drawings are copyright by Echoes Magazine and bythe artists.


by Kari Sharp hill

Following is a brief excerpt from the story:

. . . "Don't let go, Daddy." Callie's voice trembles.

Clouds float in her wide, brown eyes. Her fingernails dig into my skin, leave a trail of urgent Morse code dashes across my wrist.

"You'll float, honey." My hand supports the back of her head, like when she was first born and couldn't hold her own head up. I work my fingers down toward her neck. "Just tip your head back. Hold your breath." She studies me, tilts her chin up a little more. Her dark eyes scan the tops of the trees that line the river. "Please don't let me sink." Her voice is carried off by the gentle current.

I smile. "Keep your arms and legs moving."

"Don't let go," she begs again, louder.

I nod. After all these afternoons at the river, I still can't let go. I can't risk seeing her body fold and sink like a small, pale raft leaking air. Callie turned twelve last winter without learning to swim. She missed the school's lessons. One year she had a broken arm, then a bout with a serious ear infection.

My wife, Tara, is afraid of water. "Being in the water terrifies me," she says. "It's such thin stuff to float in." She shrugs, helpless in the face of her own truth. "My lack of faith in the water will sink me." Tara does not share her theories about water with Callie. She's afraid our daughter will inherit her terror of waves and currents the same way she has inherited Tara's dark, straight hair, her watery brown eyes.

I didn't think I should be the one to teach Cal to swim, but when I phoned the recreation center in town to check on beginning lessons, all the classes had names like "Tadpoles" and "Starfishes". I imagined my tall, slender daughter rising like a reed through a swamp of small, chubby preschoolers anxious to blow bubbles in chlorinated water and master the turtle float.

Callie'd drown in humiliation.

So we're at the river almost every day now since school let out in mid-June. . . .

© 1994 Kari Sharp hill

Callie floating
illustration by Ferrilyn Sourdiffe

Kari Sharp hill is thirty-eight years old and has lived inWashington state all her life. For the past ten years, she has been"visiting a place inside her head where her characters lounge on deepcouches and wait for her to notice them." She has been published inOre East and Left Bank, and was a 1991 Fishtrap Fellow.(10/95)

[Table of Contents]

The Inheritors

by Terry Lindsay

I held a diamond in my hand
and put it back into the mine.
I left a seashell on the sand
For other groping hands to find.

Let others hoard wild laurel blooms
And set out pots to trap the rain.
Let others live in stagnant tombs.
What I have found, I'll find again.

© 1993 Terry Lindsay

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View from the tower

Tigers in the Sun

by Michael S. Higgins

Following is a brief excerpt from the story:

. . . I could not see his feelings.

But I could see the silver flash of moonlight as it reflected from the statuette he held in his hands. The light poured through an open casement in the tower's rough-hewn ceiling; the statuette turned slowly around and around between his fingers. Face, flank, tail. Face, flank, tail. Shining blue cat's eyes, then rippling stripe-layered muscles diminishing into a sinuous ringed curve of glossy fur. It was a tiger in miniature, powerful and sensuous, transformed into gleaming black and silver by the light of the full moon. Lord Teague's face was hard in that moonlight, all contrasting edges of shadow and light -- all of his humanity bleached away. All was stone in him...except for his eyes. They were soft, and their greenish color shimmered wetly from his immobile face. His lips seemed to be carved into a smile, but it was the smile of one whose thoughts were distant, unfathomable, and interior; I don't think Teague knew it was there. I shook my head and sighed, for I had seen that smile before.

I leaned back from the peephole and stretched, trying to work out the stiffness as I closed the hidden panel. Out of habit I closed it with great care, and with no sound. "No reason to be careful," I muttered, "he's not really here anymore anyway."

The familiar walls of the dark stone passage slipped smoothly by until the iron ring of the latch slid over my fingers and the hidden door swung back. There was no need to check the corridor; everyone who could find an excuse to leave had already done so. Only a sparse contingent of palace guards, Caj the cook, and myself ever stayed here when they fought. It was too dangerous. There had been reports of floods and unexplained fires throughout the land in these last few months, but fortune had spared most. They were the nation in a very real way; we all suffered when they were at odds. I sighed and trundled towards the throne room . . .

© 1994 Michael S. Higgins

the tower

illustration by Ferrilyn Sourdiffe

Michael S. Higgins is a recent college graduate and worksas a publicist for the Kansas City Public Library. He writes "becausethe stories in my head pressure to get out until they are set down onpaper." (4/94)

[Table of Contents]

Cabin Days

by Paul Larson

Down south in the mountains
Stands a cabin on the hill.
Its A-frame shape with a hickory bench
Out below the window sill.
There's a big old swing off in the back
Hooked way up in the pines.
And adjacent is a little wooden house
Supplied with bags of lime.
The cabin days when I was young
I reflect back on all the time.
Gutting fish by the water-tap
While humming a merry rhyme.
When we'd wake up in the morning
And unfurl from homemade quilts.
The cool mountain air had found its way in
And it was no time before a fire was built.
Then all of us boys would huddle around
Like cattle to a trough.
And pick from the screen our once wet socks
Now almost burnt and steaming hot.
The cabin days when I was young
At times I wish I could go back.
The times we'd play in the mule-ear grass
And chase pot-guts in the front porch crack.
When the day comes that I'm a father
It's to the cabin we will go.
Chewing Twizzlers and sipping Pop
All the way to Ferron road.
And when the cool mornings come
I'll remember, and laugh inside.
'Cause I'll see my boys standing around
Warming their backsides.
I'll share with them all I know
Do my best to make them see.
That Cabin Days are special days
And it's a place they will long to be.

© 1994 Paul Larson
pine trees ( cabin days
illustrationby Ferrilyn Sourdiffe

Paul Larson is a student at Northern Kentucky University,majoring in English. Originally from Salt Lake City, Paul has beenwriting poetry for about seven years and hopes that his writing willhelp instill in others an appreciation of the many ordinary butwonderful things in life. (4/94)

[Table of Contents]

Dear Penfriend

illustration by Ferrilyn Sourdiffe

Dear Penfriend

by P. C. Needham

Following is a brief excerpt from the story:


. . . The house is dark, but by the light of the streetlight through the window, she finds her way to the computer and turns it on. The room is brushed by the bluish glow of the terminal, and she feels as if she could warm her hands at the keyboard. Is he waiting for her there?

She taps in the commands to connect with the network, and the modem whines its call into the night. The network answers. Some chirps, a beep, and it tells her he has not written. She looks at her watch; it is one a.m., two a.m. where he is. Rebecca sighs, but logs off and calls up the program to write a letter to him.

I miss you, Joe, she wants to write. I miss singing to you through the lettered keys, tapping out dreams that tell you my spirit loves yours. I miss hearing your song through the silent monitor and allowing myself to imagine it is a love song like mine. Where are you? Where are we? . . . .


© 1994 P. C. Needham

P. C. Needham is a freelance editor and writer. Althoughshe has considered herself an author since second grade, this storyis the first to be published in a circulated magazine. Her recentwriting has focused on the interaction and relationships of humanity.(4/94)

[Table of Contents]

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