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Capsule Stories Autumn 2019 Edition

Capsule Stories Autumn 2019 Edition
Cover design by Matthew Torres

Capsule Stories Autumn 2019 Edition features poems and stories that capture that autumn feeling of gloom, bitter air, and quietness.

Autumn Gloom

You stroll home, the warm air turning bitter, just a little, just enough to force you indoors. The sky melts into the darkness on a cold autumn evening. You open your front door, keys clattering on the kitchen counter, boots thudding on the floor. A piercing whistle from the stove, the tinker of ceramic on the counter, the pouring of hot water into your mug, steam fogging up your glasses. You take your cup of tea and sit by the windowsill, watching the sky turn black, your reflection in the window becoming more and more visible. It’s in this quiet moment that you can hear yourself think.

The past is a dream. A story we tell ourselves to save us from heartbreak, from grief. When the trees lose their life, scattering their burnt orange leaves across the ground below, we remember. There is loss in life. There is always loss. None of this is permanent. But all of it is beautiful.

Capsule Stories Autumn 2019 Edition Letters from the Editors

Autumn always comes too late; summer drags on, the endless heat never lifting up, leaving us in a fog. When it feels like summer will never end, autumn peeks through the curtains, reminding us that time does go on. That it is time to return to the normal day to day, whatever that is, and continue soldiering on through life. It’s an opportunity to remember how things have changed, and how things have remained the same. Years pass and all of it is familiar and strange at the same time.
—Natasha Lioe, Founder and Publisher

“For a long time it felt like she was already dead.”

We open Capsule Stories Autumn 2019 Edition with this poem by M. L. Fenton, which not so subtly hints at a shift in tone from our atmospheric spring and summer daze-y editions. In this autumn gloom, leaves are falling and smoke is curling up into the dark sky. The days grow shorter, and we are encouraged to stay inside more. We see less light. All around us things are dying. We are forced to reflect on the cyclic nature of life and accept that the people around us will not always be here. And then the question is: What will we do with them while they’re still here? And how will we remember them after they’re gone? Perhaps some of the answers lie in these stories and poems.
—Carolina VonKampen, Publisher and Editor in Chief

Capsule Stories Autumn 2019 Contents and Contributors


“Mother of Pearl” by Eilidh G Clark

Eilidh G Clark is a writer, poet, and traditional storyteller from Central Scotland. Eilidh completed her MLitt in creative writing from The University of Stirling in November 2017. She has had work published in both print and online (and also on a railway station billboard). Eilidh is working on a novel at the moment, rewriting and reinventing her mother’s life. When she’s not writing, Eilidh works for a well-known charity and cares for her partner.

“Singing in the Wire” by Raymond Sosa

Raymond Sosa is a Canadian teacher of Filipino descent. He is currently working on a novel called Luzon.

“Chalk Squeaks” by Stephen McQuiggan

Stephen McQuiggan was the original author of the Bible; he vowed never to write again after the publishers removed the dinosaurs and the spectacular alien abduction ending from the final edit. His other lesser known novels are A Pig’s View of Heaven and Trip a Dwarf.

“Comes the Sleep” by Glenn A. Bruce

Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate editor for Lindenwood Review. He published eight novels, two collections of short stories, wrote Kickboxer, and wrote for Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He has won awards, judged stuff, and spoken often. He taught at Appalachian State University for 12.5 years.


“In Bloom (For Yolanda)” by M. L. Fenton

M. L. Fenton is an aspiring poet and a full-time bus driver. She is a lifelong resident of the Monongahela River Valley of Pennsylvania. The collapse of the steel industry, subsequent deterioration of the surrounding neighborhoods, and the rivers themselves serve as inspiration for her poetry.

“She Waits Outside Your House” and “Lost in a Hell Dimension” by M. Brett Gaffney

M. Brett Gaffney holds an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University. Her poems have appeared in Exit 7, Rust + Moth, Permafrost, Devilfish Review, the museum of americana, BlazeVOX, Apex Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, and Zone 3, among others. Her chapbook Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press) was nominated for a 2018 Elgin Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. She works as co-editor of Gingerbread House and writes horror genre reviews in her spare time at No Outlet Horror Reviews.

“untitled, iv,” “houses make good poems in the way you leave & they stay still.” and “Scene: a cold, empty house on a warm summer night.” by Caroline Grand-Clement

Caroline Grand-Clement is a queer eighteen-year-old studying English and Scandinavian literature in Lyon, France. She dreams of art in any form, falling stars, and late-night conversations. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram at @octopodeshearts.

“ageless,” “transient longing,” and “sinking” by BEE LB

BEE LB is an emerging writer, or maybe the ghost of one. They write with the goal of connecting; to themself, the world, and the people around them. They are currently performing autopsies on themself through writing, finding answers to unanswerable questions via tarot, and working on all things unruly.

“stretch” and “sky” by Michael Prihoda

Michael Prihoda lives in Central Indiana. He is the founding editor of After the Pause, an experimental literary magazine and small press. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology, and he is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Out of the Sky (Hester Glock, 2019).

“Simon Said” by Eddie Fogler

Eddie Fogler is originally from Ohio and currently lives in Cambodia with his husband and two spoiled dogs. While overseas, he received his MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. His work has been featured in From Whispers to Roars, Haunted Waters Press, Literally Stories, and The Sirens Call. You can see his antics on Instagram at @eddiewritesthings.

“Blackout,” “In This Life,” and “Prospectors” by John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, with work recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East, and Columbia Review and work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review, and Roanoke Review.