2003 (Volume 15)
In this issue the theme of fear surfaces in many works. As the threat of war with Iraq hangs over our heads, we all feel fear at the unspeakable loss that war brings.
It is fitting that the protagonist in award-winning story, "Norman, Oklahoma" by George V. Tucker, is waiting for war to start. A lonely teenage boy, living with an uncle in windy Oklahoma, is afraid for his father who will be fighting in the desert. "Soon you will tell her how terrified you are, how you've never been separated from your family before, how you want all this, well, most of this, to be a dream you'll wake up from. But for the moment the TV is showing live images from midnight Baghdad, and all you can do is watch."
We feel the cost of war on soldier Marty Jakes in Tom Juvik's "Mistake" when he accidentally kills two buddies in Vietnam. "His name's been cleared, man. A friendly fire incident, pure and simple." But nothing is pure and simple as shame and guilt take their toll.
Rising above fear is what the firewalkers have to do in Margot Demopoulos' "Firewalkers and the Piecing Together of Place." We see the walkers approach the fire in a trance. Are they afraid? "He angles in toward the burning circle, backs away, then dashes across, shaking himself on the other side as if surfacing from water."
C0VER: "Red and PInk Doorway" / Steve Wilson / oil on canvas