Sally Forth

Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

Kurt Cobain's Ghost with an Invitation to a Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks by Angela Genusa

"B.L.T.": A Review by Will Layman

Ten Tiny Poems by Brian Beatty

Angry Words from a Gnome Who to This Day Continues to Think the Human Genome Project Was Actually The Human Gnome Project by David Ng

Key Party, N.Y.C., Circa Always by William K. Burnette

A Day on the Phone with Mythological Norse Firewarrior, Bringer of Storms by Aaron Belz

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Was ist im Leben am besten? Ihre Feinde zerquetschen, sie sehen, gefahren vor Ihnen und die Wehklage der Frauen hören!
What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005   |    Fiction

The Tragedy of Two Bills

by Calvin Liu

William, a boy
Billiam, a boy
Six attack dogs (more optional)

Springtime. William and Billiam play stickball in a small, fenced-in yard, with William pitching and Billiam at bat. The fence is about as tall as a very tall adult, and it is completely fire-engine red, except for the white rectangular “strike zone” that looks not unlike what might be painted on a basketball backboard. This “strike zone” is on the portion of the fence just behind Billiam. This fence is lined with young and newly blooming dandelions. The air is calm. William delivers a pitch, and Billiam swings and misses. It is a big miss.

(Pumps his fist.) That’s right, snatch!

(Picks the ball up, but doesn’t throw it back.) What did you say?


Did you just call me snatch?

Yes. (Pause.) Face on you. (Palms face.)

Oh. (Deflated.) Got me.

Enter attack dogs who crash down the fence. One attack dog is saddled on another, riding it fiercely like a bucking bronco. Two others maul William and Billiam. The rest fight for the ball. The attack dog being ridden like a bronco has a gold chain that slaps wildly around its neck as it tries to buck its rider. Attached to the chain are big diamond-studded letters that, when seen clearly, say, “Play on, player.” The diamonds sparkle.

Carnage continues awhile.

When there is some certainty of the boys’ death, there is an unusually long pause, and just before the moment of it becoming unbearably silent, a young dandelion decides then to bloom. It is something of a rare thing to see.

Fade out.

Calvin Liu joined the Lamorinda Hotspurs 9-and-under traveling soccer team in 1985. After scoring an astonishing goal with his typically fumbling left foot in an intersquad scrimmage, he was then moved to his new position at right wing, where he scored no more goals for the rest of the season. He now edits Bullfight literary review. and The Glut with a brittle confidence and colorful knee-high socks.