Welcome to Circa’s second issue! I hope you come packed and ready for an adventure for, like Comrade Laika, the first canine cosmonaut and the subject of our first story by Patrick Donovan, we are taking a journey into the unknown—and what could be more foreign than the past?
We begin with a fiery backstage experience at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair in Nick Wisseman’s “Hobo in the White City.” Then “The Scallywag Miner” by Brinda Bannerjee takes us to California in the middle of the gold rush, when prospectors found more than they bargained for while panning the rivers for gold.
The love and heartache of a Malaysian prostitute in old George Town in Penang is the subject of Kawika Guillermo’s moving story, “Bored.” The flu pandemic of 1918 forms the backdrop to Kim Drew Wright’s tale of a little boy looking for his playmate in “King of the Heap.”
Todd McKie’s riff on Tennyson’s poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” brings a hilarious change of pace—I can just imagine the general haranguing his men in this piece in a voice like Blackadder’s General Melchitt—before we turn to sixteenth century London and the persecution of Protestant heretics in Jordan Legg’s “It Won’t Be For Long.”
The violent theme persists in Crawdad Nelson’s “Everyone Was There,” which highlights the complicit brutality of an entire community whether they were active participants or merely observers in the massacres of Native Americans during the nineteenth century. From roughly the same period we have “A Bullet for Jake,” the story of a young boy and his hero-worship of the outlaw, Billy the Kid, by Michael M. Pacheco.
And finally, returning to the slightly more familiar twentieth century, is Carole Langille Glasser’s story of a young man coming to terms with love and his own identity in the moving “Meeting E. M. Forster.”
It has been a delight and a privilege to collect and present these stories. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!