about
main
submissions

"In a Windless Calm"
  Paul Abbamondi
"The Non-Epistemological Universe of Emmaeus Holt"
  Forrest Aguirre
"Lia's Paperhouse"
  Autumn Canter
"Lotophagi"
  Edward Morris
"Wooden Apologies"
  Mari Ness
"Hollow Woman"
  Angie Smibert

"The Lemmings"
  Lee Stern
"Mimes at Dinner"
  Amy Riddle
"My Mannequin"
  William Doreski
"Convention"
  Mark DeCarteret

"Nine Views of Mount Fuji"
  Mike Keith


The Lemmings

by Lee Stern

The lemmings were thinking of other possibilities.

But they kept coming back to their central dilemma.

And they kept apologizing to one another for not being more specific.

When it was time to come in for the night, however,

as you might have imagined, they set out the lights on their barricades,

the while dreaming of the gentle motion of their limbs.

They made a virtue out of practically their entire fleet-

especially the vessels with the metal pumps.

And although they didn't bother to ask me about the canoes,

I knew they wanted to. And it hurt me to have to say no.

Just as it always did when the snow was landing.

Later, when it was time for them to get off of the lawn

and start putting the feasting table up,

I showed them the spotlight that was named after my mother and father.

And asked them to shine it in the direction of a nearby cliff

that, while it may have been impossible to scale,

because of the disability they suffered

was now known for the footprints it was going to inherit

and the fortune it was about to disown.


Lee Stern lives in Los Angeles where he is hanging on in this economy to his job as the manager of a Lincoln Towncar service. Check in with him in six months, though, for an update.