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The Withholding

by Rachel Rodman

 

At her chest, in a drawstring pouch, she kept a personal hoard of rats’ asses. They were worn and polished, like leather coins, with empty circles at their centers.

There she held them perpetually, warmed by her heart, so that, whenever the right occasion arose, she could conspicuously Not give them out.

“No,” she would say, lips twisting and eyes slitted, in a withering contempt: “This particular set of circumstances does not warrant anything that I have, stored here.”

 

 

Rachel Rodman (www.rachelrodman.com) writes fairy tales, food poetry, and popular science. Her work has appeared at Fireside Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Expanded Horizons, and elsewhere.

 

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “The Withholding”?

I am fascinated by currencies, ancient and modern: shells, stones, beads, ivory, Bitcoin, and so on.

I am not aware of any economy that literally employs rats’ anuses. But the idea became embedded in our language somehow.

And in fiction, at least, one can physicalize that interesting possibility.

So I did.

News

Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now CLOSED. Check out our new category triptychs! The next submission period opens September 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/07 • Briel Felton
09/09 • Chelsea Stickle
09/11 • Jeffrey Spahr-Summers
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/14 • Frances Badgett
09/16 • Sarah Russell
09/18 • Ryan Stone
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/23 • TBD
09/25 • TBD
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
09/30 • TBD
10/02 • TBD
10/03 • J.I. Kleinberg
10/07 • TBD
10/09 • TBD
10/10 • Lilian McCarthy
12/02 • Tara Campbell