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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.

New titles available from Robert McBrearty and Tori Bond.

Submissions

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

Upcoming

11/04 • Douglas W. Milliken
11/06 • Alouini, Olfa
11/11 • Janiru Liyanage
11/13 • Francine Witte
11/18 • Pamela Painter
11/20 • Margaret Madole
11/25 • Nancy Stohlman
11/27 • Kelsey Englert
12/02 • Tara Campbell
12/09 • Foster Trecost
12/16 • Janiru Liyanage
12/23 • Tanner Barnes
12/30 • Caroline Firme
01/06 • Meg Eden
01/13 • Daniel Galef