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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

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

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now OPEN. The reading period for standard submissions closes June 15, 2021. Topical Thursdays’ submissions are open year-round. Submit here.

Upcoming

07/26 • Jen Huang
07/29 • Lazar Trubman
07/30 • Jasmine Sawers
08/02 • Natalie Schriefer
08/05 • Daniel Felsenthal
08/06 • Kim.M.Munsamy
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08/13 • Elizabeth Amon
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08/27 • Shyla Shehan
08/30 • Andrew Warnke
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09/03 • David Hargreaves
09/06 • June Avignone
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09/10 • Laurence Musgrove
09/13 • Zoe Dickinson
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09/20 • Karoline Schaufler
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