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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 submission period closes June 15, 2020; submit here.

Upcoming

05/27 • Michael Credico
05/28 • Sarah Sousa (9 of 10)
06/01 • Carol Guess
06/03 • Tuka Loomma
06/04 • Sarah Sousa (10 of 10)
06/08 • T.L. Sherwood
06/10 • Kathleen McGookey
06/11 • Serge Lecomte (1 of 8)
06/15 • Brianna Neumann
06/17 • Kate Carmody
06/18 • Serge Lecomte (2 of 8)
06/22 • Wilson Koewing
06/24 • Mason Binkley
06/25 • Serge Lecomte (3 of 8)
06/29 • Yanna Regina Mondoñedo
07/01 • Peter Krumbach
07/02 • Serge Lecomte (4 of 8)
07/06 • Vanessa Gebbie
07/08 • Paul Hostovsky
07/09 • Serge Lecomte (5 of 8)
07/13 • Clio Velentza
07/15 • Jolene McIlwain
07/16 • Serge Lecomte (6 of 8)
07/20 • Julie Benesh
07/22 • Beverly Jackson
07/23 • Serge Lecomte (7 of 8)
07/27 • Lynn Wagner
07/29 • Delaney Burk
07/30 • Serge Lecomte (8 of 8)
08/03 • TBD
08/06 • Amy Bobeda (1 of 6)
08/10 • TBD
08/13 • Amy Bobeda (2 of 6)
08/17 • TBD
08/20 • Amy Bobeda (3 of 6)
08/24 • TBD
08/27 • Amy Bobeda (4 of 6)
08/31 • TBD
09/03 • Amy Bobeda (5 of 6)
09/07 • TBD
09/10 • Amy Bobeda (6 of 6)
09/14 • TBD
09/17 • Erika Kanda (1 of 3)
09/21 • TBD
09/24 • Erika Kanda (2 of 3)
09/28 • TBD
10/01 • Erika Kanda (3 of 3)