Issue 9

Front Matter


It’s been five years since Scintilla launched. What started out as a conversation on a sunporch in St. Louis continues as a thriving online literary magazine.


Publisher and Managing Editor: Tim Lepczyk
Senior Fiction Editor: Daniel Grear
Fiction Editorial Assistant: Lyndy Wibking
Poetry Editorial Assistant: Adam Nick



I left, I was hunted.

I clung to comfort, I was hunted.

I returned and was eaten.

In Sickness and in Health

Floyd’s memory was like a hornet caught in a Mason jar. He stood in the hallway after lunch, still in his pajamas, staring at the residue of his former self.

Sweet Cheeks

“I’m lovely,” she says and pulls a jewelry box from under the coffee table. From the box she takes out a needle, a spoon, and a baggie filled with a dull white powder.

The Subtle Ghost

But the haunting continued to be steadfastly understated, the ghost unerringly subtle. A polite poltergeist. A polterguest.

Trials of Isaiah

The reality of his immediate circumstances was something he felt keenly aware of, and it came to him instantly. He was a middle-aged man, urgently summoned to a house he had not stepped into for six years.



“Take your father home,”
says the gravedigger, holding out
a sack of bones. In Mexico City

Fortune Cookies

Here’s a woman hired to write proverbs
Must be creative, inspired, concise
he who climbs a ladder begins at the first step

Native Shapes

The tree detritus falls,
dry and oblique, into piles
on the road that from a distance
look like armadillos, possums, feral cats,


The storm didn’t knock out our power,
but left twigs and leaves scattered.


Do we really need
another Liam, Noah, or Mason?
Emma, Charlotte, or Harper?
(I could go on…)

Robot Prom

The kids nowadays spend twelve hundred easy
dressing their robots for the senior prom.
All May and June, ballrooms shake as these lumbering
robots dance and cavort, flirt, sneak booze, and,


When I kissed
your clavicle, gooseflesh
popped like tiny
naked chicks peeping


coyote, Cooper’s hawk, flattened feathers
lifting in the breeze. But now, just ahead
in a loud gale of traffic at next tight turn,


Funeral for a Childhood

I remember the moment it clicked: The realization that everything I thought I knew, all my memories, represented a fantasy interpretation of events; untrue.

Girl on the Screen

In the summer of 2012, in my hometown in south Louisiana, I rolled burritos while waiting for college to begin. Just as my restaurant job neatly framed those three summer months, so did the search for Mickey Shunick, the big sister who never showed up to her brother’s high school graduation.

Back Matter

Thank You

Special thanks to Hendrix College and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation for their support of language and literature.