Richard Schmitt
Living Among Strangers

Richard Schmitt - Living Among Strangers

Richard Schmitt is the author of The Aerialist, a novel (Harcourt 2001). He has published fiction and nonfiction in many places. His story "Leaving Venice, Florida" won 1st Prize in The Mississippi… Read more »
Andrew Siegrist
Nightmare Prayers

Andrew Siegrist - Nightmare Prayers

Andrew Siegrist is a graduate of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Greensboro Review, Pembroke Magazine, Fiction… Read more »
Laura Jean Schneider
No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Laura Jean Schneider - No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Laura Jean Schneider has an MFA in Fiction Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The Writer online, The Montana Quarterly, High Country News, Edible… Read more »
Joy Ellison
Sitti’s Scars

Joy Ellison - Sitti’s Scars

J.M. Ellison is a writer, scholar, and grassroots activist. They are interested in using stories, both fictional and true, to build community, document social movements, and imagine a liberated world.… Read more »
Alexandra Renwick
The Monsieur

Alexandra Renwick - The Monsieur

Alexandra Renwick is a dual US & Canadian author whose short fiction has been translated into nine languages and performed in audio and on stage. Though she splits her time south of the border between… Read more »

Nightmare Prayers

Andrew Siegrist

It’s 2:00 a.m. and the old man is sleeping. He keeps me up most nights crying out his nightmare prayers to God. I guess something behind his eyelids looks too much like Hell. His words come out tangled up and twisted. I listen to him, lying in bed scared those dreams will be mine one day. The doctor said people in his condition often have trouble sleeping. I didn’t tell the doctor that before Mom died, and before his condition, they slept in separate rooms so that she wouldn’t wake up with bruises on her arms from where his fists swung at things that haunted his sleep.

She said it didn’t happen much. But now, with half his mind gone and the other half going, seems like these fits come on most every night.

When he wakes, the old man says he doesn’t remember anything about his dreams, but he’s always drenched with sweat and sore from shaking. His bones must remember. You can see it in the way he limps around the place.

It’s 2:00 a.m. and the neighbor girl’s light comes on. I can see it out my window. Just for a second and then off… Read more »