The Best of AntiMuse 2006
It's that time of year when we announce the editors' favorite picks for fiction
and poetry. It's difficult to choose, and I'd like to choose all of our contributors,
but then you'd might as well just read the archives, right?
Thanks to all of our contributors for helping us grow in 2006, and thanks to
the readers for reading. Also, I'd like to thank that one guy that keeps Googling
"moustache ballerina hardcore." Your random search queries never cease
to enliven our server logs.
Please note: if your work appears in this list, you have won a 10-percent discount
coupon for Sizzler steakhouse. It expired in 1984. Please e-mail me to claim
Best of Show -- Fiction
Cotton by Mark Herder
"While retrieving the package in his brother’s garage, Tom
Doughtery came across a calendar from 1992 – “Freebirds”
– and gazed upon Cheri, who would have been eighteen at the time, topless,
straddling a 1935 Indian Chief motorcycle, and was struck with the full frontal
glory of her breasts, her truly righteous melons, and that is where it started.
Good Times by Bill Carrigan
"He would stagger out to the clatter of drums, cowbells, cymbals,
and gong. They loved his drunk act, ate it up. Drunks were funny in those
days. Wearing a battered hat, brim pulled down all around, thumbs hooked in
his loose suspenders, he would rock a little on his heels and point to someone
in the front row. “I know you. I know all three of you.” And leaning
forward, he would wag his finger and confide, “But I won’t tell
anybody.” Another flurry of fanfare . . ."
Charge by Devan Sagliani
"I’ll be on house patrols with Frank, looking for meds, and
we’ll walk in and find a whole goddamn family dead in the living room,
gathered around a blister pack of military issued cyanide capsules all empty
and ingested. Somehow we’d overlooked them. Their eyes will be open
and swollen. Their bodies will be bloated and disfigured. Their tongues will
be sticking out black as tarpaper. The television will be blaring, pure white
noise, since there is only static on these days. Then all of a sudden I’ll
vividly remember some line from T.S. Elliot or fucking Flannery O'Connor or
that pervert, Vladimir Nabokov."
Van by William Locke Hauser
“You don’t care about the war’s rightness?”
“Well I guess I do!” Taking an envelope from his briefcase,
Cracker shoved a photo under Gunny’s nose. A crowd of peasant women
and children were lined up on a country road.
“Now this one.” The same people lay in pools of blood.
“Where’d you get these pictures?”
“Friend of mine in the northern sector, some little village called
My Lai. That’s a real terrorist atrocity, what we’re fighting
all over the world.”
1980 by Clay Waters
"Everyone said she looked peaceful. Even I did, though I didn't think
it. I thought she looked quizzical in her coffin, skin suspiciously puffed
and unlined, as if she'd been inflated slightly and squeezed back into her
trusty black coat, which was still swathed in Bad Brains and Clash buttons."
Best of Show, Poetry