An Early History of Hang Gliding by Leslie Maxwell
“The day after her mother died, Evie did not go to school. Tenth grade had just begun, and Evie had spent the last three weeks trying to decide who she would be this year, and now, here, just as suddenly, tenth grade seemed far away from her mind…”
Mirror Look At Me by Laura Tansley
“His side of the bed was cold to the touch. Her door was ajar, the bed boldly made to prove a point: she had not slept, not here at least…”
Meeting Uncle Charlie by Sarah Abbott
“My uncle Charlie drove up in his red sedan, the car in good shape but an older model, and parked to the left of our driveway…”
Three Broken Hearts by Anthony J. Mohr
“It was a Saturday in March 1963. My father and I were having lunch at the Rendezvous Room in the Beverly Hilton Hotel…”
Quotidienne by Nandini Dhar
“Mother is busy wiping off the cumin-dust from the old photographs, book-spines…”
Fog in Michigan by Michael Lauchlan
“The big tire beside the highway, the blue bridge, billboards, and all marks of a flat land vanish…”
The Lave by Michael Lauchlan
“On our wedding night, the noise jars us—thieves boosting our mower….”
Widow Gardening by Grace Mattern
“She digs in the garden, pulls weeds by their roots and leaves them to wilt…”
I was always told that reading in the dark will ruin your eyesight. As it turned out, the well-being of my eyes was not a concern of mine when I was seven years old, huddled under a forest of comforters with nothing but a dimly lit pink flashlight and a stack of Judy Blume books to keep me company. Literature, in all of its forms, from back-breaking fantasy trilogies to drug-store mystery novels, has always been a major presence in my life since I was pulling Peter Rabbit books from the shelf. The only thing I loved more than reading literature growing up was sharing my love of it with reluctant friends and strangers on the bus. I could be found freely giving out book recommendations, reciting a memorized list of the most recent New York Times’s best sellers, or giving a plot synopsis of the latest thriller I happened to be reading to anyone who would listen.
My love for reading soon became a love for writing as I realized that a writer at a desk was behind every novel I was lugging around in my backpack. As I found confidence as a writer, I discovered a community of aspiring writers like myself while I began my pursuit towards a degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Mary Washington. I soon began to realize that I hadn’t been the only obsessed child risking my eyesight reading past bedtime and compromising my posture carrying around an entire series in my Jansport. Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by avid readers whose heads were filled with strange and unique ideas that they needed to get down on paper. I had found my home.
Having the opportunity to be the Editor in Chief of Issue 3.2 of the Rappahannock Review this semester has opened my eyes up to the much larger community of writers across the country, and the world. The medley of styles and themes that I have come across while reading submissions for this issue was immense; I enjoyed being exposed to the variety of styles and ideas coming from writers who trusted us enough to send us their work. I have the utmost gratitude to them and to my fellow editors; together, they’ve made this issue possible.
This issue contains works that deal with everything from love, death, and relationships to the state of Michigan, as well as lots of things in between. Every piece we have accepted has one thing in common: they are crafted with exceptional skill, and we are proud to publish them. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have. While there is hardly a chance of you needing a flashlight to read, or a backpack to carry around this issue of Rappahannock Review, we hope you find something in it that gives you the excitement and joy of being seven, reading under a blanket past your bedtime.
Aeriel Merillat, Editor in Chief