Backwater, Part II of III: Part Two: The Gambler Luther “Doc” Santo Campo

Swim into my mouth and straighten the needle, for I have lost the thread. Ridley DeLeure, I will never know you now, for the shade I pursue has folded his wings around the images and words. My digestive juices have eaten through the parts that might tell me why you came here and not some kinder place. Did […]

Backwater, Part I of III: Part One: The Antinomian Ridley DeLeure

Swim into my mouth and I will tell you who you are. Have I said this part before? It’s impossible for either of us to know for sure; I can’t recall, and you’re certainly in no position to answer. The same forgetful straits that washed you down here confine utterance to the randomly spurting intervals between your death […]

The Red Dress

Nadine Monfils was born in Etterbeek, Belgium in 1953. A novelist, short story writer, film director and producer, for many years she taught screenwriting at the Université Européenne d’Ecriture in Brussels and in prisons throughout France. As a journalist and film critic, she has been a regular contributor to Père Ubu, Focus, and Tels Quels. Her first book of stories, Laura […]

About André Bay’s “The Queen of Spades”

I confess I know little, and almost all of it circumstantial, about this atmospheric sketch of a gutter-dwelling worm. It was written by André Bay (1916−2013), for more than four decades a senior editor at Éditions Stock. Among the diverse writers he championed there were Jorge Amado, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Wolfe, Anaïs Nin, and Virginia Woolf. His […]

The Queen of Spades

Night travelers step from the train. I’m freezing. Footsteps hammer the street, shaking white droplets loose. The gutters are streaming. Mice are nibbling on cobwebs. Cows moo in the mist. Everywhere, without speaking a word, they fear the Queen of Spades. She is a woman, a monster, some claim; others maintain she is a gigantic insect; the truth is […]

The Ghoul

Belgian fabulist Jean Muno was earlier profiled in these pages. We are pleased to present “The Ghoul,” a phantasmagorical tale from his first collection, Histoires singulières. He stops. Turns around. A man of middle age, graying, in a hunting vest and fishing boots. Watchful, no doubt worried. He’s alone, and sees no one. No one behind him. […]