Two Stories

by Eric Beeny

A New Amnesia

He just got this thing the other day. He takes it out of the drawer, unfolds it.

He looks at it, as if it is a photograph he’s never seen before. He folds it, gets on his knees and pushes it under the bed.

He goes to the bathroom, washes his hands again.

The telephone rings. He looks at it. It rings. The telephone. Rings.

He closes the bathroom door quietly, climbs into the tub. He turns the water on, the tub fails to fill. Only his back gets wet. He gets out, leaves the water running.

His feet make wet prints on the carpet. He pulls the blanket off his bed, dries off wrapping the blanket around himself.

He lies on the floor. He turns his head, looks under the bed.

“What’s this?” he says.


The lightning looks like hair. She wants to pull it to make the clouds cry.

Downstairs the house moved away. She didn’t get to say goodbye.

A letter arrives the next morning addressed to the house. She opens it, wonders how whoever sent it found out where the house lived. The house left no forwarding address.

She reads the letter. It is from a mathematician working to prove that the arcs of falling leaves can be calculated to prove that there is no such thing as free will.

The letter says that if a leaf falls in front of you while walking through a forest that it is meant to happen, that everything that has happened up to that point—you being born, you learning to walk, you deciding years later to go for a walk, you walking through the forest and the leaf deciding (consciously), at the exact moment you pass under its tree, to fall—is all mathematically predictable.

She doesn’t believe any of it. The leaf could not decide to fall if there is no free will, could not be conscious. The signature is, for some reason, illegible.

She puts the letter on her nightstand. She leaves her room to go downstairs, remembers the house moved away.

She gets a box of matches from the drawer of her nightstand, strikes one, sets the letter on fire. The big bang struck on the head of a matchstick, she thinks. She watches the letter curl into fingers of ash, a closing fist.

She lies down in bed, pulling her hair, crying leaves at the dark clouds moving into her room, gathering near the ceiling of the world.

"Regardless of What You Face" by Ernest Williamson III
"Regardless of What You Face" by Dr. Ernest Williamson III


Note from Fiction Editors Jen Bannan and Frank Huerta
Church Avenue
by Adrian Astur Alvarez
Postmortem Photography by David Patterson
A Thousand Words by Christine Pivovar
The Perspective from Este Lado de la Frontera: An Interview with Benjamin Alire Sáenz

"Freedom" by Kate Koenig "Freedom" by Kate Koenig


Note from Poetry Editors Laura Brun and Michelle Lin
Two Poems by Carol Dorf
Three Poems by Melissa Goodrich
Two Poems by Jeffrey Haynes
Two Poems by Vanessa Couto Johnson
The Museum of Everything Salty by Kristin Maffei
Love Advice from a Twenty-Sided Die by Martin Ott
Un-Muscled by Diana Roffman
A catalog by Afton Wilky
Sheets of rain against the surface of the see by Afton Wilky

"Delving Into Her Craft" by Ernest Williamson III "Delving Into Her Craft" by Ernest Williamson III


Note from Nonfiction Editors Laura Clark and Rachel Wilkinson
The Family Way by Christine Kaiser Bonasso
Under My Father's Tree by Stephanie L. Liberatore
Bon Jellico by Anthony J. Otten

"Rebuilt Hot Metal" by Andy Beck "Rebuilt Hot Metal" by Andy Beck


Artist Gallery
Artist Spotlight: Dr. Earnest Williamson II


F_2013_Kate_Koenig-Locked_in_Love "Locked in Love" by Kate Koenig


Fall 2013 Contributor Bios
HMB Book Reviews
HMB Blog

"Wait" by Kate LaDew "Wait" by Kate LaDew

"St. Paul Revealed" by Dr. Ernest Williamson "St. Paul Revealed" by Dr. Ernest Williamson

F_2013_Philip_Sweet-Out_for_Some_Fresh_Air "Out for Some Fresh Air" by Philip Sweet

"Bard With Black Roses" by Ernest Williams "Bard With Black Roses" by Dr. Ernest Williamson III

"Sleep" by Kate LaDew "Sleep" by Kate LaDew

"Meters of Meters" by Philip Sweet "Meters of Meters" by Philip Sweet

"Untitled" by Dr. Ernest Williamson III "Untitled" by Dr. Ernest Williamson III