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    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000.

    Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity.
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    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014!

    The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook.

    The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr.

    Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter.


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  • ≡ Nylon Seam

    F. Brett Cox

    left side

    Nylon Seam

    right side

    I don’t want nothing from no machine
    With no ragged edges and crystal clean

    Dave is into Eddie for two thousand dollars and has no idea how he is going to pay it back. He tried Harold, but Harold was tapped out. He tried Max, but Max’s terms were worse than Eddie’s. He even tried Tight Albert Morrison. Tight Albert told him to drop dead.


    Plastic, processed, boring, bland
    Wouldn’t make noise with a marching band

    Worst of all, Dave knows that Martine will leave if he doesn’t have any money. She says she won’t, but he knows she will. It is for her he accumulated the debt in the first place. She says he didn’t have to, but he knows he did.


    I want a story with a twisted theme
    Dave’s only remaining option is to go see John Schwartz and offer his services. Dave does not want to do this. Word is Uncle John always has a job that will pay you more than you’re worth, but what he expects from you later on may not be worth the price.


    Trace down the length of your nylon seam
    The breeze from the window fan does nothing to cool the room but ripples Martine’s skirt as she adjusts her hose. She is talking to someone on the phone. She says it’s her sister. Dave sits on the edge of the bed, smoking, paralyzed by his insurmountable debt and the vision of her cherry-red toenails.


    Neckline low and hemline high
    A splendid evocation of the back of your thigh

    There is a long-standing rumor that no one has ever seen Uncle John anywhere other than sitting behind his desk. His enormous gut starts at his breastbone and flops onto the desktop. He smokes a cigarette in a long black holder. A flat-screen TV hangs on the wall. An angry-looking middle-aged woman sits behind some sort of table and leans into a microphone to speak. On the bottom of the screen are the words, SENATOR BOXER GRILLS ATTORNEY GENERAL. “I’m Dave Johnson. I hear you have a job needs doing. Local. Quick.”


    Your half-open mouth as red as juice
    A torn fishnet turns the seafood loose

    Uncle John snaps his phone shut, satisfied. “OK, kid.” He hands Dave a package wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine. It is just big enough to hold a DVD player or perhaps an assortment of garden seeds. “Ocean Forest Hotel, Room 334. Give the package to Mr. Lawrence and nobody else.”


    A genuine pulp Technicolor dream
    Brush my finger down your nylon seam

    As Dave walks past Uncle John’s secretary in the outer office she stands behind her desk with one leg in her chair. Her skirt drapes her naked thigh as she rolls her knee-high stockings down.


    Ankle-strap, spike-heel, painted toes
    Two thousand miles of open road

    He stops off to tell Martine they will soon have the money they need, but she isn’t there. Perhaps she is at her sister’s.


    I don’t know, but I’ve been told
    A seam-legged woman don’t never run cold

    The Ocean Forest Hotel is indeed by the ocean, but the nearest forest is ten miles inland. The front doors are bigger than Dave’s apartment. He walks into the lobby and wonders where Martine really is. A newspaper lies on the phone table by the elevator. The headline reads, SENATOR CHURCH GRILLS CIA CHIEF.


    Seize my breath and clutch my heart
    A living work of cover art

    The elevator takes its time getting to the third floor. The elevator operator reads a paperback novel with a woman on the cover whose gauzy dress is flipped up nearly to her waist as she rolls her fishnet stockings down. Dave has read the novel. He remembers a passage in which the narrator discusses a mob boss whose wife was so wanton that when he was away he would not permit her to keep any clothes in their penthouse suite. When he was not there she was trapped, naked, in the penthouse, unable to walk out the door.


    Down and dirty and a little mean
    Split wide open your nylon seam

    Dave walks down the hallway to room 334 and knocks on the door. The woman who opens the door is naked and holding a pair of white stockings attached to a garter belt. She looks a bit like Martine, but not quite. She bends down and picks up the newspaper that lies in front of the door. After glancing at the front page, she holds out a hand to Dave. It takes him a moment, but he finally says, “I was told to give this only to Mr. Lawrence.”


    The twenty-first century is blurred and faint
    She steps aside. Dave sees a man sitting on a sofa, smoking, wearing a trenchcoat, but his legs are bare and he wears house slippers. “Stay out there. Slide it across the floor.” Through a doorway behind him another woman who looks nothing like Martine sits on the edge of a bed and rolls her sheer black stockings down.


    Give me cigarettes and lead-based paint
    The man on the sofa picks the package up off the floor, carefully unwraps it, and looks inside. He then looks back at the woman on the bed and nods. She reaches over to the phone on the bedside table, lifts the receiver out of its cradle, and begins to dial.


    Sex is sinful and can ruin a man
    As Dave walks back toward the elevator, all the other doors open at once. Out of each doorway steps a naked woman. They all bend down and pick up the newspapers that lie in front of all the doors. Some of the naked women pause to read the headline: SENATOR KEFAUVER GRILLS SMUT PEDDLERS. And below the fold: STAG FILM STARLET TO TESTIFY. Then they all step casually back into their rooms and close their doors.


    Blot your lips ‘neath that slow-turning fan
    On the way down to the lobby, the elevator operator is reading a different novel.


    An engine room compressing steam
    “Hold on.” Uncle John puts down the phone and hands Dave an envelope containing two thousand dollars. “I’ll be in touch.”


    A saucer thick with the sweetest cream
    After he pays Eddie off, Dave goes back to the apartment. Martine is still not there. Dave waits for two days and she is still not there. On the second day his phone rings. “John Schwartz. Got another job for you. Quick and quiet. Be in my office in half an hour.”


    The hottest woman I’ve ever seen
    Dave walks out to the beach and tosses his phone in the ocean. He drives to the nearest convenience store and buys a newspaper and a paperback novel. Then he goes back to the Ocean Forest Hotel.


    Don’t straighten out your nylon seam.

    About the Author

    F. Brett Cox‘s fiction has appeared in Century, North Carolina Literary Review, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Black Static, Postscripts, and elsewhere.  His most recent story, “She Hears Music Up Above,” appeared in Phantom, an original anthology edited by Paul Tremblay and Sean Wallace (Prime Books, 2009).  His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including New England Quarterly, Paradoxa, New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Weekly.  With Andy Duncan, he co-edited the anthology Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (Tor, 2004).  A native of North Carolina, Brett lives in Vermont with his wife, playwright Jeanne Beckwith.

    Author’s Note

    I used to play in a band called Argon Connection, for which I wrote a number of original songs.  The band broke up, as bands do, and I started to speculate about putting the song lyrics to a different kind of work.  After reading a short story by Michael Martone (a story whose title, alas, escapes me) where individual scenes consisted of 1-2 sentence snapshots, it occurred to me that might be a way to go.  My first effort in this direction, “The Sexual Component of Alien Abduction (Three-Headed Alien Blues),” appeared in Say… Was That a Kiss? in 2002. “Nylon Seam” is my second try.

    As for the content, well, I used to announce the song as my tribute to Bettie Page fandom, and I guess that’s true for the story as well.

    On the recording, that’s me playing the guitar and singing.  My apologies for the somewhat labored guitar solo.  Another reason I have a day job.

    I can imagine nothing more interstitial than attempting to merge lyric and narrative, but I’m sure others can, and when they get around to writing it, I look forward to reading it.