Two stories by James Grinwis


It was very impressive, his inability. He did not stand on occasion, nor did he even remotely attempt to do so. Must have been the awkwardness, taking over himself the way a virus can take hold of the system and render its immunity a kind of plaything for the ghosts.

There were corridors to walk through, large scale replicas of sleeping halls with which to fiddle.

One of the mammoths came out of the underbrush and socked us. We were making little toothpick ladders. We were hunched over mashed stone bowls.

The sounds of the hands forming grips around the pup throats, it was right we should take the national exam on wildlife management.

Some Buck something or other makes of his namesake a joke. His testes hang from his body like alarm clock pulleys, and he makes his wife weave slings for them. He is an extremely tall and sail-like man, or like a large, agony-filled fish that may rise to the surface and heave itself part way into the open air.

There were all kinds of agonies moving through the huddled villages and slow hills of the terrain. There was mommy agony and daddy agony and baby agony in the deep vaults and tunnels of the villages. There were bulldozers to push from the terrain the poison trees and make little docks looking out on the wilderness.

They were working on the adventures of Eema. Eema the goddess who soothes the multitudes with her warm jerks of sun juice, and pulls the cords of the men into the women to make new inhabitants to worship Eema.



There is a hotel near a gas station that one must not find oneself in though one does not know that. But, if you sense something, park away from the motel farther along the road near the station.

People have slept there and not been changed or damaged or missing though others have. There are some that are un-normal there and in the fabric of the walls are held ten foot tall butterfly women who emerge at times at dusk though they do not leave the hotel but remain inside there in all colds and heats.

Do not open a door after dusk if there is a butterfly woman in there she will charge and use hooks tied to her wrists to plunge your hips into your feet like a bag loaded with weights. Though at times she strolls along the hallways with grace and may ignore you.

If you sense something wrong get your things and leave the hotel, getting in your car and gathering your loved ones and going. It must be light out for you to do this. If it is getting towards dusk and you have gathered your loved ones and see that you have forgotten some clothes items or a bag do not go back for it.

It is true, if you pull into a hotel after a journey and feel something odd or not right or even frightening then perhaps you will shake it off and face the oddness but it might be right to simply pull out and find somewhere else to stay.

There are numerous such villages that consist of but one hotel, a gas station, perhaps a farm and a coffee shop.




James Grinwis is the author of The City from Nome and Exhibit of Forking Paths. He co-founded Bateau Press and lives in Northampton. Other “futures” have appeared in Hobart, Black Warrior Review, Sou’wester, and The Bitter Oleander.

One response to “Two stories by James Grinwis”

  1. Stephen Lindow says:

    Very interesting James, very interesting. Congratulations.

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