Dan Hornsby lives in Kansas, where he studies writing and works with a program
that teaches English to international students. His previous pieces have appeared
in The Montucky Review and Leaning House Press, and he will be featured in the
2012 volume of Unstuck. When he is not working or writing, he plays in a band
called The Low End. Their upcoming album Fake Natives is due out by this October.
SELECTIONS FROM THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SAINTS AND LOST RELICS
DAN HORNSBY, EDITOR
St Stephen's Gaze
is chronically nearsighted. Steve needs only the top hemisphere of his bifocals, looking out from where Norway and Manitoba would be, if he were focused at the earth, but he's not. Is that the kingdom, with all the windows? Those are the saved in their apartments, only a few of them at this point. Some are eating dinner with the television on, others are practice yoga. Out of the corner of his eyes, Paul holds the jackets. He will probably buy the greatest hits CD once the band breaks up. Steve can pick out at least three coats, one for trenches, rain, and sugar. All those coats could probably shield him from the stones, but maybe if he doesn't see them, they will go away.
St Brigid's Scar
is not a birthmark. Man, she was banging. From the gas station by the chapel I heard her praying to be ugly, the luxury of the saints. The heavenly microwaves heard, worked, and dethawed her. The left eye was a stick of butter, and her face never forgot the way it slid down her cheek, off her chin, and into her breast pocket, beside her lipstick and a pocket mirror.
St Sebastian's Quills
are not arrows. Weren't they the teeth of clergical walruses chewing in his lungs? He tried to stop them, even tied himself to a tree with extension cords. When the soldiers saw him, they stood around aiming empty bows, telling the painter to pretend they shot him. How's the lighting? Do you need a better angle?
St Chet's Lost Wallet
wound up in the Magdalene Laundry. A couple of the girls pulled out his driver's license (he had not earned the title yet) and gym membership card before a nun found it by the dryer. Sister Mary Lacerate confettied the dirty pictures behind the credit cards and gift certificates and gave the wallet to an altar boy, who, having such a tiny head, wore it as an air force cap. He immediately enlisted, and on his maiden flight piloted the engines through a flock of angels. In the wreckage, an army chaplain found the unharmed wallet and took it to the basilica, where the bishop, impressed by the wallet and the mysterious blond hairs inside of it, tossed it in the reliquary. Now, after Sunday mass, the parishioners gather around, watching the bishop pull bloody dollars from the pockets like martyred rabbits. Sometimes I forget what Chet looks like. I wish those girls would give me his ID.
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