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Letter 3

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers, regretfully Volume 3 finds you later than expected. It would appear that Dr. Ian Malcom failed to mention in his 'Life Finds a Way' speech that Life also gets in the way.

However, this having been said, I thoroughly believe that Volume 3 has been worth the wait.

This issue of Spare Parts Literary is small but mighty, distilled to such a glittering handful of precious gems. It is alive with creativity and passion, and I couldn't be more delighted to be the one with the honour of publishing it.

All of the work included in Volume 3 is sentimental and thought provoking and I am genuinely incredibly excited to present this curated assembly to you today.

Please be aware that we have one Trigger Warning amongst the pages of this volume, which is signposted ahead of the piece. We believe that discussions must be opened regarding some of the ugly realities of life, but we also recognise that many may need to be given control of when and how they interact with and process these matters.

I scincerely hope Volume 3 finds you inspired and hopefull, it is again with much joy and gratitude that I introduce to you all, Spare Parts Literary Volume 3.

Oak Ayling

Oak Ayling (EIC)

Vol 3.





PLATEAUS AND APOGEES
By Adora Williams


Sometimes I feel like I’m a cockroach
And the ether is a very powerful
Insecticide
 
Sometimes I think that if I lived happier than one could ever imagine,
If everything was possible, I would be happy to
Die
 
All the rest is oscillation












                                                  Adora Williams has degrees in Journalism and Languages and has written poetry for 14 years. She lives in a historic region of Brazil. Her poetry anthology, Mulher Poesia, in Portuguese is being published in Brazil and Portugal in December 2022.





 









 

Williams
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Pam

SCEPTRUM
By Pam Plumb


Only once do I think to stop and that is only for a cold beat of someone else’s heart. Instead I carry on, stepping over coffee-dreg stones, my toes curling to meet the shape of them. Light brown sand sticks, turning the swell of my toes into miniature bombolini before the swill of the river restores them with a lick at the edge of blackness. This is my domain.
The river rises up to my knees, so cold it feels like spicules of glass slicing into me, decapitating my goosebumps. I glance down, stagger when I see there is no blood, only lusty, licking water. The morose autumn sun watches with disapproval, tut-tutting through the tatty leaves of the trees. The last of the day’s light seeks sanctuary in the deepening folds of greenest dark. The water slinks up my thigh, sneaky like I don’t notice, but I see, I see. A heron flies off, lacks the stomach to bear witness.
The water trembles at the touch of my hand, ripples skim away, whispering warnings of my coming. The water tries to shape me, pull me, push me, squeeze the breath out of me but with every stroke I am strong, unnerved, more powerful. I have complete control now, over the water, over the fish, over the grubs and nymphs, microscopic creatures that secrete themselves in between the rocks and silt and minerals, so tiny as to be invisible. But I see them all, I am them all, I am my kingdom.









                                                   Pam is a writer from NE England. Her work has appeared in Visual Verse, CafeLit and in Northern Crime One - a crime fiction anthology from Moth publishing and other places. Twitter: @pamjplumb  Wordpress: https://pamjplumb.wordpress.com/










 

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Leslie

Trigger Warning:

  

Please be advised that the following work of fiction includes sensitive themes of gun violence and trauma.

SIGHTSEEING THE SKELETONS

BY LESLIE CAIRNS

            We chased pavement, tapwater edging down the rim of the console. Waiting to be drunk, or to be flecked around our necks.

            We’re traveling over roadkill, over accidents, over dreams chased or long gone. It’s repaved here, but other times it’s only gravel, or upended debris.

 I rake my hands through my sweaty, mangy hair and put it in a drippy ponytail.

            You look over at me, eyes widened.

“I’ve never seen you like this,” you say.

            “I’ve never traveled in a car this long.”
           “Doesn’t it change you?” You replied. You always had an answer to everything.

 

            I think of raccoons running across highways, thinking they can make it safely

across. Disaster strikes. The deer that used to roam here before the cars came, crescendoing. The way rain can cause mayhem for drivers, then slink away, as if it’s not culpable for anything.

 

            “Ice pack?” I say. He nods gratefully, and I toss it to him. He places it on his cheeks, which I think is endearing. I wasn’t expecting him to put it anywhere but his back.

 

            We drive this way for hours. His music: rising notes and hyper lyrics, and then mine. Jazz, slow romance, and tangoes. We don’t fit at all, but the grass in LA called.

And, then, the rainy days of Oregon will be our hollow, where we’ll settle. He got a job; I’m still waiting.

I’m used to waiting. Palms on glass windows, waiting for your childhood party to begin. Balloons and cake are just decorations until there’s an audience. Or, waiting for the track gun to go off, when I was a kid. You waited for the bang, before you showed off your muscle.

Part of this job – my roadtripping pastime–  is not incessantly checking my phone for hours. Waiting for a ping, saying I did or didn’t get something I’ve always wanted.

            I can almost picture the high, open toed shoes I would wear. The way I would file cases and take names. Justice served, and I was part of that. But I don’t want to think too much about it, in case it never becomes a thing. But the dreams are there, all the same: veins under the skin, that show most when you need rainwater, or need to drink.

           

            “We gotta stop,” He says. I look at him, thinking he’s thinking about my obsession with this job. Of being a paralegal, of all things. Rising the ranks, and becoming the opposite of what my mother said I could be.

            You’ll be a Pre-K teacher, or a substitute. Dainty things, she’d said. I can’t see anything else for you here.

            Her high pitch sneer was only present when we were alone. Her mockery was just as enmeshed into the walls as patterned wallpaper of old school flowers. Both watching where you went, like they were following.

 

My Mom and I, and the East Coast fireflies.

I hoped I’d never have to see fireflies again, if only for that reason.

 

            He pulls into a gas station, somewhere outside of Chicago. We don’t have time to stop and get pizza, but I still want to convince him.

            I’ve heard it’s like pies, I said.

            More like lasagne, he said. Pretending to swirl his pretend fork with spaghetti. I said he reminded me of Ariel, in that movie.

            Oh yeah, when we were kids, he said.

            Want anything? He asked.

            You. Your dimples, and your dreams that you’re taking me along with, and my own scattered skin as I nestle down beside you.

            I already know what you want, he says. Snapping his fingers suddenly. Just a coffee. And maybe some water. I know you.

            He lingers away.

 

            And then my phone pings as he walks inside the gas station. There’s a mass shooting going on right now, in another state. A shooter who is killing people holding bananas that would bruise. Holding their kids clammy hands. Holding something they need.

 

            My chest constricts and my breathing sallows. I watch you lumber around the gas station floor, and I cannot breathe.

            It’s not the same place. It’s not the same place. Repeating like a mantra.

            But the thing is, I’m states away, and I can still picture my eyes tracking the wallpaper. The fireflies buzzing around blindly as you called my name.

 

            It’s like it’s right here. So the disaster could come here; we can’t pretend it’s simply apparition.

           

            You come out with some brightly colored chip bags. A coffee, some sunglasses on your head, even though you do not need them. You’re impulsive that way.

 

            I shiver. And, I realize you got what you needed. We’ll keep riding in tandem, no need to drive alone.

           
           You get in, and I burrow my hands around your neck.

            “Woah, it’s hot,” you say. You’re talking about the scalding coffee, hitting your lap in drips.

            But I just bury my face in saying your name, and throw  my phone in the unused backseat. The pings only collecting dust, and crumbs, and the soles beneath our feet.

​​​​

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie holds an MA in English Rhetoric from upstate New York. She was an honorable mention in the upcoming Exposition Review's flash fiction competition, as well as has upcoming flash fiction in Loft Limited Books, and poems in: Millennial Pulp, Pink Plastic House, Cerasus Magazine, and Broken Poetry Magazine, and others.
 

HoChi

H C MINH COSPLAY

by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

 

 

All the dough boys of the subvillage

Put their eggs in one basket. Doable

 

With the soft muscles on the insides of fingers,

To the sound of yards unraveling for a chopper.

 

A stripling discovered flour with the skin of his face,

Wetly smiled through it. Was whipped noodles,

 

The air sharp against whitened non-whites.

And then, she smiled through it with him.

 

2

 

“Despite the recent backhoes in the

Sole water source and the local stoppage

 

Leaving the area,” they were summarily advised

How hair would break out so long as the jaws

 

Are massaged evenly, so long as the assault

Of wet leaves burning tear at your eyes, your nose.

 

“We are the alarming spike of the future,” said youth

Enjoined to flower on the buffed teak of dusty old men.

 

3

 

Trot? Hole, you must’ve meant hole.

Applications as these never did hold water:

 

A trisyllabic state of mind

Vs. minds of the states tricolor.

 

It’s in heat like this where truer things get born.

Camouflage dwelling on the least imaginative pockets

 

Of nature. You must mean its darker ruminations.

The birds belting out what sorely needed belting.

 

 

4

 

“We join the tone of this chronic, heavily armed

Promise when we visited last year’s devastating

 

Presence who questioned us upon entering the writ.”

After the course, a figure shoveled stars under the soil,

 

Told them to wait, smile through it. Grow.

Back then, soup was something you need stretched

 

To this very day. Trees still alive with holes shot right

Through them. Trees and boyfriends and mothers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                             Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo teaches literature and art subjects for the Department of Humanities, CAS, UPLB. Here, he helped institute courses on creative nonfiction, young adult narratives, and literary approaches to film, TV, and the internet. His other poems dwell in the archives of Petrichor, Better than Starbucks, {m}, Softblow, Otoliths, and others

 

 

blog: tekstongbopis

twitter: @dsaguinaldo

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Eddie

DOLCIS RITA

BY EDDIE MALONE

 

Dolcis Rita

Wanted a refund .

The husband was dead now and needed the nearly new moccasins no more.

She unzipped her shopping trolley

And  placed the boxed pair on the counter surface.

What use were they to her?

She’d buried him in his Hush Puppies, more comfortable.

 

I’ll get the Manager.

 

Or did she just want him back? Shiny leather uppers

Slightly down at heel

Faulty, flawed.

Those empty shoes by the bed  mocked her loss

She wanted her money back

We smirked us Saturday Boys

Pulling back the dusty stockroom curtains to muffle our stage guffaws

But Mr. Ainsworth knew

She could not have the money back.

He had passed

He had passed in these very shoes

And once the soles are broken

There is no going back.

Mr Ainsworth

Went to his office and closed the door

He would be some  time.

We pulled pop sox over our faces and sprayed suede spray in aerosol duels

at each other

Shop floor shanigans

But Mr Ainsworth

Knew that poor wife

Would place those shoes gently back

Under his side of the bed

Tonight .

The good life was gone.

Eddie Malone (he/him) lives far, far out in the boggy woods with his rescue dogs and his demons.

Dora

YELLOW

By DORA ESZE

 

 

We began at eight. A tray of fresh fruit on the wobbly little desk, a box of rice and peas, a barrelful of tea – should be enough to keep us going without breaks, we thought. I had picked the colours a week prior, five different hues of yellow. I remember the light shock of hesitation nudging me by the shelves in the store. Will you like them? Will you notice them? Will you make a connection wouldn’t think of?

 

Although the shed was a dime a dozen, the radiance of the season turned it into a greenhouse in a blink. The brushes were designed to be comfortable; anyone could hold them for hours. It soon became clear the work would be rewardingly easy. So we started spreading wide, lazy waves on the walls. Pulling and smoothing, gently stealing a piece of thread from the heavy cloak of a giant with every move we made.

 

Little by little we gave in to the heat and shed everything that had stood between us. All the stories sprung from the waves. I was the one to start; I told you how every single piece of my art teacher’s closet happened to be a variant of beige in eery harmony with the fake modest tone she took to criticise my still lives. You told me how, on your eleventh birthday, blowing out your candles had made you start to see yourself as Batman and Joker merged into one. I opened up about Lana and Lorelei, an Airedale Terrier and a Golden Retriever who were not even supposed to get along, and yet their friendship, soft, faithful, warm, was just the sensible conversation I needed to hang onto in the years of my roaring adolescence. You let me in on a whole saga of correlations between the boys in your class and the characters on your wallpaper. That one probably took more than an hour. Then campfires followed, midnight raids on pantries of aunties in the country, hidden drawers, barefoot walks in the rain. All of a sudden I brought up fruit flies: I asked you if you had ever noticed how their tentative zigzags made them look like they were out on a test drive. Every time. You laughed, not so much because of my wording as for pointing out a question-island in a placid lake of random storytelling. The very same instant we spotted a tiny cloud of black dots head toward us in a wobble, synchronicity at two o’clock, all in a small space that had by then become way too heavy with hours and hours of dog days. Of course they wobbled the wrong way, of course they got stuck in your brush. The heat had taken full control over body, mind, soul. Please save them, I begged, do some CPR, call an ambulance, hold your hand out, open the door, open the door!

 

To this day the sketchy asterisk of your fingertips is the first thing I notice if I enter the shed. For you tried. You really did. Dandelion, lemon, billionaire butter, valiant vanilla, cantaloupe. Issues of the yellow family zigzagging tentatively towards the secret vortex of an untouchably hot summer day.

                                                    Dora Esze is a bilingual Author creating mostly novels in Hungarian and short stories in English. Looking forward to doing it the other way round. Usually on the helping side when it comes to work. Mother of two miraculous twin boys, almost grown up now. Constantly experimenting with the boundaries of expression. Her piece "The Shadow of a Vein" is due for publication in an anthology in 2023 and other works can be found in Twist and Twain, Literally Stories 2014 and Short Fiction Journal.

Read more here: WIKI                              

 

                                         

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Delphine

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS

BY Delphine Gauthier-Georgakopoulos

It’s the little things that get to you.

 

Like not being able to put your head in the sea because you somehow pierced your eardrum. Swimming with your head held high above the waves makes you feel like a turtle coming up for air, like a Greek grandma paddling about looking for a chat. It hurts your neck, it hurts you back. You miss the days when you used to feel like a dolphin joyfully gliding into the ocean.

Like a mosquito buzzing around early in the morning, forcing you out of a deep slumber. You raise your hand, chase it away, slap your face when it lands on it. His annoying buzzing reverberates like an insectile giggle as it flies away. Then you’re awake, and you’re itchy. Sleep over, mosquito won.

Like a heatwave transforming you into a sweaty puddle. The sun, so strong that you have to hide inside, stay in the shade, a shadow of yourself forever forced into dark corners. Drink, sweat. Drink, sweat. You drag your drenched body from chair to chair, from bed to bed, unable to focus, unable to breathe. You play with the air conditioner, with the fan, you take a cold shower, you spray your face with water, you growl. You want to scream in frustration, but you can’t, you don’t have the energy, it’s too hot.

 

It’s the little things that get you through.

 

Like a cold beer on a hot summer evening. The ‘pshh’ as you open it already makes your mouth salivate. You pour it slowly, glass bent to avoid an overflow of bubbliness, slowly pour, bend, slowly pour, bend. With your finger, you collect the unruly mousse that tried to escape, taste it and smile in anticipation. You bring the full glass closer, the bubbles tickle your nostrils, playfully teasing you. You take a sip as a fizzy titter explodes against your tongue and your palate. You place the glass back on the table and exhale with contentment.

Like an unexpected smile illuminating a face, the eyes shining with kindness or tenderness or amusement or love. A lovely smile warming your heart, making your day, forcing your own lips up by association. It may be offered by a loved one or by a stranger, by an elder or by a child, it makes no difference; it warms your soul.

Like an irresistible burst of laughter while playing catch with your son in the sea. You’re both crap at it, and switching hand to throw does not help matters. You keep moving up and down along the beach, avoiding the leisurely swimmers, but there’s always that one who comes back, not realising that they’re risking their nose, their face, their life. You throw badly, he jumps badly, the ball bounces on the surface of the sea and lands two centimetres away from a nose, a face, a life. You both burst out laughing, your happy tears joining the endless sea.

 

 

                                                 Delphine Gauthier-Georgakopoulos is a Breton writer, teacher, mother, nature and music lover, foodie, dreamer. Her words can be found on Funny Pearls, Every Day Fiction, Story Nook, and various anthologies. She's currently editing her first novel. She lives in Athens, Greece. Find her on Twitter & Facebook

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