For this month’s game, we’re going to test the fiction wonks among you. Correctly match the CR contributors below to the excerpts that follow—and choose your prize (slingpack, thermos, or issue of your choice). May the best wonk win!

1. Steve Almond

2. Aimee Bender

3. Judy Budnitz

4. George Singleton

5. Kevin Wilson

a. Our mothers saw that the world was ending. Everything beyond the island had been destroyed. They were the only ones left. They cupped their hands over their bulging bellies and realized they would be the ones to replenish the human race. It was their duty and their privilege. They began to carry themselves even more proudly. They felt godlike and strong.

b. During this stint, I played in a punk band called Anthrax Ballet, one of several thousand such bands—perhaps the worst—in the Los Angeles basin at that historical moment. I played bass in the Sid Vicious style, a concerted twinge only loosely concerned with notes. We released a grand total of one record, a self-funded seven-inch of our hit single, “Girl Fight.” (Scratch face/ Pull hair/ Girl fight!/ Girl fight!)

c. I felt the ghost of her passing through me as I mixed and dyed, and I felt the rage in me that she had to be a ghost: the softness of the ghost, right up next to and surrounding the sharp and burning core of my anger. Both guided my hands. I picked the right colors to mix with blue and gray and more blue and more. And in it all, the sensation of shaking my fist at the sky, shaking my fists high up to the sky because that is what we do when someone dies too early, too beautiful, too undervalued by the world.

d. She brushes her tongue along Tommy’s left eye, the glass peeling away, and then she spits the shards on the floor. She does the same with the other eye. She brings eyesight to the blind, and Tommy watches as her face comes into focus. She is naked, her tongue bubbling with blood, and when she smiles at Tommy, it drips down her chin.

e. I pulled out my wallet, then listened to a strange tale about Billy Crume’s older brother ending up in India somehow, hiring locals, going out into some dense forests and capturing a half-dozen bonnet macaques, sending them back illegally aboard a sloop, breeding them in what used to be a bear enclosure bought from some Cherokees up in North Carolina, training the things to be comfortable around humans, then setting them free to roam Waterloo’s environs.

To enter, simply post your comments on the blog by clicking the post title above.

The Cincinnati Review is available for order through our secure online form

Print Friendly, PDF & Email