Yellow Mama Archives

William Squirrell
Adhikari, Sudeep
Ahern, Edward
Aldrich, Janet M.
Allan, T. N.
Allen, M. G.
Ammonds, Phillip J.
Anderson, Peter
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Arab, Bint
Augustyn, P. K.
Aymar, E. A.
Babbs, James
Baber, Bill
Bagwell, Dennis
Bailey, Ashley
Baird, Meg
Bakala, Brendan
Baker, Nathan
Balaz, Joe
Barber, Shannon
Barker, Tom
Barlow, Tom
Bates, Jack
Bayly, Karen
Baugh, Darlene
Bauman, Michael
Baumgartner, Jessica Marie
Beale, Jonathan
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Benet, Esme
Bennett, Brett
Bennett, Charlie
Bennett, D. V.
Berg, Carly
Berman, Daniel
Bernardara, Will Jr.
Berriozabal, Luis
Beveridge, Robert
Bickerstaff, Russ
Bigney, Tyler
Bladon, Henry
Blake, Steven
Bohem, Charlie Keys and Les
Booth, Brenton
Boski, David
Bougger, Jason
Boyd, A. V.
Boyd, Morgan
Bracey, DG
Brewka-Clark, Nancy
Britt, Alan
Brooke, j
Brown, R. Thomas
Brown, Sam
Burton, Michael
Bushtalov, Denis
Butcher, Jonathan
Butkowski, Jason
Butler, Simon Hardy
Cameron, W. B.
Campbell, J. J.
Campbell, Jack Jr.
Cano, Valentina
Cardinale, Samuel
Carlton, Bob
Carr, Jennifer
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Chesler, Adam
Clausen, Daniel
Clevenger, Victor
Clifton, Gary
Coffey, James
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Conley, Jen
Connor, Tod
Cooper, Malcolm Graham
Coral, Jay
Cosby, S. A.
Costello, Bruce
Cotton, Mark
Crandall, Rob
Criscuolo, Carla
Crist, Kenneth
D., Jack
Dallett, Cassandra
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Sean
Davis, Christopher
Davis, Michael D.
Day, Holly
de Bruler, Connor
Degani, Gay
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
Deming, Ruth Z.
Demmer, Calvin
De Neve, M. A.
Dennehy, John W.
DeVeau, Spencer
Di Chellis, Peter
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dionne, Ron
Dobson, Melissa
Domenichini, John
Dominelli, Rob
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dorman, Roy
Doherty, Rachel
Dosser, Jeff
Doyle, John
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Dubal, Paul Michael
Duke, Jason
Duncan, Gary
Dunham, T. Fox
Duschesneau, Pauline
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Duxbury, Karen
Duy, Michelle
Eade, Kevin
Elliott, Garnett
Ellman, Neil
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Espinosa, Maria
Esterholm, Jeff
Fallow, Jeff
Farren, Jim
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Filas, Cameron
Fillion, Tom
Fisher, Miles Ryan
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Francisco, Edward
Frank, Tim
Funk, Matthew C.
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Garvey, Kevin Z.
Gay, Sharon Frame
Gentile, Angelo
Genz, Brian
Giersbach, Walter
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Goff, Christopher
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Graham, Sam
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Greenberg, K.J. Hannah
Greenberg, Paul
Grey, John
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Haglund, Tobias
Halleck, Robert
Hamlin, Mason
Hanson, Christopher Kenneth
Hanson, Kip
Harrington, Jim
Harris, Bruce
Hart, GJ
Hartman, Michelle
Haskins, Chad
Hawley, Doug
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Hayes, Peter W. J.
Heatley, Paul
Heimler, Heidi
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Heslop, Karen
Heyns, Heather
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hivner, Christopher
Hockey, Matthew J.
Hogan, Andrew J.
Holderfield, Culley
Holton, Dave
Howells, Ann
Hoy, J. L.
Huchu, Tendai
Hudson, Rick
Huffman, A. J.
Huguenin, Timothy G.
Huskey, Jason L.
Irascible, Dr. I. M.
Jaggers, J. David
James, Christopher
Johnson, Beau
Johnson, Moctezuma
Johnson, Zakariah
Jones, D. S.
Jones, Erin J.
Jones, Mark
Kabel, Dana
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Kay, S.
Keaton, David James
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Keshigian, Michael
Kevlock, Mark Joseph
King, Michelle Ann
Kirk, D.
Knott, Anthony
Koenig, Michael
Korpon, Nik
Kovacs, Norbert
Kovacs, Sandor
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Krafft, E. K.
Lacks, Lee Todd
Lang, Preston
Larkham, Jack
La Rosa, F. Michael
Leasure, Colt
Leatherwood, Roger
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
Leins, Tom
Lemieux, Michael
Lemming, Jennifer
Lerner, Steven M
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lewis, LuAnn
Lifshin, Lyn
Liskey, Tom Darin
Lodge, Oliver
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lorca, Aurelia
Lovisi, Gary
Lucas, Gregory E.
Lukas, Anthony
Lynch, Nulty
Lyon, Hillary
Lyons, Matthew
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Malone, Joe
Mann, Aiki
Manzolillo, Nicholas
Marcius, Cal
Marrotti, Michael
Mason, Wayne
Mattila, Matt
McAdams, Liz
McCartney, Chris
McDaris, Catfish
McFarlane, Adam Beau
McGinley, Chris
McGinley, Jerry
McElhiney, Sean
McKim, Marci
McMannus, Jack
McQuiston, Rick
Mellon, Mark
Memi, Samantha
Miles, Marietta
Miller, Max
Minihan, Jeremiah
Montagna, Mitchel
Monson, Mike
Mooney, Christopher P.
Moran, Jacqueline M.
Morgan, Bill W.
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nelson, Trevor
Nessly, Ray
Nester, Steven
Neuda, M. C.
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Nore, Abe
Numann, Randy
Ogurek, Douglas J.
O'Keefe, Sean
Ortiz, Sergio
Pagel, Briane
Park, Jon
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Partin-Nielsen, Judith
Peralez, R.
Perez, Juan M.
Perez, Robert Aguon
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Pettie, Jack
Petyo, Robert
Phillips, Matt
Picher, Gabrielle
Pierce, Rob
Pietrzykowski, Marc
Plath, Rob
Pointer, David
Post, John
Powell, David
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Praseth, Ram
Prusky, Steve
Pruitt, Eryk
Purfield, M. E.
Purkis, Gordon
Quinlan, Joseph R.
Quinn, Frank
Rabas, Kevin
Ram, Sri
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Renney, Mark
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Richardson, Travis
Richey, John Lunar
Ridgeway, Kevin
Rihlmann, Brian
Ritchie, Bob
Ritchie, Salvadore
Robinson, John D.
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rose, Mandi
Rose, Mick
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Salinas, Alex
Sanders, Isabelle
Sanders, Sebnem
Santo, Heather
Savage, Jack
Sayles, Betty J.
Schauber, Karen
Schneeweiss, Jonathan
Schraeder, E. F.
Schumejda, Rebecca
See, Tom
Sethi, Sanjeev
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Sheagren, Gerald E.
Shepherd, Robert
Shirey, D. L.
Shore, Donald D.
Short, John
Sim, Anton
Simmler, T. Maxim
Simpson, Henry
Sinisi, J. J.
Sixsmith, JD
Slagle, Cutter
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Small, Alan Edward
Smith, Brian J.
Smith, Ben
Smith, C.R.J.
Smith, Copper
Smith, Greg
Smith, Paul
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Smuts, Carolyn
Snethen, Daniel G.
Snoody, Elmore
Sojka, Carol
Solender, Michael J.
Sortwell, Pete
Sparling, George
Spicer, David
Squirrell, William
Stanton, Henry G.
Stewart, Michael S.
Stickel, Anne
Stolec, Trina
Stoll, Don
Stryker, Joseph H.
Stucchio, Chris
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Swanson, Peter
Swartz, Justin A.
Sweet, John
Tarbard, Grant
Taylor, J. M.
Thompson, John L.
Thompson, Phillip
Tillman, Stephen
Titus, Lori
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Torrence, Ron
Tu, Andy
Ullerich, Eric
Valent, Raymond A.
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Walsh, Patricia
Walters, Luke
Ward, Emma
Washburn, Joseph
Watt, Max
Weber, R.O.
Weil, Lester L.
White, Judy Friedman
White, Robb
White, Terry
Wickham, Alice
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Tabitha
Woodland, Francis
Young, Mark
Yuan, Changming
Zackel, Fred
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zee, Carly
Zimmerman, Thomas

Art by John Thompson 2017

Confidential Report on the Disturbance at Big Echo


William Squirrell


Most Holy Father,

The trucker, Baptiste Turcotte, saw the deer first, dozens of them, leaping from the darkness into the glare of his lights; then the wolves and the foxes, streaking across the gravel road. The moose: that he hit. He stopped his vehicle, and a wave of mice, martens, snakes, rabbits, all manner of creeping and crawling things, swept up and over the road. Some things, he did not know what they were, and he had been trapping and hunting in those parts his whole life.

Turcotte said he felt unaccountably nauseas while he watched the remarkable transit. When it was over he opened the door, climbed out of the cab, and made sick. As he crouched, a black bear galloped by, in the same direction as the rest of them.  Baptiste told this to me when he phoned the parish office from Lynne Lake, and then he reported it also to RCMP constable in that town. After he talked to the RCMP he went to his hotel room and hung himself from the showerhead.

A crew working on the tracks at the McVeigh railway point three miles to the south also told the RCMP a similar story so they could triangulate the origin of the disturbance. They determined that on the north shore of the lake known as Big Echo, 45 minutes above the 56th parallel, something had happened in the dead of night, June 6th, 1983.

Consequent to this event was a massive exodus of birds, mammals, and reptiles, from an area with a diameter of about five miles. It has been impossible to tell for certain if all the wildlife fled, because all who venture within that circumference become immediately too sick and anxious to carry on. These first unfortunate investigators, even after they returned to Lynne Lake, suffered from despair, mood swings, and bouts of terror.

Within hours of shutting down the road and the railway the rumors began. By the time the government officials, their scientists, and the press flew in, the mood in Lynn Lake was hysterical. The churches, bars, and other gathering spaces were full of frightened people trying together to make sense of the situation. Most believed either a US cruise missile had crashed at Big Echo, or a radioactive meteor had struck.

The initial working theory of the investigative team was that someone had set off a salted bomb. Such bombs are not meant to create big explosions, but release huge amounts of fatal radiation over a long period of time. But who would plant such a device in the bush? And why? Besides, there had been no flash reported or recorded, no seismic activity, nothing of the sort. And while such a device might kill, it would not compel animals to flee, or drive humans mad. Certainly something at Big Echo is emitting a great deal of gamma radiation, enough that the American’s Vela satellites can detect it from space, but none of the scientists can say more than that.

A team equipped with protective gear attempted to hike into the disturbed area. They did not get far before they too were overcome with anxiety and fear. My source told me they panicked and scattered. The first two members made it back to the base at McVeigh station. The third fled north towards Public Road 396, right through the epicenter of the radioactive storm, and remains hospitalized in Winnipeg. I have not yet been able to arrange an interview with him.

The most recent attempt to penetrate the site was an act of insubordination. A PR man, an atheist and a sensualist whose behavior had become increasingly erratic over the weeks, told the chief investigator the copious amounts of cannabis he had been smoking made the nausea and fear manageable, and might make possible a longer expedition. He was told to pack his bags and take the next flight south. Instead he stole a radiation suit and a radio and marched into the bush. He did indeed make it farther than the first team, all the way, in fact, to Big Echo. He arrived shortly after sunrise. A transcription of the last words he spoke into his radio follows:

“It is beautiful here: pristine; empty; sterile. The sun is sparkling on the water; more than sparkling, ricocheting in dazzling bursts. It makes it look hard – the lake, like a crystal, like a diamond. The scalpel glare cuts at my eyes.”

“And the strangest thing; impossibly I keep hearing a bird; a burbling sort of a warble. I just heard it again.”

“It’s like laughter. And wait…there! Did you hear? Something is here. I thought I saw something on the ridge. Something darted behind a tree. Hang on. I’ll scramble up.”

“Not something, someone! It’s laughter, the most cheerful laughter.”

“I see him now. What’s he playing at? It’s a child; naked as a jaybird; a beautiful child; a boy with golden curls. He’s laughing. He’s delightful. He’s laughing. It’s music: glorious music.”

The transmission ended. He did not return. The public know nothing about the PR man’s excursion, or his odd soliloquy. His contacts among the press were told he had killed himself. And I suppose, in a sense, he did just that. I was shown the transcript in the strictest of confidence; the scientists have written the entire episode off as drug-addled hallucination, but my confidante among them is a man who once had faith, and is now learning that doubt is a knife which can cut in two directions.

The investigative team squabbles over what to do next; the government sits tight in the hope that the problem will go away; the journalists produce nothing but cynical and unimaginative conjecture. The people here are troubled: they do not trust secular authority, and they begin to cast about for more convincing reassurances than skeptics in their white coats can provide. This is a great opportunity for the Church.

Your holiness’ most obedient and humble servant,

Fr. Carl Vogl, OMI

William Squirrell lives and writes in western Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, On Spec, decomP magazinE, Drabblecast, and other venues. More information can be found at and on twitter @billsquirrell.

In Association with Fossil Publications