Yellow Mama Archives II

Louella Lester

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
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Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
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Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
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Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Until I Wrestled It Back


Louella Lester


          My roommate’s boyfriend brought him over and let him bound into the living room. When they left to see a movie, he stayed. Settled right into the couch, all muscled haunches and unblinking eyes.

          I brought him some water, it was the polite thing to do, and at first I thought he was watching me. Then I saw he was focused on something over my shoulder, in the same way my high school drama teacher had taught us to look just above the audience if we were nervous. It endeared him to me, the thought that I somehow made him nervous. What I didn’t know was that he wasn’t uncomfortable at all, he was eyeing my shadow.

          Before I knew it my roommate had moved out and he had moved in. At first, when we made what I thought was love, I could smell bursts of earth, seeds, and leaves, like the damp forest floor.

          As time went on, he started to come home later each Friday night. His paycheque decomposed into pocket change that spilled out when he dropped his jeans on the floor. He’d leap onto the bed. Roll over. Start to snore, while I cowered, my hair caught in his antlers.

           I often tried to tell him my concerns, but he knew how to distract me with his whisky and salt-lick lips. That was how, one night, he was able to do it. To reach behind my back and steal my shadow. Pull until it was thin like an over-stretched slingshot. So thin that it would have ripped in two if I hadn’t let it go.

          It flew past him and hit the wall. Slid down to the floor in a rubbery mess. When I reached down to pick it up, he pawed it under his side of the bed. “Leave it alone,” he whispered through gritted teeth, making sure I knew who controlled the forest.

          My shadow lay there collecting dust under the bed for months. Lay there long enough for me to forget. Forget its beauty. Its strength. Its size. Forget it was mine.

          Maybe if I had been a better housekeeper he wouldn’t have, one night, forced me to clean every nook and cranny. I wouldn’t have pushed the broom under the bed. Swept out the mess. Found the edge of my shadow. Wrapped it around my waist and pulled it out into the open.

          Maybe he wouldn’t have trotted into the bedroom. Caught my shadow’s tail, tried to yank it away from me then, weakened by a sneezing fit, lost his grip. Maybe my shadow wouldn’t have flown free. Taking me along with it. Right out the window.


Louella Lester is a writer/photographer in Winnipeg, Canada. Her writing has appeared in CleaverMacQueen’s QuinterlyLitro, Five Minutes, SoFloPoJo, Daily DrunkSix Sentences, New Flash Fiction, Reflex Fiction, and a variety of other journals & anthologiesHer Flash-CNF book, Glass Bricks, is published by At Bay Press (April 2021). 

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