Tag Archives: Lydia Armstrong

Neon Literary Magazine Issue Forty-Three

[ Download Digital Edition | Purchase Print Edition ]

This issue of Neon has everything, from Faye Moorhouse’s beautiful graphic short story “The Cat Ladies Of Czechoslovakia” to Lynn Hoffman’s poetic investigation into the post-literary lives of various fictional characters (just what did happen to that Potter kid after the magic dried up, anyway?). Stories range from hard sci-fi (“You used to be in the band; now you work on the asteroid,” writes Robert N Lee in his story “98 Ianthe”) to poetic meditations on stock photography (Juliet Kinder’s “Empty Frames”). Other featured creators in this edition include Lucas Shepherd, Thea Hawlin, Stephen Devereux, Karina Evans, Kelly Muskat, Lydia Armstrong and Toby Penney. The cover image is by the award-winning young photographer Eleanor Leonne Bennett.

Neon is pay-what-you-want to read online, and costs just £4.00 for a physical copy. In its perfect-bound format each issue is around 70 pages, and is photo-illustrated in black and white.

Published summer 2016 (print and online).

“The November We Are Fifteen” By Lydia Armstrong

Image by Toby Penney

Previously published in Crack The Spine.

The November we are fifteen we run away and the boys around the block put us up in a motel room on the turnpike that has a hole in the door so we can see everyone’s sneakers shuffling past.

We write poetry and eat potato chips all week and one night I sit on the chipped-tile bathroom floor and feel my mind break apart and the pieces get sucked up into the air vent.

On Thanksgiving the Arab at the front desk calls and says in broken English no one’s paid the bill for the night but we understand clearly when he says, I’m calling police.

We hide our bags in the woods and use the last of our change to call the boys from the pay phone at Waffle House and the ringing just trills through the ear piece like a jungle bird.

We tell the waiter behind the counter we don’t have money and he watches us the way my father looks at sick dogs.

After an hour he gives us coffee and after two hours he goes over to the gas station and buys us cigarettes and after three hours he puts sopping plates of smothered hash browns in front of us that we can’t eat.

Two boys with slick white smiles and a car say we can go with them and the waiter behind the counter keeps wiping the same spot and watches us go out into the dawn, where everything is soft and blue at the edges and we are glad the night has passed.

The slick boys have keys to an uncle’s barber shop and say, here sit on our laps, and we look at each other like maybe this is exciting, maybe something is happening.

Something must be happening because the lights are off but the room is still glowing and the only thing holding us onto these bony knees are the arms slung over our hips.

But it’s hard to tell because we are weak from hunger and sleeplessness and the blunt passing through our hands and all we want is home.

The problem with a strange boy’s lap at dawn is that it shrinks your hearts, like how eating potato chips for a week shrinks your stomach, and when someone tries to give you something real, there isn’t anywhere to put it.

*

Lydia Armstrong lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is active in the spoken word community and helps facilitate Slam Richmond. She collects bugs, drinks copious amounts of white tea, and has a cat named Birdie. She is working on her first novel. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @cr0ssmyfingers.

Back To Issue Forty-Three

News: Issue Forty-Three Preview

A little preview of issue forty-three.

Issue forty-three is due back from the printer any day now, and I’ve set the release date for Thursday 4th August. That gives you just under a month to pre-order a copy or sign up for a subscription and receive Neon for an entire year.

This issue of Neon has everything, from a graphic short story about the Cat Ladies of Czechoslovakia to an investigation into the post-literary lives of various fictional characters. There’s also a story about a massacre on an asteroid, and some fantastic poetry and hybrid fiction from a selection of writers, poets and artists.

Our featured creators in this edition are Juliet Kinder, Lucas Shepherd, Thea Hawlin, Lynn Hoffman, Stephen Devereux, Karina Evans, Kelly Muskat, Lydia Armstrong, Faye Moorhouse, Robert N Lee, and Toby Penney. The cover image is by the award-winning young photographer Eleanor Leonne Bennett.

Head to the Purchase / Subscribe page to sign up or pre-order your copy of issue forty-three, or sign up to the mailing list below to be reminded on August 4th when it’s available to order.