Welcome to Issue 3.3

A Note From the Editor:

       As a child, I had a hard time making friends. My interests and introverted nature made most kids avoid me and kept me isolated. For a time, I was fine with that. At recess, when most other children would gather up and gossip while playing games and sports, I would find a comfortable spot underneath the oak tree just a stone’s throw from the jungle gym, open up a book, and read. The only company I needed, apart from the rustling leaves and the wind blowing through them, was a story that could engross me and take me to another world.

       But I quickly realized that I needed more than that. The stories were great, but I felt the longing of another’s company. I didn’t want to play tag, to giggle with others as we ran around the playground like hellions, or to share secrets and gossip with friends like the other kids, but I knew that I wanted more than I had. It began to sour even my love of books. Those worlds I loved became more monochrome. The characters I loved grew more distant, and I felt myself less eager to join them.

       In order to rekindle some of my love for stories and ignore the pervasive sense of loneliness, I threw myself into the school library. I had found a series of books that I was particularly fond of: The Johnny Dixon Series by John Bellairs. These gothic horror novels managed to captivate the more macabre portions of my imagination. On one particular day, I was walking back towards the horror section of the library when I stumbled into another kid kneeling down in front of the books. I must have startled him, for as I arrived, his head whirled around and his glasses fell to the floor. I picked them up and handed them to him. We spent the entirety of that recess sitting in the library, talking about our favorite parts of the series.

       Literature has the very unique power to bring people together across space and time. While Chuck Bellairs no longer lives, his work gave me a lifelong friend and a happier childhood. His words will continue to go on to entertain readers and to create bonds between those who read his work. That is the power of literature; it unites us across time and space, providing entertainment and provoking deeper thought.

       We here at Rappahannock Review have worked for the last four months to bring you this selection from some of the finest writers I have had the pleasure to read. These works mark the legacy of writers who work tirelessly to hone their craft and captivate readers. I hope that these pieces not only engross you, but also inspire you to share them with someone. Who knows? You may help someone find their next favorite piece, and you may find your next great relationship.

Carter Nordike, Editor in Chief