Kevin Brown has published two short story collections, Death Roll and Ink On Wood, and has had Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry published in over 200 Literary Journals, Magazines and Anthologies. He won numerous writing competitions, fellowships, and grants, and was nominated for multiple prizes and awards, including three Pushcart Prizes, The Best American Short Stories, a Governor Award, and a Journey Award.
There is a long history of Gog and Magog: some say they were individuals, some say peoples, some say lands, but this is the truth and Magog would tell you the truth hurts
.Gog lived in a valley and Magog lived on a nearby mountain. They weren’t much to look at – hairy and stinking with bad teeth, but they lived mostly outside and had to hustle to stay alive. Their mates looked about the same, only they had boobies.
Gog and Magog got along fairly well, and only occasionally came to blows. Gog was jealous of the mountain, because it was cool in the summer, and Magog was jealous of the valley because it had a nice river with sweet water for drinking and bathing. Each wanted what the other had. They were, after all, men.
Every now and then Gog would climb the mountain or Magog would descend into the valley and the two would drink the fermented juice of berries. At first meeting, they were happy to see each other and discussed mundane things like how many toes does a sloth have or do birds go underground in the winter. They both felt that the fermented juice increased their intelligence, though they could not have explained this.
As they continued to drink the fermented juice, they would grow angry and begin to fight. They would slap each other on the head (they hadn’t invented fists yet), but generally did very little damage. Then they would both go home where their hairy wives would scold them by making clucking sounds, then pack mud on their cuts and bruises. They were both dense and their wives would have divorced them, but divorce hadn’t been invented yet either.
Fruit grew well in Gog’s valley, and one day he got an idea as he was eating a banana: he would bring bananas to his next meeting with Magog, and instead of slapping him on the head he would throw bananas at him from a safe distance. Magog didn’t mind this (unless the fruit hit him in the eye), because bananas didn’t grow at high altitudes and he would just eat them later. Though unintentional, Gog was sharing his food.
Then one day banana season was over and Gog decided he could also throw squash and mangoes and avocadoes. True, Magog could eat these also, but if you ever get hit with a well-thrown mango… well…it hurts!
After a particularly heavy bout of increasing their intelligence with fermented juice, Gog threw a hard winter squash at Magog and hit him in the testicles. This is always funny on You Tube, but it’s really not. No one would laugh at a woman getting smashed in the boobies. Like divorce, You Tube hadn’t been invented yet. Still, Gog fell on the ground laughing. Magog fell on the ground rolling in pain.
“Awwwwwww,” yelled Magog (vocabulary was somewhat limited then). The sound echoed over the mountain and down into the valley so that the women lifted their hairy heads and were frightened. Even Gog grew frightened. It was like the sound of birth.
Finally, Magog sat up, grabbed the first thing he saw (a rock) and flung it at Gog. It hit him in the head. “Awwwwww,” said Gog, then his eyes crossed and he fell face down in the dirt. Magog waited, but Gog did not move again.
Something had changed. Magog grabbed his mate and kids and moved to a far-off mountain to hide. He didn’t know why, he just thought it a good idea. But it didn’t do any good.
Gog’s mate and kids found his body and the killing rock and figured out what had happened. It was if something else had been launched along with the flying fruit and the rock. Maybe this is what Magog had sensed. It was in the air.
“A little yeast leaveneth the whole lump,” Magog used to say as an old and unhappy man when he drank too much fermented juice. No one knew what that meant.
Well…you know the rest: arrows and spears, slings and cannonballs, television and politicians, gain-of-function research and lawyers…La-De-Da.
The Magogites still live in the mountains and the Gogites still live in the valleys. They still drink fermented berry juice, think themselves intelligent, and throw things.
Research indicates the root word Gog translates to your last name.
Or maybe not.
Gary Wadley / Louisville, Kentucky
Gary is a Writer, Poet, Artist, Musician, Playwright who’s visual artwork has often appeared in 3W. This story recieved an Honarble Mention in our recent George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest.
Coming in June:
Something special from the just released Autumn issue of 3rd Wednesday: A flash piece by Ron Koertge (yes, that Ron Koertge). Ron is a poet and novelist specializing in youth fiction. His latest poetry collection is Yellow Moving Van. His flash fiction collection, which he told me that wrote “one-a-day” is titled Sex World. I suspect Ron, like the Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies, thought the name would mean a big seller.
You can read the issue free at our website and print copies are on sale at Amazon.com.
TW Volume XIII, No. 4 – Autumn 2020
The fall issue is in the mail to contributors and subscribers. Guest associate editor for this issue is Jude Dippold of Concrete Washington. Jude is a poet and his nature photos have graced several issues of 3W.
This issue features the winning stories from the 4th annual George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest (thanks go out to this year’s judge Lisa Lenzo).Our 50/50 Poetry Contest winner is Notes from the Field by Alexandra Wade.
Other highlights: A flash piece by Ron Koertge (Yes, that Ron Koertge), poems by Marge Piercy, Jack Ridl, Claire Rubin, James Crews and many others, as well as student poetry from Inside/Out.
The print edition is available now at Amazon.com.
The last 11 issues of 3rd Wednesday are avialable free in PDF format, including the latest spring contest issue. Visit our website and download some great reading. Poetry doesn’t go out of date.
Contributor and Subscriber copies of the Spring issue of 3rd Wednesday are in the mail. This issue features the winning poems and honorable mentions from our annual poetry contest, judged this year by Marilyn L. Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a teacher and well-published poet with 8 poetry collections to her credit. She was poet laureate of The State of Wisconsin (2009-10).
A number of other poems that were originally entered in the contest have been published as regular submissions with permission of the poets. We give writers in our contests a second chance at publication when they elect that as an option.
This issue sees the return of the popular InsideOut Literary Arts Project, featuring five poems by Detroit area students in the 3rd through 5th grades. We owe the usual thanks to Peter Markus for curating them.
This issue includes winning poems and poems of merit from our fourth One Sentence Poetry Contest. We have new poems by Marge Piercy, Leslie Schultz, Gary Wadley, Jane Blanchard, Tiffany Babb, Alan Harris, Lisa Timpf, Terry Allen and many others. The print edition is available now at Amazon.com. Contributor copies will be in the mail next week. For a free digital edition, click Free Issues on the menu.