As of September 2011 Litterbox Closed.
Litterbox Magazine is on permanent hiatus.
Litterbox Magazine was the result of a facebook status conversation between two graduate student friends living on opposite sides of the country. In such a world ripe with technology, the idea was immediate: to create an online receptacle for bold, fresh voices in the literary world. To begin, they turned to their writerly friends, the bold and the fresh in their everyday lives. This meager literary journal soon morphed into a magazine set out to showcase the various talents in more fields than just short story and poetry.
Litterbox Magazine hoped to both inspire and show off the emerging contributors to the literary world.
As of September 2011, Litterbox closed. The domain registration expired and the site disappeared from the web. The new owner of the domain has chosen to show an highly condensed version of the site providing just a glimpse of what Litterbox Magazine offered.
Content is from the site's 2009 - 2011 archived pages. Enjoy
Issue 1 - April 2009
Issue 2 - May 2009
Issue 3 - July 2009
Issue 4 - September 2009
Issue 5 - November 2009
Issue 6 - January 2010
Issue 7 - March 2010
Issue 8 - June 2010
Issue 9 - September 2010
Issue 10 - February 2011
A Promise on Ararat
by Jeff Gibbs Issue 11
Our shambling minivan shifts into third, shudders, and begins to climb. The stunted bushes around us have thinned out, and everywhere are the heavy bodies of mountain rock and boulder. We bear up toward a gathering of grey storm clouds, which suddenly split apart to unveil the summit of Mt. Ararat — startling, majestic, draped in snow even in mid-June. But the clouds tumble closed again, there is a flash of lightning, and we hit our first police checkpoint. Everyone begins to chatter nervously and dig in their jeans for their wallets. The back of the van is thrown open by a young Turkish soldier no more than nineteen, a machine gun draped over his shoulder. He jerks our bags out one by one and asks, "Whose is this? And this?" Another soldier slides open the side door, and we hand our passports forward....
MILLER VS. WINTERBOURNE
by Suzanne Marie Hopcroft Issue 11
Waits wants only a little
sad she is watching under
plate glass the ruffles and
pant creases that saunter
past flâneur comfort all
anonymous of course none
is what/whom she has been
waiting wanting watching
for there so beneath the eyes
of the city's nine basilicas
all of which she ought to be
praying to statues inside of
because he is not coming or
else not in the way that she
wants she instead flirts with
faces whose main defining
characteristics are a mustache
the reflection within its mass...
Have You Ever Seen a Neutron Star?
by D.E. Quesada
I had to squint my eyes, because if I didn't I only saw my reflection in the glass. There it was. The objective of my mission, my obsession. There was a time when I was still Lazarus Jones, and my only thoughts were of the planet that I had left behind and of the few friends and family that no longer even exist. How long do you have to be away before a planet is no longer your home?
Iris is my home now, this isolation chamber others call a ship. How long have I been here? I don't even know how to answer that. What really is time when you travel at this speed? I count; one, two, three, and hundreds of years have now passed on Earth. How I have grown to love the miracle of time dilation. The physicists told me that traveling close to light speed changes your mass. You become infinite; you become your own universe within the universe.
I look out of the window again, and it's getting closer. I haven't felt this excited since I saw rival ships battle in the belt of Orion, at the Flame Nebula. There is no fire in space; the ships just break up into tiny little pieces. Dust and ice slowly build on them until they become meteoroids, floating through the cosmos forever.
Many told me not to go. They said the isolation would drive me crazy. They could not comprehend how I could stand being alone for that long working by myself, with no one to interact with. That was the greatest joke of all. They obviously have never had a desk job. I sat at my desk for years, and still no one knew my name. No one cared if I existed, until the boss needed someone to yell at. Afterwards I would drive alone in my car to an empty home with a phone that never rang. A thousand friends on the Internet and I had never met one of them. That is true loneliness. Out here I am surrounded by the mind of God.
Asteroid 270623: Hermes in all its glory. It's filled with raw materials, and it's my job to bring it back to Earth. We were running out of raw fuel and materials when I left, and asteroid mining was supposed to be the future since the Earth had nothing left to exploit. Leave it to humans to bypass clean energy and search through space for something else to burn up.
Sounds easy, but I have to transport the asteroid back to the solar system so it will safely orbit around the Moon. Once I'm close enough, I will circle it and attach the cables so it can be hauled back, like an intergalactic tow truck. As long as I can avoid any unwanted company, I should be fine. They warned me about space pirates, but other then a few battles here and there I haven't been bothered by anyone.
The cables unwind and expand like mechanical tentacles swimming in the deep sea of space. They slowly wrap their way around Hermes. I grab the lever and pull it and it seems secure enough. I fire the engines, all systems are normal. I'm ready to head back to Earth, but before I go I must visit the object of my obsession.
I came across my mistress about a year before I applied for this job. I was sitting at my desk, doing nothing but thinking. All of my work was already done, so I decided to read. And that's when I saw her, in an article that read: "Have you ever seen a Neutron Star?" It showed a telescope image of a magnetar, a dying star that escaped death. Instead of collapsing into a black hole, it changed into a magnetized star.
How I wished to see her, but I knew this was impossible. Then advertisements began popping up everywhere for space miners and drivers, and that's when I knew my chance had come at last. I signed up, and within six months I had finished my training and ready to pilot my own ship.
Of course going to see her is not in my official agenda, and it's not exactly calculated in my fuel reserves. But as any truck driver knows, half the fun of driving is the scenery, so how much harm can a little sight seeing do?
I look out my window again, and I finally see her. A sphere of brilliant gold and orange light, the stars around her shining like a crown. Rings of gas and dust surround her like a garment, and I realize she's even more beautiful then I ever imagined. Clouds reflect her light, and their radiant illumination dances perfectly with the dark silhouette of space. I could stay here forever, but I know that's not possible. My fuel gauge has begun to flash and beep. That is never a good sign.
I type in Earth's coordinates, and Iris' control panel beeps and flashes in approval like a dog panting for a walk when he hears his owner grab his leash. The engines ignite and I take a deep breath of stale air. My knuckles turn white as the ship begins to tremble. We are ready for warp speed.
Then suddenly a flash of light shines across the galaxy. It's from the magnetar, and the energy from its blast rocks us. I grab the gears and levers, but I feel us spinning out of control. Light is flashing everywhere, and the stationary objects look as though they are moving. There is a cloud forming in front of us in our trajectory. There is no way to move out of its way at our speed, so I have to fly through it.
The inside looks like a vortex, and all of my instruments are going out of control. Nothing is registering properly. Some of the readers are moving backwards. I've never seen anything like this before. But just as suddenly as this cloud appeared, it's gone. Up ahead, a bright yellow star, maybe medium in size if that. It seems familiar. We are on a crash coarse to the Sun.
Again I pull my levers, and we miss the Sun. Now that I can catch my breath, I realize we are in the solar system. We were light years away from Earth. Even at our warp speed and my distorted sense of time, it still seems too quick for us to have traveled this far. If I only knew then what I know now. It was no cloud that shot out of the magnetar. It was a wormhole, an actual tunnel of distorted space-time.
We are headed for Earth now and running out of fuel fast. Instruments I had never read before were now flashing red, and in my panic I forgot what to do. You can't just fly into Earth's atmosphere like they do in the movies. If you hit the Earth at the wrong angle then you go skipping of into the universe like a stone skimming on the water. Except there is no air to stop you out in space. Out here you bounce forever. As we reach the Earth Iris shakes again, and I know what that means. We lost Hermes.
The next thing I know, I awake in heaven, a room covered in white, with angels in pallid garments attending my every need. I float in and out of conciseness, for how long I do not know. First I'm asleep, then awake, and certain times I can't really tell the difference between the two. All that I can remember is the date on a newspaper. According to that date, I returned a day after I had left.
I assume my ship crashed into the ocean, and I floated onto shore where they found me. There is no way to prove that, since I technically traveled back in time. According to official documents, I never existed to begin with. No social security number, no birth certificate. After a while of living in this hospital, I can't argue with their statement. I wish I did die out there. Anything but be locked up in this sterile hell.
Every now and then, I will catch one of the nurses or orderlies whispering to one another and laugh. I am nothing but a joke dying in the corner of this room. But I know someone has to believe me, that they hear the truth that rings loudly in my words like the trumpets of war.
While one of them is sweeping by my bed, he leans over and says "I believe you." I look over at him and smile, because I know he isn't mocking me like the others. His sincerity is refreshing. He nods as he sweeps, this older man with a gray beard who's skin as almost as dark as the room. "The government's been covering things up for years. Well they can lie to us all they want, but I'm not going to believe it. I've seen the pictures of your ship. Still they try to deny you exist." It's amazing. I bask in his rays of truth they way I used to bask in the light of a quasar. I thank him for his support, and he gently leans his broom against the wall. "I can't leave you like this. I'm getting you out of here."
My heart beats the way it did when I sailed through the Eagle Nebula, surrounded completely by the pillars of creation. I get up, and we sneak out of the room while everyone is still asleep. "My name is Cleitus," he says as we stepped outside, and my feet tingle from the cold wet pavement. I take a deep breath of the night air, and look up at the sky. The stars no longer bless us with their light. I look back at the hospital, my prison. It is colder and darker and emptier then any black hole I never saw. "Thank you for saving me from this hell, Cleitus," I say.
I feel alive again, like I did thousands of years ago in the future. I am born again, resurrected. It was once believed that stars burned out into supernovas, eventually collapsing into black holes where nothing can escape. But before the first stars died, their particles traveled through galaxies, and helped make everything around us. The dust of ancient stars baptized the Earth long ago, enriching the planet and the life that began there. Do you understand? Those dead stars, they continue living in us. All this time we thought these stars had died, but now I truly understand that nothing really ever does.
D.E. Quesada lives in Southern California. When he is not working he enjoys drawing, keeping records of his dreams and teaching his son about music on vinyl. He is currently working on getting his first book, The Forbidden Kingdom, published.