midnight & indigo is a literary journal dedicated to short stories and narrative essays by Black women writers.
Featuring 15 Black women writers, the fifth issue includes contributions by Stephanie Avery, rebekah blake, Danielle Buckingham, Emily Capers, Melie Ekunno, Martins Favour, Wandeka Gayle, Ashanti Hardy, Adrian Joseph, Amani-Nzinga Jabbar, Desi Lenc, Melissa A. Matthews, Adaora Raji, Leslie D. Rose, and Theresa Sylvester.
In this issue, we meet characters across continents in various stages of becoming. From women redefining their definitions of love, and Black girls finding their place in world and family, to narrators discovering self... and sometimes sacrifice - midnight & indigo is proud to present new short stories.
In "The Last Time" by Wandeka Gayle, a Jamaican woman returns home for a visit from graduate school in Louisiana. She has a chance encounter with a recent ex, with whom she has had a decade-long affair.
When Chiwetalu leaves Nigeria to live the American Dream, in "Limbo" by Adaora Raji, he thrusts his wife into uncertainty that stretches the boundaries of her love and loyalty.
In "The Tractor" by Theresa Sylvester, a single woman in Lusaka discovers a secret involving her pretty, married, younger sister and their vocal mother. "Phantom Itch" by Melie Ekunno tells of the sexual struggles of a 'Chibok Girl' in America.
"The Orphan's Daughter" by Leslie D. Rose is a retelling of stories told to her by her mother, who was orphaned as a young girl in 1950s Spanish Harlem. Colorism in the Caribbean is examined through the lens and family history of a young Trinidadian woman and her complicated relationship with her grandmother, in "Bittersweet" by Melissa A. Matthews.
In "Things I Can't Outrun" by Amani-Nzinga Jabbar, Nakisha is a former track star, who stopped running after dropping out of a mostly white college. She tries to return to her passion by registering for a charity race, an experience tainted by microaggressions. She later learns of the shooting death of a young Black jogger and realizes there are some things you just can't run from, no matter how fast you are.
In "Barricade" by Desi Lenc, Flint, Amara, and their neighbor, Ebony, spend their time with adventure and imagination, as only children can. One day, Ebony and Amara create a new game.
Mel's therapist seeks to save her from the despair a name brings, in "Mel needs a new name" by Martins Favour. After Sadie loses her daddy one year, her mama has to go away for a while too, in "Too Much of Anything Can Kill You" by Ashanti Hardy. That year, Sadie learns that too much of anything can kill you.
Middle school is tough. In "Spirit Week" by Emily Capers, follow the narrator through her first taste of middle school Spirit Week, where she learns about spooky school rumors.
In "Free Falling" by Adrian Joseph, Nia journeys through the darkness of her psyche as she uses everything she has within to overcome her fears and release her sinister past. Will she make it out alive?
A girl lives with the psychological trauma she received during a religious experience, in "Salvation" by Stephanie Avery. Lee is thrust into a caregiver role for her two younger sisters following her father's death, in "Water Bearers" by Danielle Buckingham. As her mother's grief consumes her, Lee is troubled with strange dreams.
"She (A retelling of The Giving Tree)" by rebekah blake is a retelling, but also a story about a Black mother. She gives until she has nothing left.