Congratulations to The Melic Review for five years of excellence! At five, Melic is a seasoned old survivor. I raise a libation to the next five years! Thanks to Melic for the opportunity to immerse myself in fiction from all over the world. Plus, resounding thanks to all those writers out there in the ether who have shared, and I hope will continue to share, their stories.

For Fifth Anniversary Melic, we have five stories. "See You Later Crocodile" and "The Calm" take place in the troubling otherwhere of adolescence. In "Crocodile", the young narrator finds herself a stranger in her own life after the disappearance of an orphaned teen who had been staying with her family. In "The Calm" the narrator comes home to an empty apartment and discovers that nothing is familiar, not even her memories or the taste of her own skin. We shift to the mother's point of view in "If You Come Back While I'm Out" and reading between the lines of instructions on how to reheat dinner discover the story of a runaway child.

Then it's off to the world Beyond a Brooklyn Stoop. In this excerpt titled "To the Warehouse," the narrator struggles with his own set of disappointments while trying to earn a buck and still remain compassionate in the increasingly strange world of his landlord. And finally, "Streams of Conscience" is a simple story about housecleaning, full of language and nostalgia that hints at things the narrator hides from herself as well as her new cleaning lady.

Five fine stories to celebrate five years of Melic. Read and enjoy!

—Valerie Cihylik

Guest Fiction Editor

Mary McGrail joins Melic as guest fiction editor for Volume XXII due out in September. Her story "See You Later Crocodile" appears in this issue. Mary co-edited the literary anthology Too Darn Hot: Writing About Sex Since Kinsey, Persea Books, New York, 1998, which is available through or the publisher ( Her fiction has also appeared in The Portland Review, and she is currently writing a novel. Mary lives in Manhattan, where she works at the Tea Association of the USA.