Here's a sneak peek inside Issue 4 with a little excerpt from Michael Merriam's story, "All The Leaves Your Bed":
The Tree knew it was dying.
The Tree was a victim of its own success. It had survived season after season, weathering blazing heat, freezing winters, droughts, powerful winds, vicious hail storms, a tornado, a lightning strike. War. But after a mere sixty years, its roots had broken into the decaying sewer system underneath it, crushing the already cracked and leaky lines.
It was poisoned. Anyone could see the dying branches, the slowly weakening trunk folding in on itself, the leaves that never reached their peak. Even if the humans came along and repaired the damage, it was too late. If the poison did not kill the Tree, they would simply cut the Tree down, as they had so many of his fellows during the Great Illness.
The Tree needed someone to pass its spirit to lest everything it had felt, everything it had learned and experienced in its lifetime, be lost.
It considered the small furred and feathered creatures that inhabited its branches, but quickly dismissed them: they had neither the capacity for memory nor the greatness of spirit the Tree required. The Tree gave serious thought to passing its essence to one of the feral cats that roamed the night but decided those creatures’ inherent mystery might prove incompatible with its own spirit. The local canines were all too domestic and reliant on their human masters for the Tree's taste and it disliked them for their crudeness and lack of propriety: they always relieved themselves on his trunk. No, a dog would never do.