Issue 0 cover

The Doctrine of the Arbitrariness of the Sign

by Shweta Narayan

Issue 0 :: Spring 2007 (stories)

“Spli-pli-plitter!” Andrew called to the low grey sky. A big wet droplet exploded on his nose, and another in his hair, then it was all around; a great torrent, as if someone had pulled the plug out of a lake in the sky to send water soaking into his coat and jeans and hair. And sister. He grinned.

She glared at him. “Okay, so it’s raining, so come on.”

“Not just raining, Tess.” His grin widened, partly for the joy of wetness, partly because it would annoy her. “Spli-plitter raining. A deluge.” He played the word around in his mouth, luxuriating in the sound and feel of it and its echo in the beat of water on pavement.

“Like I said. Raining.” She started walking.

He caught up easily. He’d been growing lately. “Not any rain,” he said. “Big wet warm drops that drench, and break open into little drippy droplets when they hit you. Splitter rain.”


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"The Doctrine of the Arbitrariness of the Sign" is roughly 800 words.

Shweta Narayan writes research papers and fantasy, and attempts to keep the two distinct. She lives physically in southern California and virtually at, where she houses images that don’t have a story yet. "The Doctrine of the Arbitrariness of the Sign" is her first non-academic publication.