A version of this illustration, "The Ichthyologist," by Letisia Cruz first appeared in Issue 5 of Ink Brick. 


WRITER Sarah Vernetti is a Las Vegas-based writer. Her fiction has been published in 300 Days of Sun, Boston Literary Magazine, Eunoia Review, Foliate Oak, and Vending Machine Press, among others. She spends her free time daydreaming about unicorns and aliens.


RESIDENT ARTIST Letisia Cruz is a Cuban-American writer and illustrator. She is enthralled by nature and the acute connection to form associated with ink illustration. Her visual vocabulary emerges through this focus and subsequently explores the connection between man and nature. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MFA program and currently lives in Miami, FL. She serves as an Online Poetry TLR SHARE Editor at The Literary Review. Her writing and artwork have appeared in Gulf Stream, Moko Caribbean Arts and Letters, BODY Literature, The Scrambler, and Ink Brick.

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We’ve been studying the art of haiku. One of the required elements is the cutting word, or kireji in Japanese. The cutting word might signify a break in thought,  suggest a juxtaposition between what comes before and after it, urge the reader to return to the beginning of the poem, etc. These words are difficult to translate into English. Sometimes translators omit the word, others convert the word into a piece of punctuation, so on and so forth.


With kireji in the backs of our minds, we approach ISSUE 40 of Petite Hound Press. Sarah Vernetti’s “Hydra” is flash fiction (not haiku), but what if we consider the space between the prose and the illustration a breaking point of sorts. Like in the haiku, both sides could stand on their own. They do not need each other, yet they shed a light on one another.


“Hydra,” the title alone, calls to mind a number of images:


  • the snake-headed water monster from Greek mythology,

  • the tiny yet immortal freshwater creatures that we find fascinating, and

  • the evil organization attempting to dominate the world within the pages of Marvel comic books.


Flying fish, on the other hand, like the ones pictured in the illustration, are something quite different. They have only one head and one mortal life. Even the way in which they soar through the air is a defense mechanism, which allows them the opportunity to escape from their predators.


Is the swimmer in ISSUE 40 careless, neglecting to acknowledge the dangers of “pulling” her fellow swimmer “downward,” or is she merely trying to survive as she “thrusts herself forward”? Figuratively speaking, where do we draw the line, and what are we to make of the rest of the spectrum between evil and good?


Welcome to ISSUE 40 of Petite Hound Press featuring flash fiction by Sarah Vernetti and visual art by Resident Artist Letisia Cruz. We invite you to take in these words and images and to contemplate their juxtapositions. Let us know what you think! Contact us via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

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