editor's note

Checkered by Carrie Bachler
As I think about the topic of history, such a variety of adjectives pop into my head. It’s colored. It’s long. It’s sad. It’s brief. It’s complicated. It’s every single moment up until the moment that we are sitting in right now. It’s a billion years ago and it’s two hours ago.
Halfway Down the Stairs Seeks New Nonfiction Editor by the editorial staff
Halfway Down the Stairs is currently looking for a new nonfiction editor. Duties will include reading and voting on submissions, sending acceptances and diplomatic rejections, and also copy editing and formatting accepted nonfiction for publication. We are looking for an editor who has a few hours a week to devote to HDtS and who has experience analyzing and evaluating creative nonfiction.


Touching by Tricia Knoll
The fingers of the ancestors brush the ridges
of mossy petroglyphs, feather the nostrils
For Sure by Müesser Yeniay
So that I can't see the light of the day
God draws the curtain
On Our Island by Memye Curtis Tucker
These days the past seems more past
than it used to, in fact, it seems almost over.
Isabella Remembers Columbus by Abigail Wyatt
Over and over, he petitioned us, nagged at us.
Always, he had someone’s ear:


Girl With a Red Hat by Alex Markovich
Henry had come to see the King Tutankhamun exhibit, featured in the arts section of the day’s Times. He should have stopped first to ask about an alternative entrance with an escalator or elevator, but he was too impatient, or maybe too prideful. By the time he had reached the second landing, his worn-out knees were making crunching sounds, and his back ached just above his right buttock. It was nearly noon, and the usual lunchtime sunbathers were already gathering on the steps. They all seemed to be watching him.
The Waiting Room by Rebecca Burns
She did not know how he’d managed it but, ten days after posting the letter, he arrived. She wasn’t even sure if the letter would get through, knowing, expecting, that the troops’ mail would take priority. She’d felt ridiculous, imploring him to come in language she rarely – if ever – used in that way, especially not towards him. Not him.
A Tale of Two Wars by Catherine Mathews
Monty had a moment of envy, seeing them in their neat Army uniforms. It always made him a little nostalgic, even though you saw so many soldiers now, in 1943.  Monty had received his discharge right after the Armistice in 1918, but he had enjoyed his Army days.  He loved the excitement, the danger of being “over there”, hearing the shells landing, being the sergeant and looking out for his men.
A Good Day to be Born by Tony Press
Arthur was born in the late afternoon as the radio blared and the fathers paced, paced and listened, one ear to the ballgame, the other to the screams escaping the door to New York Public's maternity ward. Arthur's father always claimed the nurse came to get him exactly as Mel Allen called the Joe DiMaggio blast that won game two of the 1950 World Series. Arthur's grandfather, on the other hand, swore that he got the call from his son-in-law two hours after the birth, and that it was the phone call that coincided with DiMaggio's shot. Both agreed on the inning, tenth, and the pitcher, Robin Roberts.
There are no words by Melissa Goode
It was a single car accident with all of the ambiguity that implies. Sean didn’t usually drive; he had no real need. He rode his bike. Work, football, his friends, they were all within riding distance. And his mother came to see us. So the fact that he was in the car, essentially my car, spoke volumes for the police as did the fact that the accident happened in the early hours of the morning and I didn’t even know that he had left the bed, the house, and taken the car.


The One and Only Easter by Peggy Barnes
In the birthing room, my mother heaves and pushes and shouts words that nice Southern girls don’t say—certainly not on Easter—but Pauline Miller is so condemned to hell, so far removed from nice, she curses God and man, especially the son-of-an-Alabama-bitch who put her on that bed.
Lady in the Blue Sash by Kim Newton
I don't remember my very first film, but I do remember sitting Indian-style in a squeaky red chair, my face aglow in the radiant presence of the Columbia Pictures lady.   She was a statuesque beauty with a magical blue sash.  Most people saw her only as a chiseled piece of stone, draped in a flag.   She appeared with a swell of music and then was gone again.  Just a glimpse and then forgotten.  But to me, she was unforgettable.  She was my mother.


The Settling Earth, by Rebecca Burns by Alison Stedman
The quality of Rebecca’s writing is beautiful, as ever, and I found myself making bookmarks in my thoughts, returning to phrases and lingering over passages.  There is a real feeling of truth and human experience, even in the specificity of each character and story.