The 401
Maria Elsser running

Run Maria, Run

Posted: March 13, 2020 at 10:48 am   /   The 401

By Maria Elsser My mother would get up every morning at 5 a.m. to run 10 kilometres along the sleepy streets of Salt Spring Island before the sun rose. It wasn’t enough that she was raising four wild children, or that she single-handedly ran a three-acre farm. It wasn’t like she had endless time at […]

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waterfalls

Welcome to Utopia

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm   /   The 401

By Kaleigh Studer A drop of water slithers down my spine and into the crevice of my lower back. The brain freeze has worn off from my icy dip. The sun is striking my porcelain skin. I’m riverside in Croatia with Selly, my best friend. I often get jealous of the way the sun’s rays turn her skin […]

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Looking across Salish Sea to Lasqueti Island

Please, No Frozen Graveyard For Me

Posted: March 7, 2018 at 10:26 pm   /   Gulf Islands, The 401

By Rose Willow Photos: Anthony Hutchins As another autumn approached and the otters splashed in the little cove in front of our house, and the sky turned crimson at dusk, Tony refilled our glasses with homemade blackberry wine, and brought up the […]

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cigarette ash

Rising from the Ashes: My Journey to Quit Smoking

Posted: February 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm   /   The 401

By Sarah Torgerson Nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus is one of about a dozen designated smoking areas, where you are likely to come across a handful of generally unhappy-looking smokers wreathed in plumes of grey. I’m often among them. This mecca for the stressed-out and nicotine-addicted is where I take my […]

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Welcome to America on shield

Is Toque a Real Word?

Posted: February 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm   /   The 401

By Chelsea Mark “Where are you headed, and how long?” “Pullman, Washington, a week.” “Pullman?” The customs agent looked at me confused. “Yes, Pullman, it’s right on the border of Idaho—“ “I know where it is. Why?” Anyone who knew anything about Pullman had reacted in the same way when I told them my travel plans. Apparently […]

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what-is-a-pit-bull_enhanced2

Powerful, and Stigmatized, Breeds

Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm   /   The 401

By Sheena Gnos Imagine walking in a park on a beautiful day. The sun is shining and you’re basking in the summer heat, minding your own business. Suddenly, from around a corner, comes a Rottweiler. He’s bounding across the grass in great leaping strides, ears back, mouth gaping wide. What do you do? Is your […]

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liquor-store-final

What the hell was I thinking?

Posted: March 9, 2014 at 4:50 am   /   The 401

Editor’s note: This powerful account of an alcoholic binge contains graphic images and language that may be disturbing to some readers. For some, it may also provide inspiration to change. The author’s name is a pseudonym. By Jack Craig Believing even a little that I’m just like those fun people I‘ve seen drinking in television […]

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ivy-johnson-cropped

The Youngest Ventriloquist in the World

Posted: March 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm   /   The 401, V-I-Yi-Yi

By Alexandria Stuart The air in England’s West Midlands in 1907 was thick with the dust of coal fires. Once-white bedclothes, hung to dry, took on a shadowy tinge of grey. In a Birminghan home, in a spartan bedroom, the figure seated in a straight-back wooden chair towered over Ivy Johnson. The little girl stretched […]

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Private Function

Posted: April 30, 2013 at 4:06 am   /   The 401

By Mary Fraughton I walk around the main hall, keeping carefully to the edges. When I trod on someone’s toes, I turn to apologize and nearly collide with an elderly man who is wearing nothing but a red g-string. Several feet in front of me is a massage table with another naked man lying on it. […]

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Gutenberg 2.0

Posted: March 25, 2013 at 12:47 am   /   The 401

By Mike Calvert Ten years ago, the aspiring writer’s dream was simple. Spend two years of your life in hibernation writing a 300-hundred page novel, scrounge up a few dollars from the few friends who still knew you existed, print and mail copies of your manuscript to publishers across North America, and then pray. Pray that out […]

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