Sure, it was funny to everyone and their brother-in-law, but I had to absorb the humiliation of waking up on the courthouse steps without pants on, surrounded by townspeople. Bill came. I asked if he wanted to lock me up for this, but he ruled it unintentional. He shouted that the looky-loos should go on about their business. Bill is a pretty good guy for a cop.Continue reading “The Assistant Town Drunk: Zero to Hero in Seconds by Todd Mercer”
The morning sun assaulted every nerve ending in my shattered brain and that same vicious sun illuminated the headline that hovered before my bleary eyes: Bigfoot’s Miraculous Aqua-Baby Discovered. I tried to focus, then I tried to blink it all away. Miserable failure was the result on both counts. I did not conjure clarity, nor did the strange bedroom disappear. I was forced to ask myself that most critical question. Where the fuck was I?Continue reading “When the Tabloids Ate My Best Friend by Marco Etheridge”
The body was still in the house when we got there. Graciela saw it first and let out a sharp, “Dios mio!” She was the most senior local employee at the Consulate and had seen Americans in trouble before, but none as distressed as George McMahon. He was lying on a thin mattress on the concrete floor of his living room. A machete was planted in his abdomen, just below the breastbone. It had been put there by his girlfriend, according to the police, but they also said he was at the morgue.Continue reading “Death Misspelled by David Robinson”
It was the moment of pure silence before we would set the forest on its ear with the roar of our chain saws. The deep woods that morning glistened with long tracts of snowy and scary silence, now and then broken by the creaking of a frozen limb swearing it would fall to earth. At best that fall would be a minor distortion, a minor distraction. Yet again, that creak sounded like a baby in the night, or a wailing or a keening, or, at an odder moment, like a voice given to what has no voice. At attention we stood, my friend Eddie LeBlanc and I, some twenty yards apart, some huge oaks apart, their ugly and monstrous arms clawing at early daylight.Continue reading “It’s All in the Maul by Tom Sheehan”
Leila was seen on the battlements at midnight. We tried to tempt her down for food but no – Instead she handed over this piece by a quirky and interesting author who turns out fascinating little slice of life stories. This is what she said:Continue reading “Literally Reruns – What Would Breslin Have Thought by Adam Kluger”
The last words she ever said.
I just wanted to know what they were. Call it a compulsion, a thought that nagged at me like a hot plate of my wife’s lasagna when I’d spent the day not eating.
My aunt had passed away. She was the last remnant of my father’s side of the family. My dad died of cancer at the age of 47 when I was eleven. My aunt had just died at the age of 86 (my dad would have been 85), and I really wanted to know the last thing she said.
I’d just walked into the office and hadn’t had time to set my coffee down when Vicki stuck her head in and said, “HR wants you to call them, it’s about Jack.”
“Is he here?” I replied.
“In his cubicle, talking to Eileen.”Continue reading “Jack’s Back by David Thomas Peacock”
“You sure make stupid decisions.” she said.
Taylor blinked, maybe even winced a little, but otherwise showed little sign that he had heard her, let alone taken her seriously. It wasn’t that he was deaf or so lacking in ego that he could withstand the insult. No, he was simply too busy to bother, too desperate to rescue himself (and her) from the results of this latest stupid decision, all too aware that far too many stupid decisions had been made and the chickens, as they say, were really and truly coming home to roost.Continue reading “Stupid Decisions by Wayne Yetman”
Tuesday morning and I’m driving. It’s cold outside and the windscreen is cloudy. I can see only through the little circle I have made by wiping my gloved hand against the glass. The circle keeps closing up, the world keeps getting smaller. There is nobody on the streets and the sky is low, the only motion outside the steaming shapes of stranger’s cars, indistinct forms defined against the grey by their movement.Continue reading “This Winter by Louie Richmond”
You move into the world, a mind arrival, after a disturbing darkness. First you perceive outside the body visual… another odd spot on the ceiling. Peer at the shape, like an inner organ. Not the spot itself, though it has a strange form, but what hides behind it, from the writing in your dream. In this dream, you came walking through a heavy mist. You perceived yourself moving in a swirling, grey white wash of cloud come to earth. Then you entered the corporeal, inside a body walking from a car towards the front of a gated institution. You understood that you possessed the persona of a staff member, approaching daily work at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital….the hospital for the criminally insane. You walked in this persona, up a road which bridges over a dike built to repel high water, a barrier that separates the hospital from the surrounding farmland. You observed the man-made berm with the oak tree at its summit. You stepped by the sixteen-foot-high fence and the wall cameras. You pulled out an electronic fob and opened the blue iron gate, and entered the inner grounds. The pastel buildings lay about at diamond-shaped angles, over a small rise you perceived the Central Hall. You looked past the staff person’s early morning bleariness and found your own motivation for walking in his shoes: the need to know the truth about yourself. You possessed the staff’s body and followed his path, and his path led to the office of Poplar Central Ward.Continue reading “Not Criminally Responsible by Harrison Kim”