Danny always arrived early. By now everyone accepted that he did and they’d stopped ragging him about it. He wasn’t really supposed to but George let him. “You can do it lad. Them at the council, they don’t know you like we do. No problem, you just carry on. You just listen to us.” Danny liked George.Continue reading “Danny by Diane M Dickson”
I was out of the waiter game, quit when a chef threw a cruet that just missed my head; oil splattered my new, old tux I bought from a formal wear rental joint. Only an asylum inmate would be able to summon a voice that said I’d bettered myself. I was working at a fast food joint, The Burger General, home of the Five-Star Half Pounder. I’d added eight published poems to my Good Knots chapbook so I wasn’t complaining about work conditions or pay. I kept a few copies under the counter in case I sensed kindred vibes from a customer. Jake Perez, the janitor found one in the trash. If a fry weren’t a bookmark he might have left it but he thought it was a hoot and shared his kicks with my fellow workers before returning it to me. A high school kid working the drive-thru told me my poems were baffling and so was I but she quotes lines occasionally and said her mom gave me a thumbs-up. Columbia University had recently published the freshly greased poem, “Ghost Shipping” in its literary magazine. Octavia’s Ristorante returned in sharp focus. Elise shanghaied my mind.Continue reading “Dreams Away at Octavia’s by Thomas M. McDade”
Someone is locked in the trunk of the car. They bang against their prison as the woman climbs onto the roof.Continue reading “Too Close to Hell by Phil Hurst”
I sit in darkness, isolated from the world by a dark wooden door. If I think hard enough, I can imagine I’m standing in a sunny field, or listening to the roar of ocean waves. But I’m not. As much as I try, the thin closet door in the bathroom is not enough to block out the screams.Continue reading “Seroquel by Olivia Austin”
Howard Adams turned off the engine and gazed at the anthracite column of the high-rise. He counted the floors up to the ninth. The lamp by Sonia’s futon shone through the gauze curtains, a penumbra of warm yellow. Adams checked his watch. The haris, a young guy with a scruffy beard, might still be sitting behind the lobby desk. He would lift his head with a studiously blank expression when Adams walked past. The haris’s eyes would then follow the unbeliever to the elevator, well aware of the sins being committed in his building. The prayer bump on the haris’s forehead always caused a cramp in Adams’s solar plexus. Did the guy worry her at all? Sonia had flattened her mouth in that amused way of hers, half-closed her eyes, shaken her head—“I tip him well.”Continue reading “An Evening at Sonia’s by Martin Rosenstock”
“Open your eyes.”
The voice crawls in from the dark. It is little more than a whisper. I am still dazed; I can barely distinguish the words.Continue reading “The Maker of Crèches by Loredano Cafaro”
She has a gun sitting in her lap. It’s stark against the pretty floral pattern of her dress. Like a bomb ticking away in a family’s flower garden, and Reverend Davis has no idea what to do about it.Continue reading “Eye of the Hurricane by Engela Snyman”
How he came to finding her was funny. Funny ha ha. But fuck all else about this was funny.
He dropped the key. Or the key dropped out of his hand. Depending on your level of charitability.
Double fuck and bollocks.Continue reading “The Girl with the Feet by Jane Houghton”
My eyes snap open and in that instant, I’m battered by the three-punch combo of a massive hangover, Rosie pounding on my door, and three more dead on my ledger. The hangover will sort itself eventually, the dead are dead, but Rosie will beat the damn door down if I don’t answer. She’s stubborn as hell, is Rosie, and dangerous strong for a female.Continue reading “Sonny’s Shadow by Marco Etheridge”
Louis Pyne squats on his haunches beside the corpse. The boathouse is cold as a meat locker. A massive hangover is dancing a tarantella six-eight time inside his skull, and the two guys standing behind Lou are making him nervous. At least they’re hungover as well. Hell, even the corpse would be begging for aspirin if he wasn’t so dead.Continue reading “The Fall Guy by Marco Etheridge”