My doctor says, “Zeeb, my old friend, your remaining days can be numbered in weeks, and not more than four. Then your Black ass is out the door forevermore.”Continue reading “Goodbye by Frederick K Foote”
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”
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”
My mother’s cadence on the bike has always been impressive. She can seamlessly glide from first gear to third without breaking her stride. The sound of her chain effortlessly shifting sounds like fingers snapping a melody. We ride together on a winding dirt road. We are going incredibly fast considering her mountain bike is a heavy beast. The tires are wide and fat. But it is a cheerful red color. It is the color of tricycles and little wagons. Though she is only thirty-six, it is odd to see her on something that calls to youth.
Especially since she is dying as we ride.Continue reading “Always Remember to Shift by Jessica R. Clem”
I sterilize an empty room. Wipe away scents of lavender perfume and kisses. Curse kids speeding on golf carts, runners pushing limits, horns blaring.Continue reading “Limits by Yashar Seyedbagheri”
Three months have passed since the death of my wife. It has been a long summer, hot and unbearable. My only solace is knowing that it will be my last. I sweat incessantly. Others thrive in the sickly heat. Oh, that the rain would rinse the smiles from their faces. I keep my ghastly body hidden from the outside. Sometimes I cough. Recently more and more. But I rarely dwell on this. Hacking out a thick wad I get on with my business of living and dying. It is all I know.Continue reading “Summer Nightsweats by Shane O’Neill”
Sixty-six years now and they come at me, in Chicago, Crown Point, Indiana, by phone from Las Vegas.
I tell them how it happened, long after parting, one night when I was in a bar, thinking of them all.Continue reading “Once Screamed to Drunks at the Vets Bar, Memorial Day Evening by Tom Sheehan”
Olin Bahr sat on the end of the exam table, his feet on the footrest and waited for the doctor. The exam room in which he sat, typical of all exam rooms in any medical facility, he thought, felt impersonal, devoid of anything suggesting human warmth, compassion or comfort. The only decoration in the room, an articulated human skeleton with a hook protruding from the top of its skull, hung on a metal pole in one corner and stared at Olin with empty eye sockets.Continue reading “Last on the List by Robert P. Bishop”
Under the light of a punchy, yellow moon, Pops jammed a cigarette in my mouth and put his thumb to work on our flip-top lighter. After a while, the flint wheel peeled up his scab and showed me his insides, which were bright and clean (and A-negative, Pops says). He sucked the blood like barbecue sauce, then flick, flick, flick, nothing, flick, flick—Continue reading “Worm Cheeks and the Search for Lunar Secrets by Brandon McWeeney”