Sergeant Bonham walked the streets of East Berlin, finding a city mired in despair. President Reagan’s words hung fresh on the western side of the Wall. No graffiti marked the eastern side. Razor wire and sniper rifles kept would-be vandals at a distance. His counterparts on this side kept a watchful eye from imposing guard towers, in contrast to the humble structure on the other side of the checkpoint from which he stood his watch. This was an odd way to spend his R&R, but he needed to understand.Continue reading “We Do Not Mistrust Each Other Because We Are Armed by Matt Garabedian”
He wanted to be a hero. He wanted to be a hero so badly he could hardly think of anything else.
The Parrot sighed, and thought. A lump the size of an orange had formed in his throat, and he wanted it gone. It felt suffocating.Continue reading “Perry by Dianne Willems”
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 sound came once more. He stiffened. It was closer. His whole body knew it was closer. It was not just in the hearing. It approached. It made inroads. It said so. The metal toe. The kick. The slash. Ping Too smiling through his teeth. Oh, would Ping have a thirst for amontillado! Oh, were he himself the finest of stone masons, setting Ping Too up for the full sentence; to make an end of my labor, to force the last stone into place; to set the best of mortar, forever?
Caught between the professor and the captain!
Something shakes me from sleep, a rhythmic clanging, harsher than the church bell. And closer too.
I sit up. The walls flicker in the dim light of the hearth fire. Across the room, Father’s side of the bed is empty, but Mother’s is not. She can sleep through anything.
Small-eyed, small-eared, a mole perched like an ace of spades on one eyelid, a mastoid-depressed void behind one of those ears, pale of complexion, shoulders it seemed worn down by weights almost too ponderous for life, Jimmy Griffith was the essence of obscurity as he leaned on the bar of the Vets Club. All members knew Jimmy by name and by sight, but few had ever heard him say much more than a good morning or a goodnight, or “I’ll have my second beer now, Al,” or “Brownie,” if Brownie Latefox was on duty. This was the two-a-day ritual at the end of walking his route about town, measuring water consumption, reading the meters down in fieldstone cellars or the utility rooms of newer bungalows. Read the meters, jot the numbers, cheat a bit for a friendly face, or go a step further, like disconnecting a meter for six months at a time, not a soul at the water department or in the confines of Town Hall ever the wiser. Nobody knew how happy Jimmy was to have the job, nobody in God’s creation. Or why.