A Good Day for Nudnik Fish by Larry Lefkowitz

I prefer my Tel Aviv from the vintage days – before the upper crust skyscrapers disturbed the eyes and the hype the ears, and most of all, before the arrival of the glitzy marina. I berth my skiff wherever I find a bit of sand on the shore that hasn’t yet been taken for private development. Nobody disturbs the boat — it’s been around so long they know it’s mine — vintage, like me. I make it a point to fish with my back to the skyscrapers, facing the horizon.

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Slap Happy by Fred Vogel

By the time Slap Happy was born, his parents, Jacob and Evelyn Happerson, had abandoned the circus life and were running a successful dry cleaning business in Canton, Ohio. Gone was the excitement of The Big Top, replaced by hard work and the strong desire to provide their only child with nothing but the best. Jacob held out hope that maybe one day he and Evelyn would return to the circus so his son could follow in his old man’s clown shoes, but Evelyn was quick to put the kibosh on any such idea.

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Flea Market by Raymond Hopkins

We had a day out last Saturday.  Well, when I say a day out, I mean we spent a lot of time going from one flea market to another.  There are plenty of them in this town, let me tell you.  Don’t get me wrong, I like flea markets, but then I don’t mind where I am just as long as it’s with Sandra.  Not that she asked me to come along, just took it for granted really, but it doesn’t matter since she always thinks I shouldn’t be let out on my own.

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Out in the Turkey Pen By Leila Allison

Reader Advisory:

The Union of Pennames, Imaginary Friends and Fictional Characters (UPIFFC) now requires the anonymous employer of an associate penname to give the latter a yearly performance review. This event usually occurs in the sort of establishment where the wait staff all have the personalities of unpurged butter clams. As it goes with PR’s throughout the observable universe, the employer typically leads off with the employee’s strong points as a method of Trojan-horsing in darker observations. Sadly, for the employer, the penname has access to each and every of the former’s thoughts while the employer remains as clueless about the penname’s wicked ways as ever. To put it plainly, the whole thing goes to hell from the get go, and the only thing that I as Leila Allison’s employer get from our conversation is a tingling headache and bewilderment over the fact that my alias has the social graces of an irked thirteen-year-old child.

However, I may have gained something useful from this year’s face-to-face. I now present the missive that my penname scrawled on a stack of cocktail napkins not long after she dropped the pretense of pretending to listen to me—But I’ll give her this much: she writes awfully damn fast. Unfortunately, my headache has prevented me from reading it; and it may also be true that I only wish for it to be known that I have had nothing to do with its construction, just in case it too goes to hell from the get go.

Respectfully,

Ms. Allison’s Employer

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