The Cleaner   by R.L.M. Cooper

October

Frank always hated rainy days. He hated them when he was working and he hated them when he was ill. Like today. Today was gray and wet. The leaves, falling steadily from the big oak out front, randomly blew against the rain-splattered window beside his bed and stuck there momentarily before gradually sliding down onto the sill where they gathered into a brownish, wet pile and ultimately fell to the ground beneath the rhododendron bush.

Continue reading

Some Animals by Alexander Franks – Adult content

Underneath a billboard beside the highway, an imperious impression of a gorilla spun a banana-shaped sign which read “Free cable & HBO & air conditioning.” It was early spring and the air cool and crisp, but the gorilla had been at it for several hours—throwing the sign up in the air, swirling it around his limbs, passing it around his back—the man underneath undoubtedly hot from the body heat trapped in his fake polyester furs. Cars filled with people on their way to work would occasionally honk hello, and the gorilla man would wave and point at the sign. The cars would then slowly pass, the occupants smiling and nodding but not looking directly at him.

Continue reading

Nor Help For Pain by Leila Allison

Some see the aging face as an ongoing story; others see it as a palimpsest from which the original pretty story has been scraped and is continuously replaced by increasingly derivative tales culled from the same source. Here, I find myself thinking Hamlet compared to Hamlet Versus Predator: To Bleed or Not to Bleed.  Sadly, as you may plainly see, no metaphor holds up after you have looked at it long enough.

Continue reading

Luisa by Tim Gorichanaz

Every day Luisa left a new piece of art at the foot of his bed. They were washcloths shaped like animals, a different one each day. She was very talented.

He knew it was Luisa because she signed her work. She left a card that said Your Room Was Cleaned By ____________. It’s my pleasure, and Luisa wrote her name on the line. He suspected she left those cards in all the rooms she cleaned, but maybe she was reaching out. She’d written her name there, by hand, just for him. She dotted the i with a circle.

Continue reading