The first came in at nine thirty. A bag lady. Large plastic shoppers and canvas sacks hung from her shoulders. Even more burst through the metal frame of the grocery cart she left in the lobby. Hair wrapped in a kerchief, body wrapped in at least three coats, she handed a newspaper wrapped package to Officer Hill. He promptly vomited. Those of us who had been making coffee or taking calls now gathered around to absorb the horror. Lt. Mahoney let out a low whistle before snarking,“Somebody pissed somebody off.”Continue reading “The Levite by R. R. Setari”
One of the Good Ones by Tom Matthews
Joe replayed kissing Katy in his mind as he exited the train station. From the soft, tentative touch as their lips met for the first time, to the breathless parting as they released themselves from their fervent embrace. The smell of her perfume lingered on him. His heart pounded. Although only a second date, he felt certain he was on to something special. The long stroll home was what he needed to end the perfect evening.Continue reading “One of the Good Ones by Tom Matthews”
Dying to Hike by Caleb James K.
A murder of crows squawked to each other from various treetops on the secluded mountain. Below, a tasty feast awaited them once the other woodland creatures had their fill; the killer hadn’t so much as thought about burying the two bodies.Continue reading “Dying to Hike by Caleb James K.”
Embracing Your Evil Twin by Marco Etheridge
Up until quite recently, you were a very sick man. The Big C, of course. Leukemia, a nasty version. Picture the scene, sitting across the desk from your oncologist. You hear the word cancer, then the hunky doctor lays out the projected timeline of your now limited existence on this earth. The oncologist speaks with precision, each phrase an expression of practiced compassion. He’s done this before. You haven’t. All you hear is blah-blah-blah. That’s how it was for you.Continue reading “Embracing Your Evil Twin by Marco Etheridge”
Hunger by Shawn Eichman
The old woman would still be alive if she had just stayed inside.
Stefan clawed at his sweat-soaked blanket. She haunted him every night. Damned locals. It was their own fault. If they didn’t sabotage the supply lines, the soldiers wouldn’t need to requisition food from the villagers. Requisition. Steal. Stefan didn’t care. He was hungry. Her farm looked abandoned. The doors on the dilapidated barn came off the hinges with little more than a pull. Inside there were an emaciated cow, two goats and a few chickens. Pathetic. Stefan balked when Ivan ordered him to search the attic—he was sure to break his neck if the stairs collapsed. But orders were orders. One bag of wormy grain. Wasted effort.Continue reading “Hunger by Shawn Eichman”
Show Off by Frederick K Foote – Contains adult language and themes.
On a balmy day in May, Betty Brown said to a joyous Black boy jiving around on Broadway, “Walk that walk, Boy. You know you sooo fine. You know I’m gonna make you mine. It’s just a matter of time.”Continue reading “Show Off by Frederick K Foote – Contains adult language and themes.”
The Executor by Barb Lundy
Emmet Emafo started his day running. Broken branches and shredded herbs told the story of the hail storm that woke him during the night. A thin mist still fell. A canvas of fall leaves swayed in trees. He became one with the morning light and shadow. The slap of his footfalls on the wet cement comforted him.Continue reading “The Executor by Barb Lundy”
Fake Teeth Yarn by Kiersen Clerkin
Listen officer, kids die all the time, you know. Trust me. And seventeen isn’t that young. But his blood tasted like mine, that was a surprise. So was his walk; wobble really. Monnie told me he needed a few more, “Get it girl,” that’s what she said, and she said it just like that, like her lips were dripping with sticky spit and she was slurping it back up. I couldn’t, not just then, couldn’t give him what he need.Continue reading “Fake Teeth Yarn by Kiersen Clerkin”
There’s No Bars in this Town by J Saler Drees
We were bored when we started drinking and bored when we got too drunk and bored when we stole Adee’s pickup and drove it down to the riverbank. What a joke. We laughed the whole way, that forced, bored kind that sounds like a fraud. How we mused, won’t this be funny when Adee gets off her shift and finds her truck gone.
Since no one ever locked their cars, or their doors, stealing came easy. Only problem in a town this small, you’d get caught. Didn’t matter. Stealing was more a game than a necessity, so catch us if you can, Adee.Continue reading “There’s No Bars in this Town by J Saler Drees”
some words ending in a sentence by Phill Doran
Hung: It would be wrong to say it was her favourite expression. Her favourite expression, my Mam, was “Hell’s Bells!”, which was short for “Hell’s bells and buckets of blood”. That was her idea of swearing. A jingle: just enough to keep a real swear word at bay.
When the real ones came, they were Dar’s, and they were like my brother, Davie, you know – thick, short, and fast.
So, no, “Be hung for a sheep as a lamb” was not her favourite phrase, but Mam said it a lot. It was shortened, but we somehow knew what she meant. Maybe the long of it had been explained to us once, or maybe we explained it to each other.
The sentiment was that if you are going to be hanged for stealing a small lamb, then you may as well steal a whole sheep. A jingle of wisdom passed down, like a pair of shoes. It was what families did then. They’d pass old sayings down the line, the blood line. They would settle, acting like silt, determining your depth.
It was hard to picture though. Where we lived there were no sheep. A lamb chop from the butcher’s maybe, that could be stolen, but I’d not have the courage. The butcher was a big man. Blood and blades were nothing to him.
No one ever corrected Mam’s grammar, not that I can recall. Hung it was.Continue reading “some words ending in a sentence by Phill Doran”