Spraypaint on Granite by Thomas Shea

I had just sprayed some swastikas on my father’s shiny new headstone, and was two letters into a nice double-underlined “BURN IN HELL, NAZI” when I saw her.

Her flowing white dress fairly glowed in the full moon’s light. Her skin and hair were so dark, the way she walked so light and graceful, that my first thought was “ghost”.  But disembodied spirits don’t usually carry duffel bags, or pause their spectral wanderings to shift the straps awkwardly.  Having more to fear from the living than the dead, I swung behind dad’s elaborate (now slightly moreso) stone, and hid.

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Summoning the Toads by Matthew Roy Davey

The Mooney woman taught him how to do it.  She was forbidden to be on the premises, but she called Alfie over one day when he was playing near the fence that bordered the lane.  The call was a high fluttering whistle, dancing like a mountain stream.  He had been building a den from old branches and bracken when he heard, and though he knew from whence came the sound, he was drawn there as though to a trove of sweets.

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East Wind by Frederick K Foote


“Goddam, son-of-a-bitch, get the hell away from me. Buzzin in my ears like a damn mosquito, trying to drop ticks and vermin down my collar or in my boots. Damn you, to hell.”

The earplugs are workin, but I need earmuffs too. I feel like a damn astronaut, duct tape around my pant legs and boots and gloves and coat sleeves, dust mask over my mouth and nose, muffler around my neck, goggles strapped to my face and this heavy jacket, two pairs of pants and my wool watch cap. I can barely walk.  Continue reading