Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flash Fiction by M.V. Montgomery


DREAM JOBS
 
housebreaker
 
I was a housebreaker, but definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time, a neighborhood get-together. All the residents were paying visits to one another. It took me awhile to catch on to this and to realize that the sooner I left, the better. I escaped onto a back porch, trying hard to conceal a couple of small items I had stolen. I was greeted immediately by an elderly lady who said, Oh, do you live here? I was just admiring your flowers. 
 
She painfully bent over to smell a rosebush near the porch, then asked me to show her around. So I started to take her into “my” home. From within came a friendly greeting: Hello, who’s there? 
 
He’ll show you around, I said, and fled quickly. 
 
 
beach clean-up
 
I am cleaning up a beach area, hosing off tables and umbrellas even though other workers stationed there do next to nothing. I am told by the manager, whom we all call “Mother,” to find a rake, which I do. It isn’t the best tool for the job because a fine mesh covers the sand. Only later, after scraping against the surface with the rake and accomplishing nothing, do I find another tool with plastic teeth like something used for cat litter. It pushes the sand back through the holes in the mesh. But then I press too hard and crack the handle. I am wearing sunglasses and a floppy hat: my late teen self. Next to the beach is a DJ stand where partiers wait impatiently for us to ready the area.
 
 
drifter
 
My partner and I were Depression-Era drifters traveling from town to town looking for any work we could find. We stopped at an open pit area, where our job was to get a box 1’ by 6”, fold it, label it with a number, then take it to the pit to fill with dirt. 
 
Once filled, each box became a brick in a wall designed to keep unwanted immigrants out. We decided to quit once we discovered this wall: twelve feet high, three feet thick, decorated with a large skull. 
 
 
angel in the house
 
Babysitting a young nephew. He was a toddler and acting up, apparently because he no longer fit well into his pants. So we went searching for another pair. 
 
Then I was trying to finish reading some essays by Virginia Woolf and needed to find a quiet place. A crowd of people were hanging out in the kitchen. I took my book, spotted a bottle of gin, and thought I would sneak both back to my room. But en route, there were so many stray dishes and glasses lying around that I couldn’t help becoming the Angel in the House and clearing them. 
 
 
preacher
 
I am a black preacher-civil rights leader dressed in a dark coat and a wide-brimmed hat. Coming out of an assembly, I lose sight of my driver. So I begin to walk the few miles home. 
 
It is a drizzly day, and I pause at a diner for shelter. There, I am accosted by a man wielding a knife who is on the verge of slashing me in the face. But the proprietress opens fire with a shotgun and the man’s head explodes over my clothes. 
 
 
not dressed
I arrive at my job as a factory janitor. The day shift still hasn’t left; the place is full of workers in a festive mood, singing and playing guitar. In one area is a line of short Hispanic ladies being judged in a beauty contest. A gruff foreman approaches and warns me I am improperly dressed for my shift. I tell him I have a change in the duffel bag I carry and proceed to get ready. Then I am handed a pay envelope with little doughnut stickers glued onto it to reflect all the bonus hours I have worked. But I have never been paid, and most of the rings have fallen off.
 
 
poor prof
 
Only a poor professor, I found myself on the verge of being driven to prostitution to pay for an operation for a friend. When a student heard of this, he wrote me a check for $15,560 to cover all costs. In return, I took a vow of chastity and swore to become a monk. Twenty years later, I had many followers. Some even tried to buy me out of my vow!
 
 
 
M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University. His short story collection Beyond the Pale will be released by Winter Goose Publishing in May 2013. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Flash Fiction by Denny E. Marshall


Fifteen Word Title

Gordon has just arrived. He finds a wireless Internet connection and surfs the web. He finds a website that has open calls for submissions, for a drabble contest called “Why aliens do not exists”. Gordon does not know what the term drabble means so he reads the guidelines. The guidelines say it is short story of exactly a hundred words. The title cannot be more then fifteen words. Hyphenated words count as one word. Gordon goes back to his spaceship and takes off. His thinking is, if they do not believe in me why bother writing a story for them.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flash Fiction by Steve Erdmann


Apophis Factor

“Do you come from a land down under? Where women glow and men plunder? Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover…” Land Down Under, song by Men at Work.
April 12, 2036: 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. The White House.

Jason Cornet, flanked by two Secret Service agents, briefcase marked Top Secret handcuffed to his wrist, was escorted into the oval office of the President of the United States. The Director of The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Jason opened the briefcase and presented the document titled “Beyond Stage Five: Final Deflection and Abortive Analysis/ Apo phis”.

The President, surrounded by equally important “Need to Know” dignitaries, pensively thumbed through the pages. After a lugubriously and intensely somber period of deep silence, he slowly raised his head to speak:
“Just recap the high points,” he requested in a blank stare of disbelief. The President had been under continuous counsel from multiple government and private sectors the day before and showed obvious signs of weariness and strain. Cornet, hands folded in front of his stomach, handcuffs now removed from his wrist, began in rote to recite the particulars:

“ 99942 Apo phis – discovered April, 2004, Class C asteroid - 25-million ton object – about the size of the Empire State Building - projected to pass within the 18,800 mile range next to earth tomorrow – has eluded analysis and procedure to become Code Name Public Enemy Number One.”
“My God, how can this be?” asked the President incredulously. Jason continued speaking; face viscerally drained and whitened, viscously hiding the terror within him:

“Multiple ‘Perfect Storm’ factors: previous passes to earth encountered universal hazards: Sun Spot activity – Solar Maxima – the worst in the history of mankind - insidiously decapitated accurate measurement of inflection in the keyhole – plus crash encounters with earth’s geosynchronous and communication satellites 22,000 to 30,000 miles out from earth in orbit; and, as you are aware, sir, the terrorist E-bomb attack over our country and in outer space last week; mega-devices greater than our GBU-31 or our MK-84 Form Flux Compress Generators ……….” The President, face rubescent and ruddled by a rush of blood, heart pounding almost audibly, cut him short: “Damage assessment!”
Jason, now becoming visibly nauseous, shifted his eyes to the side and back center again in an almost “I can’t believe this, but here we go” mode: “Equal ant to 65,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs, 9000 foot crater, 2.5 mile wide, 70-foot tsunami waves, millions of human beings killed and many more maimed or damaged, winds: 25 miles per hour over the globe, earthquakes in the 7.0 range – it will hit the earth at 11 miles per second; The Anatoly Perminov Parameter: the crust of the earth will be split from the North Sea to the Black Sea and create a new continent disfiguring Russia, Germany, Poland…..” With tears in his eyes, the President interrupted again, his Adams apple groped in pain: “Where will you be?”

Jason gave a penetrating, body-shaking sigh and announced: “With my family, sir. I would like to be with them if anywhere, sir; I have kept it secret from them.” The President solemnly and slowly nodded.
It was a beautiful spring day on the 13th of April, 2036: clear blue sky, 80-degree weather, the Cornet family selected a hillside and oak tree portrait that overlooked the blue-green forest and valley below, scent of wild flowers and the robust aromatic countryside in their nostrils. The sounds of wildlife and animals were suspiciously absent, however. They spread a picnic blanket and placed food before themselves. Three-year-old Phoebe Cornet played and chased her balloon until she became angry at its antics: she brought it to her father:

“Daddy, pop this balloon, I don’t like it anymore; it’s mean to me!”
 
 
Steve Erdmann, having spent a lifetime living and struggling in the ways and styles of a born and bred Midwestern, now wants to share the experiences of fellow St. Louisans and those of the Mississippi Basin. In the past, he has attended Washington and Webster Universities, and has written on the paranormal, and is highly concerned with the Divorce Racket and government conspiracies and has written for Our Sunday Visitor, Probe the Unknown, Liberty, Gnostica News, The Green Egg, Beyond Reality, Necrology Shorts, The UFO Enigma, UN-X Magazine and several others. He currently belongs to the Carondelet Historical Society. He can be reached through this editor or at dissenterdisinter@yahoo.com, independenterdmann@gmail.com or P.O. Box 18863, Maryville Gardens Station, St. Louis, Mo. 63118. You can become a Friend on his Facebook Timeline www.facebook.com/#!/stephen.erdmann1.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flash Fiction by Sarah Flint


The Time Witch and the Forgetting Wizard

‘You’re mischievous’ he said, putting his hand between her legs. In the corner of the Friday filled pub she laughed into his eyes and they made a date for a date. In the Friday filled pub he grinned at her keenness and sexy tights. ‘Up for some fun?’ she asked, rubbing against his long legs. She wanted to purr. She watched his hands. They aroused her.
 
Their grins were from Cheshire as they went through the orange and black night to his accommodating accommodation. ‘Just a bit of fun’, they told themselves. ‘We can have our cake and eat it’, they told themselves.
 
In the muddled bedroom they got naked, laughing. They had careless sex carefully. They kept their thoughts out of the room and their hands on each other. He watched his face and she smiled into his eyes. They delighted in their greed.
 
She saw the beginning and remembered the lopsided grin. He saw the middle and remembered the fun. They tucked away the hurt, disappointment and the betrayal under the pillow. She was a Time Witch - she could rewind time and stop it before it got to the painful end. He was a Wizard who could forget anything and everything.
 
But the feathers from the pillow escaped and tickled her nose and irritated her eyes. A huge sneeze blew away the pillow and the hurt and betrayal and disappointment came flying out. Time unwound to the bitter end. This was an out-of-date cake and they had no more spells to cast.
 
 
 
Sarah Flint is based in the south west of the Uk where she writes poetry and flash fiction that sometimes appears on the Web. (She hasn't the patience to write anything longer).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Flash Fiction by William G. Davies, Jr.



"No scoreboard, no electric, nothing. And they still charge ya'! Ya' believe that?!" The prematurely bald man said, looking ahead at the woman standing at the entrance behind a folding table.
The other man shrugged his shoulders.
"That's Jewel Fromme. Ya' know the striker's mom. What the hell's his number? The kid's a scoring machine." He said.
"Five."
"Yeah. That's it."
"Good evening gentlemen." Mrs. Fromme said.
"Fine player that number five, might have college potential, I mean college for sure. Just might include some soccer too." The other man said.
"Why thank you. Jim's a hard worker. Don't you live over on Salford Street? Mr.?"
"Bob Shutt. Bob please. Yep, 2034. Five years now."
"You keep a nice place Mr. Shutt, I mean Bob. I like those shutters. Are they real wood?"
"Yes they are, thank you. Thank you very much."
"That'll be three dollars each."
"Who's playin', the Barcelona Dragons? Ya's don't even have a scoreboard." The prematurely bald-headed man handed her a ten dollar bill.
The woman handed him back three singles and four quarters. "Sorry 'bout the change, enjoy the game."
The two men sat on the nearly empty bleachers.
"Freeze your goddamned ass off on these things too."
"That's a bitch 'bout her daughter." Bob said.
"What."
"Ya' didn't hear 'bout that? Her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Well, she was inna' coma awhile but died."
"How old was she?"
"I dunno', seventeen or somethin'."
The prematurely bald-headed man fingered the coins in his pocket.
A whistle sounded from the field, the game was about to begin.



William G. Davies, Jr. is 58 years old and considers himself a capable wordsmith.
He shares life with his wife of 38 years, Theresa.
William has published poems in Jellyfish Whispers and Pyrokinection
as well as the Cortland Review, The Blue Lyra Review and others.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Flash Fiction by Louis Marvin


Cold Cut Anger

Up pops a man from his ballgame. He is intent on having a salami sandwich. He gets to the refrigerator door, looks at the magnets and school lunch menu and family pictures and smiles.

Inside the refrigerator the familiar yellow pack is upside down. He pulls it out, turns it over, and his happiness is replaced with anger.

“What the fuck is this?”

It's bologna. And the bologna feels his anger.

“She knows I wanted salami.”

The bologna is smart enough to know that he is what he is. He cannot change himself into another cold cut, and he is in no way inferior to salami.

When the man looked in the pantry for liverwurst, and even handled the peanut butter, he could have latched onto this. But, his self esteem was intact.

He was at least out of the fridge. He looked at the man and saw him shrug. He went back to the fridge and got the bread and mustard.

Believe in yourself, even if they say you're bologna and they want something else.

Don't forget, bologna is good too.
 
 
Louis Marvin:  on this pacific island with chinese girls, born burbank, lived phoenix, loves the island teacher, coach, ex-soldier, writer/artist, tennis champion
 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Flash Fiction by Henry Brasater


LUNCH WITH MYSELF
                                                   
The undergraduate sipped his coffee at my table while I finished lunch in the Chestnut Village retirement community cafĂ©. After introductions and his apologies for asking to share my table because seating was at a premium, we talked nonstop about his uncertain future; his options, hopes and dreams. From the moment he sat down, I felt discomfort increasing until I realized that he reminded me of me at his age. I became speechless, remembering my dashed dreams and hopes; wondering if the same was in store for him. Suddenly, I was gripped with terror and became speechless. The last thing that I saw on earth was me, as last month’s attack revisited my heart.
 
 
 
Henry Brasater's stories appear in ezines,print magazines and anthologies and his latest ebook is "The Upheaval," published by DHG Press.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Flash Fiction by Lela Marie De La Garza


   TIMING

     Parker lay on the canvas for a full eight count before getting slowly to his feet. This was his last round. IF he didn’t knock Huxtable out now the fight was over for him. Swaying gently he worked out the logistics, then brought his left hand up, jabbed twice harmlessly, crossed it with the right that was still hard, still fast. His legs were going, his breath was gone—but Huxtable was down, and he stayed down.

     The bell rang. Parker felt his hand grabbed, held high. He felt his manager’s arms around him. Words came from far away: “Great fight…comeback…Wednesday week…Freeman Coliseum…Butterfly Joe…odds…”

     He managed to shake Flannigan off and stand up. “No. No more. I’m done.”

     “What!? But you never looked better. I’m telling you, this is your chance—“

     “I’m telling you it’s not. I had one fight, one round, one punch left. I used them up. That’s all there is. You think I want to end up like that?” He gestured toward the elderly creature approaching them.

     He was not quite walking, not quite staggering. A patch fitted over one eye. The nose had been broken so many times as to be only a blob in a crater of welts. Both ears were cobwebbed scar tissue. He came close enough to recognize Parker and began hurrying, in an erratic way, greeting them with a toothless grin. “Kid! You won! Used the combination I taught you.” His voice was a husky croak.

     “Yeah—it worked good.”

     “So when’s your next fight.”

     “No more.”

     The torn face was bewildered. “Whaddaya mean no more? You got a chance at the big stuff now.”

     “I keep telling him,” Flannigan said. “He don’t listen.”

     “There’s a time to fight,” Parker said calmly. “There’s a time to stop.” He put an arm around the old man’s shoulders. “Come on Pop. Now it’s time to go home.”



Lela Marie De La Garza was born in Denver CO. in 1943 while her father was serving in WWII. She curretly resides in San Antonio, TX with three and a half cats.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flash Fiction by Denny E. Marshall

 
Mice Of Mars


Chapter 1

The craft lands on a small grass field with several buildings. The hatch opens and the aliens explore the surrounding area. They see life forms moving about and head in their direction. They follow them into a small doorway in one of the buildings. Once they catch up to them, one of the aliens greets the life forms. The life forms are similar to the aliens in size and appearance thought the head and tail are different. The life forms they encounter are common mice.

Chapter 2


Soon the aliens and the mice are carrying on a dialog. The visitors from space and their new friends seemed to have a lot in common. Thou the mice lacked the communication skills that aliens have. All was going well until the aliens noticed a large giant walk by in the distant. The aliens are terrified of the giant. The mice seem quite cautious, though not fearful. They are “humans” the mice explain. The mice inform the aliens to keep a safe distance. Soon one of the mice runs by the human. You could hear a female human screaming and see her running away. The aliens are impressed by the control the mice have over the humans. The aliens even more impressed the next day when the humans lay out a large box of a meal.

Chapter 3


Later that night after the humans have fallen asleep, the mice and the aliens feed on the meal. The aliens stunned by the large size of the meal. The humans must really be scared of the mice. The aliens noticed the text on the meal box said warning. The aliens have no idea what warning is. Whatever it is, it is delicious and all the mice and aliens stuff themselves. After the meal, they enjoy some conversation. After that, the aliens are ready to depart. They thank their guests and promise to return. Then they make there way to the their craft. Soon the ship takes off into the night sky.

Chapter 4


It is not long into their return voyage when all aboard start to feel sick. The crew is having a hard time controlling the craft. The problems seem to multiply. They notice the uninhabited red planet they passed earlier and head straight towards it. They would have preferred an inhabited planet. The emergency landing did not go well. The good news they are still alive. The bad news the ship is heavily damaged and the entire crew is very sick. That night and the next few days all the crewmembers are dead except about a dozen. The surviving crew tries to make the best of situation. First, they adjust their breathing system to the atmosphere of the planet. Then gut the ship and make it into living quarters. They add rooms and buildings from the discarded materials gutted from the ship as the years go by. However, the crewmembers only lasted a few decades before they run out of food and water.

Chapter 5

(Four hundred years later.)
They can see the surface of Mars. The landing craft is slowly approaching. Soon they touch down. Captain Tanner will be the first human to touch the surface of Mars. Tanner walks down the landing stairs and cameras of all sorts are at the ready when the surface is touched. The sun is shining the horizon a reddish brown. After a celebration of walking around and jumping, Tanner notices a reflection off in the distance. The object is about hundred meters away to the north. From here, it looks like a shiny object she thought. As the rest of the crew arrives, the captain points out the object to them. The group slowly walks over to the area.

Chapter 6

Back on Earth, the news is everywhere. No matter the media, the story is the same. The headlines all over the world are the same. “Evidence of life found on Mars”
 
 
 
Denny E. Marshall has had poetry recently published and rejected.
 
 
 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flash Fiction by M.V. Montgomery


COLD HARD FLASH
 
 
the best western
 
Two supernatural gunfighters face off in an Old Western town.  Sundance is a vampire sheriff and Slim is a skeleton outlaw.  I want you out of town by sundown, Sundance says.  I want you out of town by sunrise, Slim says.  How about a drink before we get started? asks Sundance.  No, no rotgut for me, says Slim.
 
 
the bodyguards
 
My bodyguards met your bodyguards and everyone got along fine.  All the bodyguards wore their short-sleeve dress shirts with shoulder holsters and shiny wing-tipped shoes. 
 
Then my bodyguards and your bodyguards decided to play a game of softball.  Afterwards, there was beer, music, and a barbeque.  The bodyguards squinted at each other over their aviator sunglasses, teased each other, showed off their muscles, and bragged that their team was the strongest.  A good time was had by all! 
 
Don’t you think we should try to get our bodyguards together again soon?
 
 
the fake escape
 
Two members of a Swedish gang kidnap a young unmarried couple.  Grabbing their captives, they flee police by jumping from an impossibly high bridge onto a cargo ship. 
 
Later, the two criminals blend into the crowd in a foreign city, wearing yukatas, while the couple has escaped to the U.S. and is observed in a movie theatre, furtively embracing in the surreal glow from the screen.  All appear to have found safe asylum.
 
Surprise ending, title: They had all died in that initial plunge.  A shot of blanket-covered bodies on the deck of the slowly moving ship.  
 
Well, I did say “impossibly high,” didn’t I?
 
    
fish story
 
At a fine restaurant, while seated out on the patio, I surprised my date by suddenly getting up and jumping into the goldfish pond.  Then, since I was already soaking wet, I began splashing about and flapping my arms like fins.
 
Just stop it, she said.  Stop playing koi with me!
 
 
just not done
 
I don’t know about presumptuous, but it just seems downright unlucky to approach the captain of a cruise vessel and say, “Excuse me, sir, but what’s your cap size?”
 
 
my relations with the cat woman 
 
We had to be very careful, you see, because of my allergies.  Difficult, very difficult.  We had to kiss through tissue paper and avoid any direct contact with claws.  I confess that I am a little squeamish in that way.  And then I had to be careful not to say anything to send her spiraling into a hissy fit—yes, now, that’s a pretty kitty.
 
 
right in front
 
I tossed and turned.  I wasn’t getting any younger, and when had been my last doctor’s appointment?  I did a skin check and was startled by a hard lump right in front of my face.  But this turned out to be my nose. 
 
 
spying on the neighbors
 
Over the years, I have been observing an elderly neighbor couple on the circle.  Finally, I think my suspicions may be justified.  The woman has been spreading out as she ages, her shape billowing like a melting candle’s.  The man looks like he is being sucked dry, his clothes hanging loose and his pants barely staying up.
 
Could it be—that she has been slowly feeding on him?!
 
  
wrong order
 
Trying out a new Mexican seafood restaurant.  The host shows me to a table in a corner by the kitchen.  A businessman sitting nearby greets me with a slight nod, then buries his face again in his Journal.
 
Imagine my alarm when two waiters suddenly burst out of the kitchen wheeling a large manatee on a gurney!  They bump into the man’s table, sloshing saltwater onto the fine linen tablecloth.  Outraged, the businessman tells them, I said, bring me a large MARTINI
 
 
 
 
M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University.  His short story collection Beyond the Pale will be released by Winter Goose Publishing in May 2013.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Flash Fiction by Anthony Ward


Playing On My Mind
 
“Did I tell you about the time I sneezed into a load of cocaine? I was with my girlfriend at this party thrown by one of her artist friends and they brought out this whole wad of cocaine. They were passing it around, and when it came to me I held it in my hands, just to take a look at it, I wasn’t gonna...anyway, I sneezed all over it and it went everywhere. They went hysterical and I was in hysterics. I got a much better high than they ever did I can tell you.”

He was describing a scene from Annie Hall. I’m not the biggest movie buff but I’ve seen one or two movies—so, evidently, had Bernie.

He used to tell us these stories and we would listen to them with great interest, not because we thought they were true, but because we couldn’t help but be intrigued by the fact Bernie thought they were true.

Did he think they were? I remember the first time I met him, he told me the story of when he and three of his friends went off in search of a dead body. How they had to outrun a train and fend off some older boys with a gun he’d stolen from his father’s cabinet. Of course I recognised what movie it was straight away.

“Stand by Me.” I said. “I’ve seen it about a dozen times.”

Bernie looked at me as if I had said something incomprehensible.

“Seen what?” he asked looking at me like the stranger I was.

“The movie, Stand by Me. That’s...” I paused, uncertain of why this appeared awkward.

“Huh,” he shrugged, and then went on to tell me about the time he ate fifty eggs.

There are people, I’m sure, that can convince themselves they have lived a life they have not lived. Most of us like to think we are something more than we are. Some have been there done that without having to prove it to anyone. There have been times I might confess to having put myself in a film, especially those staring Natalie Portman, or where I get to take out my angst on the worlds ignorant, but I wouldn’t tell others these things as if they’d actually happened. We all like to indulge our fantasies and escape the mundane reality of our lives, but we don’t expect to live there in reality. Not like Bernie.

Bernie had an antiquated look about him. A look that said he could have known Huckleberry Finn and we’d have believed him. When you spoke to him it was like going to one of those drive thru’s where you speak into a box and you find yourself anticipating the delayed response, replying to you as if you weren’t there—as if answering a memory.

He described the time when he was stood on top of a yellow truck screaming into the abyss, pouring with rain. I recognised the scene immediately, and before I could return from the thought, it had encapsulated me. I found myself standing on that truck too screaming into the abyss.

“That didn’t happen! You’re stealing my scenes. You can live in your movies as long they don’t involve her.” I said.

One day he told me a story so incredulous it could only have come from a movie. But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what that movie was. What movie was it? Had I seen it?

I found myself scouring the internet. Searching for new movies I hadn’t seen, old movies I’d never heard of. I was determined to figure it out, as if trying to discern the reality, but nothing fit the description.

Did it actually happen? Was it actually real? What did it matter to me?
 
 
Anthony Ward tends to fidget with his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including The Faircloth Review, Drunk Monkeys, Jellyfish Whispers, Turbulence, Underground, The Autumn Sound, Torrid Literature Journal and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flash Fiction by Roo Bardookie


Murder in The Bush, Mist in The Air

          The lighthouse keeper saw it, but didn’t know what he saw.  Then in the ½ hour just before his true vigil, as he trained his eyes to go from the near dark to true dark, he saw some folks by the bathrooms, by the bushes.  It was the last time he saw two of them.
          The waves crash at this beach park, across from Sea Life Park, like the opening to the original Dark Shadows.  The crush here of water on rock is the dark symphony.
          He couldn’t talk the younger, weaker man into fucking or dick sucking.  So he went for the rape, only a rape, only a sodomy and breaking and entering his person.
“But damn him!”
“Damn him.”
          He would later tell the officers, the jury, the cell mates and God, that it was his fault for yelling no.  No infuriated him.
          He cracked him upside the head, fucked him, and choked him with a belt.
          In the sea salt air, it did not take long for a body to decompose.
          This was why the lighthouse keeper only saw one person leaving the bushes, by the bathrooms at the ocean park, across from Sea Life Park.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Flash Fiction by Davis S. Pointer


Penosaurus

     Binary code stampede. Fiscal Cliff rescue. Buffalo grass, spirit world lap tops and national park museum concrete on the way. Pond water canteens filled with liquid gold flown off to gated community safe havens. I. II. III. The record producer told the poets that they were creating art that nobody wanted. Double candle lamps working triple shifts. The table of contents contained no Thanksgiving dinners or monetary compensation. At the bottom of the Fiscal Cliffs, writing and non-life inks on.



David S. Pointer has recent acceptances at “Stone Canoe,” Rattle,” and Mad Rush.” He writes from Murfreesboro, TN.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Flash Fictin by Jim Meirose


The Call                                                                                


It’s four a.m. and I’m in the office.  Haven’t been home for seventy two hours; big project at work. Need to call home. Oh, she knows I’m at work. It’s just I haven’t called in and have been here much longer than expected. Need to call home now.
Here’s a phone. The buttons are small. I put in the numbers—damn, I screw it up—I put in the numbers again, and—damn, I screw it up again. This phone is just too small and hard to use. For some reason it won’t let me use it. It doesn’t want me to get through. My fingers turn all thumbs when I go to dial it. God damn it—I will find another phone.
Run downstairs and around the corner—go down the stairwell—there’s an executive area there.  It is 4 a.m. No one will be there. I go to the secretary’s station—there’s a phone—but it has no buttons! When I pick it up, a voice says Yes?
I need to call home—I need to call home now—
Please provide your passcode or the last four numbers of your social.
I blurt out the last four letters of my social—who the hell has a passcode—
Connecting, says the voice.
Silence.
Connecting? Connecting to what? I have not given my phone number.  This is useless. I slam it down. I run through a long corridor to an area where there are many cardboard boxes stacked.  There’s a phone there—a dial phone—with a lock on it! There are many cubicles—many desks—many phones. I pick one up. There’s a dial tone—and I try to type in my home number but I have the same problem I had with the first phone—I can’t dial right—the keys are too tiny for my sausage like fingers.  Time is passing—she’s angry, I know she’s angry.
Frustrated, tired of all this, I step into the living room.
She is going out the front door onto the porch naked, for all to see.
She is going to humiliate herself. I call out to her.
No—don’t go out on the porch naked—
It’s wrong to go out on the porch naked—
I will call—you will see!
You will see—
She goes out on the porch naked and bends over to fold some clothes she has laid out there. No! I cry—but she seems not to hear me. The sun beats down. I may as well not be there. I am not there, I tell myself—this is not happening—and at last my phone call goes through. I am leaning on a grey filing cabinet in a room teeming with people. I know she is on the phone but the din of the people makes it pointless.  I yell I’ll be home soon and she says something I can’t make out—and I hang up, all impotent, turning a dark grey inside.

Jim Meirose's work has appeared in numerous journals, including the Fiddlehead, Witness, Alaska Quarterly review, and Xavier Review, and has been  nominated for several awards. Two collections of his short work have been published and his novel, "Claire", is available from Amazon.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Flash Fiction by Mark Hudson

A real tough librarian


I went to the Skokie library with my friend Chris.

I live in Evanston, but heard the Skokie library is nice.

It has a really wide selection of books.

I strolled through the aisles amazed at the selection.

I picked out an art book, and a book on castles

for a giant painting I'm working on. Then we

went to check the books out. There was a man

ahead of us. Sounded like he was checking out

travel DVDS for his wife. The man said to the

teenage male librarian, "My wife can watch these

while I watch football." The librarian said,

"I would personally rather watch hockey."

The man said, "Oh, I hate hockey!" and walked off.

We got to the front. I started checking out books.

Chris began to talk to the librarian about hockey.

The librarian said, "Yes, sometimes in the winter

I go to Michigan and play ice hockey. I like it

because you get to hit somebody." I never

heard of a tough librarian. On the way out,

my friend Chris said, "I was about to yell at

that old man. How can you put down hockey?"

I was just glad to get my books. But I've

had them a week and I've barely looked at them.

Too bad the hockey players are on strike.

And too bad my tv only gets like two channels.

Guess I'll have to keep reading and writing.
 
 
 
Mark Hudson is a published poet, and 2012 has been his most successful year.  He had two poems published in Reckless Writing, five poems published in creature features, one poem published on-line by A.J. Huffman, his poems can be found on-line at Illinoispoets.org and baseballbard.com.
 
 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Flash Fiction by April Salzano

Assault by Baby

            “Omg! This lady behind me in line at Starbucks just hit me with her baby!” I text my friend. This is one of those you’re-so-not-going-to-believe-this messages. Such things are urgent, ephemeral, and often require an ignoring of the rules, such as signs that read We will gladly take your order when you are finished with your phone call with the picture of the only available picture of a cell phone in the click art program, the archaic flip phone inside a circle with a red diagonal line through it, indicating something serious like contraband.
            If she’s done it once, she’s done it four more times by the time I get a reply: “what? like wielding her baby like a baseball bat and hitting you with it?”
            “No, but that’s damned funny too. This baby she’s assaulting me with hasn’t even been born yet. She’s pregnant.” I hit send then continue with a new message. “Obviously her depth perception is off. I mean, I know it’s a hard load to bear and she probably can’t even see her feet she’s so big, but surely she can see me?! I’m waitin for my latte and she just.keeps.bumping.me with her damn baby!” Send. “I’m gettin pissed! I’m gonna slap her!”
            “Let me get this straight. u are pissed at a fetus?”
            “Lofl. Well, sorta. I mean, it’s not the kid’s fault its mother needs a decaf latte so bad she’s willing to knock patrons out to get it.”
            “U sure she’s gettin decaf?”
            “Well, no. Should I ask her??”
            “Eff that! She’ll probably go into labor and you’ll never get your latte. And you obviously need one if you are contemplating kicking a pregnant woman’s ass.”
            “Good point. Ttyl.”



April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is working on her first (several) poetry collections and an autobiographical work on raising a child with Autism. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspiration, Deadsnakes, The Rainbow Rose and other online and print journals and is forthcoming in Inclement, Poetry Quarterly and Bluestem.