PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN CONSIDERED by Steve Wheeler

Back when Syd Barrett led Pink Floyd , the band recorded its first album at Abbey Road Studios at the same time as The Beatles recorded Sergeant Pepper’s there and The Pretty Things were recording S F Sorrow. They called it, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
Flash forward to this century and a habit I picked up in Amsterdam and can’t seem to shake. The habit is listening to the World Service on the radio all night. It’s the CBC All Night Radio here, the BBC World Service there (I think). A lot of countries contribute reports to the World Service. I don’t really understand how it works but there’s nothing quite like laying snug in your bed, free to fall asleep or listen to Holland, Sweden, Korea or Poland talk about their news. For instance, the other night there was a report from somewhere near Alice Springs, Australia about a race they held between honey bees and homing pigeons. The bees won.
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Last Days to Nowhere by Jason Duke

The road winds and passes through the mountains of the High Mohave Desert. I see white wooden crosses along the side, etched or painted with names of car accident fatalities. Multi-hued flower wreaths and ribbons adorn the crosses, colorful and bright, signed by loved ones and strangers alike. Hundreds of people died along this road. There are only a handful of crosses.

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An Interview With Jason Duke

By Jason Michel

Jason Duke writes hard, truthful stories. He should do. He’s seen more carnage than the average pen/pun-pusher. Than you or me. I was lucky enough to interview him.

Q1: Hey Jason! Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Tell us a little about Jason Duke.

I’m from Phoenix, but I grew up in San Diego. Got into all kinds of trouble as a kid, drugs, gangs, shit like that. I dropped out of high school, earned a GED. It Continue reading

Suture by Nigel Bird

Pony cleared the dust and looked at his reflection. It was none too pretty.

The smaller cuts might heal on their own, leaving only the biggest to deal with.

The mere idea of touching it made him feel faint. He consoled himself by reducing the number of sutures he’d insert.

A doctor, he decided, might use six to do a neat job, but even a doctor might miss a few if working alone.

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Before It Dies by Benjamin Imamovic

It will stop the stretch-marks and give you a chance to bond with the little one, his wife said and passed him a bottle of coconut oil. He turned off the TV. He said, Sure, I’ll give it a go. He knelt on the floor before her. At first his wife’s stomach was half a beach-ball, then a swallowed balloon, then a watermelon, then his childhood dreams. He kept at it and said, Nice. After she gave birth, he oiled that stomach, when Continue reading

I Didn’t Say That Did I –July 2010. Book Reviews.

Long Time Dead by Tony Black.

In Tony Black’s Long Time Dead , journalist turned reluctant private investigator Gus Dury is in the gutter again but he’s still looking at the stars, albeit through the bottom of a bottle of whisky.

Long Time Dead starts off with Gus waking up in hospital, after a particularly prolific drinking session, and being told that he’s close to knocking on heaven’s door. Gus, of Continue reading

My Muse Plays Hard to Get by Kevin Lynn Helmick

I’m usually reluctant to talk about my muse, (in fact he doesn’t like it,) but he gave me a pass here, a nod, and said, “sure, go ahead.”

He’s been quite the backseat driver lately, maybe even moved up to shotgun. In the past he’s been more like the road weary hitchhiker, leaning forward once in while just to say, “turn here…slow down,” and keeping me in the dark, on edge, guessing if my throat would be cut and I, left for dead in a ditch around the next corner.

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The Wild Country by David Massengill

“A ghost, you say,” Luc said in an uninterested voice, “with a tree branch where an arm should be.”  He wished the motel owner would just shut up and leave him alone with this lovely young woman.  But the old man remained in the doorway of Luc’s sparsely decorated, wood-paneled room, droning on about the malicious phantom while his daughter, Penny, changed the bedding.

“Long before he haunted this patch of desert,” the motel owner said, “he was a decent young man.  Name was Vince Renton.  Worked as a mechanic.  Then he went over to Vietnam and did some awful things to them Vietnamese civilians and lost his arm.  He came back and Continue reading

Death of a Jedi by Andrew Bowen

Mr. Kepler, the CPR instructor, offered Jana a laminated card and patted her on the shoulder. “Well done. And remember, recertification is every two years.”

“Thanks,” she said and slid the card into her cargo pocket.

Her stomach fluttered as her best friend, Harrison, met her at the door. “All set?”

The class bell rang.

“Yeah.”

Harrison opened the door. “Come on. I’ve got a surprise.”

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THE ARGUMENT BUNNY By Ian Ayris

Mr Archibald Lever was a modest man. Unassuming, even. He had the semi-detached house, the two point four children, the Nissan Micra. He was a thirty-year man at the bank, a job he’d had since he’d left school, and he had a dutiful wife by the name of Audrey.

He was happy. Pretty much.

But something bubbled within him, something dangerous, something ugly. A Continue reading

Abiding With A Dudeist ~ by Rev. Ed Churchman

“The Stranger: The Dude abides. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there. The Dude. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals.”

Once Upon A Time there was a film by the Coen Brothers called The Big Lebowski. It was a film about friendship, bowling, White Russians, vaginas, a girl named Bunny who’ll suck your cock for 1000$ , nihilists, a marmot, rolling on the Shabbas, I Am The Walrus, a ringer, a Special Lady & an iconic figure named The Dude. Some loved it. Some hated it. A lot of people really loved it. & so Lo! & Behold! Dudeism was born. Uh, excuse me, what day is this? What is Dudeism exactly?

Rev. Ed Churchman is here to explain what Dudeism means to him.

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I Let A Man Live by Dan Tracy,

Back in 1979 I lived in Bridgeport , Connecticut and worked the second shift, 3-11 in Norwalk , Connecticut . I took the train everyday to and from work. It took me approximately 20 minutes to walk from the East Norwalk station to work and 20 minutes from the Bridgeport station to home.

One night on my way home from the Bridgeport station two guys walked up to me and asked for some change. As I reached into my pocket one of the guys steps behind me, gets on all fours and Continue reading