On the west side of Toronto there’s a little town of about 600,000 called Mississauga. That’s where Julia Madeleine lives and works and writes nasty little tales of mayhem and suspense. She’s also a tattoo artist and runs a shop with her husband. You can check out her artwork at www.malefictattoos.com.
Driving a cab teaches you to cultivate your inner asshole. Especially at night. I drove a taxi for the Prometheus Cab Co. for four years in Fayetteville. Despite uneven pay it remains one of the best jobs I ever had. I quit when I got engaged to a tall blonde Texan party girl I’d known and chased for years at that point, who was stuck in a halfway house in Tulsa and said she wanted to move to a place where she could kick back and play her guitar. I suggested Eureka Springs and she said yes, so I quit the job and moved. Continue reading
By Paul D Brazill
Billy Karlsson is a disgruntled hospital porter; an urban Raskolinikov; an existentialist powder keg waiting to explode. An angry young man who has hatched a plan to blow up a hospital in order to vent his revenge on the world. But there are one or two obsticles in his way, the biggest being that he isn’t real. Karlsson is, in fact, a charcter in a long-shelved, unfinished, black novel by writer Declan Burke.
A smashing, crunching of wood woke Bryn from his afternoon nap. He jumped to the window and rattled the net curtain. The door across the street had been demolished. Six officers, heavily booted and uniformed piled into the house.
“Druggies across the street being raided,” he called to his wife.
“That’s nice dear,” she said, her head not moving from her laptop screen.
“Six of them, police, piling in.”
He watched them fly up the stairs, the door half hanging from its hinges. “Get the bastards,” he muttered. They’d been nothing but trouble, that lot. Rented house, that’s what the problem was. This wasn’t that sort of area. Parties at night, comings and goings at all hours. They were nothing but trouble.
Harry Bales heard the slap of the newspaper on his doorstep as the paper boy cycled by. Whistling cheerfully, he went out to get it.
It was a placid early summer day. A light breeze ruffled the tops of the sycamore trees up and down the street. Bales picked up the newspaper, glanced at the top half of the front page. More dead soldiers in Iraq. More lay-offs from major corporations. More salmonella in canned goods.
He nodded, comforted by the predictability of the news. He started back into the house, flipping the paper over to see the bottom half.
He stopped cold in his doorway.
A photograph took up most of the space at the bottom of the paper’s front page. It showed a man with thinning hair, a pleasant but slightly crooked nose, an unassuming mouth. The caption under the photo read: Harold J. Bales, 36 years old, Complete and Total Bastard.
He stared at it for a long moment.
I am immersed in the sepia shot of memory.
Maple Summer and the slow lawns drenched in water. They soak the thick blades of grass and make you drowsy in the heat. The air is full of sap. Fluids breed. Drop by drop the water falls, saturating the drooping petals that want to rise with dawn’s tumescence. The lawns extend to the river that uncoils like a fettered snake beyond human harness and the things we keep at bay in daylight but not the night, never the night, for it knows.