A warm breeze swept along the water as the old lady and her hulking adult son wheeled the food cart onto the river path. A puff of steam rose from the cauldron as the old woman removed a sweaty lid and stirred the broth. Her gigantic son set up a folding table, and carefully organized several rows of empty paper cups. She ladled the hot soup into the small receptacles, and said a prayer. Continue reading All That Nighttime By Morgan Boyd
Keshav Singh was convinced that katars would be suitable for the task. Brass knuckles; kubatons; switchblades would not do the trick. On the other hand stilettos, karambits, or combat knives perhaps performed the job too well. Though they did not exactly fall under the category of “concealed,” he believed he had found the perfect compromise – a hybrid of stealth and functionality. The Singh family katars, rumored to date back hundreds of years to the Mughal Empire, would not only enable them to die with style, but it would be poetic due to ancestral support. Continue reading Mosh Pit Massacre by Dustin He
Gwyneth! Can you hear them, Gwyneth! Can you hear them scratching? They are so close, Gwyneth, and when they arrive, as they surely will, they will tear us into tiny pieces! That scratching, that scratching, THAT SCRATCHING below us is THEM! The plants! They’re coming for us! They are downstairs, right now, pushing through doors and walls. They have found the neighbors! The friendly, old couple, the Rothschilds, with the dog, they’re being eaten, right now, as we speak. The plants are tearing their arms and legs from their bodies and wrapping them with their branches and sucking them dry with their roots or dissolving them in the juices of their leaves. Continue reading Gwyneth by Matt Lang
At 9pm the tiny red led light on Deuce’s answer machine flares up & the machine goes beeeep but Deuce don’t reach for the phone he just lets it run. He’s lying smacked out his skull on the bed in his 2nd floor flat wearing just his leather bike trousers. The teevee screen is flickering silently. He hears the machine whir into action & his own voice go I ain’t here, leave a message an keep it brief. He reaches over the pink haired Candy lying next to him & gets a roll a notes out the drawer in the bedside table, hands her the 500 & tells her okay now get the fuck outta here I got business to see to. All Candy replies with is you’re a pig as she gets up & pulls on her sparkly short silver dress. She fumbles about the room saying she can’t find her shoes. Deuce waits silently until she finds her sling-back stilettos under the sofa & tells her again: get the fuck outta here will yer? She throws her handbag over her shoulder & gives him the finger & says sure thing shit-for-brains as she slams the door behind her. Her footsteps fade away along the hall & down stairs. It’s Garry Barracuda on the line & he shouts frantically down the phone jeez where you at, softlad? Get yrself over here it’s time to fuckin rock n roll. Continue reading The Savage City by u.v.ray
“I’m not going to tell you what it is,” Jessica said into her phone. “You’ll just have to see for yourself.”
She slipped her credit card back in her wallet and mouthed a ‘thank you’ to the girl behind the counter. The clerk was the same age as Jessica but gothed up in a black tee, black nails and sleeves on both arms.
“I love your ink,” she said as Jessica turned to go. “It’s tre cool.”
Jessica threw the girl a wave and shouldered her way out the glass door and into the lingering heat of the summer afternoon.
“When do I get to see it?” Chris asked. “Is it someplace that’s going to be fun to find?” he asked the question with a certain lasciviousness in his voice.
Jessica laughed. “Maybe,” drawing out the word in a tease. “That is if you’re nice when you get home.” She turned north along Main street passing a glass fronted hamburger joint and an antique furniture store where a set of silver bar stools and a wooden zebra squatted in the long shadows of the sinking August sun.
“When’s your flight arrive?” she asked.
“Tomorrow. By noon,” he said. “Two if there’s a delay.”
Jessica’s phone buzzed in her hand. She glanced at the screen and saw she had a text:
I C U
Love the pink tee
I can C your nips
Jessica froze, unconsciously raising an arm to cover her breasts. She glanced down and saw her nipples were indeed raised, pressing against the thin material of the pink tee shirt. The creep who inked her must have sent the message. The guy had a look about him. It was freezing inside the shop. He probably kept the A/C cranked so women’s nipples would pop up. Well, she wasn’t going to stand around and be a victim.
“Hello? You still there?” Chris asked.
“What?….Yeah, yeah. I’m still here,” she stumbled. Traffic stopped at the light began to roll slowly past. “Hey, I gotta go,” she said. “Call me when you check in at the airport, okay?”
“Sure babe. Can’t wait to see the new tat.”
Jessica spun and marched back to the tattoo parlor. She was going to give that pervert a piece of her mind. Stepping up to the plate glass window she realized it couldn’t have been the tatto guy who texted her. He was deeply involved with a customer. The tatoo guy’s greasy yellow hair was pulled into a tight pony and he leaned over a man’s back, pen in hand, thick glasses propped on his nose.
Jessica watched for several seconds before he finally pulled away to adjust his equipment. She could tell from the casual nod he gave her that he had nothing to do with the text.
It had to be the girl. Yeah, that was it. The receptionist chick had her cell number on the receipt. The little dyke was getting her jollies sending creepy texts. But not today bitch, not today.
Jessica flung open the door and stomped in. “I didn’t appreciate your text,” she growled.
The girl looked up from a magazine staring at Jessica’s accusing finger. She glanced over her shoulder then back at Jessica. “Are you talking to me?”
“Hell yes, I’m talking to you. I didn’t appreciate your little text. It’s not funny and I’m not going to be coming back to this parlor.” The girl stared, open-mouthed, as Jessica turned and stomped out the door.
Feeling rather self-satisfied at having stood up to a jerk, Jessica crawled into her Toyota and headed for home. Traffic was light, for a Saturday afternoon, and she didn’t feel much like cooking. At the last moment, she swung into a Walmart parking lot to pick up dinner from the deli and some cat food for Mr.Kelly.
Jessica slid out of her car and was halfway across the parking lot when her phone chimed: Continue reading UNKNOWN NUMBER By Frank Quinn
Hello folks, step right in here. I’ll take care of you. Are you looking for anything in particular today? Got your hearts set on a certain model, or would you like some help choosing? Continue reading Upsell off I-94 by Simon Pinkerton
Krissy swerved back into her lane and shot a futile glare at the oncoming convertible as it whizzed past. Continue reading The Dashboard Dreamcatcher by Kimmy Dee
The wizard arrived Tuesday with the new tide.
That is to say, something floated in: a medley of zigzags and straight lines, vaguely coffin-shaped. Continue reading Decrypting the Wizard By Alex S. Johnson
You came home after the gig with the treble still ringing in your head, the screams of the roaring crowd—your fans. You went right to the kitchen and opened the fridge door; the light lit up the stainless steel space like an open backstage door lighting up an alley at night. In the freezer there was a bottle of Bombay Sapphire so you took it out, uncapped it, and took a swig of the slippery juniper.
Pretty soon, you were lighting candles in your loft—shadows stark against the white walls. Then you sat down on your white suede loveseat. You lit a Gauloise with one of the candles, and while you smoked you took out your rose straight-shooter from the coffee table drawer. From your cargo shorts you pulled out a crunched ball of aluminum foil—hits that Jimmy the bassist gave you, flecks of sea salt, slightly beige on white—and you dropped a few into the brillo end of the pipe, milking it over the candle flame; then you took a pull, exhaled, and sat back to take in the coast. Continue reading The Fountain by Adam Kelly Morton
I’m the Ural owl. I haunt and possess you. If you see me in your dreams, you’re a dead human, a rotting corpse.