Martin Skyrelli draped a red cloth over the standing mirror in his house because he could not stand to stare at himself any longer, and he had been doing so for days. Before that, less. You’ll recognize his name. No stranger to public sin—Skyrelli was a corporate gouger who’d find small monopolies on life-saving products and charge enormous amounts to the desperate. Continue reading The Gouger by Eric Westerlind
Stan gets out, taps on the door, three distinct times. Continue reading Bingo Night, Part II by Vincent Zandri
“All I’m saying, Tony, is this. Those old people living out their days at the old folks home across the road got cash coming out the wazoo. They play bingo, they don’t play for small change. They got pots worth ten grand or more.” Continue reading Bingo Night, Part I by Vincent Zandri
“I am Ernesto Luis Cardeñia, Argentine poet, an early dreamer. I sit at the edge and describe. The planes beyond, believe me—the disjunct in time here is huge at the edge of man’s space, where the wildness has been made farm and the farm has been made city and the city is dead within. Ah, our amniotic tastes ruin it.
My blood is easy and loose. My death is easy. ‘Poet Ernesto Luis Cardeñia is charged with poetic research on the surface of Mars. He studies the dung beetle and the prisoner. His final poems are addled and incoherent as though he’d become rabid; as if something were devouring him. He wrote, autobiographically, this description of himself.’”
– Forward to Thus Follows the Course of Empire, by Ernesto Luis Cardeñia Continue reading ELC: The Universal Flood by Eric Westerlind
Money has a smell all its own. A flat scent of eager hands and disappointed dreams. Miriam loved the smell of cash. Not the flat crisp hundreds the ATMs spat out but the odor of well-worn bills. The battered twenties and tens that made their way through the club, eventually landing in piles on the corner of her desk. Continue reading GLASS CEILING by Frank Quinn
Will this be the one that gets me killed? I’ve asked myself this question no less than one hundred times before. I’ve also never given much thought to death, but now that I’m dead, I have all the time in the world to think about it. Continue reading My Blue Mistake by Brian Morse
Tara and Chris had rented the Amvets Hall for the wedding. The room’s sliding partition was closed for the event. On the other side of the accordion wall, a group of senior women were holding their weekly knitting club meeting. Continue reading Sanctuary! by J.M. Taylor
I followed her, having nowhere else to go. She was shining like a wax doll under the bus shelter lights, looking like she’d melt. I sat down next to her and lit a Marlboro, feeling the drops of rain crawl down my face like insects. Continue reading ROTHKO’S DAUGHTER by Richard Godwin.
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