Featured Stories

Girl Next Door

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After racing stop signs jutting from small town Texas school buses dull in pre-dawn’s sunray deprivation, I park where we used to play. Tossing basketballs into a net without a backboard, occasionally one would volley next door where my friend’s dying heart was pushed by an electric wheelchair and a young shaking hand. A teenage boy dying from ataxia, the …

October 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

The Forensic Dry Cleaners of Murray Hill

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Seven a.m. in Manhattan, and I have a full week of meetings looming ahead of me. Latte in hand, I take my Hillary Clintonesque navy pantsuit into the dry cleaning shop next to my hotel. “Just a pressing,” I say to the olive-skinned woman behind the counter. She is dressed head to toe in black, a shawl embroidered with threads …

October 6, 2018 :: 0 comments

The Silence of Slow Time

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He is crouching on the grass behind a bush, out of wind. Only a few feet away he hears the growling of a tiger. He holds his breath until his lungs almost burst, cautiously letting the air seep out of his lungs. The tiger lingers, but then seems to stroll away. It doesn’t matter what we call this being. He …

September 29, 2018 :: 0 comments

Contributed Stories (Past Year)

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50/50

by on January 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

Springtime we used to drink mostly in our favorite joint 50/50, anywhere closer was dangerous cuz cops might appear at any time. Our guys drank Three Axes, cheap rotgut, and talked, especially sport and politics. Sometimes they went out to take a leak and some of them never came back. On that very evening I got loaded. As usual. All …

A Digital Copy

by on July 28, 2018 :: 0 comments

This article first appeared in the Portland Press-Herald on February 8, 2046 Milton Schaefer of Portland was the first American to have a digital copy of his mind implanted into a robot. Schaefer, who had been in ill health, started going to Eternity, Inc. in Freeport last July. At Eternity, Inc. technicians were able to make copy the contents of …

A Foreshadowing on the Avenue

by on June 30, 2018 :: 0 comments

It was snowing lightly that mid February morning as I prepared for my hike up a slippery Greenwich Avenue. It was Sunday, a special Sunday. My eighth grade class was gathering for Mass, followed by a pancake breakfast prepared by our parish priests, Monsignor Brannigan and Father Prizzi. My class had recently achieved statewide recognition for our accomplishments in arithmetic …

A Light That Called His Name

by on June 17, 2018 :: 1 comment

Through a hollow darkness the Cherokee son traveled. He looked up to see a moon riding the skies and stars galloping across the heavens. Carrying the searching song of his soul, he journeyed on until he came to a mountain that he looked through to see another world beckoning. This was the world that held the spirits of all things. …

A Wind-Bent Daffodil

by on September 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

He asks me to count to ten. I am lying in a bare and chilly room on a very high and narrow bed, which he helps me to mount with the aid of a few steps. I’m wearing a pair of feather-light slippers. He looks so ridiculous in his green cap, a strange color for such a muscular man who …

Actuality

by on December 16, 2017 :: 0 comments

Griffin liked to arrive early enough to cruise by the parking lot until a 15-minutes-only space opened. There, he would sit in the car for half an hour, rearview mirror tilted at the coffee shop. The seat belt could be undone in an instant, but first impressions couldn’t. He’d know her when she arrived, but the women rarely embodied their …

Antimatter Chitter-Chatter

by on August 18, 2018 :: 0 comments

Why are we matter and not antimatter, or are we the latter and think that we’re not? Brought into contact the one with the other, the two would annihilate right on the spot. Opposites attract— some do— but in this case, it isn’t true; for in that mirror image clash the counterparts destroy their doppelgangers in a flash and thus …

Basic Needs

by on March 3, 2018 :: 0 comments

~1~ You know exactly what it feels like when you really need to pee. And you can’t get to a bathroom fast enough. I have found myself in that situation far too many times. But the time that was perhaps the worst was when I arrived at a crowded party, headed right to the bathroom, and found a line of …

Between You, Me, and The Devil

by on May 19, 2018 :: 0 comments

We got this one sayin’ — really a lotta sayins up here, but my personal favorite is: “hell ain’t worth a damn ‘less you know why you’re damned.” I ain’t paraphrasin’ neither. We don’t have no time for paraphrasin’ up here. That’s right, you’ll find out soon, once you too get damned. Hell is actually above all you regular type …

BLACK ROOMS

by on September 1, 2018 :: 0 comments

I was in a considerable state of nervous overload when the Black Rooms made their first appearance in my young life. That life had been one of panic and slip sliding instability. Evictions again and again from a long succession of scabrous hovels the merest step from wretched homelessness. All of them grotesquely filled with gobbling monstrous ghouls. Such places …

Bringing Up Little Beasties

by on June 23, 2018 :: 0 comments

Hello, everybody! Great to see you. I guess you can tell by looking that I am a geezer, a crank, a codger, an old fart – as well as a wizened wise man in an age that can’t tell wisdom from information. After making that profound remark, I’m going in another direction. I know what information is but don’t have …

Cubie’s Corner

by on December 30, 2017 :: 0 comments

Cubie sat at his COSTCO-purchased, black leather folding card table. He began pondering the possibilities of another short work. He was lucky because he sold a crime novel of 38 chapters, and the sale brought him some free time for writing. I’m playing with the devil, though, and soon my luck will run out. The devil of luck with the …

Dark Matter Matters

by on January 20, 2018 :: 0 comments

Dark matter seems to be what isn’t there to be seen in between what we see. They dub it dark since you cannot detect it, nor can they inspect it with telescopy. Yet, while it can’t be descried, it cannot be denied for equations that irk to work. Should dark matter matter, would dark matter matter a titter or twitter, …

Donald Peterson

by on September 22, 2018 :: 0 comments

There was a long stopover from the American Airlines flight from Seattle to Cleveland. She wore a loose fitting dress with tiny birds seeming to fly off into the distance. Lucy disembarked with old carryon baggage coming apart at the seams. She made sure her name was visible on the small plastic card as she lugged it to the nearest …

Durkin’s Time

by on April 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

In an apartment near New York’s Central Park, Carl Durkin sits in his study, oblivious to the street below. At first sight, he has a tanned, healthy complexion. Up close, his skin is damaged, pockmarked. Despite the portentous financial news scrolling across his TV, he is relaxed. During a lull in the broadcast, he is joined by a visitor. Someone …

Eventually

by on May 5, 2018 :: 0 comments

The kitchen floor was still damp but she squatted, still trembling from the shock of the untoward incident. It was purely accidental and she had no regrets. It was preordained that way. He was incorrigibly testy, always chastising her for being “childless.” His propensity to criticize had corroded their relationship. After giving vent to his anger and frustration upon her, …

Hairdon’t

by on March 31, 2018 :: 0 comments

The dining hall at Cape Rush College, panopticon, explosive diarrhea universal. Zak sat down to dinner at the table with Jase Hantman and the friends they had in common. And Zak Block had no friends at the table, and that’s what made this unusual. The table, in the dining hall at Cape Rush College, and the dining hall was a …

Healing Magic

by on August 11, 2018 :: 0 comments

Wash away an obliterated heart. Leave it alone to beat its last thump. Yet, the heart wishes to be seen, understood, accepted, loved. But loved, it never was. Ever a dream and ever a thought, and still this heart strives for it. This youthful heart stuck inside me… Wash it away. Drown it. Disintegrate all the memories. Wash away the …

Hush, Sweet

by on January 27, 2018 :: 0 comments

Of course I couldn’t find my sunglasses on what turned out to be the most blinding day of the year, also known as the day Jeff and Ally got married. “It’s rude to wear sunglasses to a wedding,” my own wife reminded me, hand on hip, watching as I lifted everything but the refrigerator in my quest. “According to who, …

Kleptomania- of music, people and conversations

by on August 4, 2018 :: 1 comment

I come back to a dark house. It’s so dark every time I open the door that I rush to switch on a light. Any light, big, small, doesn’t matter. And in seconds- as I see the outline of furniture and other things kept- the house transforms into a home. (Look at me, investing life into the lifeless. Look at …

Larry’s Karma

by on March 23, 2018 :: 0 comments

“Kerouac would have hated the computer.” “And why is that?” “It would be too tempting to change things.” They always got into that. ••••••• The story was good. It was about a fight in a bar which our writer had the pleasure of witnessing, having been then employed as a musician in that bar. The owner, named Nicky Holiday, was …

Lost in Translation?

by on February 10, 2018 :: 0 comments

It didn’t take me a second to fall for his eyes. Hazelnut brown, a tinge of blue and there I was. Flat on a floor, heart beating on the ground, tongue-tied. He was the only man in the room that did not mind me whistling. In fact, it appealed to his senses so much that I’d be greeted with surprise …

M-Theory Musings

by on October 21, 2017 :: 0 comments

What theory unifies forces, weak, strong, with gravity— also, to which belong all the string theories of why and because? To answer these queries, M-theory does. Proponents aver it offers clarity as to the issue of singularity. Where there’s a will there’s a way, so they say… In the beginning our universe sprang from membranes colliding to cause a Big …

Mehr

by on October 28, 2017 :: 1 comment

The excitement of the new project had begun to fade away. Adventure became regular in face. My enthusiasm level was at five then, not completely worn off but I was in need of a caffeine shot to wake up from the drowsy non-happening routine. I had already been to all the markets and captured culture on a reel. The initial …

NUMB

by on September 8, 2018 :: 0 comments

George Tango sat on the L train, on the gray, hard seat. He spotted a Liz Smith gossip column headline in an open News, spread wide by a middle-aged man in a slightly weird, off-green Hamburg hat. George got off the train dulled by the headline of Liz Smith, dulled by the weather, dulled by life. He walked one-half block …

Pain and Perfume

by on November 18, 2017 :: 0 comments

The sandwich shop sneeze guard is layered with disgust, a windshield driven through a locust plague. Braelynn leaves the stack of hardening foot-long shells of bread to clean the circular common patio table of ladies who arrived fifteen minutes until closing time in a Baptist shuttle to order twelve six inch tuna sandwiches. No chips, diet Pepsis. Across the floor, …

Playgirl

by on August 25, 2018 :: 0 comments

It was the late seventies and I’d never known any woman like Marie, who would cover one whole wall of her room with naked men centerfolds taken from Playgirl Magazine. Marie had graduated from the university in Cedar Park and was now in a medical program at Galveston’s Sealy Medical Center to become a medical photographer. “You’ve got some interesting …

Proposition 29

by on March 10, 2018 :: 0 comments

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all the slaves. And yet slavery is widespread in the United States in the 21st century. Only today the slaves are called robots. Robots are owned by human beings. They are not paid for their labor. In most places they have no rights. They do not get the nights or weekends …

Rio Negro

by on January 6, 2018 :: 0 comments

They thought that for him there is no more salvation and decided on the last, desperate move. Early in the dawn, they went by boat to the outer limits coast and stopped at the place where the sea flows into a specific river, supposedly healing, but no one came back from where it was left. Something had barely spoken for …

Shade of Silhouettes

by on February 3, 2018 :: 0 comments

The shadowy figures were looking in on the captive with great interest. There was a mist that was shifting across the room that made the shadows seem all the less distinct. The entire room seemed to be saying perpetually. There was a kind of exhaustion about everything which wouldn’t exactly be defined. It was what it was. And it was …

Simulacrum

by on June 2, 2018 :: 0 comments

Ever since St. Bernadette had a vision of Mary in the grotto, tourists came to Lourdes, some to be healed by its miracle. Arriving by train in Lourdes, Roberto alighted onto the streets, now crowded with seekers from across the globe. They came from all over the world, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, and some even on flat beds. …

Splat

by on July 7, 2018 :: 0 comments

“I wish I could say things are better,” wrote Charlie Anderson, about his wife Callie, “but they’re worse.” The experimental drug for her early onset Alzheimer’s had not worked. “Now it’s like I have no wife. She can’t speak and has a blank look on her face like a dead fish.” I was on his email mailing list and felt …

Tales of a Grunt’s Battered Battle Boots

by on November 11, 2017 :: 0 comments

If these well-worn, war-torn, badly sand beaten, sad looking field boots had a voice, the tales they would tell of scenes they had seen when they once enveloped this grunt’s feet. As I pulled these battered boots from an old forgotten box of Marine Corps memorabilia that I was sifting thru, this duo spoke to me and presented the keys …

Texas Oceanfront Property

by on April 21, 2018 :: 0 comments

“Let’s go into the blue,” was how I invited her to trespass onto the backyard dock. We weren’t prepared for more murk than color over our borrowed sludge lagoon. Sand was as far away as winter and we had splintery wood planks offering our bodies to lake water dragged twice this year already. Sounds of tree services already hacking and …

The Answer

by on April 28, 2018 :: 0 comments

Roy looks in the mirror. Says “What am I doing with my life?” and feels worried after he says it because he said it reflexively. He’s wearing a red and white shirt. He has short brown hair and a beard. “So how’ve you been,” said Ariel. He reached into his bag and surreptitiously pulled out the answer. “I’ve been good. …

The Boy by the Window

by on February 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

The boy by the window looked out and wondered what was special about the day. It was same as yesterday, identical to any other day. He was prohibited to look out of the window. He thought of how and why such restrictions were imposed on him. In his heart, he knew the truth. His parents didn’t know any better. They …

The Cholesterol Epidemic

by on February 24, 2018 :: 0 comments

No need to fudge on the details, give them scope. Let them dominate the sketch. For instance, the orange art deco chair and ottoman you found at a flea market. You stopped using them after the termite infestation. The termites have long since fled their porous frames. Insecticide sprayed late destroyed any malingerers. Death comes in many guises. That is …

The Cuckoo That Couldn’t

by on May 12, 2018 :: 0 comments

Is destiny carved or does instinct win out? What causes a species to thrive or thin out? Are queries and theories the puzzles they seem? Let’s hark to a cuckoo tale spun from a dream. There once was a cuckoo who happened to grow into a rare nestling that needed to know about all the whispers and strange twittered words …

The Fates

by on May 26, 2018 :: 0 comments

As I looked out the window, leaves were randomly floating to the ground. It was their destiny from the time they were formed on the trees in the Spring to lie scattered on the lawn this Fall. It had been my destiny to go to war, survive, get married, raise two kids, and become divorced. Now this… My thoughts drifted …

The Firestorm

by on November 26, 2017 :: 0 comments

What did Gary Hartnel expect for Pell Grant funded education, the classical intellectualism? For that he would have needed a passport and a time machine. No, these were the days of hurry-up and get a piece of paper and a job days. By 2005, however, learning Latin and Greek, or studying philosophy in the original German, was thought to be …

The Fish Avenger

by on December 23, 2017 :: 1 comment

I never forget summer at our little cottage by the lake. We swam in the mere’s crystal clear water between building our own tree house. My father made a blueprint for a cabin and we spent hours making our high-situated shack. It was almost finished and we couldn’t wait to spend the first night up in a tree with owls …

The Internet of Things

by on December 9, 2017 :: 1 comment

I’m writing this from Motel Six, where I have been staying for the last three weeks. I have a nice little house in the suburbs but my wife Stella won‘t let me back home. Stella is a good woman even if she’s stuck in the last century. She still has a flip phone, and she won’t have anything to do …

The Mitzvah Gig

by on April 7, 2018 :: 0 comments

1. I don’t remember her name. Let’s call her Sarah. I do remember where she worked: the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital, as some kind of psychiatric social worker. Like me, she was a new immigrant to Israel, and we both sang in a chamber choir in Jerusalem. “Is it true you’re in a band?” she asked me one evening during …

The Purest Rain

by on December 2, 2017 :: 0 comments

I once was, we once were, ordinary people, like you. Being together we have become one mind. I am sorry if our writing is clumsy. We don’t speak, write or use words any longer. Our thoughts are felt by each other before we have them. The ideas of I and we aren’t as clear as they may be for you, …

The Showing of the Psychic Wares of Patricia Styles

by on November 4, 2017 :: 0 comments

Peter Styles checked and double-checked his messages. She was going through with it. Patricia Styles, his sister-in-law, was putting her psychic wares on the market. She had listed them in an ad posted online and shared across her networks. Everything must go! Peter had been asked by Patricia to an advance showing in the event that he happened to like …

The Spongebob Toy

by on March 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

I walked into a very strange looking room. There were bright lights everywhere and all I could make out of the room was that it was very huge. I asked myself why I wasn’t blinded by the bright lights. Then all of a sudden, I felt something on my face as soon as I thought of that. Sunglasses appeared on …

They Came

by on July 21, 2018 :: 0 comments

He knew most of the people who had been killed. Except for one guy who was known for his piss poor treatment of anyone that crossed his path, Terry could think of no explanation for most of the murders. It seemed to be senseless. People run over by cars, stabbed, shot, or strangled. Old lady Johnson, who was a happy …

Through the tunnel

by on July 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

The stairs are blocked by steel rails; I can’t access them from this side. She’s told me my keys are down below, where the party was. I remember being surrounded by women for a brief instant. I’d shouted — something I don’t remember. She’s caught the trolley off to work. This little English town, asleep, and asleep. In bed she’d …

Who Guards the Lifeguards?

by on June 9, 2018 :: 0 comments

“Dos horas,” their mother said before rolling up the windows and sitting in the music of air conditioning and radio. Bass shook their peeled back window little league football numbers. The Lopez brothers breathed on reflex as they walked into the volunteer fire department. Voting, city meetings concerning softball field noise violations, and courses on how to give life to …

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