Featured Stories

All the Animals Tell Me So

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There was a thick smell of fresh manure while I was prowling around a native farm getting information for this article. The thought of the foul air surrendered to the aural of a mooing cow which drew me into the barn. I edged closer to the animal with its head locked between iron bars and its teats connected to a …

January 25, 2022 :: 0 comments

Emil’s Magic

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He was standing off to the side of the city Greenway looking at the sky when he felt a tap on his shoulder. “Hey, what are you doing?” Emil turned. It was a policeman on bicycle patrol. “I’m just looking at the clouds, officer,” he said, politely. “That one over there reminds me of a bunny rabbit.” Unimpressed, the cop …

January 22, 2022 :: 0 comments

Delete

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I didn’t like my Fiat. It had become too old. So, I pressed the delete button on it and it was gone. Later that day I saw an advertisement in a newspaper. A girl who was pissed-off with her boyfriend had asked only a dollar in exchange for her new Toyota that she got as a gift from him. But …

January 18, 2022 :: 0 comments

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A Blue Foot

by on May 22, 2021 :: 0 comments

Matt went outside to smoke and play with his phone. Quentin started on the dishes. Everybody had ordered the lasagna, so the dishes had to soak in the hot soapy water forever. This loosened up the dried sauce and cheese but the water got so filthy so fast that he had to drain and refill the sink three times in …

A Fish Story

by on June 19, 2021 :: 0 comments

Frances browsing a thrift store, operated by the animal shelter, noticed a wire cage on the floor. She leaned down to have a closer look, “Well, well, what do we have here?” She glanced at the salesclerk. “Is this puppy for sale?” “Yes, he is. Would you like to hold him?” “I would.” The salesgirl came from behind the counter …

A Flock of Jays

by on January 8, 2022 :: 0 comments

“No child is born angry, say the experts, but this is hope not fact,” Dr. Daprahana maintained. “Wrath resides in everyone at birth along with emotions like love and shame. Under the right circumstances, these emotion seeds can root in our consciousness and explode into actions, some deadly, some sublime, and some both at the same time.” Having heard metaphysical …

A Shadow on the Wall

by on October 30, 2021 :: 2 comments

She had just clicked off the remote and closed her eyes. “Oh no,” she thought. “The house is settling.” She had lived in her red brick home for nearly nineteen years. She had paid a fortune for termite control, bees entering through the bathroom window, wasps on the back porch, and now there was a new noise. Unrecognizable. Could it …

Abandonment

by on April 17, 2021 :: 0 comments

Hounded by neighbors and ruthless schoolchildren during the day, their nocturnal, air-rending cries of hunger keep me vigilantly awake. Stoning is the most lenient fate that awaits mums, puppies, or the already lame. My ears have attuned their nerves to catch the slightest bark that has a tinge of dread as it squeals its alarm away. A stray dog has …

At the Fruit Store

by on November 3, 2021 :: 0 comments

Italy is a complicated country, and the virus multiplies the complications exponentially. The stress builds, and thoughts surface to alleviate the tension. I ordinarily lock my bicycle to a signpost before entering the fruit store. But wearing the surgeon’s mask and gloves makes it too difficult to fish the key out of my front pocket to unlock it upon return, …

Atlantic Hunting Grounds

by on December 4, 2021 :: 0 comments

Sailing the chill waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the cargo ship MS Harper is the only speck of brightness in the vast moonless night. Floodlights illuminate the shipping containers stacked on top of one another. Some scuffed, some dented, all of them with their rectangular space occupied by a brand-new Korean car. Florescent lights shine through the bridge windows, while …

Awakenings / Brought Round

by on July 24, 2021 :: 0 comments

Yet as this new-sprung prince of undiscovered sterling qualities made to enter the immense cordon thorn lance-a-lot barricade the thicknightet hedge theurgically parted only to close again after his advance opening into redolent wild roses devoid of their prior barbed prongs. And even these sweetbriars bent aside and gave way until the now-present-prince found himself in my perfumed palace gardens …

Ben in the Jar

by on March 13, 2021 :: 0 comments

Ignoring the sudden, throbbing pain in her hip, Katie limped to the front of the class. “Kids!” She set her cane aside and motioned to get the second grader’s attention. “Look at this.” ​She held up a glass canning jar with a dragonfly in it and listened to their enthusiastic “Ooh”s and “Ahh”s. ​Jeremy, one of her more inquisitive students …

Black and White TV with the Sound Turned Low

by on July 10, 2021 :: 0 comments

My uncle Charlie only ever saw things in black and white. He had never owned a colour TV. He said the colour TV license was far too dear. I didn’t even know anyone still believed in that shit. Was there such a thing as a black and white TV license in this day and age? “Black and white’s better,” he’d …

Blue Fate

by on October 14, 2021 :: 0 comments

Amanda dreams that she is beautiful, with a body without scars and wrinkles, that she is young and that she is free from her illness and her earthly ties. Although we could say that every living being, every creature has its intrinsic beauty and thus that would be an unfair comment. Moreover, age is a relative matter, because nowadays seventy …

Cannibal Frog Massacre

by on December 21, 2021 :: 0 comments

Billy knew he had to break it off when they entered the nature center and her face didn’t light up. Although, really, he should’ve known from the damn start. Greta was nothing like the local girls he went with. Her fingernails were painted a rich-girl red. Her clothes were sleek as machetes. Billy stared into a woodsy aquarium. The bigger …

Cornball Love

by on April 24, 2021 :: 0 comments

My life changed when I met a woman. I suppose that’s a cliché you’ve heard before. Stick with me here, don’t get cynical. The restaurant was crowded on that autumn day, and with no chair nearby, the young lady asked if she could sit across from me. I sat alone at a small table with one other chair, reading Shakespeare’s …

Cruise Ship

by on October 16, 2021 :: 0 comments

You know what? What? I hate to say, but I have given it a lot of thought. The truth is, well, I don’t love you anymore. What?  Now don’t be silly. We’ve been married 15 years. I’m afraid it’s true. Oh, come on. What’s the matter? What is bothering you? Nothing is bothering me. I feel much better opening up …

Familiar Eyes

by on February 20, 2021 :: 0 comments

A fierce downpour pounded the pavement outside Birmingham International Airport and lashed against my windscreen. The rear lights of the car in front lit up as a cloud of exhaust fumes gusted into the night air. Through the dissipating smoke I saw her walking towards me, dressed in a red coat and woollen hat. She placed a case on the …

Get Ready, Jonathan

by on August 14, 2021 :: 0 comments

The call I had been expecting came through. I was laying on my bed thinking about screwdrivers, thinking about how I’d love to unscrew my jaw and let the muscles just hang there like David Foster Wallace. I answered. “Hey, what’s up, Ashton Kutcher,” He said. “What’s up, Mama’s Boy Otis,” I said. “What you doin’?” he said. “Just, you …

Green Witch

by on May 29, 2021 :: 0 comments

Once, not terribly long ago, there lived a green witch. It might be assumed that she dwelled in a ramshackle hut, yet she lived in a tiny house designed by the famous draughtman, Donald Alaska. Donald’s creation had two lofts, a woodburning stove, a deck, and a large kitchen sink. Additionally, his architecture featured a cat door, staircase storage, and …

Hemphill County in the Rearview

by on December 7, 2021 :: 0 comments

My mom had called me earlier that day to let me know that my brother Randy had called her to let her know that he was in jail down in Texas. She also told me that dad was not going to bail him out. It seemed that both him and his friend Red had been charged with possession of marijuana. …

Homage to Cassini and its Mission to Saturn

by on March 20, 2021 :: 0 comments

With rare international cooperation, Cassini–Huygens took off into the skies. Thus, in nineteen ninety-seven, the creation began to develop before our eyes of the two-decade venture which came to a close with last gazes at giant Saturn’s face to merge with its surface in dramatic death throes as the spacecraft perished with glowing grace. But before that transpired another splendid …

Home Run

by on October 27, 2021 :: 0 comments

The playground at St. Mary’s was a cracked and bumpy blacktop square maybe a hundred feet long on each side and surrounded by a tall anchor fence on two sides, the school on another, and an old garage that completed the square. The garage was a really low, gray, four-car structure. I was never sure who, if anyone, used it. …

How Tea Tastes in Kovalampatti

by on October 20, 2021 :: 0 comments

I have a full blown tryst with my typewriter on a day the sky hangs upside down over Kovalampatti, shabby as the underside of a dress, seams and all exposed. I’d moved into the narrow neighborhood a fortnight ago with a mission, and have been typing by the window, twitching in despair at the mounting pile of half-finished articles. Mr. …

Howlin’ Howie Moves in Next Door

by on December 24, 2021 :: 0 comments

I was just two days into my new place, an upstairs bed with a bathroom down the hall, when I heard what sounded like a pack of wolves. It was ruining my sleep. Wolves? In a two-story walk up dump? It all made better sense after I met the “Backdoor Man.” We were taking out the trash. I introduced myself. …

In the Wilderness

by on November 23, 2021 :: 1 comment

I am the loudest animal on the planet, and the funniest looking, Annelise thought, as she trudged through the snow wearing footgear resembling tennis rackets. Over a long white puffy coat, she carried an ugly black- camera necklace. “How do I look, Mom?” she said out loud, looking to the sky. You look noisy, she heard in response, but she …

It Could Be Worse, It Could Be Raining

by on March 27, 2021 :: 0 comments

Up, out of bed at 3 PM. Saturday, San Jose Costa Fucking Rica, rain with a mixture of car exhaust. Gray skies over a gray world, just the Gods reminding me what a hangover looks like. The storm has already saturated the city, flooding streets and low lying areas. The smell triggers my olfactory memory machine to recall fond thoughts …

Life Advice

by on May 8, 2021 :: 0 comments

Vacationing in a small hut on the beach, or rather attending an unimportant convention, we stepped outside to a glorious morning: blazing sun, sparkling sand, gulls glinting and squawking as they swooped above, ocean waves dancing upon the beach. We began the long walk to the convention halls, my wife rapidly, impatiently ahead, gaining ground as usual. She swooped into …

Listless

by on November 8, 2021 :: 0 comments

Beatnicks. Road kill. Submissives. A thinning ozone with polar slush on the side. Rape/abduction fantasies; the penitentiary; amphetamines and variety shows. The world bulldozes by, totally oblivious that I’m trying to sleep. Thoughts are as heartless as facts or feelings. You wake up; dreams are kicked into yesterday; you wake up and you think you’ve slept in; it’s 6:25 AM. …

Living the Dream

by on August 28, 2021 :: 0 comments

I once worked as the night shift charge nurse for Oak Street Care Center. The hospital where I worked prior to that went bankrupt. So I took the job at the Care Center, a skilled nursing home in my own town. I had been nursing for 13 years by then. In that time I had seen a lot of changes …

Madrigals

by on April 10, 2021 :: 0 comments

David Newton, young project manager, was in a harshly lit meeting when he realized that he’d rather die than spend another stupid month at his job. The conversation among his coworkers, now as always, was dry and droning—the sound of life passing you by. But where else could he go? The arts were his passion but not his talent. He …

Moon Passed Cutting

by on July 17, 2021 :: 0 comments

One The moon laid a strip of light on the dark ocean. The reflection was soft except for the crests of the waves catching the light sharp and white. The ocean seemed so quiet. “Nothing.” John outlined roughly the shape of the moon. “You don’t think it’s a little windy out here?” He held up his right hand to gesture …

My Friend

by on May 15, 2021 :: 0 comments

Of all the cell phone apps, the best by far is My Friend. It is a smart phone app for lonely people, including lonely married people, like me. At least I was married until a month ago. Think of all the friends you have. Isn’t there some little thing wrong with every one of them? No one is perfect, after …

Night of 1000 Parties

by on November 20, 2021 :: 0 comments

The border between Paterson and Clifton is a double white line that runs down the middle of Crooks Ave. There was a party on Crooks Ave. one Saturday night. It was not as much fun as Ramon had anticipated. As it wound down, Ramon and a Clifton girl wandered into the cemetery on the Paterson side of the street and …

Omen

by on September 4, 2021 :: 0 comments

Bizarre! The dream woke him up with a start. Such a dream will wake up any guy! A shudder passed through him. Dead of night—the howl of a stray dog added to the uneasiness. Was it a premonition? The Grim Reaper stared malevolently; neon sign lit up the urgent message on the billboard, at the interstate highway, his car waiting …

On A Good Day

by on January 30, 2021 :: 0 comments

“It’s been a while,” she says quietly, her fingers running over the scars on my arm. Like she can see my past and future, like palm reading. I wonder, briefly, how that would sound: You have lived a hard life, the fortune teller might say. This one indicates you will lead a long life. And I would think, no, it …

On Aeaea Again

by on January 15, 2022 :: 0 comments

We breakfast together on grapes and figs while lying on wild grass, take a walk around our island, fill our eyes with sea, fill our ears with bird song. I drive her to the Loose Wolf where she lunches with the women who tend to the island gardens. I sit six feet away and watch her out of the corner …

People Watching

by on October 2, 2021 :: 0 comments

People watching. I do it all the time, as it is a great way for me to escape the madness of the city without actually going anywhere. Most of the time the people I see or the stories I watch unfold would leave my memory within a few weeks. Hardly ever did these stories leave a lasting mark on my …

Plunge

by on May 1, 2021 :: 0 comments

I roam a lot. All day long I keep walking from one place to another. Sometimes, I have gone as far as the university where I had studied several years ago, when I was young and ambitious. I wander everywhere in the university. I don’t just visit my department but go to other departments also which I didn’t do when …

Re-entry

by on October 23, 2021 :: 0 comments

Susan Metcalf had retired 15 years ago from a job in the insurance business. She had never married and had invited her 92-year-old mother to come into her house to live. They were going to one of many doctor appointments on a dreary Monday morning in mid-January, Susan knew the routine too well. Finding a parking place close to the …

Run-On Ron 

by on February 13, 2021 :: 0 comments

There once was a putz named Run-On Ron after some poor sod who always tripped when he ran and became useful as a human speed bump in the same way beer supports the morale of the  working man that usually complains about not enough money but hates to work overtime when life is too short on some kind of dream …

Sarah’s Laughter

by on December 18, 2021 :: 0 comments

When you looked me in the eye, and, without blinking, told me it was over, I, as a friend, stopped being concerned. Even though, as a man, I worried about finagling the whole thing all these years. But, as a priest, I am alert to lies. A major part of my job description is devoted to discerning the permutations of …

Shucks Among Aging Partners

by on September 18, 2021 :: 0 comments

“Shucks! You shouldn’t have.” “I didn’t. I have no idea who sent ‘em.” “Jeepers! You really don’t care anymore.” “Of course, I do. I keep putting down the toilet lid.” “Gee, Willikers! That’s only been forty years in coming.” “Well, you still fart in your sleep.” “Son of a biscuit, how would you know?” “Haven’t been sleeping too well.” “Sweet …

Sodium

by on July 3, 2021 :: 0 comments

“Hi, Wendell.” I turned my head, tracking the voice past the light blue wall with a seascape print on to the doorway. It was Jared, my dietician. “How are we doing today?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a jerk, but I’d been cooped up in the hospital living on their boring food for eleven days and I was sick …

Solstice Dream

by on February 6, 2021 :: 0 comments

She had had to get out of the hostel at eight in the morning and stay out until eight at night, and that was in the good days, when she still had a hostel to go to. Now she had a dusty alcove off a hallway of a commercial storage firm, where no one yet, knew she slept at night. …

Taking Revenge

by on December 28, 2021 :: 0 comments

Dressed in a black suit and tie, Peter sat at the head of the table. “I’m glad you could make it to dinner.” He picked up a wine glass and gazed to his right. Except for a place setting, no one was there. “A salute to my beautiful wife, Paula.” In a high-pitched voice, ‘Why are we here?’ He cocked …

The Aesthetics of Penury

by on August 21, 2021 :: 0 comments

She lived among sordid squalor, yet she only beheld what enthralled, such as a stray sunray that fleetingly slipped into her darksome room or a moth happily fluttering round half a candle that her little brother was given at church. The key to her tidiness was a bar of soap that she earned from her overtime chores. Having scrubbed myriads …

The Chinese Restaurant in Moosonee, Ontario

by on November 11, 2021 :: 0 comments

Along the wide, empty street out of town, away from the railroad station, the red storefront gleams. It’s a welcome sight among the plate glass and faded displays of canned beans, motor oil, tools, or decades old sewing patterns, depending on the store. It is also a welcome sight beneath the infinite sky, beside the bay that is just the …

The Crying Game

by on November 26, 2021 :: 0 comments

I searched for something the least voguish. The location was an embassy though the occasion was only a job interview. London was in verdure with its tree-fringed roads. Sunrays multiplied in my eyes that beamed with joy – my first job interview since I graduated only three months ago. The interviewees hardly noticed my entrance into a very spacious room, …

The Diamond Sky

by on July 31, 2021 :: 0 comments

I saw her again today, following me. As I turned right on the corner, from a left-side glance, I saw the shiny blue of her shirt. First, she waited a few beats, hoping I wouldn’t notice, then continued slyly walking. Why is she following me? What does she want? She’s been following me for years now. I didn’t feel threatened …

The Drive By

by on February 27, 2021 :: 0 comments

In a world where the oppressors rationalized injustice with the cliche “On both sides,” it was always same shit, different day. Until one day Darth Vader slow-creeped toward Earth in his Death Star and beamed down with his stormtroopers. He came to destroy the planet but morning sex put him in a good mood. “Because I like to be entertained …

The Get Together

by on October 7, 2021 :: 0 comments

“Mom are you ready?” I asked. “Yes dear, let’s go.” My mom and I are very excited. Today we are going to meet with our father after a long time. I can’t really explain how happy and excited I am. After a lot of struggle and patience we are getting to meet him. I was thinking what questions I will …

The Greatest Conquest

by on November 16, 2021 :: 0 comments

For years Milton stood there on my shelf with the sword of St. Michael stuck between ivory pages that are dripping with demonic blood. Yesterday, I picked up the black book of Good and Evil and was resolute to read it thoroughly to better understand the military strategies described in there. I bet Milton displayed great wit. Besides, I always …

The Hotel Frasina

by on April 3, 2021 :: 0 comments

There is only a parking lot now where the Hotel Frasina once stood on the corner, just off the square, in the little town where I grew up. It was first opened in 1893 under the name The Antlers. Then, in 1946, it was purchased by Dominic Frasina. He renamed it Hotel Frasina and remodeled the elegant dining room as …

The Kiss

by on November 13, 2021 :: 0 comments

The courtly cavalier stood transfixed in a dead silence that echoed the somber stillness of my castle’s cataleptic enchantment.  How could he be the arrant inherent inerrant declarant heir apparent he him hymn nara to my nari narayana duende dawning on she her hurrah it’s my prince charming knight in shining armor amor moribund minus white steed come doyen to …

The Life and Death of Dave Adamson

by on June 12, 2021 :: 0 comments

A scream runs through the street. A young couple sees what they’ll talk about until they’re old: a time, together, when they saw a body on a sidewalk. The couple hold one another and their breaths until police and emergency services arrive. No one offers a “Poor bastard” as those living gather to see where life goes. There’s something about …

The Magician

by on December 13, 2021 :: 2 comments

For years he sought to perform the ultimate illusion. An astounding feat that would captivate audiences. A magic trick like no other which would make them truly appreciate him and win their long overdue praise. The recognition he deserved. Just one fantastic stunt was all he needed. It had eluded him so far, but eventually it would come to him. …

The Man with a Cane

by on June 5, 2021 :: 3 comments

I’ve been shopping at divergent Italian fruit stores in the Milan suburbs: one has sweet Calabrese navel oranges for a euro a kilo, another has Colombian bananas for the same price. We rarely pay any more than a euro a kilo for all fruit and vegetables. Sicilian red oranges are currently 79 cents a kilo, but I sometimes find them …

The Mayonnaise Jar

by on January 1, 2022 :: 0 comments

Carmel reached into the mayonnaise jar, hoping to extract a tempting notion. Libi had promised her two friends that by reaching into that vessel, they’d become the immediate owners of germs for fantastic fiction. She had told them that she had stuffed that crock full of slips of paper imprinted with story kernels. All that they had to do for …

The Pearl Stringer’s Mother

by on March 6, 2021 :: 0 comments

Maya lifted her chin off of her chest. She rubbed the crusty gunk out of her eyes and coughed, once, to clear her mouth. To her right, her mother lay prone on her hospital bed, a ventilator breathing for her and a seeming myriad of tubes snaking in and out of various ports up and down her body. Instinctively, Maya …

The Pissing Contest

by on September 25, 2021 :: 0 comments

The late morning sky was clear-eyed blue, rich, almost regal. There was no breeze, a soft November, the trees naked of leaves, the sun too bright. “Summer,” one of them muttered. None of them could remember a November this warm. They walked in a small cluster down the center of the street as was their practice: five boys, not a …

The Table Captain

by on January 11, 2022 :: 0 comments

1 Back in the 1950s, when Brooklyn Tech was an all-boys high school, I volunteered for the post of lunchroom table captain. Little did I know that this post would ultimately change my life. We sat in rows of five or six tables in a huge room. About thirty of us sat in each row. We would pass along our …

THE THING.

by on November 30, 2021 :: 0 comments

For dad, and his wild heart. Once when we were children, our father kidnapped us from our mother to take us across the desert. His wood-paneled station wagon roared through El Paso, New Mexico, and Arizona. I played with my prize toy, an E.T. plush, in the back of that car under a white sheet. In school I had been …

V/r

by on June 26, 2021 :: 0 comments

Dude, like around 8? No, maybe like 9, in the morning, I ate three blotters. I’ve done Lucy a bunch of times, but I forreal hadn’t done ‘em like that early or whatever. My friends and I found a connection on ‘em a few weeks earlier, so we’d been taking a few hits every weekend or whatever. But that day, …

Wally Funk 11 Rides Again

by on January 4, 2022 :: 0 comments

I got a radio call early one morning to relieve another deputy at the site of a small plane crash in an area called Bermuda Dunes. The night shift deputy was finishing his report when I arrived on the scene. All I had to do was wait for an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Bureau to arrive from Los …

Where Harry’s Buried

by on September 12, 2021 :: 1 comment

As the two women approached the cemetery, June said, “Hey, this sign here says No Trespassing, No Digging, No Rubbers. It looks like, around here, rubbers are banned from cemeteries.” “I know lots of guys who’ve left rubbers in cemeteries. Don’t worry about it.” Janette said. Looking at her, June said, “I’m pretty sure that’s not what the sign means.” Unfazed, …

While The Poor People Sleep (With the Shade on the Light)

by on August 7, 2021 :: 0 comments

Hi, my name’s Arch and I live inside. I’m inside him, Eddie. I come out at night while he’s sleeping. Out of Eddie’s anus I crawl. Like a nocturnal form of tapeworm, only I go exploring at night. But I’m no worm. I’m small, that’s for sure. Small enough to live inside him and crawl out of his asshole every night. …

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