Condoms & Cigs

Eric’s knees bounced up and down so fast that the floor vibrated.
“Would you stop shaking already? Just calm down. You might wake up the neighbors,” Suzy said.
“You know what, maybe I should go,” Eric said.
Eric slid books and papers onto the floor, bent down on the carpet, searching.
“Where did you put them?” she asked.
“Well, if I remembered, I’d have them.”
He couldn’t find his keys. His anger and embarrassment pushed him to urgency in his exit, but his forgetfulness put more time on the clock. More time equaled another chance.
“I wouldn’t let you drive anyway. You’re wasted,” Suzy said.
“So, you’ll let me stay here then?
“If that’s what it takes.”
“And I’m not high either. I’ll just have to call the dealer for a new key tomorrow. The car dealer. Not the drug dealer.”
They laughed. He sat back down. Continue reading »

(3)

Eight Minutes

Her phone rests atop the bluff. Her left hand conceals the item she found in the attic three days ago. Her naked foot toes the edge. Her regrets are legion.

She’s in the same pencil skirt that she wore to her appointment that Friday. There are no pasta sauce smudges or ketchup stains near the buttons on her blouse because she hasn’t eaten.

Her pulse slows.

Life’s a round-trip ticket, she tells herself. This is just her return flight.
Continue reading »

(5)

Featured Authors

The Magician

“Now you see it, now you don’t.”

With those words, and a wave of his wizardly wand, the magician made a quivering rabbit disappear into thin air. Another wave and an abracadabra, meant to bring the rabbit back, instead brought a twelve foot demon, with four twisted horns and six glowing red eyes. The horrified magician stood frozen in fear, a petrified prop stuck on the stage.
Continue reading »

(9)

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Argus Houbert was very young when he was first told just how and when he was going to die.
It was a fortune-teller from the Circus who revealed this disturbing information to him. She did not tell the pale, spindly boy who visited her that cloudless summer afternoon to be unkind; rather, after placing her tattered cards on the rickety table behind which she sat within her small, mildewed striped canvas tent, Madam Delphi at first sought to keep the knowledge from him. Argus however, detected something was amiss and assured the tiny, withered woman that although he was only seven, having been raised in one of the most deplorable orphanages in the country meant he felt he was virtually a man and could deal with whatever she had to tell him.
Little did the boy realise that what she would impart to him then would change the course of his life forever and after that, the only thing he could ever completely be sure of again was that it was not necessarily for the better. Continue reading »

(4)

Just Talking

“It was furry and pink and coming towards me incredibly fast. My first impulse was to run away. So, I did. I ran out of the backyard and all the way down the block to the gas station my father always bought his cigarettes from. I was panting and crying, and when that finally stopped, I realized one of my shoes had fallen off somewhere. I never found it. And I’ve been running away from stuffed animals ever since.” Continue reading »

(13)

Indigo

“By chance are you single?” the girl with the crumpled fender, steam erupting from the gaping maw located on the side of her bent hood, asked.
Some people have such a casual relationship with life. I could see she was one of those who possessed uncomplicated expectations that all things would work out in her favor. This presupposed notion suggested whatever she might say would be as appropriate as congratulations cavalierly tossed about wedding receptions. Continue reading »

(10)

Blue Northern Rock

The Northman knows there is a world below his own, but that so long as he bears witness there is no world above him. The Northman knows that putting ginger in beef jerky is a good idea. The Northman knows art – the Northman knows that art is what happens when he is left alone for a very long time with a camera. The Northman knows his place; he knows that stagnation is transitory, like the stop his bicycle must make when the bridge lifts to allow a barge passage upriver. Where is the barge going? Hasn’t he told you? Continue reading »

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My Epileptic Dog

The first time my dog Ginger-Blue had a fit, the cat died. They were pretty close so maybe it would’ve been a normal reaction, except Ginger-Blue, she’d thrashed around epileptically before the cat died.
When my parents planned an unexpected visit Ginger-Blue flipped out two days in advance.
When the sausages were off, Ginger-Blue had a fit before I even opened the fridge.
By the time she threw two fits before the bounce of the Richmond-Carlton AFL final, I didn’t even turn the telly on. I could see what was happening. Ginger-Blue was articulating her ESP of bad omens through her epileptic fits. Continue reading »

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