Piece of Cake by R. Thomas Brown

Hap Callahan walked through the saloon doors of Cowboy Coffee, shaking his head at the lassos in the logo. Seemed every place he went these days tried to make you feel like you were at a theme park, not next door to a James Avery in yet another strip mall filling up suburban space and […]

Ol’ So And So by Gary Clifton

In south Dallas, a man’s status in the street hierarchy involves the business of “Ol” before his name.  There’s always a spate of street grunts with names like Ol’ Peewees or Ol’ Who-Knows-What-The-Hell. But when a guy walks around with an unencumbered road handle, better give him some hat size.  And so it was with […]

Snuff Film by D.S. Jones

Billy Mack watched the clock above the bulletproof window and counted out the customer’s change. This Jeffery Dean was a funny guy. He had come in from the bar across the way wanting a room. His wife was with him. The poor bitch. Even through the window, Billy Mack could smell the whiskey on his […]

From the Heart by Thomas Pluck

Wailing notes squeezed from metal strings pealed through the smoke-softened air. The stained maple body of the instrument as dark as the whiskey in my glass. The axe man clutched it to himself, bent and wracked as he reeled out a banshee’s call for a lost lover. I sat alone at my table, boot heel […]

London by Zach Nicolay

Twinkies actually do expire. Tim Goodwin had several boxes sitting on his shelves that were nearing their dates. He stuck orange “sale” stickers over the printed numbers and rubbed them on with his thumb. The price stayed the same. Outside the store’s window, the giant Madison County Courthouse loomed massive and Victorian over the decaying […]

The Night Mandy’s Car Broke Down on 539 by Jen Conley

She knew it was coming—her boss at the bar was always saying that an American-made car can’t make it to 200,000 miles. Something in the motor just gave out when she’d slowed around the bend. Mandy had steered the car to the side of the road, let it come to rest by the woods, the […]

Red Spanish Night by Gareth Spark

Just before he died, Salvador thought of the girl from the club; the way she’d dragged him out to this place with a smile; her red hair caught dark with the night’s weight. He felt the ligature tighten, and then the pops and sparks of light at the borders of his sight played brighter and […]

Silvern Stare by Terry Butler

Her hair is long and pretty. She is pretty herself though she’s a hundred pounds overweight for her frame. The curves are in the right places, there’s just too much of her. I could tell by her stare she knew me, so I looked harder and then I saw her. Jenna. From Stanyan Street. I […]

The Germans Along 57 by Mark Raymond Falk

It was the three of them motherfuckers—Big Franz, Dorothy, and Little Franz—all by their goddamn selves on the side of Highway 67, nothing but dried earth and rodent bones as far as the eye could see. Three German tourists by way of Dusseldorf by way of El Paso by way of a shitty ass discount […]

Fortune by Erik Arneson

“You always smell like french fries, Putter. I can’t take it anymore.” “Give me a few minutes, Nat. I’ll shower.” “It doesn’t matter if you shower, baby. It’s in your pores or something. When you get out of the shower, you smell like Axe-scented french fries. Not an improvement.” “I’ll scrub, I’ll do, I’ll … […]

In the Night, She Wept by Kurt Indovina

She was cold. She was limp. She was dead. The right side of her face was enlarged twice as much as her left. Swollen and bruised with colors of blue, purple and grey; It wasn’t the face Wallace remembered from the night before. Last night it was milky white, with shades of pink across the […]

Death is Bipartisan by John Micek

The motor-coach, swaddled in red, white and blue shrink-wrap, was parked in front of Republican State Party headquarters on State Street just a block or two west of the Capitol. On the side of the bus, there was a huge portrait of a man’s face, ruddy-cheeked and Irish, with white hair and piercing blue eyes. […]