I Do by John Rector

It was hard getting past the root, but after the third one went in, he got the hang of it. The trick was finding a soft spot between the teeth. Occasionally he’d slip, and Sally would scream, thrashing against the restraints. He’d smile, calmly take another carpet tack from the box (he had plenty), and […]

The Tooth Collector by Rajni Gupta

Jumpy flinches at the smell of his underarms as he takes out his passport from the inner pocket of his jacket. His stomach rumbles but not from hunger. He doesn’t like long flights because they seem to decompose his body. He exhales. Ugh. His heart pounds when the immigration officer calls the person before him. […]

Hatpin by Jen Conley

It’d been five weeks since Irene O’Connell’s father collected her from the Dominican Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary Orphanage on 63rd street. He turned up on a June day in ’39, driving a borrowed Model T Ford, not mentioning the borrowed part until they were well into the Bronx. Irene was sixteen, old […]

Interview: Frank Wheeler Jr

I remember my first night at BoucherCon this last year, hooking up with Matthew C Funk, Dan O’Shea and the moving party that was Team Decker, named for their astounding agent Stacia Decker. And I asked one of the party goers, “Where’s Frank?” They pointed over in the general direction of Frank Wheeler Jr. and […]

The New Guy by Jeffery Hess

A Skynyrd guitar riff licked the back of my neck as Tampa shrank in the rearview mirror. It was seven-PM on Christmas Eve. Me and the new guy were headed to Apollo Beach to talk to a degenerate gambler that owed my boss money. The new guy sat in the passenger seat, his knees high […]

The Key by Kieran Shea

-Why can’t we go again? … -Be bad for you. -Bad for me? How so? -Jus’ bad. … … -It’s just a key. … -A sandbar practically. A couple of palms. Mangroves. … -Huh. Looks safe enough to me. -Señor should jus’ go back to his hotel, no? Nice beach at hotel. Clean. -But we […]

Interview: Heath Lowrance

A gambler, a liar, and a cheat walk into a bar… Heath Lowrance has been telling stories most of his 40+ years, and like with good whiskey, the stories just get better with age. And let me tell you, Lowrance’s stories go down smooth and hit you with a kick. Last year, I shared pages […]

The Day We Shot Jesus on Main Street by Travis Richardson

If there are two things you outta know about Lynchwood, it’s that nobody votes Democrat and nobody blasphames the Lord God Almighty… at least in public. Now Chad Parrish, would’ve broken rule number one had he lived enough and it’s ‘cause of rule number two he didn’t ever register. He was always makin’ a ruckus […]

David to Goliath by Matthew C. Funk

Didee Fuller looked about half his age, slumped across from me in his pajamas with the specter of a black eye floating above one cheek. Looked about six. Small, skittish and unafraid. “You know who I am, Didee?” I gave him eyes as unblinking as my star tattoos under them. Didee chuckled. Maybe more of […]

6/8 by Trey R. Barker

Jazz bop rebop and she won’t leave my head. But I got Miles, too, bopping cool but hot as a gun barrel. Touch it and the hot burns and why’s it always night time dark time when I’m digging Miles?  Or Brown or Rollins. Night and rain and she’s two years gone. Thunder like jazz […]

What the Heat Brings by LA Sykes

“You’ve got an ugly pair of coconuts!” I sing with a wolf’s grin dripping indignation. I watch his micro facial expressions. Light flush to the surface of the cheeks, a flicker of the eyes as they dig into my stare, scanning for what I know. “You feeling alright Doctor?” He says through a fragile smile. […]

The Things We Do for Love by Patti Abbott

You’ve been planning how to kill him all night. There’s not much else to do when you’re sitting on a straight-backed chair, your arms tied behind you, your legs cuffed, a gag in your mouth, tape over your eyes. He left you here without a backward glance. You listened to the door slam, the car […]