First there was sound; after sound, light.
And it hadn’t realized it could not hear until it did; that as the machine continued to dig it came to know what the sound of digging was. Breathing too, as well as grunts from hefting. Words—mention of a septic tank and new irrigation flows; that this was the spot; this, no other.
Sitting in the darkness of the car parallel parked beside a row of sleazy porno shops. The interior of the car occasionally lit up by the flashing monstrosity of a neon sign advertising Nina’s Peek-a-Boobs strip club. Two men. Both draped in heavy over coats and wearing thin leather gloves. Both staring into the night. Each looking in a different direction down an empty street and an empty sidewalk.
It wasn’t love and I knew it all along. I bought a lie and it lay like a faded scar in my dreams. I used to see its silhouette in her veiled cyanic eyes. Faith. You know the kind of dark shadow that falls across your semi-waking mind in the night as you push consciousness away.
“Gannon, where have you been? Last I knew you and Leary were in the bakery business. I expected that the two of you would hang out a sign. Ya know, something like “Crooked Cookies” or “Burglarized Brownies” with menu items like “Do a Short Stretch with Our Strudel” or “Get Busted on Our Bagels”. Rumor had it that you guys had some pretty intense brownies and Continue reading
“FREE SAMPLE! FREE SAMPLE!” the Japanese woman yelled while hoisting a plastic fork in the air, spiked with Orange Chicken from the take-out window of Grill X. Faxon was a sucker for their Orange Chicken, but it would have been even better if it were free sushi. Free was free he thought, and who was he to complain? He moved swiftly toward the window. The woman leaned out, smiled warmly, and gave up the fork. As Faxon walked away smacking his lips, she called out “OH! Don’t forget free fortune, today only, here your cookie!” Faxon Continue reading
“Wanna know why I like guns?” Jared shouted. “Because I pull the trigger here, and something happens over there.”
Kevin thumbed fat copper cartridges into the throat of the chubby black magazine. The men both wore large ear protectors that made them resemble ’70s radio DJs.
Word went out that Joe was dead and that he’d bought it in the library. I didn’t want to believe it. Knew I wouldn’t until I’d seen the body with my own eyes. My girl begged me not to go, but being young, quick and dumb I ignored her concerns and took wing. I could handle myself and when the time came I would look Joe’s killer straight in the eye, that being the least I could do for him.
George walked into his local wearing his Superman outfit, the ‘S’ undulating over his man-boobs and beer-gut, and ordered a pint of his favourite brew.
“Fancy dress party?” asked the barman, who was new to the job.
“Na,” replied George. “Just saved a lass from drowning in the lake and blew out a fire at a warehouse all on me own. Got a fight with some aliens who’ve come down to destroy the earth in a bit.”
“You fucked Butcher,” the message said. “Now . . . you die.”
Just like that. From a blocked number, but it was her, all right. Only Stephanie had that voice. That throat full of broken glass. And it was her old man you were fucking.
Were, is right. When things got hot, he split. Even his smell was gone from your rooms, your sheets. You were left with an empty twat, and a pipe bomb in your guts.
Working on the principle that things are always worse than you think, Adam ordered another pint and asked the tattooed bartender if he’d heard about it.
“I’ve heard just about everything,” the guy said. He opened the tap on the Manny’s and filled the glass. He placed it on the circular coaster. “What’s it now?”
“Maybe it will be on the news. I don’t want to spoil it.”
Ain’t saying nothin’, Ronnie tells himself. He jounces anxiously in his seat, breathing through his nose; the bus passes the Rite-Aid on Greenwood. Never did. He never called nobody no nigger, not since that one time in school and got in trouble. Don’t say the n-word. You can’t. But they call white people names. Back in school they did him: Whitey, whiteass motherfucker, pecker, what was it? Peckerwood. Retard special ed white boy, they called him. They were in LD too, but he always was the one they picked on. Not just n-word, white kids Continue reading