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Everywhere He Sees Her-Fiction by Oliver Lodge
Vegas Phoenix-Fiction by Steve Prusky
Bad Burger-Fiction by Willie Smith
Death and Forsythia-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Eileen-Fiction by Ray Valent
Eleventh Frame-Fiction by Bruce Harris
Regarding the Destruction...-Fiction by Matthew Lyons
The Next Step-Fiction by Nicholas Manzolillo
What Men Show Whores-Fiction by M. E. Purfield
You Should've Called Me-Fiction by Carol Sojka
At the Zombie Five and Dime-Reprint by Kenneth James Crist
Cassie-Reprint by Frank Zafiro
Nice Life if You Don't Weaken-Reprint by Michelle Reale
Old Aunt Sin-Reprint by Gary Lovisi
Yellow Mama-Reprint by Cindy Rosmus
Bald Baby-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Ruby-Flash Fiction by Liz McAdams
Widow's Might-Flash Fiction by M. C. Neuda
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning-Flash Fiction by Victor Clevenger
Sunday Evening-Flash Fiction by Victor Clevenger
Monday, Around Noontime-Flash Fiction by Victor Clevenger
The Woman on the Train-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
What Have Some of Us Become?-Poem by John D. Robinson
She Knows Something-Poem by John Lunar Richey
Harley Caress-Poem by Joe Balaz
The Unspoken Words-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
A Thunderstorm's Sideshow-Poem by David Spicer
Fruits, Vegetables, and Mindy's Topaz Eyes-Poem by David Spicer
Catherine-Poem by J.J.Campbell
Failures With Past Lovers-Poem by J.J.Campbell
Stomp-Poem by David Mac
Wilt?-Poem by David Mac
Carol of the Bells-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Eden-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Crazy, Crazy-Poem by Marc Carver
Love-Poem by Marc Carver
The Worst Poet in the World-Poem by Marc Carver
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Bald Baby

by Paul Beckman

 

When I was four years old, I got a beautiful bald baby doll for my birthday. My father brought it home from a business trip to Europe. My seven-year old sister Doris wanted to play with her but I wouldn’t allow it. A couple of weeks later, Bald Baby Doll disappeared from our vacation trip to the mountains and I never saw her again and I wouldn’t play with any other dolls.

Last week, our families, after years of estrangements, were together for Christmas, and Doris gave me an identical Bald Baby Doll. She said she’d been looking for one for the past forty-plus years and finally found one on eBay.

Tearing up, I hugged Bald Baby and went off to be alone. I noticed a little bit of red nail polish on two of her toes and remembered I had painted Bald Baby’s toenails and parts of her toes with Mom’s nail polish. When my husband came up to bed, he teased me for sleeping with a doll at my age.

Early the next morning, I was sitting with Doris’s four-year-old granddaughter, Dory, on the top step of the stairs. I was painting her toenails bright red. When I finished, I kissed her cheek and told her we should stand on the step on our tip toes, and bend over and look at her bright shiny nails.

I held on to the railing.

 

In his younger years Paul Beckman was a numbers runner, a fence, and hung around with the bad crowd. He still hangs with a dubious crowd.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017