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Confidential Report on the Disturbance at Big Echo-Fiction by William Squirrell
Dwight-Fiction by Anthony Lukas
Snake Heaven-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Of the Blood-Fiction by Lela Marie De La Garza
The Liars of the Laughing City-Fiction by Richard Godwin
The Bull-Fiction by Oliver Lodge
Scratch Off-Fiction by Colt Leasure
...til I Wake Up-Fiction by Denis Bushlatov
Therapist-Fiction by Robert Petyo
Visitors-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Three Shots for a Dollar-Flash Fiction by Matthew J. Hockey
A Nun's Smile-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
911-Flash Fiction by Karen Heslop
The Faint of Heart Work for a Living-Flash Fiction by Lester L. Weil
Another Day, Another Death-Flash Fiction by Sandor Kovacs
Jim Dandy-Poem by g emil reutter
Blind Man's Bluff-Poem by Marc Carver
Closed-Poem by David Mac
The Voice Within-Poem by Michael Keshigian
green shoots-Poem by Meg Baird
jack and jill-Poem by Meg Baird
An Outlaw in the Making-Poem by John D. Robinson
Often She Says-Poem by John D. Robinson
rogue dragonflies-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
rogue drones-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
wind through the evergreens-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
My Phantoms Hang Neatly-Poem by A. J. Huffman
The Hour of the Cat-Poem by A. J. Huffman
Owlish Eyes in the Dark-Poem by A. J. Huffman
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

dwight.jpg
Art by Steve Cartwright 2017

Dwight

 

Anthony Lukas

 

 

Dwight was angry.  As usual.

He was crossing his dark street in the middle of the block going from his apartment to his rust bucket of a car.  He hadn’t looked before he’d crossed, just headed out because he was mad and people could just damn well look out for him.

He was mad at a world that had left him in a dump of an apartment and with a junker of a car.  He was blind to the fact that he was in a world largely of his own making, stitched together from a life of dumping school, drugs, of jobs he didn’t have for long because he was never ‘treated right.’ 

A car slowed for him as he strode across the street, Dwight, not even bothering to look at the driver or acknowledge the courtesy.  He did glance back and saw that the car had stopped. What the hell is his problem? He stopped, car keys in hand and stared at the driver, who seemed to be looking back. Screw you, and headed toward his own car.  He was just there when he saw that the other car had backed up and now sat opposite him, driver visible as a shadow in the dark of the interior.

“What?” demanded Dwight.

Nothing from the car.

“Screw you, a- hole,” Dwight said.

Still nothing.

Dwight balled his fist and stomped toward the car, ready to give this a- hole a reaming. The driver’s window slid down revealing an old guy with a round face, thinning gray hair, sunken eyes with dark circles. He wore an old dark sweater with a small silver crucifix hanging around his neck.

Dwight leaned on the roof of the car, stared down at the man.  “You dumb ass old fart, you don’t want to mess with me.”

Nothing. The old man just sat calmly, expressionless, staring back at Dwight. Dwight opened his mouth to shout more when he saw the barrel of the gun almost resting on the window frame, pointing right at his gut.  Dwight hesitated but then leered “You goin’ to shoot me, old man?”

“Yes.”

Just ‘yes’, nothing more. No expression, no emotion. Just a conversational ‘yes’.

Dwight stared, then grinned. “I’m just going to turn around and walk away so if you’re going to shoot me you’ll have to shoot me in the back like some chicken shit.”

“Okay.”

Dwight blinked. “Who the hell are you?”

“We’ve never met.”

“I know we’ve never the f---” Dwight stared at the gun and bit off the rest of what he was going to say. “I know we have never met. So why you want to shoot me?”

“I’d be doing the world a favor, wouldn’t I? I mean, it’s not like you’re worth anything. Kind of a waste of the air you breathe.”

Dwight wanted to smash the old man’s face. Dwight opened his mouth to curse the old man, then checked himself because of the gun.  “What you want from me?” he said. “I ain’t goin to beg.”

The old man raised an eyebrow. “I don’t care.”

What the hell? That gun, that gun that hadn’t wavered and those eyes that hadn’t moved from Dwight’s face. He tried again.

“Look, I don’t know what this is about, I don’t know you, so I’m just going to go to my car ---.”

“Got another car? Well, you did wreck the other one didn’t you?”

 

“The other ---,” and Dwight stopped. “What the hell you talking about?”

“You know, the one you ran into the wall after running over my granddaughter.”

Now Dwight started to sweat. The gun, the dead cold eyes. “I did my time for that.”

“Yes, you did your eight months for vehicular manslaughter and now you’re out and my granddaughter is still dead. And my daughter…well, she just hasn’t been the same. Standing on the corner, watching her daughter crossing and then---.” The old man shrugged and shook his head. “She’ll never be the same and there’s nothing I can do for her. A father ought to be able to help, should know the right thing to do or say,” he said, nodding absently to himself, an odd look in his eyes. The fingers of his other hand pressed against the little silver crucifix that hung around his neck.

Jesus, he’s crazy, thought Dwight and looked at the gun, gauging if he could grab it, but then the old man was fully focused on him again. “I can’t fix it, but maybe I can make it right,” he said.

Sweat stung Dwight’s eyes but he was now afraid to move. He said, “Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to kill her, she was just there.”

“Just there in the crosswalk and you were speeding because you were mad because you had just been fired. Again. Isn’t that right. Dwight?” 

Dwight tried to put a swagger in his voice and said, “You can’t just shoot me. There are people around,” looking around at an empty dark street.  “They’ll throw your old ass in prison,” he finished lamely.

The old guy just shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.” He smiled a small smile. “You know, Dwight, life’s funny. You get news that leaves you depressed as hell, but then sometimes something good comes out of it,” nodding to himself again, fingering the little silver cross. “Funny how liberating a diagnosis of terminal cancer can be.” 

The old man raised the gun slightly, said, “I’ll be seeing  you soon, Dwight,” and squeezed the trigger.

 

 

 

The original version of "Dwight" was published at Overmydeadbody.com in May, 2015.






Anthony Lukas is retired from the practice of law and from owning his own chocolate store.  Now he works part-time in one of our national parks and produces the occasional short story. He has also previously been published in Over My Dead Body <overmydeadbody.com> and Bewildering Stories <bewilderingstories.com>.




In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017