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Son of a Circus Clown-Fiction by Kip Hanson
Blinders-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Run, Robby, Run, Part 1_Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
707-1900-Fiction by Sean Daly
Bloodbath in a Vegas Firestorm-Fiction by J. Brooke
Resolve-Fiction by Stephen Tillman
Pom Pom-Fiction by Liz McAdams
The Woman on the Bed-Fiction by Justin Swartz
The Thing with Five Fingers-Fiction by Gary Lovisi
The Opposite of Dreams-Fiction by Beau Johnson
An Editor's Rejection Mistake-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Dig-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
Alibi, Inc.-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
A Slave to My Passion-Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
The Beckoning-Poem by Michael Keshigian
and so, naked us-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
fyi-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
last journal entry-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
the story to here-Poem by Meg Baird
Tom cat-Poem by Meg Baird
mon amie/my friend-Poem by Meg Baird
Ravens-Poem by John Grey
Tunnels and the Man-Poem by John Grey
His Body Dug Up from Your Garden-Poem by John Grey
Deuce-Poem by Sanjeev Sethi
Maxilla-Poem by Sanjeev Sethi
Resume-Poem by Sanjeev Sethi
Desperate for Entertainment-Poem by Michael Marrotti
Poetry in Need-Poem by Michael Marrotti
One Man Can Only Take So Much-Poem by Michael Marrotti
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Sean O'Keefe 2017


by Roy Dorman


The dame who walked into my office didn’t quite fit the bill. Oh, she was dressed to the nines and had a face to die for, but she had a fistful of hundreds in one hand and a .38 special in the other. Most of my clients kept their cards a little closer to the vest.

“I need to have been someplace else this morning,” she said.

I didn’t tell her, but I’d had that very thought run through my mind every day for the last two years.

“Most of the bars are still closed, but I suppose I could set you up at a gym.”

I deal in alibis. Somebody does somethin’ they shouldna done, and don’t want to pay the price for doin’ it, I set ‘em up with an alibi. I’ve got a string of staff on retainer in a variety of businesses who ain’t afraid of a perjury rap. 

Now, I don’t have “Alibi, Inc.” stenciled on the glass on my office door; that would be dumb. My business cards and my tax man say I’m a licensed private dick. Alibis are just one of my many services. I also do ID changes, relocations, motel room photography, and all of the other sleazy gigs that come with the private dick territory.

“Don’t you want to know what I’ve done?” she asked, all wide-eyed, still pointing the gun at me.

“Nah, that .38 tells me I’ll prob’ly be readin’ about it in the papers.”

In this business, the less ya know, the better. I was curious as to why she was pointin’ the gun at me when she had money clutched in her other hand, but figured we’d get to that eventually.

I called the gym, found out who was workin’ this morning, and set it up.

“So, here’s the deal.  The owner of the gym is Monty Schwartz. The trainers this morning are Herb and Lisa. You were there all morning, tryin’ the place out to see if you wanted to buy a membership.”

I took a head and shoulders shot of her with my cell phone and sent it to Monty.

“That’s it? I lie, they lie, and you get paid for it?”

“It’s a livin’. And, hey, don’t forget about the part that you don’t go to prison. As to my pay, how ‘bout you give me the gun and half the money ya got there and we’ll call it square? Ya prob’ly don’t want that piece anywhere near you, when the questions start, right?”

“How about I just shoot you and keep both the gun and the money? I already have an alibi.”

“Smart cookie, ain’tcha? I like that. How about us goin’ to lunch; I’ll buy.”

“Sounds swell, big spender. Then I’ll have an alibi for this afternoon too, won’t I?”

I turned the sign on the door over to “CLOSED” and locked up. Smart, funny, good lookin’, and knows how to use a gun. I’m thinkin’ this could be the start of somethin’ big.



Roy Dorman is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and is the submissions editor of Yahara Prairie Lights.  He has had poetry and flash fiction published in One Sentence Poems, Near to the Knuckle, Yellow Mama, Shotgun Honey, Theme of Absence, Drunk Monkeys, The Flash Fiction Press, Black Petals, and a number of other online magazines.  

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017