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Spook on Rye-Fiction by Will Bernardara, Jr.
A Study in Loss and Hunger-Fiction by T. N. Allan
Tepid Strawberries-Fiction by Preston Lang
The Ice Tombs-Fiction by j. brooke
Uncle Harry-Fiction by Michael S. Stewart
Run, Robby, Run, Part 3-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Hunting Ghosts-Fiction by J.M.Taylor
SkitzoFreniC-Fiction by Michael Bauman
Candy Man-Fiction by Frank Quinn
A Dog of War-Fiction by Robb T. White
The Retiree's Epiphany-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Reckoning-Fiction by Edward Francisco
Sarcasm's Dream-Fiction by Erin J, Jones
Dishes, Dishes, Dishes-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Angels in Vegas-Flash Fiction by Tom Darin Liskey
An Alto for the Choir-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
A Splash of Red-Flash Fiction by Daniel Clausen
A Slight Disposition-Flash Fiction by James Coffey
Together Forever-Flash Fiction by Bill Baber
Talky Tina-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Play Dead-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Boycott This Poem-Poem by Michael Marrotti
Monaco-Poem by John Doyle
He Dubbed Himself General Custer-Poem by David Spicer
Moment of Madness-Poem by Meg Baird
A Beautiful Chaos-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Phantom Voices Floating...Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Dirty White Girl-Poem by Ian Mullins
Don't Do It, It Ain't Worth It-Poem by Ian Mullins
Cursed-Poem by John Grey
Regarding the Coming of Man-Poem by John Grey
Threshold-Poem by Kenneth P. Gurney
Word Salad With Ranch-Poem by Kenneth P. Gurney
Turnabout-Poem by Kenneth P. Gurney
Cartoons by Cartwright
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 Cindy Rosmus 2017

A Slight Disposition


by James Coffey



He knows, he definitely knows. Stop it. You’ll give yourself away. I can’t stop looking at the patch of earth. That’s what you want, isn’t it, to give yourself away?

“You’re quite sure?”

“What? Yes. Quite sure.”

I can smell her body. He must be able to smell it, too. Tell the truth. She's dead, but you didn’t kill her. I must have been slightly mad. Yes that's it, I suffer from a slight disposition, you see and the drugs we took affected my mind. I’ll say I panicked when I woke beside her dead body. That’s it, I panicked, yes.

 “Not at work today, sir?”


"I asked if you are due at work today."

"I'm not well. I have this slight disposition, you see."

"Disposition, sir?"

Her body will be a suppurating mass of larvae by now. I bet he can smell it. I can. When I woke from the nightmare, she lay dead beside me. I started to bury her, but that’s when the sickness came over me, and I put her in the shed. I bet he can smell it. Why did I bring him out to the patio? So that he would smell it, of course; so that you’d be caught.

“It’s nothing serious.”

"I see you've been gardening."

He knows! My life is over. What will the neighbors think? They’ll say I drugged, raped, and killed her. Imagine the headlines. You’ll go to prison for years. Think of what they’ll do to you in prison. No, whatever you do, don’t think about that.

"I was gardening when I became unwell,” I say pitifully. The shed door is ajar.

"You should see a doctor."

"Really, I’ll be fine." I closed the door behind me. Are you sure? Of course I’m sure. I mean really sure. I said I’m sure.

 "The description means nothing to you?"

He's trying to trap me.

  "Nothing at all, I'm sorry."

“This is a nice garden."

He keeps going on about the garden.

"Has she has been reported missing?"

  "She was found wandering along the High Street some nights ago. No recollection of what has happened to her or who she is. Drugs you see, people don't realize the dangers. Well, if anything comes to mind, you'll contact me?"

"Of course, yes."

Immediately he had gone, I ran to the shed and opened the door. The shed was empty! Oh, how I cried, as I dropped to my knees in a daze of happiness. I had not killed her. Then my phone rang: it was her.

“Gee, what a night that was, and boy am I’m missing you, now.  But we’ll be together again soon, I promise you that.”

I ended the call. My God, will I never be rid of this woman? Then came the memory of her face, her eyes, her lips, and her body pressed against me. The doorbell rang, and in fevered anticipation, I ran to answer it. It was the detective. He held an earring in his hand.

“I found this by your front gate. Our mystery woman was wearing the other one. I’m told she has discharged herself from hospital. Perhaps she might call round to collect her earring?

What do you think?”

  I stood speechless, and then felt my tears falling “I didn’t do anything. I’m innocent.  It wasn’t my fault,” I snivel, “Not . . . my . . . fault,” I drivel.

“Your disposition seems to have worsened,” he said. “Perhaps you’d like to talk about it?”

James Coffey lives and works in Coventry, England. He started writing short stories some years ago and enjoys the challenge of trying to say as much as possible in as few words as possible. He has been published in Linnets Wings, Apocrypha & Abstraction, Yellow Mama, Molotov Cocktail, and Dogzplot.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017