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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
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

talkytina.jpg
Art by Patty Mulligan 2017

Talky Tina

 

by

 

Daniel G. Snethen

 

 

Christie was divorced, seven years my senior,

had an adorable daughter and loved dolls.

 

Yes, Mr. Sohl, now what year exactly

was it you met Christie and her daughter?

 

1994 at my brother’s church—

she slept too late to attend the Baptist church.

 

And then?

 

We talked in the parking lot for three hours

about nothing and everything. I asked for

her phone number, something I’d never done before.

 

Ask a girl her number?

 

Exactly.

 

Did she acquiesce?

 

Yes, we married a year later—Christie,

Juliette and I and of course the dolls.

Christie collects dolls you know.

 

So you’ve said.

When exactly did they begin talking to you?

 

Not they, just her . . . Tina.

 

I didn’t even know Christie had her.

Many of Christie’s dolls are boxed, stored.

Too many to display.

Juliette turned five one May,

just eight days after my birthday,

and Christie gave her the same

doll her mother gave her when she turned five.

 

When did you begin talking to her?

 

I didn’t. She started talking to me.

The first day when no one was around.

 

“My name is Talky Tina and I don’t think I like you.”

“My name is Talky Tina and I’m watching you.”

“My name is Talky Tina and I’m going to hurt you.”

 

Come on Mr. Sohl, you don’t really . . .

 

That’s what Christie said.

Claimed her stepfather was the same way.

Tried to destroy Talky Tina.

Put her head in a vise, even tried to

burn her with an acetylene torch.

 

He heard a noise in the middle of the night.

Tripped, fell down the stairs, broke his

neck. Christie’s mother found him,

Talky Tina lying at his side.                                    

“. . . My name is Talky Tina and I love you.”

 

How long has Tina talked to you?

 

Eleven years, eleven torturous years.

Always sweet and sugary and nice when

Christie or the girls are around.                     

 

          “. . . My name is Talky Tina and I love you.”

 

But when alone, with a syrupy sugary

voice, candy coated most maleficently.                             

 

          “. . . My name is Talky Tina and I’m still watching you.”

 

And why have you just now consulted me?

 

The unbearable strain and Christie has

begged me for years to seek counseling.

 

Our relationship, mine and Christie’s,

and especially mine and Juliette’s

has been rather tense, you know, rocky.

 

And this morning, before I left for work,

(cigarette trembling in his hand)

she said, while no one else could hear her, she said:

 

“My name is Talky Tina and I’m going to kill you.”

 

 

 

Daniel G. Snethen is the owner and publisher of Darkling Publications. He serves as vice-president of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. Recently (May 2017), 10 pages of his poetry was anthologized in Resurrection of a Sunflower, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, curated by Catfish McDaris. Snethen's poetry has been published by: Bear Creek Haiku; Cover of Darkness; Danse MacabreDark Gothic Resurrected; Haiku Journal; The Horror Zine; Miller's Pond; Pasque Petals: Thirteen Myna Birds, and several other publishers of poetry. Snethen also coaches oral interpretation of literature and poetry Out Loud. He has qualified two high school students for the National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington DC, and has had the SD State Poetry Out Loud runner-up on two separate occasions. His favorite poet is William Blake, and his favorite poem is The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017