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The Last Meal of Laughing Boy Reilly-Fiction by Jason Butkowski
Miss Pearl-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
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Salton Sea-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
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Radiant Night-Fiction byPauline Duchesneau
Late Returns-Fiction by P. K. Augustyn
Bad Influences-Fiction by Marci McKim
Where My Fathers-Fiction by Willie Smith
Nothing I Could Do-Fiction by Brian J. Smith
The Magician-Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Sky Toucher-Falsh Fiction by Jerry Vilhotti
Dark Morning-Flash Fiction by M. G. Allen
What Might Happen in Vegas-Flash Fiction by Bill Baber
San Mateo County Easter Egg Hunt-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
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A Lack of Rain-Poem by Michael Keshigian
In Traffic-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
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Sometimes the Light is My Enemy-Poem by Christopher Hivner
Char-Poem by Robert Beveridge
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I Knew Him when He was Six-Poem by Michelle Hartman
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Hillary Lyon 2018

The Magician

by Jon Park


Ray sat at the bar in the speakeasy and watched his next hit, the Magician, who was currently living up to his nickname, performing a card trick to a boisterous blonde, who squealed with delight as he made a playing card disappear from his hand and reappear down her cleavage.

Ray smiled to himself. He was witnessing the final performance of the Magician. He didn’t even know the guy’s real name.

The family had ordered the hit. And, today, Ray would be the Magician’s able assistant, helping him vanish, for good.

Why? Ray never wanted to know, his was just to execute the family’s request, quite literally, in this case.

The Magician rose from his table, sank his drink and planted a kiss between the blonde’s cleavage. Another squeal erupted from the blonde. “Just need to take a piss. Now make sure you’re still here when I come back,” he said.

Ray watched as his target made his way through the bar to the toilets at the rear of the speakeasy. Time to get to work. He sank his whiskey and followed, feeling the reassuring outline of the gun in his pocket.

Just as he went to push the toilet door open, the Magician came barging out and stumbled into him. The two grappled, until Ray’s upper body strength, courtesy of days spent in the prison gym, won through and he forced the Magician back through the toilet door. Ray shoved him away, creating space for him to pull the gun from his coat. He planted it square in the Magician’s face.

The Magician threw his hands up, “Hey man, chill. It was an accident; the floors in here are slippery. Let me buy you a drink.”

“Shut the fuck up,” Ray spat, as he checked the toilets were empty. He then forced the Magician into the first cubicle, using the barrel of the gun to move him back as far as he could go.

“Hey, listen, man. If that’s your girl out there, we were just messing. You know.”

Ray took a step back. He didn’t want blood or bone getting onto his coat.

“The family sends their regards,” he said, pulling the trigger.

Nothing. Misfire. He pulled again. Click. Click.

The Magician smiled. “Out of bullets, buddy.” And opened his hand. Six shells fell to the floor.

Before Ray could react, a blade flashed in a spray of red. His legs gave way, and he slumped to the floor.

The Magician meanwhile, did a disappearing act.               



Jon Park lives in Gateshead, in the North East of England. After several years playing guitar in a local band, he turned to writing, and with encouragement from his daughters Emily and Charlotte, and his partner Tracey, he started to release them into the world. Though “The Magician” was his first piece to be accepted for publication, his story “My Heart Will Always Be Yours” appeared in Issue # 66 (Feb. 15, 2018) of Yellow Mama.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2018