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Baby It Was Divine-Fiction by P. K. Augustyn
Reservation Beer Run-Fiction by Daniel G. Snethen
Dark Streets-Fiction by Harry David Moss
Breathless-Fiction by Mick Rose
The "Birthday Blues"-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Redhead Reba-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Thor's Anvil-Fiction by J Brooke
You Never Know-Fiction by Jim Harrington
Something About the Devil's Pickup-Fiction by Walter Giersbach by
Do I Know You?-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The One and Only Alexa Kalekar-Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Guillotines Cause Permanent Disability-Fiction by M. A. De Neve
Biology is Destiny-Flash Fiction by David Powell
Knucksie-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Cell-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
Urban Renewal-Flash Fiction by Gerald E. Sheagren
Pearl-Poem by Meg Baird
Conundrum Street-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Hope of It-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Endings #2-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Immense Hot-Air Balloons-Poem by Alan Catlin
Red Fires Up the Bike-Poem bt Alan Catlin
Jazz Standards-Poem by Kevin Rabas
The Evening Air-Poem by Kevin Rabas
For K-Poem by Mark Young
The/Secret Life/ of Wilhelm Reich-Poem by Mark Young
A Line from the Leningrad Cowboys-Poem by Mark Young
Delta Leo Remembers Her Nephew-Poem by David Spicer
Rosa and the Creep-Poem by David Spicer
Tribe of Two-Poem by David Spicer
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 John Thompson 2018

Baby It Was Divine

by P.K. Augustyn


When the car stopped it took four of them to haul me out of the trunk and through the door. They stripped me naked and threw me into the chair. Two more were needed to tie down my arms and legs. Six goons total. I almost felt like I was winning. I turned my head to the guy on my left and spat blood and mucus on this face. He launched a haymaker that landed dead center on my ear. A howitzer shell exploded in my head.


I was working for The Bastard for only a couple of months when I first saw her. She was standing on the far side of the room and I remembered how her long blonde hair flowed down her back like ocean waves made of gold. She turned and caught me staring at her. Like a dream moving in slow motion, a warm smile came upon her beautiful face.

They moved quick. A guy started pounding brass knuckles into my left side. Another one went to work on my right. The cracking of my ribs echoed deep in my ear drums.

Everyone has that time in their life when they dive into something that they know they shouldn’t. Well, that’s how it was with us. In the beginning, it was just a lustful craving that we both felt we needed. Like two magnets, north and south. Which later turned into a romantic friendship with its laughter and sadness and despair. Then it turned to the most dangerous human emotion for both of us. Love.

A big hairy-knuckled lug stepped up to the plate. His closed fists looked like two cinder blocks. He danced the left-right number across my face. My head dropped when he was finished. Out of my one good eye I saw teeth, part of my lip and what I thought was the pulpy mass of an eyebrow laying in a pool of blood on the floor.  

You see, we were playing a dangerous game. She was The Bastard’s wife. And that created two gut-wrenching problems for me. I knew he didn’t like to let go of his possessions and I knew that I couldn’t live without her.

One of them drew a knife. He bent down and sliced my right Achilles tendon. A hot rubber band snapped up my leg and slammed into my calf like a shotgun blast. He cocked his head and smirked at me then he moved over to my other leg.

We talked about how we could make it work. She wanted to just break away and leave him. I thought about killing him.  I never told her that because she didn’t have that much hate in her. But I did. And I came up with a plan to knock him off.

The next punk came at me with an electric drill in his hand. The bit kept stalling in my kneecaps and he had to keep yanking it out to free it. My bloodcurdling screams caused my back to arch which intensified the agony in my chest from the shattered ribs.

I wanted her far away from him and his strings before I did it. I set her up near a little dusty town in Southern Utah. In an old Mormon farmhouse that I thought we could fix up and have a quiet life together. I was in my apartment, packing up my things and getting ready to head out to take care of The Bastard when they came. Six of them.



When the cobwebs cleared, the goons were lined up in front of me. I saw six haggard faces. Their jackets were off and my blood laid in dark red streaks across their untucked white shirts. Brown sweat stains ran down their backs and under their armpits. I put a smile on what was left of my face and wanted to laugh, but couldn’t.


A door opened, and The Bastard walked in.


One of the goons told him that they worked me over for three hours and I wouldn’t tell them where she was.


He came over and looked down at me. The harsh light forced a dark shadow across his pompous face. 


“Look at you. All of this could have been avoided.”


His voice seemed distant, like a light whisper.


“She’s the reason you’re here now.”


God, how I loved her.


“She’s the reason you’re all busted up now.”


God, I never hated a man so much.


“And she’s the reason you’ll be dead a minute from now.”


Then he just stood there, like he was waiting for me say something.


I dropped my head to my chest and managed to get one word out. Asshole.


Then I had a cloudy vision of her sitting alone in that farmhouse while the sound of his voice echoed in my skull.


“She’ll be found.”

“She’ll be found.”

“She’ll be found…”


I lifted up my head to look at him. I knew he was right.


He turned and nodded to the men before leaving the room.


Six guns came out, pointed dead center at my chest.

The ancient Greeks called love “the madness of the gods.”  Before I met her I never knew what the hell that meant. We had our stretch together and nothing could ever take that away from us. It happened. And it is stamped on a point along a timeline that runs forever with no end. It is there and it will always be there. I know she is here with me now and she will be with me forever. Wherever God sends me.

P.K. Augustyn was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and has worked at a leading high tech company in Rochester N.Y. When you don’t see him walking the streets of Western New York, you will find him kicking up dust in the deserts of the American Southwest. He has authored numerous short stories. Some can be found at Near to the Knuckle and, of course, Yellow Mama. He is still laboring on his first novel, featuring a Polish-American private detective operating out of Buffalo, NY.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2018