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Better Than Nightmares-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Page One Four One-Fiction by A. F. Knott
The Devil You Know-Fiction by Gary Lovisi
Cabin Fever-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Ramona's House-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Visitation-Fiction by Henry Simpson
The Night Driver and the Injured Man-Fiction by Roy Dorman
They Both had Guns-Fiction by Jeremiah Minihan
The Earl of Redcrest-Fiction by Ashley Bailey
Black Cat-Fiction by Stephen Tillman
A Place for Grandpa-Fiction by Paul Smith
Away from Home-Fiction by Bruce Costello
Dolls-Fiction by R. Peralaz
Bright Eyes-Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Heart Attack-Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
A Turn for the Worse-Flash Fiction by Maria Espinosa
Rain-Flash Fiction by J. Brooke
Specter-Poem by Chad Haskins
Blue Ghost-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Unfathomable Rhapsody of Psychosis-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Late, Late-Poem by J. L. Hoy
One for the Road, I Guess-Poem by Jennifer Lemming
Edge of Nowhere-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Summit-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Three Tenses-Poem by Meg Baird
Caution-Poem by Meg Baird
Honeysuckle Breeze-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Old Crow and I-Peom by ayaz daryl nielsen
Moments-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Developing Land-Poem by Alan Catlin
Sideshow Freaks-Poem by Alan Catlin
Insomnia-Poem by Alan Catlin
Without-Poem by John Grey
Graveyard Stroll-Poem by John Grey
The Two of Us-Poem by John Grey
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

Model: Muhammed Ihsan Auqib
brighteyes.jpg
Art by Daniel Valentin 2018

BRIGHT EYES

 

by Jon Park

 

          I had been pestering Dad since the first of October to get me a pumpkin. Sure, he was busy with work stuff, but all I wanted was one pumpkin to carve and put out on our porch. Was that too much to ask? But, as normal, he forgot and by the time Mom had rushed down to Walmart, they had sold out.

          She returned with ice cream and a bottle of wine instead. I just sat on the porch, sulking. Grandma, who was sat on the porch swing, tapped me with her walking stick. “Your dad works real hard, Jimmy. Don’t you be so hard on him.”

          Then Dad came out on the porch for a smoke. “What’s wrong with your face, Jimmy?” he asked. “So I was too busy earning a living to keep a roof over our heads, and now all you can do is mope around. So you don’t have a pumpkin to carve, why don’t you try improvising, rather than being such a miserable prick.”

          When Dad went back in, it hit me. He was right. I would improvise.

          So, on Halloween night, I had my carved lantern sat on the porch, the lit candles looking oh-so-cool, shining like coals in hell from the eyes. Once I had removed the top, it was easy to scoop the insides out. I was so proud I had used my initiative.

          Mom came out on the porch. I waited for her to admire my work and compliment me on my improvised lantern.

          “Jimmy, have you seen your Grandma, today?”

I smiled and guided her gaze to my masterpiece on the porch. Mom screamed like the proverbial banshee and just kept going.

This was the best Halloween ever. Dad came running and followed Mom’s shaking hand as she pointed at my lantern. He then lost his shit.

I’ve no idea why; Grandma’s eyes had never looked so alive.

 

 

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