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The Storm-Fiction by Sean O'Keefe
Claire Morgan's Key to Happiness-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Badass Ted's Christmas Adventure-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
As Good on Him as on a Dead Man-Fiction by Jeff Esterholm
Using Your Kit-Fiction by Andrew J. Hogan
The Apathetic Tide-Fiction by Alan Edward Small
Christmas Karma-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Salt Lake City Slaughterhouse-Fiction by J. Brooke
Mean Mama-Fiction by Tom Barker
All You Can Drink $5.00-Fiction by D. L. Shirey
Shell Shocked-Fiction by M. A. De Neve
The Present-Mark Joseph Kevlock
Red Christmas-Flash Fiction by Morgan Boyd
Samurai Santa-Flash Fiction by BAM
Guns and Rose-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Christmas Eve Blow and Doll Houses-Flash Fiction by Luke Walters
Holly, Jolly-Flash Fiction by Mandi Rose
Pineapple-Poem by Cindy Rosmus
Life is Weird-Poem by Meg Baird
Appendages-Poem by Samuel Cardinale
The Means of Production-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Suicide of Living-Poem by John D. Robinson
It's On My List-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Hoarding Life-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Homeless in NYC-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Death Speaks-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Time Stops-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
House of Un-Reality-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Ghosts of Borges-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Bitchers-Poem by David Spicer
Voltaire and the Literary Guerillas-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 Steve Cartwright 2018

Christmas Eve Blow and Doll Houses


by Luke Walters



Talk about lucky. It’s Christmas Eve. I’m outta blow, and next to my car outside of Speedy’s Check Cashing is a wallet—a glittery, teal one with an embossed black "M." Inside, there’s six hundred bucks, a driver’s license for some Mex named Maria, and a Christmas list. Mostly toys and shit on the list, only two things crossed off. Boy, is she fucked.

I pocket the cash and toss the wallet onto my passenger seat.

Party time. I drive to Hollywood Boulevard and wave Alicia over. For the season, she’s wearing a green bra with red edging around the cups, and sparkly high heels that make her red spandex-covered ass stick out a mile.

"You looking for some action?" I ask.

Alicia gives me her not-you-again look. "Need somebody who got lots-a jack," she says. "Still got presents to buy."

 I show her my wad. "Hop in," I say. She groans and gives me a nod.

"You still owe me from last time," she grumbles, as she slides inside. "I want it up front."

I grin. "Me, too."

I stop around the corner and count off a few twenties. She stuffs them in her bra. As I do her in the front seat, she pulls the teal wallet from under her butt, and I tell her about the Christmas list.

She says, "You’re a real jack wad. You should give the money back. That is, except what you paid me."

"Yeah, sure thing," I say, as I finish.

"Gimme a ride to Walmart," she says.

"Do I look like a fucking taxi? Get out and walk."

 Alicia gives me the finger, as I pull away.

Enrique’s not standing at his usual corner. I find him hanging with his bros on his back porch in the alley behind his house—Christmas music’s playing from inside.

I yell to him from my car. "Give me some of your good shit?"

He rubs his thumb against his index finger. "Dinero, hombre."

I fan some twenties, and his gold teeth flash me a smile.

Enrique struts to my car and lifts his shirt and yanks out some bags. Before he hands me the stuff, he grabs my wrist and calls out to his buddies. He’s staring at the wallet Alicia put on the dash. "That’s my sister’s. What you doing with it?"

I bite his hand. As he lets go, I hit the gas.

His friends chase after me. I lose them, but I’m fucked. He’ll hurt me for sure, and I won’t be able to buy shit. Nothing left to do.

Later, I go back. With Enrique at my driver’s side door and his pals around my car, I tell him, "I got everything on your sister’s list. Except for the Little Princess Doll House. None were left anywhere. I got the Sweet Angel one, instead. We okay? You think?"




Ed Radwanski, aka Luke Walters, resides in Arizona. His flash fiction has appeared in Yellow Mama, Mash Stories, Post Card Shorts, and in Envision - Future Fiction, an anthology by Kathy Steinemann on Amazon.

It's well known that an artist becomes more popular by dying, so our pal Steve Cartwright is typing his bio with one hand while pummeling his head with a frozen mackerel with the other. Stop, Steve! Death by mackerel is no way to go! He (Steve, not the mackerel) has a collection of spooky toons, Suddenly Halloween!, available at Amazon.com.    He's done art for several magazines, newspapers, websites, commercial and governmental clients, books, and scribbling - but mostly drooling - on tavern napkins. He also creates art pro bono for several animal rescue groups. He was awarded the 2004 James Award for his cover art for Champagne Shivers. He recently illustrated the Cimarron Review, Stories for Children, and Still Crazy magazine covers. Take a gander ( or a goose ) at his online gallery: www.angelfire.com/sc2/cartoonsbycartwright . And please hurry with your response - that mackerel's killin' your pal, Steve Cartwright.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2018