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Darker Than Dark-Fiction by Mark Joseph Kevlock
What a Mess-Fiction by Miles Ryan Fisher
Flippimg the Frozen Finger Farewell-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
A Gift of Death-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Maggot-Fiction by Max Watt
Redemption for a Lowlife-Fiction by Angelo Gentile
A Night Out at Wrath's-Fiction by Jason Butkowski
The Pact-Fiction by Edward Francisco
Joey Brick-Fiction by Henry Simpson
Violators-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Trauma-Fiction by Robert Petyo
Fire-Fiction by Tom Barlow
The Bank Robbin' Deacon-Flash Fiction by Walter Giersbach
The Matrix of Love-Flash Fiction by J. Brooke
Huddled and Crying-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
The Mere Four-Flash Fiction by Henry G. Stanton
The Big Hunt-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Family Tree-Poem by Neil Ellman
A Line from Lynynrd Skynyrd-Poem by Mark Young
The End of the End-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Bones-Poem by Christopher Hivner
The Berserker Train-Poem by Christopher Hivner
Contemplating an Unknown-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Lifeless Space Rock-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Our Armored Oxygen Suits-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Like Broken Glass-Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Walk at Night-Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Terrible Animal-Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
I Am Borges-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
I Am Hesse-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
I Am Camus-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The House of Four Senses-Poem by John Grey
At the Complaint Department-Poem by John Grey
My Mighty Pen-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
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Christopher Goss © 2019

The Bank-Robbin’ Deacon


 by Walter Giersbach


That’s what the newspaper called me. “The Bank-Robbin’ Deacon.” 

Damn it, and I even had a drink now and then at the VFW hall with the editor. The Minnetonka bank had been hit for about eighteen hundred bucks. Not a big heist, but the teller took a bullet in the shoulder. 

“I was shopping at the SuperValu at 2:30,” I told Sgt. Reilly after I was charged.  “I think I still have the cash register receipt.” Reilly was a guy I’d gone to school with.

“Thing is,” he said, “we got your picture. Standing at the counter. Holding a gun.  Facial-recognition match. The bank teller you wounded confirmed it was you.  Sorry, Jack.”

Double damn. I needed target practice and I didn’t think the crappy little bank had cameras.  

Reilly apologized before locking the cell door and pointing to a stinking jail mattress.

Next day the judge allowed it was a “first offense” and could have been an “impulse crime.” My wife made bail by emptying our bank account, cashed our savings bonds, and in 36 hours I was back home.

“How could this happen?” Alicia demanded. “You’re a church-going man, a good father. We don’t need the money!”

“That’s what I told the police. And the court. And now I’m going to find a lawyer.  Bob Mackenzie, I think.”

“He writes wills. He’s not a criminal lawyer.”

“Alicia, I need to think. I’m going for a long walk and then head down to the Cozy Corner for a coffee. I’ll be back soon . . . and don’t worry. The Lord is with us.”



People on Walker Street gave me the fish eye when I passed, or tried to make believe they didn’t see me. I drank my coffee, alone.

Back outside I lit one of the three cigarettes I smoke each day.

“Sorry for the shit dumped on you ‘cause of the bank I robbed.” 

An electrifying shock hit me as I stared at the stranger. It was like looking in a mirror. He wore a T-shirt and blue jeans, but otherwise was my exact image.

“What the hell?” I whispered.

“Yeah,” he said. “Surprise. I said the same thing when I saw your picture in the paper.”

“Who are you?” 

“Beats the shit out of me, ‘cept for one idea. I was an orphan. Got picked out’n an orphanage in Duluth. Coupla years ago, I had a friend sneak a look at their books and found my ma. She was a doper who died a year after dropping us on a church doorstep.” He held up two fingers. “Two kids. Me and my twin.”

“Wait! Wait a minute. You saying you’re my twin brother?”

“You tell me. Was you adopted? You look like your folks?”

A chill ran through my body. Both my mother and father had brown eyes, but mine were robin’s-egg blue—a recessive gene. And Mom used to laugh at the dimple in my chin, saying she thought her grandpa might’ve had one. “When were you born?” I demanded.

“’Bout February of 1984. No birth certificate, so I made it the 29th.” He laughed.  “Leap year. I only age one-quarter as fast as everbody else.”
I inhaled sharply. “That’s my birth date. I have my birthday cake on the 28th.”

“Guess our mama had identical twins. So anyway, I just wanted to say sorry for the shit I got you in. I’m out of here, now. Nice meetin’ you, Bro’. You’ll beat the rap.  Cops got no real proof.” He shot me a salute and turned.

“Wait! What’s your name—‘brother?’ ”

“Call me Jimmy.” He smiled, kind of brotherly.

“Well, Jimmy, stay in touch, and happy trails. I’m the VP of Purchasing in that big foundry outside of town.” 

I should have said thank you. Now, on Monday, I could hit the armored car courier while he was getting coffee, before dropping off our payroll. About 20 thousand, I figured.

If the cops questioned me, I’ll know where to send them to find the thief. That facial recognition photography sure is something.”




Walt Giersbach’s fiction has appeared in Bewildering Stories, Big Pulp, Corner Club Press, CommuterLit, Connotation Press, Every Day Fiction, Everyday Weirdness, Gumshoe Review, InfectiveINk, Lunch Hour Stories, Mouth Full of Bullets, Mystery Authors, OG Short Fiction, Over My Dead Body, Paradigm Journal, Pif Magazine, Pulp Modern, r.kv.r.y, Short Fiction World, Short-Story.Me, Southern Fried Weirdness, The Short Humour Site, Wilderness House Literary Review, The World of Myth and Written Word. Two volumes of short stories, Cruising the Green of Second Avenue, published by Wild Child <www.wildchildpublishing.com >, were available from online retailers until his publisher ceased operations. He served for three decades as director of communications for Fortune 500 companies, helped publicize the Connecticut Film Festival, managed publicity and programs for Western Connecticut State University’s Haas Library, and moderates a writing group in New Jersey.

Christopher Goss, longtime Black Petals and Yellow Mama contributor, has recently made some lifestyle changes, moving from Del Rio Texas, where he made his living building and servicing radio and TV towers, to Spearville, Kansas, where he now works on giant generators on a 300-unit wind farm. He has also started dabbling in some photo art, along with his dark fiction and poetry.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2019