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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 Hillary Lyon © 2019





Cindy Rosmus



          “Callie!” Daddy said. “No stealing. Remember?”

          Smirking, four-year-old Callie hid the hot-pink egg behind her back. I sneaked it into my own basket.

          “Want Daddy to spank you?’

          We both giggled. He never spanked us, or talked loud.

          Mom was the mean one. When she drank, even Daddy was scared of her.

          It was Easter, the day of the Big Hunt after church. A bouncy castle, plastic eggs filled with candy, hidden all over. No nuts, ‘cos some kids were allergic. Not me, but Callie was. The last time we ate peanuts, she almost died.

          “You crazy?” Daddy asked Mom, at the hospital. Maybe she was, but drinking made her forget.

          At the Big Hunt, lots of grownups smelled like Mom did, at night. They drank orange juice out of paper cups, with stuff added to it. Corks were popping, like on New Year’s.  Father Volpe walked around, pouring from bottles. Probably ‘cos Lent was over.

Mom had drank all through Lent. At home and at BJ’s, that bar across the street. Some nights she stumbled home, almost getting hit by cars. Once, we’d heard brakes squeal. “Get out the street, bitch!” some guy yelled. “F--- you!” Mom yelled back.

Daddy rushed downstairs, to half-carry her up. “Saw your skank today,” she said.  “The fat blonde. You f---k!”

She pounded on a neighbor’s door. “Help!” she screamed. “Rape!”

Under the covers, Callie and I held each other.

The police came, and things were OK. But, the next night, Daddy came in our room. “We’re moving soon, Lizzie,” he whispered, so Callie wouldn’t wake up. “All of us, but to different places.”

Where? I wondered. And . . . how?

“But it’ll be OK.” He looked through the door, like something good was waiting behind it.

A picture, I’d seen, on his phone. A blonde lady, with a round, pretty face.

Fat skank, Mom had said.

Suddenly, they were acting nice. Daddy even paid for Mom’s hair: She came home with rainbow colors: purple, bright blue, green. Easter Egg colors. He even ran his hands through her hair, and she giggled.

They didn’t like church, but sat through it with us, the day of the Hunt.

Daddy didn’t talk to us. Something was back on his mind.

“Long time no see.” Mom grabbed the last bottle from Father Volpe. When she poured it out, he added, “Melissa, you’ve had enough.”

Daddy tried taking her cup, but she wouldn’t let go. “Okay,” he said quietly. Father Volpe looked down at me, then away.

“C’mere, Lizzie.” Daddy took my hand, and we walked across the lawn.

Callie was over at the bouncy castle, with the smaller kids. We all waved, as Daddy and I headed toward the parking lot.

“I’ll wait here. Will you do something for Daddy?”

That hot-pink egg, he was holding. The one Callie stole, that I’d snuck in with my others. Somehow, he’d got it back.

Nodding toward a red car, he handed me the egg.

As I trotted over, the driver’s door opened, and a lady got out. The round-faced, pretty lady from Daddy’s phone.

With the biggest smile ever, she bent and took the egg from me.

We didn’t say anything, but I felt special. Like this day was special, and everything would be different, now.

Everything . . . .

On my way back, I heard shouts, from the lawn. Daddy was running back that way, as fast as he could.

“Daddy!” I yelled, but he didn’t stop.

Everybody was crowded around our table. I just saw Mom’s hair: the green and blue part. Father Volpe was closest to her. She was sick, ‘cos I smelled it. When Father turned around, there was throw-up all over his shirt, and white collar.

But Mom never threw up when she drank.

“Mom!” I yelled, but somebody pulled me back. “Mom!”

Sirens, as police and an ambulance hurried into the parking lot. Daddy held Callie, who was crying. “Mommy!”

“It’s OK,” he told Callie.

He looked at me, like he couldn’t see me. Like he was all alone, somewhere else. Like he’d done something so bad, not even Father Volpe could forgive him.

And neither would we.





Cindy is a Jersey girl who looks like a Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out 5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun Honey, Hardboiled, A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E, Dark Dossier, and Twisted Sister. She is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights activist.

Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder and senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An SFPA Rhysling Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Jellyfish Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River Review, as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories have appeared recently in Night to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens Call, and Tales from the Moonlit Path, among others, as well as in numerous horror anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats from the Big EasyThuggish Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White Noise & Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited "all-American Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona indie-film, "Vote for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada, and several states in the US, she now resides in southern Arizona.  https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/                                             

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2019