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The Fog-Fiction by Kevin Eade
Claire's Close Call-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Fools for Love-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Texas Redux-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Bridge Game-Fiction by DV Bennett
Transitory Unease-Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Howie's Cell-Fiction by Chris McCartney
The Hit Woman's Hand Book-Fiction by J. Brooke
Stones Girl-Fiction by Don Stoll
One Day in the Suburbs-Fiction by Mitchel Montagna
The Bloody Whorehouse Detective Agency-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Happenstance-Fiction by Michael Stewart
You Were Supposed to Be-Flash Fiction by Bill Baber
The Last Time I Almost Used-Flash Fiction by Jennifer Carr
Swimmer-Flash Fiction by Mark Cotton
Wordsmith-Poem by Meg Baird
Hey, Aunt Libby-Poem by Alex Salinas
Three Colors-Poem by Melissa Dobson
The Ladderites-Poem by David Spicer
My Kind-Poem by Brian Rihlmann
Night Colors-Poem by Luis Berriozabal
Doc's Death-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Gopher-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
A Hot Summer Night After Wine-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Conception-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Married Life-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Sea World-Poem by Robert Halleck
Early Morning at a Friend's House in 1972-Poem by Robert Halleck
Pelican Bay-Poem by Robert Halleck
Right Through the Heart-Poem by David Boski
Sky Burials-Poem by David Boski
Third Time's a Charm-Poem by David Boski
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 2019

You Were Supposed To Be

by Bill Baber


I had been in love with Suzy Foster since second grade. Now, we were seniors in high school, and she still acted like she didn’t know me, despite the fact that we were in the same homeroom and shared a history class together.

Suzy had always been one of the popular girls. When we got to high school she became a cheerleader. Over the years I had only mustered up the courage to speak to her a handful of times, I was extremely shy, and her beauty tied my tongue in knots. Each time she ignored me. Each time it felt like she plunged a knife into my chest. Couldn’t she tell by the way I looked at her how I felt? Didn’t she see me in the front row of the bleachers at every football game, watching her do her cheer routines?  Didn’t she notice that I walked past her house over and over, or that I followed her doggedly through the halls at school?

I didn’t know what else to do to get her to notice me.

Not long after the school year started she began dating Dan Coates—the quarterback on the football team. He was everything I wasn’t. I was short, skinny, and had a bad case of acne. I rode a bicycle to school. Dan was tall, strong, and extremely handsome and drove a Camaro. He was like a lion everyone admired and I was a feral cat no one wanted.


The night of the homecoming game, they were voted king and queen. That really stung. I had always considered her as my princess. There was a party after the game that night. The Grove was a wooded area out on the edge of town. My parents were out that night, and I took my father’s pistol from its hiding place in the closet, tied a flashlight to the handlebars of my bike, and rode there.

I stashed the bike just off the road and snuck through the trees. In a small clearing, a bonfire illuminated the scene. There were fifty or so kids there, more boys—most football players—than girls. Led Zeppelin played from someone’s car. All the boys and some of the girls were drinking cans of beer.

Suzy and Dan stood near the center of the gathering.  Dan had thrown a touchdown pass late in the game to seal the win. He and some of the other boys kept replaying it while Suzy clung to him, all the while gazing at him with unbridled admiration. I was so disappointed in her. My princess couldn’t be that shallow, could she?

After an hour or so, the party began to break up. Soon, Suzy and Dan were the only ones left. They stood face-to-face near the fire, entwined in one another’s arms.  It was supposed to be me holding her. They began to kiss. Those lips were supposed to belong to me. I could feel the anger rise in my chest.

They made their way to his Camaro, clumsily climbing into the back seat. In the flickering light of the fading fire, I watched them kiss some more. Then I saw her head bobbing up and down in his lap. For a moment I thought I would be sick, but another wave of anger pushed that feeling away. She was supposed of been pure.

Moments later, Dan was on top of her, pumping away. I could hear her animal-like groans.

This shouldn’t be happening, I thought. She was supposed to be mine. She was supposed to have saved herself for our wedding night. I hated her now. The thought of what she had become repulsed me. She was a dirty whore.

I walked up to the car. The passenger door was open. I pointed my father’s pistol at the back of Dan’s head and pulled the trigger. Suzy and I were covered in his blood.

She looked at me and screamed. She sure as hell knew who I was now, but I no longer cared.

“You were supposed to be mine,” I said quietly.

I pulled the trigger again and repeated, “You were supposed to be mine.”

Bill Baber’s crime fiction and poetry have appeared widely online and in numerous anthologies. His writing has earned Derringer Prize and best of the Net consideration. A book of his poetry, Where the Wind Comes to Play, was published by Berberis Press in 2011. He lives in Tucson with his wife and a spoiled dog and has been known to cross the border for a cold beer. He is working on his first novel.

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 2019