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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
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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

The Last Time I Almost Used


by Jennifer Carr



Craving a fix, I called a friend. She always gave me a needle and heroin, but didn’t because she knew I was clean.

What a bitch.

I wanted to get loaded. I hadn’t used for 3 years, but that morning I woke up with one objective – to get high. The obsession consumed me. I begged, and begged, until my friend agreed. She of all people should understand, all I needed was one, just one.

I knew the time frame. From the time she called, to the time I had the dope in hand, I would be high within two hours. My poor husband and kids thought I was at work, completely unaware I was about to get loaded, after I promised I would never do that again.  

Finally, my friend called the dealer, but the dealer didn’t answer the phone; his brother answered, instead.

We were told the dealer overdosed from a bad batch of drugs. What? Neither of us could believe it. This was the same dope I was trying to score, so I could get high. I was supposed to be high right now.

I briefly had a moment of clarity when my life flashed in front of my eyes.  Obviously, God was trying to tell me it wasn’t meant for me to put a needle in my arm.

Then, the moment of clarity was gone. Sitting in my car, on the side of the road, I started punching the steering wheel. I had $100. I wanted drugs. Reality started to set in. What was I going to do, now?

It’s sick, but it only takes one hit. It’s like people who smoke cigarettes—that feeling of taking one drag, when they inhale and the smoke enters their lungs, they exhale and then do it all over again.

Smokers can’t stop after one drag, or one cigarette. When they quit, it’s hard, because chewing gum or eating does not compare to the feeling of nicotine entering the lungs. You want it, but you don’t.

It’s the same for me, but once I inject that drug, everything changes; in seconds, I become a different person. I. have. to. have. it. Once I put that needle in my arm, there is no feeling like the feeling of shooting up.

Sometimes, I’m on that fence. But there were no fences today—I knew what I wanted. 

I aimlessly drove around, crawling out of my skin, trying to make sense of the news I just received.

I wouldn’t even have returned home to my family, if I would have gotten high. I’d be alone on a public bathroom floor, somewhere.

It was not just a close call, but a wake-up call. I almost threw three years of clean time— and my life—away . . . over just one more time.

What happened next, I can’t explain. I prayed like never before. Then, this strange peace came over me.

It can only be explained as divine intervention. The cravings suddenly lifted like fog, evaporating into the skies. My mind wasn’t foggy anymore.

I went home to my family. I kissed my husband and kids goodnight, before crawling into bed, myself.

Thank you, God, I thought, for this day.

For more than one more day . . .

With my family.



Jennifer Carr lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her partner and two children. She is an EMT, Firefighter, Poet and Author. When she is not working at the local hospital or firehouse, she spends way too much time reading and writing. Her poetry and fiction has been published in print and in on-line publications. Jennifer loves flying by her own wings and looks for any opportunity to soar to new heights. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter @PoetryHaiku13 (https://twitter.com/Poetryhaiku13). Jennifer can be found on Facebook as Jennifer Carr Munoz.

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