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Oklahoma-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Claire's Disposable Distraction-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Doing the Trash-Fiction by Sean McElhiney
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Dr. Flytrap's Home for Women-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
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There He is Again-Fiction by Thomas Bailey
Genital Pulp-Fiction by Matthew Licht
There is Nothing-Fiction by Rick McQuiston
La Mere Mauvaise-Flash Fiction by Dini Armstrong
One Dark Quiet Night Disturbed-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Prankster-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Petal World-Flash Fiction by j. brooke
Reading Bukowski-Poem by Bob Kokan
Preparing the Children for Grandma's Visit-Poem by John Grey
Marble-Sized Raindrops-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Never Any Good at Magic-Poem by J. J. Campbell
Red-Poem by Meg Baird
Spigot-Poem by Otto Burnwell
Wrong-Poem by Ruth Ticktin
In the Backyard-Poem by Holly Day
Harry the Hippie-Poem by David Spicer
Michelangelo's Handshakes-Poem by David Spicer
Flaxen Hair-Poem by John Short
Once Every Four Years-Poem by John Short
A Recap of the Main Points-Poem by Mark Young
Morning Raga-Poem by Mark Young
Corona-Poem by Marc Carver
Pandemic-Poem by Marc Carver
The Secret-Poem by Maec Carver
Consideration-Poem by Richard M. Prazych
The Apartment-Poem by Richard M. Prazych
Holiday_Poem by Richard M. Prazych
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ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

79_ym_onequietnight_aknott.jpg
Art by A. F. Knott 2020

One Dark Quiet Night Disturbed

 

by Paul Beckman

 

 

The knock on the door followed the ringing of the doorbell. No one comes to my house tucked away in the woods, Mirsky thought.

 

He peered out the dining room window, and in the moonlight saw three shapes—two adult and one child.

 

He flicked on the porch light, left the chain on the door, and opened it. Standing there were three gypsies—the one he thought a child was a little person. Mirsky had never met a gypsy, but he had no doubt in his mind that these were authentic gypsies and would clean out his house in minutes.

 

“Yes?” he said.

 

“Our van broke down near your driveway, and we’d like to call a garage,” the gypsy woman said.

 

“It’s late. All the garages are closed. Do you have AAA?”

 

“No.” said the woman.

 

“I’ll call them on my card. Go wait by your car.”

 

“Can we use the bathroom?”

 

“Sorry, pipe burst so there’s no water.”

 

“Can we come in and wait?” she asked.

 

“Unfortunately, my wife is ill and contagious, so we can’t take a chance on anyone catching what she has.”

 

“We haven’t eaten in a while. Do you have any food?”

 

“I’ll look, but we’ve been stuck in the house and haven’t been able to get to the store for days.”

Mirsky returned with a bag of food, but it wouldn’t slip through the chained opening.

 

“I’ll fit if you unlock the chain,” the gypsy lady said.

 

“I don’t have my key handy,” Mirsky told her, as he began to unload the bag and hand food items through the opening, one by one.

 

“We’re vegetarians and can’t eat these cold cuts,” the gypsy lady said.

 

Mirsky took the cold cuts back and went into the kitchen to get some cheese and crackers. He heard the chain snap and creak of the door opening. He ran out the back door, leaving his empty house to the gypsies.

 

By the time he got to his neighbors, some distance away, he saw the gypsies walking down their driveway.

 

He hid in the bushes, not knowing which way to turn, since now he was cold and hungry, and wishing he had the cold cuts with him.

 

 

 

Paul Beckman’s flash collection Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the Indie Short Story Award competition. Paul had a micro story selected for the 2018 Norton Anthology, New Micro Exceptionally Short Fiction. He was one of the winners in the 2016 The Best Small Fictions, and his story “Mom’s Goodbye” was chosen as the winner of the 2016  Fiction Southeast Editor’s Prize. He’s been published in the following magazines, among others: Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Matter Press, Pure Slush, Thrice Fiction, and Literary Orphans.


A. F. Knott is a self-taught collage artist focused on book layout and book cover design as well networking in conjunction with Hekate Publishing, one of its missions, bringing together artist and writer. Sometimes seen selling in New York City's Union Square Park. Work can be found on 

flickr.com/photos/afknott/ Any exchange of ideas welcome: anthony_knott@hekatepublishing.com

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020