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Baked in the Cake-Fiction by Hilary Lyon
The Bridge is Over-Fiction by Tim Frank
Free to Leave-Fiction by Mickey J. Corrigan
Bruno-Fiction by Edward Francisco
The Sicilian Doctor's Tale-Fiction by Paul Smith
Money Heals All Wounds-Fiction by Chris Fortunato
Flag Day-Fiction by Paul Beckman
Dance Fever Part II, Fiction by Greg Smith
Black Fedoras, Fishnet Stockings and An Old Master-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Lunar Madness-Fiction by J. Brooke
Killing Chauncey-Fiction by Gary Lovisi
Dee's Sentence-Fiction by Steve Prusky
Fire Man Sings the Blues-Fiction by Terry Butler
The Sequel: My First Novel_Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Switchbacks in the Forgotten Corner-Fiction by Walter Giersbach
Carnival Days 1969-Flash Fiction by Robert Kokan
Break-Flash Fiction by Martin Zeigler
Isabelle-Flash Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
All You Young Dudes-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Irony-Flash Fiction by Betty Reich
Even the Dead Need Somewhere to Live-Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Boiled Like Lobster (Not Me)-Poem by Bradford Middleton
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14 Days-Poem by Ann Marie Rhiel
Lives Alone-Poem by Kenneth James Crist
My Palimpsest-Poem by Leon Fedolfi
I Lay with Tigers-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Rushing Slowly Through a Lucid Dream with Roberto Bolano-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Dive-Poem by John Sweet
The Poem as a Bouquet of Broken Glass-Poem by John Sweet
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Boston Common-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Along the River-Poem by Holly Day
The Voyager-Poem by Holly Day
All Points from Zermatt-Poem by Henry Bladon
Lost Letters-Poem by Henry Bladon
Black Throat-Poem by John Tustin
Working It All Out-Poem by John Tustin
The Brutality and Terror-Poem by John Tustin
A Nice Poen for a Change-Poem by Marc Carver
The Lover-Poem by Marc Carver
Metier-Poem by Marc Carver
Strangers Keep Friending Me-Poem by David Spicer
True Love-Poem by David Spicer
Rita Hayworth and Me-Poem by David Spicer
Green Lasers-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Rodeo Clown-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
My Nightmare-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
The Joker-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
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Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
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No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

80_ym_flagday_jkgreensberg.jpg
Art by K. J. Hannah Greenberg 2020

Flag Day

 

by Paul Beckman

 

The cousins have been outside all day—even for lunch. The only time they left the yard was to walk the two blocks to see the Flag Day Parade. There were fire trucks, a float with the high school king and queen throwing out Fleer’s Double Bubble into the crowd for the kids, an old-timey convertible with geezer, Mr. Thorsen, the Parade Master, sitting on the back waving away like they were celebrating him and his dry cleaners. There was the high school band, the high school Gene Kelly Dancers, the grade school drummers trying to drum and walk at the same time and kids on their bikes waving away like Old Mr. Thorsen. The parade lasted all of twenty minutes and on the way back to Marty’s house they all agreed that last year’s parade was better.

Once home, Marty’s mom brought out fixings for sandwiches, loaves of Wonder Bread and big bags of ruffled potato chips and a huge platter of condiments in bowls: mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, 2 kinds of cheese, (white and yellow), peppers (hot and sweet), onion rings still in their cans, relish, hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and one of the aunts followed with the cold cuts: bologna, salami, ham, roast beef, turkey, and sardines. Two uncles carried out an ice chest with sodas and the aunts came back with lemonade and iced tea.

This was Marty’s idea since everyone else always has pizza for their parties. Marty liked being different, he was worried and tried not to show it, but he knew his mom and dad were keeping their eyes on him.

Finally, after the tables and blankets were cleared Marty’s mom came out the back door and stood on the porch holding his birthday cake waiting for Uncle Tony to take out his Zippo and light the candles after it was set down.. He pointed to the table with his Zippo meaning that he’d light it when it was set down. Marty looked over at his father who slowly shook his head no and then at his mother who gave him the evilest of evil eyes. As Marty’s mom walked down the steps she began to shake, and Uncle Tony grabbed the cake and took it back into the kitchen and straightened the candles. He suggested to Marty’s mom that she go out and stand with her husband and he’d bring out the cake. As soon as she was out the door he took a can of lighter fluid from his back pocket and emptied it on the cake soaking its way through the frosting.

Marty opened the door and started down the steps. Family and friends began singing Happy Birthday and Marty tried not to cry. He was thinking about going to jail the next day and no one would sing happy birthday to him there.

Marty’s Mom was now jobless, and Mr. Thornton was suing his parents for the arson that Marty committed by burning down his store and the three-family house he owned next door. No one believed Marty that Mr. Thornton threatened to fire his mother for stealing when they both knew it wasn’t true. Marty had a choice—see his mother arrested or burn down Thornton Dry Cleaning and Martinizing, for the insurance money.

The entire family was furious with Marty for bringing the shame down on all of them when he couldn’t bring himself to do it and sat in the corner of the alley crying. He saw his Uncle Tony carry in a gas can, break the side door window and unlock the door then pour the gasoline all around the store.

Marty’s mom placed the big sheet cake on the picnic table and the aunts brought out half gallons of ice cream; Neapolitan, chocolate, and strawberry, chocolate shots (some called them Jimmy’s), Hershey’s chocolate syrup, a few cans of whipped cream, and a jar of butterscotch syrup.

Everyone parted to let Marty walk up to his cake and blow out the candles at the proper time. Uncle Tony lit the candles and with a whoosh the whole cake went up in flames and Marty did his best to blow out the birthday fire but all he did was burn his eyebrows off and get major burns to his face and body when his T shirt caught on fire.

While the ambulance was on its way so was Uncle Tony. He was heading to the meet up spot with Mr. Thornton to collect the thousand dollars for torching the store. Mr. Thornton came out of the shadows and as soon as he handed Uncle Tony the money the cops surrounded them and took Tony into custody.

Marty testified at the trial but was given six months as an accomplice and Uncle Tony went away for ten years, this being his second arson conviction.






Paul Beckman’s new flash collection, his 4th, is Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press). 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 widely published in the following magazines, among others: Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Matter Press, Pure Slush, Thrice Fiction, and Literary Orphans. Paul earned his MFA from Bennington College. He hosts the monthly FBomb flash fiction series in NY at KGB’s Red Room. He’s judged writing contests for Cahoodaloodaling and Brilliant Flash Fiction as well as the State of New Jersey Writer’s Grants.




KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her latest photography portfolio is 20/20: KJ Hannah Greenberg Eye on Israel. Her most recent poetry collection is Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017). Her most recent fiction collection is the omnibus, Concatenation (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2018).

Recently, Hannah’s seventh short story collection was published by Bards and Sages Publishing.

The publisher writes: "Bards and Sages Publishing is pleased to bring readers Walnut Street, our seventh short story collection by KJ Hannah Greenberg. Greenberg’s flair for the peculiar and eclectic shines through in this collection of over fifty flash and short fiction works featuring anthropomorphic starship pilots, angsty authors, strange neighbors, and more."

Walnut Street is available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Walnut-Street-KJ-Hannah-Greenberg-ebook/dp/B07T4HB9S9/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=kjhannah+greenberg+walnut+street&qid=1561063957&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Volumes One through Five of the KJ Hannah Greenberg Short Story Collection at 50% off the list in an exclusive bundle only at 

https://www.drivethrufiction.com/product/156488/Greenberg-BUNDLE?affiliate_id=51852

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020