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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
Black Summer-Poem by Wayne F. Burke
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
The Projector-Poem by Michael Keshigian
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
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Michael D. Davis 2020



by Betty Reich



“You know the drill, kid,” said Big Marko. He gave the tribal salutation and pushed Frankie Boy out into the ugly, dark night. Cold rain seeped down through his paper-thin windbreaker and saturated his worn sneakers, but nothing could daunt the boy; he was on a mission.

Accomplishing this initiation would afford him a roof over his head, maybe a couple of Big Macs and fries, even when his stomach was not aching for food. He’d no longer be the Artful Dodger to Fagin; no more bullying terrified little girls for their lunch money, or lifting candy bars from the bodega—all petty crimes.

This was the Big Time!

He pictured himself in the black satin-lined jacket with the gang’s name emblazoned on it, standing loyally with them—being called “Bro”—belonging to the Rods, forever.

Wet and chilled, he turned into the alley, which was covered in filthy muck, ignoring the stink of the over-laden garbage bins, the piles of feces, and the huge Tom cat that gnawed on the remains of a half-eaten rat.

Fourteen years old, abandoned, and lonely, he dreamed of acceptance in a world that neither knew, or cared, about his existence . . . until now.

Suddenly, it seemed a wall of the darkness was moving. A heap of rags, like something from a horror movie, stepped toward him. His balls shriveled up in fear until he realized his search was over; his quarry had actually come to him.

The homeless woman emerged from behind the dumpster, unaware of the intruder.

His first kick brought her to her knees. In her stupor, she thought she’d tripped on some rubbish and despite the pain, groped around for the package she held tightly to her breast when she had stumbled.

She crawled over to reach it, licking her cracked lips hoping to savor the last drops of wine left in the bottle, but Frankie Boy kicked it out of her grasp and brought his foot down on her fingers. She wailed in pain, as the fog of her mind cleared.

She looked up at her attacker, who now mercilessly punched her again and again. Frankie Boy felt a stir in his groin, a hard-on growing bigger each time he hit her. Christ, he’d better cool it before he came in his pants.

The broken piece of humanity lay motionless at his feet. Frankie Boy spit, snickered, and even giggled nervously; then, he let out a victorious howl as he turned away. The yellow-eyed Tom, the only witness to the slaughter, watched the punk, as he swaggered out of the alley.

In the bathroom at the corner gas station, he washed up, checking his image in the cracked mirror; a boy looked in, but a young man stared back. Big Marko would interrogate him, and he would describe it with morbid joy, step-by-step. He felt he had earned his membership in the Rods.

To celebrate, he decided to add another tattoo to his already decorated body—a large crucifix adorned his thin back; a fire-breathing dragon leaped from his hairless chest.

Buzzed into the parlor, the owner—who knew Frankie Boy and signed the consent forms himself—gave him a high-five greeting.

“What’ll it be this time? A naked lady, a swastika?”

Frankie Boy peeled off his sweat-soaked shirt and flexed the muscle of his right arm; he pointed to the drawing he had chosen. The artist set up his table of needles, inks, airbrush material—all the tools of the trade—and began the outline in deep blue ink.

With the precision of a surgeon, he etched “MOM” into Frankie Boy’s pale skin.

Betty Reich is a feisty senior (87) living in Boca Raton. She belongs to a women's writing group and they suggested she submit “Irony” to Yellow Mama.

If Charles Addams, Edgar Allan Poe, and Willy Wonka sired a bastard child it would be the fat asthmatic by the name of Michael D. Davis. He has been called warped by dear friends and a freak by passing strangers. Michael started drawing cartoons when he was ten, and his skill has improved with his humor, which isn’t saying much. He is for the most part self-taught, only ever crediting the help of one great high school art teacher. His art has been shown at his local library for multiple years only during October due to its macabre nature. If you want to see more of Michael’s strange, odd, weird, cartoons you can follow him on Instagram at mad_hatters_mania.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020