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The Grove-Fiction by Kim Bonner
Sawed Off-Fiction by Allan Leverone
Buried Memory-Fiction by James Flynn
Laying Blame-Fiction by Julian Manthorne
Salmone Puttanesca-Fiction by A. F. Knott
Jedda Summons a Higher Power-Fiction by Robb White
Cherry-Orange-Grape-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Jingles and Mr. Hammer-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Shhh...Listen to the Ekko-Fiction by Brian Fugett
Serial-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Somnium Trivium-Fiction by Michael Steven
An Arms Deal-Fiction by Matthew Licht
The Decline of the Midnight Sadist-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Stormy Night at Pussycat Manor-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Passengers-Fiction by Dan A. Cardoza
Storm_Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
Becoming Made-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Feeling Like God-Flash Fiction by Luann Lewis
The Coyote, the Dog and the Woman-Flash Fiction by Phyllis Peterson Levine
Fried Zucchini Sticks-Flash Fiction by Cathi Stoler
A Woman of Good Hard Hands-Poem by Otto Burnwell
Abduction-Poem by Jimmy Broccoli
Jitterbug-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Abandoned House-Poem by John Short
The Beauty of Trees-Poem by Ann Marie Rhiel
Regrets-Poem by David Spicer
Hospital on the Hill-Poem by Stephen J. Golds
Panic Attack-Poem by Kevin Ribshman
The Dark-Poem by Kevin Ribshman
Empty-Poem by Connor Orrico
Endless-Poem by Connor Orrico
Effort-Poem By Connor Orrico
Corpulent Octave-Poem by Harris Coverley
Small Town Story-Poem by Harris Coverley
Dans le Bain-Poem by Harris Coverley
Many Surprises-Poem by Walter Ruhlmann
In Another Waiting Room-Poem by Walter Ruhlmann
Innocent Blood-Poem by Walter Ruhlmann
Ebola-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
I Am an Organ Donor-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Just Part of the Food Chain-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Today's Adventure-Poem by John Grey
Creating the Master race-Poem by John Grey
In the Old Mansion-Poem by John Grey
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 Steve Cartwright 2020




Doug Hawley



The man in the dark knee-length trench coat had travelled miles from his home on that moonlit night.  Along the way he smiled.  “The world is better off without those sluts.  They are all sluts.  I will make them pay.  They are all like the one in high school who shamed me because I didn’t give her what she wanted.  She was the pervert, not me.  And why did she think she was so hot?  She was a pig and thought that she was so smart.  So smart she died of an accidental broken neck.  The ‘good girls’ wouldn’t even give me the time of day.  If a guy dies along with the girl, it’s his fault for hanging out with one of the sluts.”  There was no one to listen to his soliloquy which was how he liked it.

After these happy moments of reflection, he started to whistle “You Are My Sunshine”.  After whistling it all the way through, he chuckled at his inappropriate choice of songs.  He then sang “Jezebel”, something fitting for the occasion.

He knew his way well from experience.  A mile down the road he spotted his target.  His luck was good as always, there was a couple in a new sedan, her with her hand in his lap, kissing him on the face.  Perfect.  I’ll get two tonight.

He pulled open the door and as she pulled away from the man, he saw the blade in the man’s chest.  She moved so fast that he barely saw her pull out the blade and stick into his gut.  Next, he was on the road, bleeding out.  She smiled down at him “Silly man, did you think that you were the only serial killer in town?

“It looks like you have a little time to kill.  Get it?  Time to kill?  Except you are the one being killed this time.  I’m really glad to meet you.  From what I hear, you are the big-time lady killer in these parts.  I suppose that you are doing this because you can’t get it up, so you take it out on your victims.  It’s a sad old story.  I think that you are called incels now.  I liked the old days when we called you dickless wonders, but I must keep up with the times.”

The man on the ground mumbled something incoherent.

“Did you say something?”

He responded in a barely audible voice “Doctor.”

 She asked the fallen man “What, are you a doctor?”

He whispered “Get me to a doctor.”

“So bleeding man is also a comedian?  You make a great trophy.  Why don’t you just relax?  Your short miserable life will be over soon.

“You are probably wondering about me and how you screwed up so badly.  The second part is easy.  You are stupid.  Sure, you got away with a few kills, but your stats are kind of puny.  I’m guessing no more than five.  Me?  More like seventy-three as best I can tell.

“If you aren’t dead yet, you probably want to hear my life story.  I think that I can hear you moaning, so I’ll take that as a yes.”

“It started when I was left alone with my uncle when I was twelve.  No, that’s not it, but people expect that I’ve been raped or abused.  I’ll tell you the real story.  I rebelled against my strict parents.  Be home by eight, say your prayers, go to church.  Not for me.

“When I was a freshman in high school, I got a crush on the school bus driver.  To get his attention, I’d innocently touch him on the way off the bus.  He got the idea quickly and shortly thereafter I moved out of my place to his.  I think that my parents were glad that I was gone.  After a week or so of straight sex, he introduced me to kink.  Things got wilder until he started erotic asphyxiation.  You probably don’t know what that is.  Some guys get off by being hanged and then cut down at the last moment.  Ah, but then he made a mistake.  When I spilled some coffee, he called me a stupid bitch.  The next time he roped himself up something tripped in me and I let him die.  I found out that I got off on his death.

“After that I started my nationwide tour.  I move from town to town.  Picking up guys in bars and then moving on is easy.  There is always some fool ready to let me take him for a ride.  If I like a guy, he gets a treat.  If I don’t, he gets a trick and I get a treat.  Got to say, you are my favorite all-time score.  You are more deserving than anyone else I’ve run across.

“You probably think that I’m a great public speaker.  I’ve got this speech down through repetition.”

The sound of the man’s breathing slowed to a stop.

“You aren’t listening anymore are you?

 “Oh well, off to my next hunt.  I’m thinking Cincinnati.  I hear the police there are incompetent and the weather is great this time of year.”

Doug Hawley is a former mathematician turned actuary (mathemortician) who writes, snowshoes, volunteers and hikes. He was a volunteer wheelchair jockey (pusher, role model, unpaid escort) at a hospital, greeter at the Marine Mammal Center, “normal” in a balance study at OHSU, and docent at China Camp in California, and now is a volunteer bookseller in support of his local library, and a killer of invasive species at his local park. He lives with editor and musician Sharon. He currently resides in Lake Oswego, OR and has lived in Manhattan (KS that is), Atlanta, Louisville, Denver, LA, and marvy Marin CA.

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 2020