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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
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Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
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Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Terry Butler 2020

Woman of Good Hard Hands

by Otto Burnwell


There was murder in the bag
carried by the woman of good hard hands.

Getting on the downtown bus,
she rode the whole long way to Chelsea.
Passengers who bothered looking
saw her hands were fit for hardy work,
hands that must have seen a lot of use.

They couldn’t help but notice
the silky lingerie and hair
in the shopping bag between her ankles.
A wig most likely,
dropped in without much thought,
on a purple bra and panties,
and shoes, like black stilettoes,
an ice-pick heel poked through the side.

It made the other riders
wonder at a woman
who would carry her possessions
in such a careless way.

An aging hooker, maybe,
too tired and long in her profession
to care about the get-up
she’s worn so many nights?
Perhaps a weary nanny,
carrying a costume
for an absent-minded student
in a progressive school for girls?

One guy got it right,
but that was accidental,
guessing they were trophies
from the body of her rival
to confront a faithless husband.

None of them could ever guess
the way she spilled the contents
on her husband’s office desk,
announcing how she dumped the body
outside a nameless little town
with a picture and his card.
Someone’s sure to find it,
unless the local cops are morons.
Or—he can get there first.

Now the husband spends his nights and weekends
prowling all the side roads
between Manhattan and Coxsackie
for the body of a missing lover
who may or may not lie strangled
by the woman of good hard hands.


Otto used to be a legal assistant (before COVID-19), living in a densely populated, urban area, where people nowadays ride buses and subways with suspicion and overly active imaginations. This piece came out of that.
He writes to stay sane, uses a pseudonym to stay employable, and changes enough detail in what he writes to stay welcome at the family’s holiday gatherings—in some future to be named later.
He’s recently placed pieces with Horror, Sleaze, TrashFiction on the WebThe Stray Branch, and Yellow Mama.

Terry Butler lives in the country, near a small town south of San Jose, CA called Hollister. He used to write steadily, publishing both in print and online as Terence Butler, but after some health issues, the energy needed to write seemed to dissipate somewhat. He has been a professional photographer and a painter/collage-assemblage maker for most of his working life, so painting and photo art have taken the place of genre fiction as an outlet. Recently the story “Fire Man” appeared all as a piece in his mind so he simply wrote it down. He sent it to Cindy, and in the ensuing back and forth. They somehow discussed using some of his visual art, too. Cindy is simply the best, and a real stalwart in this little world. She has a big heart and a deep love for animals, too!

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020