Yellow Mama Archives II

Bernard Onken

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Tell It to the Monkey


by Bernard Onken



“Mr. Lantana?”

“Watching a game here, kid.”

“We can maybe watch and talk?”

“You’re ruining prison softball for me, kid.”

“Mr. Lantana, if you speak to Jim Red, to fix my situation, I can trade you something. How ’bout it?”

“Naw, kid. Not interested.”

“I have a spell for you, yes?”

“A spell? You’re Romani, that it?”

“A three-wishes spell.”

“Yeah? I can wish myself out of here?”                                    

“It only works to change a past mistake. You have to wish to undo things.”

“And there’s three of them.”

“Three is the number.”

“You’d be thinking backwards for each one.”

“That’s why it is not so easy.”

“You guarantee this works.”

“It will. You’re a monad.”

“Now you wait a minute.”

“No, it’s nothing bad. Everyone is. We can reverse through space and time without breaking apart.”

“Haw! Kid, you make my day interesting. I’ll fix it with Red. I’ll say you’re my long-lost cousin, capisce?”

“I am grateful, Mr. Lantana.”

 “When do I get my wishes?”

“Wait until tonight. Then for each wish you say gnok-gnik.”


“It’s the spell that works in America. King Kong backwards.”


“Watch yourself, Victor. These things are a trap. Say I wish I didn’t clip Tony and we start over, and then boom, Tony clips me. That’s how it works. It’s irony. Think I just fell off some tomato truck? OK, OK. Moment of truth. Gnok-gnik. I wish I was found not guilty.”

“Hi there, Vic! God, I’m so, so glad you got clear!”


“Who else, lover? You expecting Sofie Coppola?”

“I got clear? Yeah, yeah. Wow.”

“What is it, Vic baby?”

“Andrea, you’re looking great. I mean really great, like . . . . Let me be careful here.”


Gnok-gnik. I wish I had married you, that time.”

“Vic! A very helpful guy called me just out of the blue to talk over our tax form and dot the i’s as he put it, and I told him he left out the garages and trucks and all the stuff in the warehouse, in case we get to deduct that.”


“After these five years together, could anyone be the wifey to you I am?”

“It’s like I don’t know you.”

“Vic, you’re such a pisser. Anyone needs me, they’ll find me at Short Hills.”


“Victor, pally, talk to me.”

“What, Gio.”

What is we been taking missed opportunities right up the tailpipe. We need to diversify. Now, I can get us a deal where we’re moving industrial waste down the Yangtze River, puts us in for a six-, seven-figure cut. We get the venture funds by pulling everything out of AC.”

Gnok-gnik. I wish I never went in with this guy.”


“Vic, I need a minute.”

“What, Tully.”

“Vic, we’re way behind with the expenses. We’re getting murdered since Gio made his moves with the vending machines. We weren’t watching and now it’s too late, show’s over. Then he’s also taken on some loan contracts backed by the Chinese. His operation has us frozen out.”

“Lemme have a look.”

“Shows the numbers right here.”

“That’s all my cash.”

“That’s kind of my point, Vic, I didn’t—"


“You better sit down a minute. There’s another thing. Our people have word the U.S. Attorney’s office is about to sequester your holdings. And, ah, they’ll also lock the accounts.”

“Is that right?”

“Vic, please listen closely. If you give yourself up, cooperate, it’ll clear the slate. After a little easy time, you’ll be back. Gives you a chance to plan a new start.”

This is how guys get rolled over?”

“Vic, we need to focus a minute here.”

“Vic, Vic! I’m back! I had five vodka Red Bulls at lunch! Such a pisser! You ever throw up Red Bull? It’s like throwing up throw-up!”

“Andrea, would you excuse us for right now?”

“Something’s got to give, Vic. You need to take action.”

“All right! Then talk to the attorney.”

 “It’s for the best.”

“One day on the outside and I’m straight back in. Lousy rotten U-turn.”

“One day? What’s that mean?”


“We’ll wish for the best, Vic.”

“Tell it to the monkey.”



Bernard Onken’s Jersey crime stories have appeared in Switchblade, Mondays Are Murder, Shotgun Honey, Near to the Knuckle, and Mysterical-E. He is a writer and editor, lately working for Google.

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