Yellow Mama Archives II

Gay Degani

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


Gay Degani

         She knew she had that “IT” factor, long hair, perfect skin, caterpillar eyelashes, flawless makeup, and she was skinny, but also shapely, and she could dress. Her short, short skirts, silky, slinky tops, eyeglasses she didn’t need for seeing, were all “IT,” and her sexy, funny sense of innocence all added to her charisma. For him, the grizzled man who worked the counter at the upscale coffee shop, she was everything he ever wanted. 

He was flirty. He was old, but she flirted back, even though he wasn’t her type, meaning she couldn’t afford to date a forty-something barista, yet she stopped in every day because the shop was right outside her apartment, and she could grab a cappuccino before she walked the three blocks to work.

They exchanged names a week after they met. He was Jack and she was Katherine, and she had to admit he was funny. Some days she held up the line, she was laughing so hard. Sometimes she stopped by the coffee shop on her way home. Then one day she happened to mention she wanted to collect something, not stamps or coins or baseball cards, but something interesting and fun. You know, as an investment. He suggested vinyl.

“Vinyl what?” she asked, and he gave her an enthusiastic beginner’s rundown on the plus points of being a discophile. He invited her to come over. He was almost done with his shift, and he lived close by. He made her a double cap to drink while she waited. 

He helped her up his porch stairs and into his house, she felt so dizzy. She’d never felt that way before.

“You work too hard,” he said. “All you career girls do.” 

He guided her into the kitchen where she reached for a chair, intending to sit, but he tightened his grip on her arm, yanked her over to a grimy door.

“W-w-what?” She tried to pull away, but he had the door open and dragged her down the stairs. She started to scream. He flicked on a light. 

Three women, hair filthy, makeup long since melted, dressed in ragged and smelly business attire, Nordstrom, Kate Spade, Banana Republic, were shackled to the wall on a stained king-sized mattress, calling out in confusion, mewling, begging.  When she saw there was one empty shackle, she twisted, raised her free hand to scratch out his eyes, but he was too strong. He threw her onto the bed, knelt on her stomach, and secured her to the wall.

Afterward, he smiled down at all four women, clapped his hands, then pointed, “Cathy and Catherine and Kitty and now, Katherine. My collection is filling up.” 



My Special Garden

by Gay Degani


Foxglove grows in my garden, Digitalis purpurea. Its purple flowers are trumpets, sometimes blaring out a Sousa March that only I can hear.

I ask my husband, “Doesn’t that tune just make you proud?”

He looks at me, annoyed as usual. “What tune? What are you talking about? Can’t you see I’m reading?”

“That Marine Corp hymn. You know, ‘From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli!’”

“I don’t hear a damn thing,” he mutters. “Where do you come up with these ideas?”

We’re out on the patio drinking our morning tea. He’s been mumbling to himself about the stock market. When I ask him if it’s crashing again, he grunts and adds more sugar to his mug.

“Your teeth will rot, you know,” I tell him. He loves his sugar. He loves his tea. Can’t get enough of it. Let his teeth rot. The romance is gone. Has been for a long, long time. And I have this perfect garden.

I’ve worked hard to make it what it is today, a glorious riot of color and sound. Rhododendron along the back wall, its pink profusion throbbing elegies worthy of Igor Stravinsky. The sweet bells of my lilies of the valley tinkle softly. Graceful delphiniums hum in the breeze while trills from the larkspur add to the cacophony of music my husband can’t hear.

He is a foolish dolt, I have to admit. No sensibility toward anything as lovely as my profusion of special flowers. All he cares about is the green of money. Thank goodness I have a symphony growing right outside my kitchen door, bringing delight to my ears, beauty to my eyes while my husband’s fingers turn black with newspaper ink, his mouth always set in a perpetual grimace, the deep furrows in his brow like the rows I’ve hoed in my vegetable patch.

“Isn’t there more tea?” he barks.

I pick out a fresh bag from my special tea coffer and drop it into his cup, pour hot water from the thermal pot, nudge the sugar bowl toward him.

“Don’t take too much,” I tell him as he scoops spoonful after spoonful into his cup.

“Get off my back,” he grumbles and buries his face in his beloved Wall Street Journal.

I lean back in my comfortable chair and take in my garden, each plant selected for its beauty, its musicality, its own very deadly poison.

The flowers begin to sing Ave Maria.

Soon, my lovelies. Any day now.





Gay Degani has received nominations and honors for her work including Pushcart consideration, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions and won the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize. She's published a full-length collection, Rattle of Want, (Pure Slush Press, 2015) and a suspense novel, What Came Before (Truth Serum Press, 2016). Her story "Scablands" was fourth runner-up in the 2023 The Saturday Evening Post Great American Short Story contest. 


Gay Degani


Read Gay’s story "Scablands" at The Saturday Evening Post


Pomegranate Stories, Eight stories about mothers.

Rattle of Want, Full-length collection of short stories and flash fiction What Came Before, Suspense novel

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