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Christmas with Stanley-Fiction by Robert Kokan
Gravedigger Sunrise-Fiction by Zach Wilhide
Billy at One O'clock-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Christine's Tune-Fiction by Andrew J. Kolarik
Paid in Full-Fiction by Bill Baber
Is Today the Day?-Fiction by Thomas X. Cross
Dead Bodies Everywhere-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Murphy's Law-Fiction by Edward Ahern
The Ghost in the Factory-Fiction by Jeremiah Minihan
Communication Breakdown-Fiction by Joe Surkiewicz
So Long, and Thanks for All the Texts-Fiction by Jay Adair
Time-Share-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
It's Xmas and Maureen Feels Like Death Warmed Over-Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Uncle Andrew-Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
In a Nearby Church-Flash Fiction by Bethany Cody
What Happened after His Head Oozed-Flash Fiction by Michael Dioguardi
Prospero's Last Party-Flash Fiction by Jacqueline Doyle
Slick-Poem by David Spicer
Word Cruncher-Poem by David Spicer
The Life that Lives on Man-Poem by John Short
Pet Shop Story-Poem by John Short
dear tom-Poem by Meg Baird
the canvas-Poem by Meg Baird
A Killing-Poem by Ian C. Smith
Green Grass-Poem by Ian C. Smith
No Joke-Poem by Ian C. Smith
a soft landing-Poem by JJ Campbell
going through the motions-Poem by JJ Campbell
the shotgun still rests in the corner-Poem by JJ Campbell
an earthy affair-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
death loves the deep-space pirate-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
robotic mistress-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
A November Morning-Poem by John D. Robinson
Hard & Heavy-Poem by John D. Robinson
The Storm-Poem by John D. Robinson
The Earth Keeps Sabbath-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Obituary-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Rock Whisperings-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Longing-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

PET SHOP STORY

 

by John Short

 

                   I should get up and sell mice

                   but I’ll stay here instead

                   in the warm, embryonic bed,

                   and what is a mouse’s life?

                  

Getting your head crushed

                   for a bit of cheese,

                   or squirming like an addict

                   under the merciless paw.

 

                   I sink in dreams, a jaded skull

                   traipsing hair, all the way down

                   to the sad, depleted market

                   where I meet the others:

 

                   the mobile soup dispenser,

                   nail technician, vapor salesman,

                   the free clinic handing out

                   some virgin plastic.

 

                   This town is full of charity

                   while the defunct rest in coffins,

                   devoid of any magic—there

                   are shops that buy their clothes.

 

 

 

John Short lives, writes, and drinks in Liverpool (UK). A member of Liver Bards and other local groups, he’s been published in places like Yellow Mama Webzine, Hobo Camp Review, Barcelona Ink, Kissing Dynamite, Rat’s Ass Review, and Poetry Salzburg. His pamphlet Unknown Territory (28 poems about Greece) appeared in June from Black Light Engine Room press. He blogs sporadically at Tsarkoverse.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020