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Lisa's Revenge-Fiction by Janet Hatwell
Her Passion-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Threes-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Ruby in the Red Hoodie-Fiction by Ryan Priest
No-Fiction by Bruce Costello
Fat Trucker, Hot Wife-Fiction by Matthew Copes
Between the Sheets-Fiction by K. Marvin Bruce
Hearts in Retrograde-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
From a Buick-Kind-of-Place-Fiction by Darrell Petska
The Map-Fiction by Jan Christensen
Old Mules-Fiction by Mickey J. Corrigan
The Right Tool for the Job-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The War Against Stuff-Fiction by Fred Andersen
The Handyman-Fiction by Bobby Mathews
Till Death Do Us Part-Fiction by Justin Swartz
Deadville-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Huggermugger-Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Mortuary-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
Inside Room 107-Flash Fiction by Dustin Walker
Gatophobia-Flash Fiction by M. A. De Neve
Daybreak Over I-15-Poem by C. W. Blackwell
Confetti and Juicy Fruit Gum-Poem by Kenneth James Crist
Night in Cumming's Cove-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Scar-Poem by Otto Burnwell
Graveyard Love-Poem by John Grey
Plan but No Really Plan-Poem by Joe Balaz
Audible Sigh-Poem by John Tustin
Erica-Poem by John Tustin
Heartbreaker-Poem by Meg Baird
La Guitare-Poem by Meg Baird
Parking Garage-Poem by Joel Matulich
Vintage Trade Paperback-Poem by Joel Matulich
Perpetual Motion-Poem by Stephen J. Golds
The Best Ones Are the Crazy Ones-Poem by Stephen J. Golds
Black Widow-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Out of My Skin-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
The Terrible Shadows-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Lucky Number Seven-Poem by Bradford Middleton
The Old Routine of Dreaming and Blasting-Poem by Bradford Middleton
F**K It, Let's Listen to the Ramones-Poem by Bradford Middleton
Our Open Window-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Wandering Woman-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Winter's Twilight Sky-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
You, I, Together-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Each Day-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Ghost Dance-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
He Paid For-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Winter Woman-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
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 John L. Thompson 2021

Lisa’s Revenge


By Janet Hartwell


I’m swiping through “Professor Payback’s Revenge” website on my phone, looking for ideas, and I get blindsided, slammed face down into the dirt. I’m spitting dirt out of my mouth as I try to stand up. Bam, someone kicks me in the head, and I am in the dirt again. I roll over slowly, expecting to get hammered again. I look up and see Lisa holding a gun on me.

          “What the hell are you doing, woman. Are you crazy? Don’t point that at me. Put that down before you hurt yourself.” I say as I start to get up. A kick to my head knocks me back down.

          “Stay down.” Lisa glares.

          “What the hell is your problem?” I say. I don’t need Professor Payback to know I gotta act innocent.

          “You know. Why’d you do all that to me?”

          “What are you accusing me of? You got problems?  Maybe it’s because of you being conceited, not knowing your place, or respecting your betters.” I knew exactly what she was talking about, but I couldn’t admit it. I know from “Professor Payback’s Revenge” website that I gotta pretend she's crazy, and I am innocent.

          “You think you’re one of my betters? A loser like you?” Lisa jerks the gun toward me.

          "I'm saying you should be more considerate of other people’s feelings” Professor Payback suggests always talking up feelings and avoiding words like ego or pride.

          “I’ve never done a damn thing to you.”

"Come on, girl, I asked you out, and you said no. Yet you went out with that Mark guy, and he isn't even from our company. Don’t make no sense.”

          “You’re married. Mark is single. That make any sense to you?”

"I saw you talking to Mark, and I knew you were available, wanting some action. I wanted some too. Not a big deal." I needed to make her think she was unreasonable, while I was just an average guy. I learned my strategy from Professor Payback.

          “You told Mark I was sleeping with you. You lair.”

          “What, he broke up with ya? Over that? No big loss. Jesus, Lisa. Guys bullshit about that kind of stuff all the time.” I try to minimize her loss while fighting the urge to gloat.

          “I love him, and now he won’t even talk to me.” Lisa’s eyes tear up.

          “Lisa, if he believes every little bit of gossip, he’s an idiot. Looks like I did you a favor.”

          Lisa kicks me again, but not as hard. I feel I am successfully talking my way out of this situation. Professor Payback would be proud of me.

          Then she says, “You set it up so I would get fired. You told my landlord I was making meth, and I got evicted. I've been living in my car for two weeks, which is about all the good it is cause it ain't runnin' no more. You did that too, didn't you?”

"Hey, I admit taking a shit in Mark's head, but why you blaming all your problems on me? Maybe those problems are karma for being conceited. I didn't get you fired, it was all you, baby. Women shouldn't try to do that kind of work." Professor Payback instructs to shift the blame.

"Well, you've been bragging about doing it on this website. You even posted pictures!"

Oh shit, Lisa has my phone. If she calls the cops, they will bust me for stalking, malicious harassment, slander, libel, vandalism, and maybe a few other things. Luckily, Professor Payback has developed a strategy for every situation. I will say Lisa does not understand me or that she made me think she wanted me to do stuff.  I’ll parade my wife and kids in front of the jury and get off with a slap on the wrist, just like Professor Payback says.

I need to get that phone back and avoid the hassle. Then I am gonna mess with this bitch until she is living in the gutter with no teeth. I wonder if the "confession and regret" routine or the "you forced me to do it" method would work better.

          “Look, you really hurt my feelings when you wouldn’t go out with me. I wanted revenge and found that website. Yeah, I did a few bad things, but you can’t blame me. Lisa, give me a chance to show you what a nice guy I am.”

 I am talking about my hurt feelings, figuring to transfer the blame to the website, when I notice Lisa is staring at my phone and bawling. She starts babbling about her kitty.

          “Lisa, it’s not a big deal, it didn’t suffer, and I’ll get you a new one. You should try and be a good sport. This is just a misunderstanding.”

Lisa slides my cell phone into her purse and now has both hands on the gun. She is aiming it at my head. Her finger is on the trigger.

          “Lisa, I am sorry. I guess I got carried away because of that website. But you know my feelings were really hurt. Haven’t you ever had hurt feelings? Try to ….”

Janet Hartwell lives near the Rocky Mountains with her dog and cat. She enjoys reading short stories and flash fiction, and her flash fiction has been published in Yellow Mama and Shotgun Honey. Janet is also an AFOL (adult fan of Lego) and occasionally travels in an RV.

John L. Thompson currently lives in New Mexico with his wife of twenty-five years. 
When he is not searching for lost remnants of the old west, he can be found working on several writing projects. Thompson is known to have worked as a truck driver, heavy line diesel mechanic, armored truck guard, corrections, body guard, and a host of other professions.
His true passion is writing, collecting vintage books and is the current cover artist for the Casca the Eternal Mercenary series.  His novel 'Truck Stop' is due out 2017-18 by Dusty Desert Press.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021