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Lisa's Revenge-Fiction by Janet Hatwell
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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
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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
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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
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Angel of Manslaughter
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No Place Like Home
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

84_ym_huggermugger_hlyon.jpg
Art by Hillary Lyon 2021

Huggermugger

 

by Gay Degani

 

 

She buys polyester dresses from Walmart, this kindergarten teacher, her doughy face and pliant flesh suggesting empathy, comfort, trust. We expect these traits from those who tend our young.

She doesn’t honk at drivers when they cut her off, nor does she push ahead in movie lines. She has yet to wring the necks of grocery baggers who pack soup cans on top of her bananas, her tomatoes; and if the cashier suggests a donation to some charity, she nods and beams when her $2 contribution earns an announcement over the loudspeaker and applause from employees and customers alike. 

She doesn’t call the cops when neighbors blast their music as if it was the national anthem at a baseball game. She is tolerant of the cats, raccoons, possums, and occasional coyote that haunt her yard at night, digging up her azaleas.  She bakes cookies for the mailman. Returns library books on time.

Making breakfast, she runs a finger along the hot grooves of the waffle iron, sucks up the pain, and later in the classroom, when Sarah with the runny nose throws puzzle pieces against the wall, this quiet spinster offers comfort by brushing her burned finger across Sarah’s angry cheek.

And when she cuts her curly hair with a razor blade, slicing a bit of thumb, she watches the blood ooze. Later, during morning rest, when Robert crawls off his blanket, she scoops him up, hugs him to her, rubs her newest cut against his neck, until she leaves a smear of red. 

She does all these things, this teacher of small children, this model citizen, so when she moves in the night with her switchblade, no one, not one person, will guess it’s her.

 

 

 

Gay Degani’s work has received Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions nominations and won, placed, or received honorable mentions in contests. The PhareMidway JournalGhost Parachute, and Bending Genres are among those who have published her work this year. She also has a full-length collection, Rattle of Want (Pure Slush Books), a chapbook, Pomegranate, and a suspense novel, What Came Before (Truth Serum Press). She occasionally blogs for Words in Place



Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder and senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An SFPA Rhysling Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Jellyfish Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River Review, as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories have appeared recently in Night to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens Call, and Tales from the Moonlit Path, among others, as well as in numerous horror anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats from the Big EasyThuggish Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White Noise & Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited "all-American Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona indie-film, "Vote for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada, and several states in the US, she now resides in southern Arizona.  https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021