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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 Michael D. Davis 2021



by Doug Hawley



Coroners Neil and Judy perform an autopsy on a recent death.

Neil: It looks like another victim of Euphoria.

Judy: Yeah, the husband said she had eyes shut, arched back, and had apparently just died when he found her. Plus, she had orgasm face and residual vaginal engorgement. All symptoms of Euphoria overuse. Suppose the husband couldn’t get her off? He seemed clueless about what had happened or didn’t want to admit what he suspected. Looks like another case of better living through chemistry gone wrong. Can too much pleasure kill?

Neil: You are probably right about the husband. That’s the eighth death from Euphoria. A lot of people can’t get off solo or otherwise, without the help from pills.

Judy: Are there any leads on the manufacturer? This has been going on for months now.

Neil: The cops say they have some ideas, but they won’t divulge anything publicly.  You’d think that they would know more since this started last year. We only hear about the deaths. I suspect that people are taking too much Euphoria. The ones that die are probably the same ones that think that if one donut or one beer is good, ten are better. People have no damn sense.

A plus for the cops is that they did get some lower-level distributor, but that guy didn’t know the next level up. As we know, the marketing is some underground pyramid scheme.

Judy: I’ve got a little secret. I tried it solo, and it shook my world and that was with a half-dose. It was a whole-body orgasm that lasted for hours. I tried it on a Saturday morning and had aftershocks until Sunday morning. It was a good thing that I didn’t need to leave the house until Monday.

Neil: I know what you mean. Sally and I use it sparingly. We use half a pill each and get multiple orgasms for hours. Can you imagine somebody using Euphoria while out in public?

Judy: Should we shut down our little sideline? We’ve already made plenty of money from Euphoria production. The penalty for what we are doing is life in prison, and we already got and spent plenty of money.

Neil: Nah, let’s just cut back on the dosage and add some caveats. We’re already guilty of serious crimes, and I don’t want to lose that cash flow and you shouldn’t, either. You don’t want to have your Tesla repossessed and give up your expensive dinners where you tip big to impress your friends.

I’ve got my Mercedes payments to keep up and high-end “gentlemen’s” clubs aren’t cheap. I don’t want to even think about living on a coroner’s salary.

If you don’t want to think of yourself, how about showing concern for our many distributors and their families? Don’t you have any empathy or concern for the economy?

Hold it, here’s another thought. We could try to go legitimate. It would require covering our tracks and changing the formula and the name. Then it would take us a while to get some big drug company to tweak it more for safety and do the clinical trials. The legitimate market for a revised Euphoria could be in the billions of dollars. I can see the TV commercial now—first the satisfied customers, then the list of all of the fifty side effects like they do on those ubiquitous TV commercials.

Judy: Let’s go with the second plan. I’ve still got enough money saved for my expenses short-term, so I can put off the riches for a little while. You made me think of something else: Full strength-Euphoria for those states that allow assisted suicide. There would be happy endings for terminal patients who would be coming and going.


Doug Hawley is a former mathematician turned actuary (mathemortician) who writes, snowshoes, volunteers and hikes. He was a volunteer wheelchair jockey (pusher, role model, unpaid escort) at a hospital, greeter at the Marine Mammal Center, “normal” in a balance study at OHSU, and docent at China Camp in California, and now is a volunteer bookseller in support of his local library, and a killer of invasive species at his local park. He lives with editor and musician Sharon. He currently resides in Lake Oswego, OR and has lived in Manhattan (KS that is), Atlanta, Louisville, Denver, LA, and marvy Marin CA.

If Charles Addams, Edgar Allan Poe, and Willy Wonka sired a bastard child it would be the fat asthmatic by the name of Michael D. Davis. He has been called warped by dear friends and a freak by passing strangers. Michael started drawing cartoons when he was ten, and his skill has improved with his humor, which isn’t saying much. He is for the most part self-taught, only ever crediting the help of one great high school art teacher. His art has been shown at his local library for multiple years only during October due to its macabre nature. If you want to see more of Michael’s strange, odd, weird, cartoons you can follow him on Instagram at mad_hatters_mania.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021