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The Only Way to Fly-Fiction by Tom Andes
Written by Slade Stevens-Fiction by Chris Alleyne
Slaying the Siren-Fiction by Dionisio Traverso, Jr.
An Education-Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Don't Move-Flash Fiction by Pam Ebel
Fashion Statement-Flash Fiction by Bill Baber
No Pepsi, Coke-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
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9173, 1803, 0094-Poem by John Doyle
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The Head-Poem by John Grey
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Michael D. Davis 2021

An Education

by Jon Park


Vincent twisted the body’s head into the light, so the bullet entry wound could be clearly seen. The bullet had entered just above the left eyebrow. Using a ballpoint pen, Vincent gestures at the wound and turns to young Frankie, who stands off to his left.

“Here, Frankie, come closer. Get a look at this,” said Vincent, beckoning him closer. “Look how neat the entry wound is. See the cordite burn? This tells us the gun was close to the head when it was fired. Now give me a hand to turn him and I’ll show you the exit wound.”

Frankie reluctantly steps forward and helps Vincent turn the body onto its side.  He winces when he sees the damage to the back of the victim’s head.

“Now, look at the state of that,” Vince continued excitedly. “The bullet’s blown the back of the fucker’s head off.  See the bits of bone and brain stuck in his hair. The bullet’s trajectory was pretty much straight in and out. One time I saw a bullet that had entered the side of the head, near the temple, and made its exit out the lower back. Pass me the saw and we’ll take a gander inside.”

Frankie handed Vincent the saw. He closed his eyes as its teeth bit into bone. The burger he had eaten earlier did a double take.  He prayed the lecture would end soon, but he knew Vincent was just warming up.

“Right, let’s take a look inside.” Vincent took hold of the top of the skull and lifted it free, with a wet, sucking sound. “Woah! Fuck! Here, Frankie, get a load of this. The brain looks like Jell-O.”

Frankie felt the burger begin its ascent. He turned and stepped out of the golden rays cast by the Cadillac’s headlights, into the cool darkness of the cornfield. Cornstalks scratched at his skin. He bent over and threw up, trying his best to avoid his Nikes. Over his shoulder, Vincent was laughing like a demonic hyena.

The Cadillac’s driver door opened. From beyond the light, Frankie heard Joey shouting.

“Vincent, will you stop fucking with the kid?  Just get the souvenir to show the problem is solved, and let’s get back to Tony’s and get our money.”

“Okay, Joey, calm the fuck down. I was just trying to educate the kid.”

Frankie stood up straight. He could hear the saw biting into bone once more.  He closed his eyes, trying to shut out the sound. The sawing stopped. Sweet silence.

Vincent called to him. “Here Frankie, get over here and give me a hand lifting the stiff.”

Frankie made his way back into the light. Taking a deep breath, he helped Vincent lift the body and drop it into the shallow grave they had dug earlier.

“Listen kid, sorry for fucking with you. No hard feelings, eh?” Vincent held out his hand. Frankie took it, surprised at how cold it felt.

He was still pumping the hand as Vincent turned and began walking back to the car, laughing.


Jon Park lives in the North East of England and loves to write.  His story “Too Tough to Die,” appeared in Gabba Gabba Hey, an anthology of fiction inspired by the music of the Ramones published by Fahrenheit Press in 2021.


He loves loud music and plays guitar badly. If you meet him, you will need to shout. 

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