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The Beetlemeyer Exhaltation_Fiction by Steve Carr
A Farmer's Tale-Fiction by James Kompany
Date with Yellow Mama-Fiction by Tom Barker
Sweet Spot-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Singers and Sinners-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Sleeping with Sharks!-Fiction by Pamela Ebel
The Long Shot-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Suds in the Bucket-Fiction by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Easy Job-Fiction by K. A. Williams
Think Tank-Fiction by Bruce Costello
Three Little Pigs-Fiction by Andrew Davie
Out of Time-Fiction by Steve Prusky
Hope-Flash Fiction by D. J. Tyrer
So Long, Sonny-Flash Fiction by Joe Surkiewicz
Katnip-Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Twenty-Two-Flash Fiction by Wayne F. Burke
I May Be on My Way to Becoming a COVID Statistic-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Night Poem-Poem by Christopher Hivner
jury's out on a motorcycle-Poem by Meg Baird
The Mauler-Poem by Harris Coverley
The Mob-Poem by Harris Coverley
Pandemic Noir on the Desolate Highway to Nowhere-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Pandemic Noir Inside an Otherworldly Oceanic Dream-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Illness Kills My Soul but Poetry Comes to Save My Mind-Poem by Bradford Middleton
Your Television Sucks-Poem by Bradford Middleton
50 Quid Down the Drain, or a Night of Delinquent Savagery-Poem by Bradford Middleton
Blue-Poem by Thomas Zimmerman
Fighting Off the Wise-Poem by Thomas Zimmerman
Horses in the Dark-Poem by Thomas Zimmerman
Contents of the Attic Trunk-Poem by John Grey
The Dead Man to His Heirs-Poem by John Grey
Holding Out for a Rainbow-Poem by John Grey
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

James Kompany: A Farmer's Tale

Art by Michael D. Davis 2022



James Kompany


Cahill Farm

Van Wert, Ohio

6:03 a.m.

Thanksgiving morning



As the first hint of sunlight pierced the thick, grey veil of the late November sky, farmer Ed Cahill entered his barn for the annual ritual which loomed ahead of him.  It was Thanksgiving morning, and he had work to do.  There it hung, on a handmade wooden rack.  What most people refer to as an axe, or a hatchet, farmer Ed affectionately nicknamed it his work-stick.  As he took it off the wall and gripped it tightly in his hand, a ray of light sheared through a crack in the barn’s siding, and glistened off the cheek of the blade.  This luminance created a temporary blinding effect, causing farmer Ed to squint and look away.  The sudden explosion of brightness also brought his attention back to the task at hand.  The continuous revolution of the wet-wheel, coupled with the frictional grinding of metal on stone, produced a dull, droning sound.  As farmer Ed sharpened his work-stick, he glanced at the poor, unsuspecting creature, which was penned up several feet from where he stood.  Finding himself in a daydream, he remembered his childhood.  He was a young boy, who watched his daddy operate the very same piece of equipment…sharpening the very same axe…working in the very same barn.  He further recalled his daddy telling him never to get attached to any of the animals on the farm.  They were not pets.  They were a source of nourishment—a sustenance needed for survival.

So, farmer Ed brought his mind back to the present and continued to hone the edge of his tool.  It needed to be razor sharp in order to dispatch the beast quickly and humanely.  But alas, he found his mind wandering once again.  What a simple creature, he thought.  It’s brain ever so tiny.  I wonder if it senses what’s about to happen?  No matter anyway.  It has no family.  It knows nothing of life outside the enclosure it currently occupies.  Walking in circles.  Making God awful noises.  Eating the scraps of food given it.  Relieving itself where it sleeps.  Repulsive creature if you ask me.  It’s no wonder so many of them are slaughtered each year for food.  They really serve no other purpose.  Snap out of it, Ed.  You have a job to do.

Back to his axe, farmer Ed continued to grind away.  From the pile of metal filings littered at his boots, it was evident that this instrument of death was ready to perform.  He turned off the control switch and watched as the wheel slowly came to rest.  Propping his work-stick against the barn wall, farmer Ed put on a weathered pair of gloves.  In years past, he had been both bitten and scratched by these varmints in their final moments of life.  No telling what kind of diseases this one carried.  He took no chances.  With axe in hand and an icy-steel glare, farmer Ed walked with a purpose.  He showed no emotion or hesitation.  There was no turning back.  The time had come.  In a few hours, farmer Ed would be playing host to his entire family including his parents, his brothers and sisters, his nieces and nephews, and even his in-laws.  His guests all enjoyed his hospitality, and they never left hungry.  Farmer Ed always served up an exceptional feast.  And from the look of this fattened tom, this year would be no different.

“Let’s get this over with, Tom.  We don’t want to disappoint our guests.” 

“For the love of God, my name is not Tom.  You have the wrong MAN!  I’m not Tom!  My name is Steve!  Someone help me!  Arggghhh!” 

The shrill of Steve’s screams shattered the early morning silence.  However, it was all for naught.  His cries for help were fruitless and went unanswered.  Thus, Ed Cahill delivered on his promise to his family and provided them with an extraordinary banquet—a sumptuous extravaganza enjoyed by all. 

At the end of the evening, farmer Ed returned to the barn and retrieved his work-stick.  He cleaned off the blood, hair, and tissue left behind, and meticulously polished it to perfection.  He then placed it back on the wooden rack, where it would dutifully remain until called upon once again for service.  Afterwards, farmer Ed retired to his study and relaxed in his favorite chair.  He reflected on the day and looked forward to another healthy and prosperous year ahead.  On this Thanksgiving night, farmer Ed Cahill had so much to be thankful for.  He was grateful for his family, his farm, and his love for life. 

         Yes, indeed, life was good…especially for a mutated, carnivorous turkey ghoul with an insatiable appetite for human flesh.  

James Kompany has been a police officer in North Jersey for nearly 20 years and is married with two children. He loves to cook—mainly Mediterranean (Greek and Southern Italian are his favorites), and he makes homemade pizza that is killer. The only thing better than his pizza is his chili—He is the two- time defending champ for chili cook-off at his local dive bar (He considers this title as important as the birth of his children—that's how serious he takes his chili). He brews homemade beer and has recently turned to wine collecting. He prefers reds—anything from the Tuscany region (Brunello, Barolo, etc.). He has a soft spot for animals, and he currently has two cats.

He loves to travel and has been overseas number of times. His favorite city of all time, hands-down, is New Orleans—down and dirty—he loves everything about the Big Easy. He exercises daily: weight training, cycling, hiking, circuit training. He studied finance in college and has a BS in Finance from the University of Scranton and an MBA in Finance from Saint John's University.

He enjoys art (paintings) and reading military history, true crime, and biographies of any kind.

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 2022