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Hope-Flash Fiction by D. J. Tyrer
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Katnip-Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
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jury's out on a motorcycle-Poem by Meg Baird
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Your Television Sucks-Poem by Bradford Middleton
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Gay Degani: Katnip

ym_91_katnip_swiseman.jpg
Art by Sophia Wiseman-Rose 2022

Katnip


Gay Degani



         She knew she had that “IT” factor, long hair, perfect skin, caterpillar eyelashes, flawless makeup, and she was skinny, but also shapely, and she could dress. Her short, short skirts, silky, slinky tops, eyeglasses she didn’t need for seeing, were all “IT,” and her sexy, funny sense of innocence all added to her charisma. For him, the grizzled man who worked the counter at the upscale coffee shop, she was everything he ever wanted. 

He was flirty. He was old, but she flirted back, even though he wasn’t her type, meaning she couldn’t afford to date a forty-something barista, yet she stopped in every day because the shop was right outside her apartment, and she could grab a cappuccino before she walked the three blocks to work.

They exchanged names a week after they met. He was Jack and she was Katherine, and she had to admit he was funny. Some days she held up the line, she was laughing so hard. Sometimes she stopped by the coffee shop on her way home. Then one day she happened to mention she wanted to collect something, not stamps or coins or baseball cards, but something interesting and fun. You know, as an investment. He suggested vinyl.

“Vinyl what?” she asked, and he gave her an enthusiastic beginner’s rundown on the plus points of being a discophile. He invited her to come over. He was almost done with his shift, and he lived close by. He made her a double cap to drink while she waited. 

He helped her up his porch stairs and into his house, she felt so dizzy. She’d never felt that way before.

“You work too hard,” he said. “All you career girls do.” 

He guided her into the kitchen where she reached for a chair, intending to sit, but he tightened his grip on her arm, yanked her over to a grimy door.

“W-w-what?” She tried to pull away, but he had the door open and dragged her down the stairs. She started to scream. He flicked on a light. 

Three women, hair filthy, makeup long since melted, dressed in ragged and smelly business attire, Nordstrom, Kate Spade, Banana Republic, were shackled to the wall on a stained king-sized mattress, calling out in confusion, mewling, begging.  When she saw there was one empty shackle, she twisted, raised her free hand to scratch out his eyes, but he was too strong. He threw her onto the bed, knelt on her stomach, and secured her to the wall.

Afterward, he smiled down at all four women, clapped his hands, then pointed, “Cathy and Catherine and Kitty and now, Katherine. My collection is filling up.” 

 

 

Gay Degani has a chapbook, Pomegranate, a full-length collection, Rattle of Want, and a suspense novel, What Came Before. She's been published in Atticus Review, Smokelong Quarterly, The Phare, and Ghost Parachute, among others.

  

Gay Degani

www.gaydegani.com



Sophia Wiseman-Rose is a Paramedic and an Episcopalian nun. Both careers have provided a great deal of exposure to the extremes in life and have provided great inspiration for her.  

 She is currently spending time with her four lovely grown children and making plans to move back to her home in the UK in the Autumn.  

 Sophia had a few poems in the last edition of Black Petals, and she is thrilled, as this is her first time illustrating for Yellow Mama magazine. 

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2022