Louie said, as he bent his head to
climb up into the pickup truck, “I am going to go down to the Oasis and get
drunk and then I am going to Willies and see my girl.”
Deke snorted disdainfully. “Your girl! Jesus
Christ, can you
imagine if you brought her home to see your mother?”
it is cheaper than a date,” Louie said.
“Fifty bucks ain’t bad,” he argued. He started the pickup. “What the hell. What
else are you supposed to do? Read friggin’ PLAYBOY?”
They drove down a dirt road past a host of trailers
below a railroad overpass.
“You got it easy,” Louie commented. “You
got a wife. Me—what do
“Masturbation is better,” Deke said, grimly
scenery of junk yards heaped with industrial rubbish.
“Yeah, sure it is,” Louie said.
“It is! Christ, I am telling you! I would rather
beat off than
go with the old lady! That’s no shit.” He lit a Camel non-filter cigarette. The
cigarette looked tiny between his huge fingers.
Louie cut a laugh short after a glance at Deke. Deke
his cigarette as if in wonderment of how it had arrived between his fingers. He
took a quick puff and blew the smoke out as if trying to get rid of it. “I am
serious,” he stated.
Louie looked at Deke: Deke’s massive cinder block-sized
scraped the roof of the cab. He turned to Louie. “I am serious!” he barked. His
eyebrows arched below the brim of his ball cap—MACK TRUCK written across the
“Okay, okay,” Louie conciliated. His face
grave. “I know you are serious.”
“I AM. I AM TELLING YOU. I AM SERIOUS,”
Deke shouted. “I am considering the gay scene,” he
sputtered. “Seriously considering it!”
Louie fought to wipe the smile off his face.
“I AM! I am thinking about checking out the gay
Louie pulled the truck into the Oasis parking lot.
“It can’t be any worse!” Deke angrily
flicked his butt out the
The naked girl lay on her back on the mattress on the
the small room. Louie looked at her while he pulled his clothes off. She had a
snouted face with heavy Slavic features. Everything about her was big: big
shoulders, big breasts, big hips, big and solid-looking barrel-shaped legs. Big
everything—even her face was big—too big for the little puckered mouth and
small eyes. She watched Louie throw his work boots into a corner, on top of a
pile of work-dirty clothes—all that was in the room besides the mattress and a clock
radio next to the mattress.
“We got to make this fast,” Louie said,
approaching the girl.
“Where is Deke?”
The girl smiled with her eyes as she looked between
legs. “He is home,” she said.
lay down length-wise on top of her. Like
a stick on a slice of bread. His white butt shone between the spread of the
He guided himself into her; she moaned. He stroked
then froze; he cocked an ear toward the door opening. A noise on the stairway.
He exchanged a frightened glance with the girl. The heavy tread of footsteps
grew louder: the feet crushing each wooden step. Louie felt himself shrivel; he
scrambled over the leg and slid his hand beneath the mattress, feeling for his
.22 pistol. The girl pulled the blanket over herself. The staircase groaned.
Louie swallowed hard and looked wildly around the windowless room, seeking an
Deke’s broad shoulders filled the available door space.
blankly at the couple.
Louie felt his heart thumping; his sweaty hand gripped
handle of the gun.
Deke blinked twice, as if trying to comprehend the
opened his mouth to speak, then drew his lips together. He turned away with a
disgusted wave of his hand at his old lady.
He began to trudge back down the stairs.
Wayne F. Burke's
fiction has appeared in Alien Buddha magazine, Dumpster Press, The
Gihon River Review, Puckerbrush Review, Synchronized Chaos,
and elsewhere. He is author of a short story collection, Turmoil and Other
Stories (Adelaide Press, 2020). He lives in Vermont (USA).
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 Easy, Thuggish
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