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Carryout: Fiction by Daniel C. Bartlett
Out of Gas: Fiction by Ron Capshaw
A Good Book: Fiction by Robert Pettus
Happy Hour at the Grown Folks Bar: Fiction by Pamela Ebel
Blocks: Fiction by Mark Jabaut
Nobody Puts Liza in the Closet: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
No Going Back: Fiction by Ken Luer
Thanks for the Help: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Cook Moves On: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Strickland's Last Day: Fiction by Paul Beckman
I Like Gorillas: Fiction by William Kitcher
The Hard Man: Fiction by Lester L. Weil
How I Shot My First Husband: Flash Fiction by Brad Rose
Alive Another Day: Flash Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
The Monster of Hinchley: Flash Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Two Down: Flash Fiction by Joe Surkiewicz
Waiting Room: Flash Fiction by Cathi Stoler
"68": Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Bobbie Gets Her Divorce: Flash Fiction by Robb White
Murder by the Numbers: Poem by Robert Jeschonek
A Pinch Point: Poem by Janna Rollins
Now I'm 64: Poem by Di Schmitt
Hard Work Damned on the Road to Extinction: Poem by Richelle Lee Slota
The Lonely Planet Guide to Death: Poem by Richelle Lee Slota
my mind: Poem by Meg Baird
the non: Poem by Meg Baird
giant cottonwood tree: Poem by Judith Nielsen
great orange orb: Poem by Judith Nielsen
and they are prancing: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
crows in our hayloft: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
spring kicks off its boots: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Necessity: Poem by Richard LeDue
A Reason to Put the Rent Up: Poem by Richard LeDue
Giving Up on Hope: Poem by Richard LeDue
Abstract Art: Poem by John C. Mannone
The Apartment Building: Poem by John C. Mannone
Disinfected: Poem by John C. Mannone
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

Michael D. Davis: The Monster of Hinchley

Art by Michael D. Davis 2022

The Monster of Hinchley


by Michael D. Davis



   Mama Leroy never left the shade of her porch, nor did she ever need to. People came to her.

     Sitting on her swinging bench, the old woman would watch the town of Hinchley. The cars scooting along, people walking, children playing. People waved as they passed, more often than not completely stopping, so they could sit and visit awhile. Everyone knew Mama Leroy was always there to talk. Often when some were feeling down, or simply didn't know where to turn, they came to her.

     If something truly needed handling away from the porch, Mama would call her boy, Flick. A whisper in the ear and he was off completing his task. Standing seven-feet-seven and weighing over five hundred pounds, there was little Flick couldn't handle physically. Although people liked saying it around town, he was no moron, either. It was an assumption, among others, that people always made about him because of his size and the way his head tilted so his left ear was sitting upon his shoulder. Also, his voice, the fact that no one had ever heard it, not even people say, Mama Leroy herself.

    In town, kids laughed at him and ran, shouting at the top of their lungs, "WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT! IT'S THE MONSTER OF HINCHLEY!" Flick never minded them.

     Littering the usual tasks put upon Flick, there was always an odd one. One time, R. W. Barnett came running up to the porch, shouting that a fight had broken out at his bar up the street, and those bastards were gonna wreck the place. Mama called for Flick, and he went walking up the street at no hurried pace. As he entered the bar, the few wise fellows stopped what they were doing. Two middle-aged men, who created the main ruckus, went at each other on the floor. Flick simply picked them both up by their collars and took them out. That was that.

     None of this ever bothered Flick, because he was doing it for Mama. He'd do anything for Mama. There was only one other person he cared for as much as he did Mama. A girl he knew back in school named Kate. Now, I don't know if this is true because Flick never seemed like the social type to me, but some say back in the day, those two were thicker than thieves. Sounded like she was always an oddball type as well, so rumors could be true but either way, it was her that Flick's heart beat twice for.

     Out of school Kate got herself married to a local boy and had a kid. The years passed under growing clouds until one dark day. Mama Leroy sat swinging on her bench when a little girl came fast down the street, tears rolling down her cheeks. It was hard to understand through the sobs and cries what exactly she was saying, but Mama finally deciphered it. The little one's Mommy was in trouble and her Daddy was mad. It was Kate's daughter; Mama Leroy knew it and so did Flick.

     The door flew off its hinges as Flick ran out of the house. No one had ever seen him run, but today he was sprinting up the street. At Kate's house, he entered shoulder first. On the living room floor, Kate laid unconscious. Entering from the kitchen was her husband, drunk and angered.

    "What the fuck are you doing here?" he yelled.

     Flick grabbed the man's throat and lifted him off the ground. With some of the largest hands in the world, Flick crushed the man's neck, letting his head fall limp and dead. It's said that he was still holding his lifeless body when Kate came to, on the floor. She looked up at Flick with her husband in his hands and screamed and screamed and screamed.

     Dropping the man, Flick ran back out of the house. When the cops nabbed him, he was in the fetal position at his mother's feet, bawling his eyes out. Mama Leroy was on her bench, Flick’s big hand in her lap. She patted it, and whispered to him, trying to calm him, tears running down her cheeks as well.

Michael D. Davis is an author and cartoonist from Iowa. He has written a multitude of short stories and drawn a feverish amount of cartoons in his measly years on this rock. Author of one short story book, four cartoon collections, and one coloring book (all available on Amazon), and he is just getting started. If Michael isn't at home doodling or working on his next book, he just may be in a field somewhere laying an egg or blowing his nose. I should know because I am Michael D. Davis or at least I think I am. I just might be a talking dog named Theodore, you'll never know.  

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