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The Wasp and the Fig: Fiction by Lauren Scharhag
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And the Teapot-Cat Wept: Flash Fiction by Deidre J Owen
What I Love About You: Flash Fiction by Elizabeth Zelvin
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William: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Ron Capshaw: William

Art by Michael D. Davis 2022



by Ron Capshaw



You had to like him.   Even when you knew what a huckster he was. There was something endearing about someone who was up front about being in it strictly for the money.

William provided the one amusing moment in the horror that was D-Day. While we were waiting to get off the landing boat at Omaha Beach to try our luck against Nazi machine gun nests, he was still selling rabbits’ feet and “good luck” coins.

His “customers” died clutching them.

I miraculously made it to the beach and through the frozen hell of the Battle of the Bulge and into Berlin without a scratch.

William was not so lucky. A Nazi sniper shot off his hand just as he hit Omaha Beach. He was looking for it in the surf when that buck sergeant grabbed him by his backpack and drug William to what passed for cover on the beach.

Just as the medic came over, the buck sergeant’s head exploded.

But the medic had seen it all and without missing a beat, bullets pinging off his helmet, was able to save William’s life, even with the blood jetting out of the stump where his hand used to be.

“Are you ready?” William said, zipping up the Bigfoot suit with the hand that stayed attached to his body. He then covered the brass zippers with fur so the camera wouldn’t pick it up.

 “Hurry up, will ya? This thing is hotter than hell,” I said.



“Just think about how rich we will be when we sell this to NBC,” he said, picking up the handheld camera he brought to lend the “sighting” some authenticity. The idea was that he would make the camera lens go all over the place because he was chasing the “creature” across the rough terrain of the California mountains.

“Remember to swing your arms like a gorilla. Then look over your shoulder at me, and then race into the woods.”

He grinned and said, “Action.”

I was good. We got it in one take.

By then, the sun was starting to go down.

 We made camp. 


Of course, we swapped war stories. Of course, we got shit-faced.

We toasted the Bigfoot suit that lay neatly folded by the tent.

Williams was out of shape in the drinking department. He passed out first.

I polished off my glass of apricot brandy and did likewise.

As usual, I dreamed about the war.

When the landing craft door opened, I dove over the side of the boat just as my comrades in front of me exploded in cloth and blood and brain matter.

Unlike the others who floated underwater past me, I was able to get my 20-pound backpack off and not drown.

I swam/crawled to the beach, Nazi bullets miraculously not hitting me.

Right when I found some cover—courtesy of-two corpses I stacked up in front of me—-I smelled a rank, sweaty smell.

That’s not how corpses smell.

I came awake, looking into the lifeless eyes of William. He died with the same expression on his face as I saw on those who had their life shot out of them on that horrid day in 1944. Confusion more than horror.

The rest of his body was several feet away.

Pieces of the Bigfoot costume were flying into the air.

 It stopped, and turned to me.

We had invaded its feeding grounds and now we were its food.

Or maybe it was mad because we pretended to be it.



Ron Capshaw is a writer based in Florida.  His debut horror novel, The Stage Mother's Club, came out in June from Dark Edge Press.

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