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The Wasp and the Fig: Fiction by Lauren Scharhag
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Everything Is the Same: Flash Fiction by Bernice Holtzman
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Forgiveness: Flash Fiction by Karen Schauber
Doctors Make Good Killers: Poem by John C. Mannone
The Monster in the Mirror: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
The Folly of the Filly: Poem by Becky Parker
My Most Favorite Things: Poem by Di Schmitt
Take a Look: Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
skin and bones: Poem by Meg Baird
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On the Commuter Train: Poem by John Grey
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Becky Parker: The Folly of the Filly

Art by Bernice Holtzman © 2022

The Folly of the Filly

by Becky Parker


Fragile is the tumbleweed in the force of the wind.

The ol’ worthless pile of . . . dung beetle had eyes for a filly in another stable, a painted lady in the town’s saloon, whose purse was a bottomless pit.

Strutting in like a rooster in his dingy finery, he sat down at the poker table, and used his wife’s egg money to place a wager. He settled in, prepared for a night of debauchery.

About a mile’s ride from town, where no trees dared to grow, sat on an old broken- down shack with a leaky roof and drafty beams. Two ragamuffins played outside in the dirt. The dung beetle’s bride, her swollen belly making movement difficult, took a rag, and cleaned her bloody lip in the cracked mirror. Green eyes with starbursts stared back, vying with the colors on her bruised body.  

Riding in on a palomino steed, came the itinerant preacher, making his rounds. He reached into his saddlebag and pulled out some peppermint candy sticks for the two boys who eagerly surrounded him.

The storm on the horizon mirrored the storm in his eyes when he went inside the shack to meet with the missus. He offered comforting words from the Holy Bible and left.

The next night: The unsuspecting dung beetle took his filly to Miss Bessie’s Café. An unknown waiter served him a mess of turnip greens, laced with hemlock.

His soul’s essence left the table and descended into hell.

That rooster’s crow was silenced.

. . . . The shovel sounded loud against the hard ground.

Preacher’s breath, foggy in the frigid night air, was rapid and harsh.

Remembering his costly folly for a filly; he dug even harder.

A pot of turnip and hemlock greens filled the earth’s cavity.

Evidence buried near a daffodil’s bulb.  


Becky Parker has been published in Spirit Fire Review, The Potato Soup Journal and Agape Review.

Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.

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