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Reds Under Beds: Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Lucky Dog Willingham: Fiction by Justin Swartz
Feeling It: Fiction by Tom Koperwas
The Devil in Paris: Fiction by Mike Kanner
The Last Maneuver: Fiction by Lamont A. Turner
The Perks: Fiction by John J. Dillon
Bad Cloud: Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Et in Arcadia Ego: Fiction by JM Taylor
The Odor Museum: Fiction by Mark Jabaut
The Good Folks: Fiction by Robert Pettus
Unenlightened: Flash Fiction by Jacob Graysol
A Cackle of Hyenas: Flash Fiction by Sandra Arnold
Did I Ever Tell You About the Time...:Flash Fiction by Lester L Weil
Native American Male Kills Caucasian Teenager: Flash Fiction by Daniel G. Snethen
Stealing Badges: Flash Fiction by M. A. De Neve
Where Is Joy Allen?: Flash Fiction by Adelaide Barker
Entitled: George Garnet
Kaboom: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Cybil: Fiction by Brian Barnett
A Christmas Collection: Fiction by Jon Park
Christmas Shopping Spree: Fiction by Shari Held
Santa's Playtime: Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Bless Your Heart, Babbo Natale: Fiction by T. Fox Dunham
A Song for Christmas: Fiction by Steve Carr
Whatever Is Inside of Us: Poem by Richard Le Due
Conclusions: Poem by John Doyle
A Greek Family: Poem by Juan Mobili
At the Bird's Bar: Poem by Juan Mobili
a warm melody: Poem by ayaz daryl nielson
winter continues:Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Animal Under the Table: Poem by John Tustin
Men in Brimmed Hats: Poem by John Tustin
Stone on Fire:Poem by John Tustin
Parisian Dive: Poem by Bradford Middleton
A Mess of Stuff: Poem by Bradford Middleton
Home is Where the Siren Sings Her Song: Poem by Bradford Middleton
dark winter blues: Poem by J.J.Campbell
in this damn void: Poem by J. J. Campbell
in the back of my brain: Poem by J. J. Campbell
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Jacob Graysol: Unenlightened

Art by Cindy Rosmus 2022



Jacob Graysol


Billy passes as one of the diehards who ventures out in the winter nights to gaze at Edison Tower, aiming his battery-less phone, feigning clicks, having shortly before left the museum through the same door he’d busted to get in.


That was the plan.


But his backpack should be bulging with two fireproof, waterproof boxes, and he shouldn’t have a gash in his right glove. Better not have left blood.


He gets in the car and preempts my tirade with an outburst of his own. “You screwed up, Lee! There wasn’t a cam lock on that cabinet, it had an electronic deadbolt! I nearly sliced my hand forcing it open!”


He waves in my periphery as I focus on the road.


“And there were no records inside,” he says.


“No whats?”


“Edison’s first recordings. Just some old parts and boxes of knickknacks.”


“You grew up in Edison and never went to the Thomas Edison Museum? His lab was there!” I turn right.


“Yeah, yeah. The light bulb, the phonograph.”


“You idiot! Early recordings were on cylinders. Those knickknacks would’ve fetched enough Bitcoin to buy a couple of Cadillacs.”


“What did you call me?”


“An idiot!” I shake my head. “We could circle back if—”


“I’m no dimwit.”


“Do you think that new lock was alarmed separately from the phone line I had you cut?”


“At least I know the difference between ignorance and stupidity.”


“Then focus, ignoramus!” I slow down before Dellwood Road. “Should we backtrack or not?”


“Quit the insults. If I’d planned this job, I would’ve given clear instructions.”


I slam the steering wheel and continue straight. “You think staring at a fortune and leaving it behind isn’t your fault at all? A smart person would’ve asked questions if he didn’t understand something. A curious person would’ve visited the only museum in his hometown. Ignorance is usually caused by stupidity—”


“Don’t call me—”


“—which is clearly the case now.”


I fume, and both of us stay silent until I start pulling into my garage. Billy says, “You’re sure no one will remember my car’s been parked at the Fix-It?”


“There are always different cars there overnight.”


“And this will be our last job together?”


“That’s for sure, Einstein.”


“Then I’m coming in for the evidence burn.”


I huff. “Fine.”


I close the garage door and we get out of the car. Billy puts the backpack on the ground, takes off the black coat, hat, and gloves I’d bought and piles them together on the hood, then retrieves his coat from a hook.


“Make sure your own gloves are on before you come in.”


“I’m not stupid!”


That time I hadn’t meant it.


I say, “Stay here a minute. I’ll double-check that the shades are drawn and start the fire.”


I’d left the wood and wax starters stacked to burn and get back to Billy quickly. He’s wadded the robbery outfit and backpack in his arms and holds the tools in his hands. I lead him in, then nod to the bathroom. “Steel in the tub. I use straight vinegar for any residue that’s stuck.” He’s gentle with the crowbar but clunks the hammer and screwdrivers. “Careful!” Careful, moron!


We continue to the hearth. He kneels with the pile and hands me the clothes. I toss the hat and gloves into the flames, then cut the coat into strips with shears.


“The backpack’s completely empty?”


“Otherwise, what? I’m a dope?” Billy unzips it, puts both hands in, then pulls out four brown-wax cylinders pressed together with the fingers of his left hand.


“You said—”


I raise the shears as Billy brings up a silenced pistol with his right hand. He smirks. “I’m thinking one Cadillac is all I need, and a boat. Or would that be stupid?”




Jacob Graysol (jacobgraysolnovelist.com) lives and writes in central New Jersey. He wrote the lawyer-laden police procedural Righteous Judgment, and published its sequel, Righteous Endeavors, in February 2020. His flash fiction has been published by Yellow Mama (#92), as well as Every Day Fiction, Mystery Tribune, and Reflex Press (UK).

Cindy Rosmus is a Jersey girl who looks like a Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out 5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun Honey, Hardboiled, A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E, and Rock and a Hard Place. She is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights activist. She has recently been branching out into photo illustration, under the guidance and mentoring of Ann Marie Rhiel.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2022