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Perfect: Fiction by Elizabeth Zelvin
Duck, Duck, Goosed: Fiction by E. E. Williams
Call Back: Fiction by Brian Peter Fagan
Hanging Out: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Jelly Boy: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Billy's First Road Trip: Fiction by Shari Held
Craps: Fiction by Steve Carr
Blackout Blonde: Fiction by M. J. Holt
Can Lid: Fiction by Frank S. Karl
Hacked Off: Fiction by Pamela Ebel
The Poser: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Trunk Space: Fiction by Jen Myers
Catching Up: Fiction by Edward Ahern
Butcher Knives Don't Float: Fiction by Chris Milam
The Grimsby Reaper: Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Bat Boy: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling
For Love: Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
Getting Personal: Flash Fiction by Diana Dominguez
Owen and Jessica: Flash Fiction by Joseph Carrabis
Until I Wrestled It Back: Flash Fiction by Louella Lester
Lying in Wait: Flash Fiction by Robb White
Fox Fox Fanny Cuts: Poem by Otto Burnwell
Beer and Love Songs on a Wednesday Night: Poem by Richard Le Due
Her Wicked Devices: Poem by Lee Clarke Zumpe
Looking at the Sea: Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Twilight Zone Kind of Days: Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
The Canvas: Poem by Meg Baird
me and the boys: Poem by Meg Baird
ode to sleep: Poem by Meg Baird
Plate Tectonics:Poem by Christopher Hivner
Seeking:Poem by Christopher Hivner
Bloodbound: Poem by Harris Coverley
Paradise: Poem by Harris Coverley
The Now Outside: Poem by Harris Coverley
Dallas County Phone Calls: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Two Old Ladies Arrested for Feeding Feral Cats: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Her Name Isn't Margo, but it Should Be: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Yorick: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
After First Sex: Poem by Rp Verlaine
The New Same Goodbye: Poem by Rp Verlaine
Fishermen: Poem by Rp Verlaine
Three Years Ago: Poem by Rp Verlaine
the smallest feline is a masterpiece--da vinci: poem by Rob Plath
no typewriter or ABCs necessary: Poem by Rob Plath
my cat sleeps: Poem by Rob Plath
it's enough: Poem by Rob Plath
Cartoons by Cartwright
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Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Robb White: Lying in Wait

Art by Bernice Holtzman © 2023

Lying in Wait

Robb White


“Not much longer now, sweetcakes. Promise.”

Laughing in the background. Sharing motel rooms.

“You said four days,” she said. “It’s been six.”

It rained all day, two days straight, he told her. You can’t shingle an A-frame church the size of a coliseum in a downpour—

“I checked the weather, George.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning Chattanooga’s dry as driftwood—that’s what.”

“Rained cats and dogs three days straight. Dries out, ain’t gonna be no more’n two, three days tops.”

Now it’s three days . . .

“Better not be no girls in that room with you.”

Uh-oh, old Georgie’s gettin’ the silent treatment! More yuks around the room.

She imagined them slouching against the headboard, work boots on the bedspread, holding beers by the necks. Younger men now, muscled, whip-slender, strong as bamboo; they’d skip like goats over rooftops. He wouldn’t admit he was getting too old to go high, carrying a beer gut, too. Too proud to cut plywood with a table saw. Said he’d quit first.

“My honeygirl ain’t pouting on me, is she?”

Playing to his friends. She remembered him on the beach that first day, tanned from roofing but his ankles pasty white from his socks. The rest of him nut-brown, glistening with sweat and tanning oil.

“You don’t miss me, maybe you miss Betty Sue. She didn’t eat that last batch of mice from three days ago.”

“Oh Yeah?”

“Yeah, but she’s following me around the trailer all day. Probably lookin’ for you like you’re hiding in the closet on her. Dumbass snake.”

The first time she saw Betty Sue, she took a stutter-step backwards. Lying in her rabbit pen, coiled up like a giant custard. Betty Sue stared at her, flicked her tongue, tasted air. Tastin’ you, babe. That’s cuz you’re so goshdarn sweet . . .

She’d never seen a Burmese python up close. Twenty-two feet back then, bigger now. George said she weighed about four-hundred pounds.  He couldn’t lift her now. She talked to Betty Sue, complained about George to her when he went on his out-of-state jobs with his crew.

“She stopped eating?”

“She misses you. She crawled up in bed next to me last night. Damn air-conditioner’s on the fritz again.”

“Hon, listen to me. Baby . . .”

“So hot, I laid there sweatin’ until dawn. Just me and your big-ass python.”

Planting an image of herself, nude and sweating. Maybe raise the trouser snake, git him on home faster.

“Where you at right now?”

“In bed,” she purred. “Betty Sue’s stretched out beside me like last night. Just the two of us girls all alone.”

Hon, get out of there.”

“Yeah, just us girls, all alone. Marcie’s been beggin’ me to go to the Rooster Tail with her—”

“Babe, get out of there! Right now!”

“ . . . to go line dancing—what?”

“Get out now!”

“What the hell you talkin’ about, George?”

“Betty Sue,” he replied.

His deep voice quavered, rising a notch. It alarmed her.

“She’s measuring you.”



Robb White has published crime/thriller novels and horror stories in various magazines and anthologies. He’s been nominated for a Derringer. Recent horror stories are “A Mischief of Rats” in Guilty Crime Story Magazine and “Miss Arbitrage & the Gigolo” in Unspeakable: Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. Two recent horror stories are “The Tick Bite” and “You’ll See, She Said” in Black Petals. His latest publication is a collection of mixed crime and horror tales: Betray Me Not: Stories of Revenge (Grand Mal, 2022).

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.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2023