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A Love for Chocolate: Fiction by Kevin Hopson
Ban the Box: Fiction by David Hagerty
Different Paths: Fiction by K. A. Williams
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Encounter on the Lane: Fiction by Anthony Lukas
Moving South: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Just a Small-Town Boy: Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Loneliness of a Reseller: Fiction by Brandon Doughty
Food Chain: Fiction by Phil Temples
Final Notice: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Stunning Redheads are Trouble: Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Point Made: Flash Fiction by Martin Zeigler
The Secret Ingredient: Flash Fiction by Cecilia Kennedy
Stand in Line: Flash Fiction by Lucinda Kempe
My Special Garden: Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Revenge of the Inanimate: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
The Abductee: Poem by Sophia Wiseman-Rose
De-Icing Fate: Poem by Tom Fillion
Description of Death: Poem by Meg Baird
Basking in Sunlight: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Found Floating Above: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Beer-Craving Zombie: Poem by Bradford Middleton
They All Hate My Hero: Poem by Bradford Middleton
In Search of Ghosts: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Seven Hanging Trees: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Persistent Daylight: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Rebirth: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Bundy: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Calais: Poem by Peter Mladinic
The Room: Poem by Peter Mladinic
People with Dysentery: Poem by Partha Sarkar
There Has Been No Cooperative System: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Goes Back Toward the Talisman-the Future: Poem by Partha Sarkar
The Broken Seashore and the Fishermen: Poem by Partha Sarkar
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Paul Beckman: Stunning Redheads are Trouble

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Art by Bernice Holtzman 2023

Stunning Redheads Are Trouble

 

by Paul Beckman

 

 

I moved into my New Haven apartment several weeks ago and hadn’t met any neighbors until this morning. I was getting my mail and a woman came up to me and said, “You have a lot of nerve moving into this building. How dare you!”

I looked around to see who she was talking to, and it was me.

“What’s your problem?” I asked. “I believe you have a case of mistaken identity.”

“Still a moron, I see,” she said.

“Perhaps, but what does that have to do with anything?” I asked this stunning redhead who appeared normal as well as luscious.

“This is the third apartment you’ve followed me to in the past two years,” she said. “That’s stalking.”

Well, it was true that this was my third move in the past two years but the other two were in another state, so I asked her, “Where were these other two apartments you say I followed you to?”

“As if you don’t know,” she said.

“Listen, if we’re going to get to the bottom of this. you’ll have to answer my question.”

“Or what?”

“Or what? What?”

“Just what’ll you do if I don’t answer your question, threaten me again?”

“Listen. Go back to your apartment, take your meds, and lie down. This’ll pass and you won’t even remember this episode.”

Here is the point. I knew this woman and did live in two other apartment buildings she was in, but the fact is, she kept moving to where I was living and not the other way around.

My sister’s had these delusional problems since she was a kid but until my father and mother died within months of each other two years ago, she had let me be. I hadn’t seen her for a dozen years before that and until today, never as a redhead. She was a natural brunette given to blonde streaks.

Now, with no parents and no other siblings, I became her target of choice, Threaten her? I’m afraid this time I’m going to have to do more than that.

 

 

 

Paul Beckman’s latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the 2019 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories have appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, Monkey, WINK, Jellyfish Review, Wax Paper, Blink-Ink, Fictive Dream, and The Lost Balloon. He had a story in the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, and a story in The Editor’s Best Micro fiction 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