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Venom!: Fiction by Pamela Ebel
A Case of Paracosm: Fiction by Bruce Costello
There's More then One Way to Catch a Bank Robber: Fiction by Roy Dorman
My Addie: Fiction by Daniel G. Snethen
Trans/Figure: Fiction by Michael Steven
Secretary to a Serial Killer: Fiction by Robert Jeschonek
The Big Well: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Sooter: Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Heidi: Fiction by Tony Ayers
A Spider Among the Flies: Fiction by Gary Earl Ross
He Wore a Purple Heart Inside a Gray Uniform: Fiction by John C. Mannone
So Bright They Were, So Bright: Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
Coyote-Murder-House: Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Spring Cleaning: Flash Fiction by Mikki Aronoff
Chuck Cody: Flash Fiction by Fred Zackel
While My Mother Dreams of Judge Judy: Flash Fiction by Tina Barry
Snoopy: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Afternoon on the Beach: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
crowbars and middle fingers: Poem by Rob Plath
Lavender: Poem by Cindy Rosmus
Insouciant: Poem by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Fire: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
7 ways of Seeing a Scar: Poem by Jack Garrett
Freddy on 14th Street: Poem by Jack Garrett
Peace, Baby: Poem by Meg Baird
The Light: Poem by Meg Baird
The lunatic equation and the lemon revolution: Poem by Partha Sarkar
A knife with three wheels: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Belle in the Bottom: Poem by g emil reutter
Glint: Poem by g emil reutter
Marathon Key: Poem by Damon Hubbs
Pretzels: Poem by Damon Hubbs
Times Argus: Poem by Damon Hubbs
Phillip: Poem by John Doyle
The Indiscretion: Poem by John Doyle
The Sadness and Beauty of Car Boot Sales: Poem by John Doyle
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Fred Zackel: Chuck Cody

Art by Steve Cartwright 2023

Chuck Cody


by Fred Zackel



I bought him brandy at Enrico’s in San Francisco, and so he talked: 



My name is Chuck Cody, I’m a fisherman, and I’m 59 years old, but I look ten years younger with all my black, wavy hair. I have spent three years growing my beard and I like drinking brandy. 

I have epilepsy because I drink. My hair hides the scars from epilepsy. My hands have large scars, too. The scars there come from stingrays. I got eight stitches here, five here, one there.  

That stingray, he slapped me, so I slapped him back with my other hand. He got me again. 

That sound—that paddy wagon sound makes me nervous. You know how Indians gets treated. 

I am a Sioux Indian. I was born in Texoma. Grew up on the Delta in Louisiana. Grew up fishing for catfish. 

Before I came here to San Francisco, I was in the Florida Keys. The sand fleas left me scarred on the knees. See? 

When I fish for white bass, I make $45 a day. 

I still fish for shrimp. Fat shrimp, that is. I won’t tell you my bait. But I go out to the mudflats. Two hours later I got boxes. I caught 180 pounds yesterday. 

I know how to cadge a meal. I know where to get loaves of bread free or free steaks, too. A hundred years ago I would have been a pioneer. Instead, I was a saddle tramp and a bum. 

I drove taxicab in Chicago. Yellow Cab. 




I was driving along Lake Shore Drive, got two little old ladies in the back seat. I seen this jetty sticking out. Hell, I did it. I drove off the jetty into eight feet of water. 

I didn’t get fired. My boss, he couldn’t fire me. I owed him a hundred bucks. Boss ain’t gonna fire you if you owe him money. 

My wife—I was married for thirty-seven years. We worked the cotton fields together. She’s dead now. She was riding her horse and my dog ran between the horse’s legs. She fell off and started spitting blood. 

She and my dog— When she steps on his tail, she would cuss him in Indian and then in Italian. I don’t know where the Italian came from. 

She likes drinking brandy, too. She’d come on to you, then say, Can you give me a ride to the bus terminal? Then she’d borrow five bucks, but then she would buy you a drink. 

My dog was part wolf. Lemme tell you, you treat women like your dog. Not as some souvenir, not as a pet. You treat her as a companion. 

I get misty. I’m still repeating myself. I reach out in bed. Aw, forget it. She was gone. I went out and looked at the full moon instead. Yeah, I get lonesome. 

I went to a funeral in Diego. Indian funeral. Real rare Indian he was. He was going bald. Going bald for an Indian’s like losing your manhood. 

He sliced his own throat just for going bald. 

No guts to do that. 

Bury me standing up and facing east. I want the largest processional of Caddys they can find.

 I want an Indian burial. It’s in my will that I’ll be facing east. It’s insured. Eight feet down and two feet from the bottom. 

Can you give me a ride to the East Bay Terminal? 


(He borrowed five bucks, then he bought me a drink.) 


 I gotta get home. I’m supposed to show up at Al’s Liquors in Oakland at 5 AM. I’ll be on the boat by 6 AM

Want to know my secret? 

Come by the Lorraine by DiMaggio’s at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s the third boat, the one with LA plates. LA is Louisiana. 

My bait is a sardine can slightly opened up. Sardine oil, that’s what brings the shrimp. 

Come by and I’ll buy you a brandy. 



Fred Zackel has published more than a hundred stories, poems & essays and a dozen or so novels. Most all of his writings are on Kindle or the web.

It's well known that an artist becomes more popular by dying, so our pal Steve Cartwright is typing his bio with one hand while pummeling his head with a frozen mackerel with the other. Stop, Steve! Death by mackerel is no way to go! He (Steve, not the mackerel) has a collection of spooky toons, Suddenly Halloween!, available at Amazon.com.    He's done art for several magazines, newspapers, websites, commercial and governmental clients, books, and scribbling - but mostly drooling - on tavern napkins. He also creates art pro bono for several animal rescue groups. He was awarded the 2004 James Award for his cover art for Champagne Shivers. He recently illustrated the Cimarron Review, Stories for Children, and Still Crazy magazine covers. Take a gander ( or a goose ) at his online gallery: www.angelfire.com/sc2/cartoonsbycartwright . And please hurry with your response - that mackerel's killin' your pal, Steve Cartwright.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023