Home
Editor's Page
Artists' Page
"Skeeter", the Official YM Mascot
YM Guidelines
Contact Us & Links to Other Sites
Factoids
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
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Cindy Rosmus: Snoopy

99_ym_snoopy_hlyon.jpg
Art by Hillary Lyon 2023

SNOOPY

 

by

 

Cindy Rosmus

 

         

          “Jackie? Le Ann?” I yelled. “What’re you up to?” They were too quiet. “Huh?”

          When I got up with my wine, Jackie yelled back, “Nothing, Grandma! Just looking outside.”

          In the biggest living room window, they were huddled, drapes behind them. 

          “At what?”

          “Nothing,” they both said.

          The cat was into everything. All-white, Snowball, or Snowflake, his name was. Nowhere to put my wine, so I stood, drinking it.

          “Baby,” Jackie said, “gimme those glasses.” Le Ann was six, but eight-year-old Jackie still called her Baby. “You had them long enough!”

          “What glasses?” Babysitting was not my thing. Tonight was karaoke at the Post, with cute Oswaldo running it. And Baby John bartending. With my lime-green hair and huge tits, I was still hot shit.

          Zena, my daughter, worked nights at that diner, American Pie. She took after me: a good heart, but bad news. Both girls’ dads even worse. Jackie’s lived out of his truck. “Broke-Dick Willie,” Zena called him. Le Ann’s was in jail . . . again. Le Ann had his same eyes, like wet tar.

          “Grandma!” Jackie said. “Make Baby stop!”

          “Le Ann!” I yelled.

The drapes moved frantically, as they struggled. I gulped the wine and yanked the drapes aside.

The “glasses” were binoculars, which Le Ann wouldn’t give up, even with Jackie grabbing her wrists.

Where the fuck, I thought, did they get those?

“Snoopy!” Jackie called Le Ann, before running, sobbing, out of the room. You’d think she was the “Baby.”

Snowflake joined Le Ann at the window. She stroked his fur as they “snooped” together. I knelt on the couch beside her.

          Outside, it felt later than 9 P.M. Streetlamps did shit. This block was supposedly safe. Nobody grabbed you from behind. Or, at least, it didn’t make the news. Neighbors minded their business.

          “What’s going on?” I asked. “Across the street?”

          “This crazy lady,” she said, “on the third floor. She’s cooking again.”  

          Suddenly, I smelled food. But we were too far away. Zena had left something on the stove, I realized. That I’d forgot to heat up.

          “Crazy, how?”

          Le Ann lowered the binoculars. Snowflake stretched, so his tail was in her face. “Grandma?”

          Something felt off. “Yes, Baby?”

          “When you cook . . .” She smiled. “I mean, when Mom cooks, she uses stuff from on top…”

          “The shelves over the stove?”  

          “Or from the fridge. To make food taste good.” She looked down at the binoculars. “Not from under the sink.” 

          I sat up. “What?”

“Is something under the sink that’d make food taste better?”

Under my kitchen sink . . . Roach spray, bleach, Mr. Clean . . .

“Nothing!”

“In a weird-shaped bottle?” She looked so scared.” Where you screw off the top?”

“Gimme those!”

I jumped. Jackie was back. “She’s doing it again, isn’t she?” She grabbed the binoculars.

My throat felt dry. “Kids!” I croaked.

“She’s putting it in the food!” Jackie told us. “Like today.”

OMG, I thought, looking around for my phone. Where was it?

“After school,” Le Anne said. “We watched her then, too.” She buried her face in Snowflake’s fur.

“The guy . . .” Jackie grabbed at my hoodie. “We watched him eat the food. That she put stuff in.” She handed me the binoculars. “Like he’s doing now. Look!”

I could hardly talk. “Get inside!” I waved them out of the room.   

But I couldn’t look. I hid my face, sunk down on the couch. Behind me, Snowflake’s tail brushed my neck. 

I was shaking. Was this murder? In this “safe” neighborhood? Where nobody saw shit?

But the girls had seen . . .

What . . . had they seen?

And . . . what . . . was going on, now?

I got up on my knees. Half-drunk, green-haired, all “snoopy,” the drapes enveloped me like a shroud.

Through the binoculars, I saw them in the kitchen.

She looked crazy, all right. Laughing uncontrollably.

The guy gagged, then retched. Puke shot out, all the way to their window. Making me gag, too. I’d never seen puke that color.

Except for my hair, not much was.

Then he collapsed.

Where the fuck, I thought, was my phone?

But it was too late.

Like she’d read my mind, the crazy lady leaned all the way over, to make sure I could see her.

And waved goodbye.

 

 

THE END

Cindy originally hails from the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ, once voted the “unfriendliest city on the planet.” She talks like Anybodys from West Side Story and everybody from Saturday Night Fever. Her noir/horror/bizarro stories have been published in the coolest places, such as Shotgun HoneyMegazineDark DossierThe Rye Whiskey Review, Under the Bleachers, and Rock and a Hard Place. She is the editor/art director of Yellow Mama and the art director of Black Petals. She’s published seven collections of short stories. Cindy is a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights advocate.


Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder and senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An SFPA Rhysling Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Jellyfish Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River Review, as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories have appeared recently in Night to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens Call, and Tales from the Moonlit Path, among others, as well as in numerous horror anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats from the Big EasyThuggish Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White Noise & Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited "all-American Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona indie-film, "Vote for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada, and several states in the US, she now resides in southern Arizona.  https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023