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Sibling Rivalry in a Zombie Apocalypse: Fiction by Jon Park
Dead is Dead: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Rooms: Fiction by Harris Coverley
Do You Know the Pizza Man?: Fiction by Beverle Graves Myers
Testing the Waters: Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Unclaimed Property!: Fiction by Pamela Ebel
The Causeway: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Witchy: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
An Assembly of Assassins: Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The White Nothing: Flash Fiction by Phil Temples
Carmelita: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling
The Horror of Hidden Pond: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Kim Philby: Flash Fiction by Henry Simpson
Fear: Flash Fiction by Cheryl Snell
Homecoming: Flash Fiction by Kurt Hohmann
Castle: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Head: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Something Wicked This Way Thumbs: Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
The Charcoal Man: Flash Fiction by Fred Zackel
Tarot Tara: Flash Fiction by Steve Cartwright
Mr. Bunny and $88.01: Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
Don't Think Twice: Flash Fiction by Elizabeth Zelvin
Teasing in the Light: Flash Fiction by Bradford Middleton
Spider: Flash Fiction by Mark Jabaut
Infirmities: Poem by David Galef
Dreaming a Little: Poem by Juan Mobili
The Dead Mingle with the Living: Poem by John Tustin
The Flower in Your Lapel: Poem by John Tustin
May Day: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Procession: Poem by Partha Sarkar
At the Funeral Lunch: Poem by Joan Leotta
Dreaming My Way Home: Poem by Joan Leotta
The Silence: Poem by John Grey
Pacing: Poem by John Grey
Elementary Classes: Poem by John C. Mannone
Rage: Poem by John C. Mannone
Comfort Zone: Poem by John C. Mannone
Serpentine Line: Poem by Charles Weld
William Calley's Apology: Poem by Charles Weld
Steve J: Poem by Charles Weld
Thief: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Sweet Pleasure: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Courtship: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Again, A Bike Left: Poem by Rp Verlaine
Short Cuts to Madness: Poem by Rp Verlaine
Ingrid Leaves Vegas: Poem by Rp Verlaine
A Necessary Poem: Poem by Rob Plath
Last Gesture: Poem by Rob Plath
Carpe Sanguinem: Poem by Rob Plath
The Antitesis: Poem by Rob Plath
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Hillary Lyon: An Assembly of Assassins

Art by Bernice Holtzman 2023

An Assembly of Assassins

[3 thematically connected drabbles]

by Hillary Lyon




Bryan’s Big Adventure


The cancer was a time bomb hidden inside him, set off when he reached late middle age. “With the time you have left,” his ex-wife exhorted, “you should travel, have an adventure.” “No,” his little brother countered, “you should do something important; leave your mark on the world.”


So much misery in this country, Bryan pondered. Too much wealth and power concentrated in an elite few. The gatekeepers wouldn’t allow a peon like me near the power center—near the one who orchestrates it all.


I’ll travel, have an adventure, he decided. But first, buy an unregistered sniper rifle.


* * *



Anton, the Aide-de-Camp


Only Cuban connection Anton had was, he liked the cigars; as for Russia, vodka. And China? He really liked the women. A liquidator by trade, did he use poison powder secreted in a ring, la Borgia? A jab on the street with the tip of an umbrella, inserting a radioactive pellet under the skin? Pay an asymptomatic hooker to infect with Ebola? Maybe; but he didn’t. This Fed, Anton, was old school. He became a lapdog, to get close to the target. Stealthy as moonlight in a graveyard, he’d smother ‘em in their sleep with a feather pillow.



* * *



Priscilla (Power-to-the-People)


Unwashed, wild-eyed Priscilla claimed the median at a busy intersection. Her signs changed daily: “homeless, please help,” “hungry, anything appreciated,” etc. Some Samaritans offered change or snacks, which she accepted. Some offered rides, which she declined. Until Senator Stalwart’s limo pulled up beside her, long after dark.


When the door opened, Priscilla leaned over, accomplishing two things: advertising her ample bosom, and securing the switchblade nestled in her boot. After she slid into the back seat, the door closed, and Priscilla, in one fluid motion, achieved what no political rival had been able to do: terminate Stalwart’s 50-year political career.



Hillary Lyon founded and for 20 years acted as senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. Her stories have appeared lately in 365tomorrows, Black Petals, Sirens Call, Night to Dawn, 50 Word Stories, Legends of Night drabble series anthology, and Revelations drabble series anthology. She’s the Assistant Art Director for Black Petals and is also an illustrator for horror & pulp fiction magazines.  


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