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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

Zvi A. Sesling: Carmelita

Art by Lonni Lees 2023



by Zvi A. Sesling



          The Mexican chick, Carmelita, I’ve been visiting in Tijuana for months wants to know why I am divorced, so I tell her. The first wife fucked half the Seventh Fleet in San Diego. They literally came and went. In and out, so to speak. The second wife chose the Marines at Camp Pendleton while I was at work so she could buy the clothes she took off for those leatherheads.


          My guess is this Mexican gal, Carmelita, probably used to earn her pesos on the streets of Tijuana. I really don’t care because like the past times I’ve been in Tijuana, she is going to let me get laid tonight, bless her brown thighs. But then, unlike the past times, she shows a picture of her late husband, a fat, smiling Mexi wearing a sombrero and a smile that reveals two missing teeth up front and a belly that’s downed too many Cervesas. She says his name was Poncho, but it sounds like Pauncho to match the picture.


          Then she says the drug cartel filled him with a hundred pieces of lead because two and a half million dollars in some drug deal is missing, and now they are looking for her because Poncho gave her half a million to get away to San Diego and set up a place for them with different names. He never made it, so she had to scoot out of Tijuana to San Diego late at night in the trunk of my car.


          So here we are at Papa Pedro’s Bar & Grille in La Jolla pretending we just met when I see a couple of goons at the end of the bar.


          “Lady,” I say pretty loud, “just remembered I gotta be at work early.”  And before she can say Oh senor, I’m gone, out the door of the bar on a side street off Girard in La Jolla and in my Chevy. I make for home.


          I had a rented room on Poole Street, and as I drive up the hill to my pad, I notice a car following me, so I pass my street and drive up to the main drag and over to Torrey Pines Drive and down the winding road back to Girard, the car tailing me all the way. I then take rights and lefts, but the sedan behind me hangs in there.  


Finally, I stop at the police station and the sedan takes off. I notice it’s black and has California plates. As soon as it’s out of sight, I make a U-turn and head home. No car follows.      


The next morning, as Carmelita and I had planned, I hoof it down to the airport, and get a flight to New York.


          Carmelita, who’s been my lover for the past year since Poncho’s demise hangs in San Diego, a few days while avoiding the goons. Then she catches a flight to Dallas, spends a couple days there and then off to Chicago. From there she’ll fly to Atlanta before finally coming to New York where, with new names and low visibility, we’ll live happily ever after with the money she converted to a bank check and slipped to me while showing me her late husband’s picture.



Zvi A. Sesling, Brookline, MA Poet Laureate (2017-2020), has published numerous poems and flash/micro fiction and won international prizes. A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he has published four volumes and three chapbooks of poetry. His flash fiction book is Secret Behind the Gate. He lives in Brookline, MA. with his wife Susan J. Dechter.

 Lonni Lees is a multi-award-winning writer in both fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Her stories appear in Hardboiled magazine, Yellow Mama, A Shot of Ink, Shotgun Honey, Black Petals, Einstein’s Pocket Watch, All Due Respect, and in the anthologies Deadly Dames and More Whodunits. Among her numerous writing awards over the years, she has award-winning stories in Felons, Flames, and Ambulance Rides, Battling Boxing Stories, and her published short story collection, Crawlspace. Broken won first place and is her 4th published novel. Her first novel Deranged won the PSWA First Place award for best published novel. Her next novel, The Mosaic Murder, was followed with a sequel, The Corpse in the Cactus, which won First Place and was published in the U.S. and UK. She won several other writing awards for her short stories, including Grand Prize.


 She received both art and a nonfiction Creative Writing Awards from NLAPW, California South branch, an organization of women writers, artists, and composers, and she served as President from 1982–1984. She is a current member of Sisters in Crime, PSWA, and Arizona Mystery Writers, where she was the first writer to win two consecutive awards in their annual short story contest.


 Twice Lonni was selected as Writer-in-Residence at Hedgebrook, a writer’s retreat on Whidbey Island. After living in four states and visiting many countries, she’s settled in Tucson, AZ. She fills her spare time showing her art at WomanKraft Gallery, reminiscing on all her travel adventures, illustrating stories for online magazines, and dreaming up new tales to tell.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023