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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
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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
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Ron Capshaw: Head

100_ym_head_swiseman-rose.jpg
Art by Sophia Wiseman-Rose 2023

Head

 

by Ron Capshaw

 

Those who weren’t there cheered when he came back to camp with the head.

Those who had, kept their distance, as if he were somehow contagious.

The hunter didn’t spoil the moment with the truth.

As he watched the client robotically go into his tent, dropping the head on the way, the hunter thought, What did he expect?

His other clients had gotten over their shock that the movies had gotten it wrong and did what they came to do.

This time the hunter had to.

He found the client vomiting behind a tree and dropped—not handed—the head at the client’s feet.

At least he has the courage to pick it up, the hunter thought.

Back at camp, the client’s wife, whose bar bill would have fed a family of ten shivering in a Hooverville, must have learned some gypsy lingo, and practically raced into their tent.

The hunter knew what the poor bastard was in for.  She had been at him since arriving at camp, belittling his looks, his virility, and now it would be his courage.

What she said to him in the tent would later be shared.

Her mission, probably begun shortly after the sap slipped the ring on her finger and she had him tied in financial knots, was to keep him from ever getting his balls back.

Later, after the hunter turned her down, she tried the abuse act on him, and he smacked her.

Rather than launch herself at him, she took the hand he hit her with and kissed it.

American women, he thought and pushed her out of his tent.

Thank God the safari was almost over.

Night came quickly, and it was apparent from the circles under his eyes that the client hadn’t gotten any sleep during the day.

Meanwhile the wife looked well-rested, even radiant.

The husband looked into the fire for a long time.

“I suppose it has relocated.”

The hunter nodded.

“They do that when discovered.”

“They wouldn’t bother if it was just you, dearest,” the wife said.

Enough, the hunter thought.

“There’s another, near here.  We can go at daybreak.”

“No,” the husband said, looking at the pitch-black sky.  “Let’s go now.”

Before the hunter could protest, the husband said, “You know where they feed?”

“Yes, but—”

The husband looked at the hunter with tears in his eyes, “Please.”

The hunter nodded.

“Oh, I must go on this one,” the wife said.

“It would be better if you stayed behind,” the hunter said.

She moved her face almost nose to nose with her husband’s downcast face.

“Oh, no.  I missed his performance.  I need to see a repeat.”

 

******

Some galloped, some took to the air, all in search of a meal.

The hunting party had brought guns this time.

The hunter pointed at an area where a pack was feeding.

The wife clutched at her throat.

The husband very carefully sighted his rifle on them.

The hunter crouched beside him.

“Go for the head, not the heart.”

The husband reduced the pack’s heads to spray before they had time to even snarl.

The husband smiled at the hunter in a way the hunter knew he hadn’t in years.

The wife caught the look.

“Big deal,” she said.  “You shot them from a safe–”

Just then, one of them burst through the darkness, claws extended, jaw impossibly wide.

The hunter was caught off guard and wouldn’t have time to bring his gun up.

The wife screamed.

The husband, quite calmly, blew its brains out.

The husband looked at his wife.

“The sound you are hearing, dearest, are my balls being reattached.”

         

        Ron Capshaw is a writer based in Florida.  His debut horror novel, The Stage Mother's Club, came out in June from Dark Edge Press.

        https://www.amazon.com/Stage-Mothers-Club-Ron-Capshaw/dp/B0BWPN4GP8/ref=sr_1_1?crid=28E2C73KBSH1F&keywords=the+stage+mother%27s+club&qid=1680278727&s=books&sprefix=the+stage+mother%27s%2Cstripbooks%2C139&sr=1-1

Sophia Wiseman-Rose is a Paramedic and an Episcopalian nun. Both careers have provided a great deal of exposure to the extremes in life and have provided great inspiration for her.  

 She is currently spending time with her four lovely grown children and making plans to move back to her home in the UK in the Autumn.  

 In addition, Sophia had a few poems in the last edition of Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine

 

https://www.artstation.com/sophiaw-r6

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023