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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
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

William Kitcher: Mr. Bunny and $88.01

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Art by Cindy Rosmus 2023

Mister Bunny and $88.01

 

By

 

William Kitcher

 

 

I was lying on the couch, waiting for the air conditioning to kick in and dozing off due to the heat, a hangover, and disinterest in the ball game on TV because the Jays were pummeling the Yankees for the third day in a row.

My cat Henry was napping on my chest, and we were both startled awake by my apartment buzzer. No one ever buzzes my apartment. People call first. Actually, no one ever comes to my apartment. I meet people outside.

I staggered to the buzzer. “Hello?”

“Is this James Yates?”

“Yeah. Who’s this?”

“Police.”

Police? What the . . . “How can I help you?”

“Can we come in?”

“How do I know you’re the police?”

Silence.

“Hold on,” I said. “I’ll come down.”

I pulled on a T-shirt and went downstairs. Sure enough, it was the cops. Two uniforms, one plain clothes. I assumed the plain clothes was a cop, because she did all the talking. She introduced the three of them by name, but I didn’t really pay attention.

Looking at her notes, she said, “Where were you on the night of January seventeenth?”

Jeesh, what a question. Some random date five months ago. Would she expect me to remember that?

“How the hell would I know?”

“Listen, Mr. Yates, can we talk in your apartment?”

“Do you have a warrant?”

She looked at her shoes. The two uniforms looked at each other. No one said anything.

“Ah, never mind,” I said. “Come on up.”

They made so much noise coming into my apartment that Henry scurried into his cage and burrowed into his stuffed animal friends.

She said, “Do you know Peter Baxter?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“I don’t think so. Who is he?”

“He was murdered January seventeenth. In a house not far from here.”

“Oh, that guy. I remember that happening. No, I didn’t know him.”

“We think you did.”

“What can I say?”

“Can you tell me where you were about nine on that night?”

“Probably not. That was five months ago. How would I . . . Oh, wait a minute.” I opened up my laptop and went to the website of my credit card company. On January 17, there was a posting from the Terrier and Rats for $88.01. “So,” I said, “if you go to that pub, they’ll be able to pull up that receipt. I remember now. I was trying to figure out the exact tip percentage to get it to exactly eighty-eight bucks. I couldn’t do it. I wanted eighty-eight coz that’s how many points the Raptors scored that night. They lost. The game would’ve been over about nine-thirty or nine forty-five, so my receipt will be ten or ten-thirty. The receipt will have the time on it. So that’s where I was all night.”

She made a few notes, looked at me, said, “Thank you, Mr. Yates. Sorry to have bothered you.” And they left.

Henry came out of his cage, sat beside me on the couch, and we watched the end of the ball game. Then I figured I’d go to the Terrier and Rats for a hair of the dog. I reached into Henry’s cage, pulled out Mister Bunny, unzipped his stomach, and took out a roll of money. I peeled off a hundred-dollar bill from what I’d taken from Peter the night I killed him for trying to rip me off on a heroin deal. I use my credit card only on special occasions.

Just because you have proof you paid at ten doesn’t mean you were there the whole time. I wonder if cops know that.

 

 

Bill Kitcher’s stories, plays, and comedy sketches (and one poem!) have been published, produced, and/or broadcast in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czechia, England, Guernsey, Holland, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S. His stories have appeared in Horror Sleaze Trash, Rock and a Hard Place, Shotgun Honey, Guilty, Mystery Tribune, Yellow Mama, and many other journals. His novel, Farewell and Goodbye, My Maltese Sleep, will be published in 2023 by Close To The Bone Publishing.

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Art by Cindy Rosmus 2023

Cindy Rosmus 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. She has recently branched out into photo illustration.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023