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not even Baudelaire: Poem by Craig Kirchner
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to bury a curious girl: Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Roy Dorman: Leave Me Alone

102_ym_leavemealone_hlyon.jpg
Art by Hillary Lyon © 2024

LEAVE ME ALONE

by Roy Dorman

                                                                                                         

“Anybody sittin’ here?”

“Nope.”

“Buy me a drink?”

Eddie Dawson looked up from his book and stared at the woman who had sat on the bar stool next to his. She was attractive and probably about his age. Late twenties, early thirties.

“Sure. Whatever ya want.”

Eddie went back to his book. The bartender brought the woman her drink and winked at her.

“I’m Candy,” the woman said.

“Of course you are,” Eddie said, without looking up from his book.

“Don’t wanna talk, huh?”

“Nope. I like being alone.”

You come to a bar to be alone?” Candy asked, finishing her drink and pushing her glass toward the bartender.

“I like to be alone around other people,” said Eddie, looking Candy in the eye. “It’s kind of a Zen thing.”

He motioned to the bartender to get Candy another drink.

“Zen? Is that like religious?” asked Candy.

“More spiritual than religious,” said Eddie. “Now, how about leavin’ me alone?”

The bartender, Toby Windsor, had a smirk on his face. He was enjoying this. He drew another tap for Eddie and placed it and a shot of Tullamore Dew in front of him. Toby’s a betting man and he’s betting on Candy.

“House’ll comp this round,” he said.

Candy still looked a little puzzled from the Zen thing, but she was determined.

“So, ya never said what yer name was —”                                                              

“There ya are, ya crazy bitch! Get yer ass back out on the street!”

A tall, nastyl-ooking guy had come in and now stood next to Eddie and Candy.  Eddie thought he was too close. Eddie’s right elbow was just inches away from the guy’s solar plexus. His elbow itched.

“You know this guy?” Eddie asked Candy, already knowing the answer and what the relationship probably was.

“Yeah, I used to work for ‘em. He’s Johnny Clarke. But I quit.”

“Well, I guess you can leave now,” Eddie said. “Sounds like Candy, here, wants to be left alone.”

Clarke turned to Eddie. “Who the fuck are you?”

“You don’t need to know who I am,” said Eddie. “We’re not gonna be friends.”

Before Clarke could throw his punch, Eddie elbowed him in the solar plexus and bent him over. The bartender came around from behind the bar and walked Clarke out the door.

“Ya shouldna done that,” said Candy. “Ya just made him mad. He’s got an awful temper —”

Clarke came back into the bar with a Glock in his hand. Crouched in a shooter’s stance, he shot Eddie three times in the chest, Candy twice, and ran back out the door.

Eddie and Candy fell to the floor together, dead upon arrival.

***

Except for the easy banter between the County Coroner, Sandra Shaw, and her assistant, Carl Drew, the Cook County Morgue was quiet. One could say dead quiet.

“Here’s two more that’ll be by themselves in their own drawers with the rest of ‘em until somebody claims them,” Shaw said to Drew, as the two looked down at Eddie and Candy.

“It’s kinda quirky when ya think about it,” said Drew. “They’re in here by themselves, but surrounded by other people.”

“You’re a deep one, aren’t ya, Drew?” said Shaw, closing Eddie’s and Candy’s drawers.

That brought a blush to Drew’s cheeks. He didn’t like being around people much, but he liked being around Sandra Shaw.

 

Roy Dorman is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for over 65 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had flash fiction and poetry published in Black Petals, Bewildering Stories, One Sentence Poems, Yellow Mama, Drunk Monkeys, Literally Stories, Dark Dossier, The Rye Whiskey Review, Near to the Knuckle, Theme of Absence, Shotgun Honey, and a number of other online and print journals. Unweaving a Tangled Web, published by Hekate Publishing, is his first novel. 

Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi and pulp fiction websites and magazines, and the Art Director at Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine. 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 © 2024