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Karma at the Charlie Hotel: Fiction by Louella Lester
Acceptable Margin of Inventory Loss: Fiction by Charlie Kondek
The Racing Rocks: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Preacher Woman of Reverie, Oklahoma: Fiction by Ann Marie Potter
Justice Served: Fiction by Glen Bush
A Broken String of Love Beads: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Revenge and Redemption: Fiction by Walt Trizna
Thirst: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Solar Punks: Fiction by James Blakey
Rito Was a High Number: Fiction by Fred Andersen
The Parcel: Fiction by Robb White
Red Wine and Cyanide: Fiction by Adrian Fahy
The Crowd: Fiction by Jack Garrett
The Offal Truth: Fiction by Scott MacLeod
Madam Maree Sees Your Future: Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Wereworm: Flash Fiction by Daniel G Snethen
Promises: Flash fiction by Richard Brown
No Need to Cry: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling
The Classy Woman: Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
oh how i wish: Poem by Rob Plath
Bird in Flight, Nullarbor Plain, 1967: Poem by John Doyle
Pools: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
I Exist Inside an Invisible Poem Everlasting & Overflowing: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Let me drop the last chapter: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Excursion: The Cruise Ship Chronicles: Poem by Jake Sheff
We'll Always Have Two Things to Hold: Poem by Chandu Govind
why nothing else matters: Poem by John Sweet
the pale grey light of forgotten afternoons: Poem by John Sweet
Orchestra Class: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Old Lady Shows Her Mettle: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
Eggs Over Easy: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Pretty Face: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Another Saturday Night: Poem by Richard LeDue
My Death Knells: Poem by Richard LeDue
Poems as Cheap as Christmas Lights: Poem by Richard LeDue
Dead Work: Poem by John Grey
How He Died: Poem by John Grey
The Man in Their Midst: Poem by John Grey
First at Pimlico: Poem by Craig Kirchner
4 AM: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Leap Year: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Jon Park: Madam Maree Sees Your Future

Art by Michael D. Davis 2024


by Jon Park


Inspired by Cindy Rosmus’s story “Hidey-Hole”


It was Henry, one of Tony’s drinking buddies, who told him about Madam Maree.

“She sees shit, man,” Henry said. “Speaks to the dead, I’m telling you. I heard she helped the cops solve a murder. Told them where to find the bodies. I shit you not. She’s got the gift.”

Tony found Madam Maree’s place downtown, nestled between a boarded-up thrift store and a 24/7 laundromat. Stencilled across the smoked glass shop window in gold lettering was “Madam Maree—Come in and meet your future. Groups welcome.”

Checking the laundromat was empty, Tony entered Madam Maree’s store. He locked the door behind him and turned the sign to “Closed.” A battered sofa pushed against the window and a coffee table were the only furnishings in the room. The place smelt of damp. Another door led into the back. A sign hung from this door that read “Knock and wait to be summoned.”  He knocked.

After a beat, a voice called. “Madam Maree requests you to enter.” Tony touched the gun tucked in his belt for reassurance. He opened the door and entered.

The room was almost in darkness. A single bulb hung above a circular table positioned at the centre of the room. Sat at the table shuffling a pack of cards, her face behind a veil, was Madam Maree.

“Welcome to your future. I am Madam Maree. Please take a seat and we will begin.”

 The chair opposite Madam Maree moved out. Nice touch, Tony thought. He sat down. Madam Maree began to place the cards face down onto the red cloth that covered the table.

“First, we must make a payment to the spirits,” she said, as the last card was placed down onto the table. Tony tossed a twenty onto the red cloth.

“Good. Now let us begin. We must connect so the spirits can read your aura.” Madam Maree reached her frail hands towards him across the table. Tony took hold of them. Her hands were warm and dry, skin like dead leaves.

They sat in silence until Madam Maree suddenly released his hands as if she had been bitten by a snake. Her dark eyes peered across at him from behind the veil, puzzled.

“Oh! The spirits see a darkness. A sadness. Perhaps it’s a lost loved one you seek?”

Tony smiled. He had no intention of giving her anything she could work with.

“Now, we will look to the cards for answers.” Madam Maree began to move her right hand over the table. She selected a card and turned it over to reveal the image of a maiden dancing in the sunlight.

“Ah, the spirits have guided my hand to this card. It’s a woman you seek. A love gone too soon, perhaps. Do you have something you want to say to her?” Tony shook his head. If Madam Maree was as good as Henry claimed, she wouldn’t be needing any prompting from him.

Undeterred, Madam Maree again moved her hand across the cards. Selected one and turned it over. This card showed the image of a field of golden wheat. Tony almost laughed at the puzzled look on her face.

Madam Maree held her hand up as if halting traffic. “The spirits guide my hand,” she said, although with not as much conviction, Tony thought. She moved her hand once more across the table. Eventually, her finger fell upon a card. Slowly, she turned it over, as if already knowing what it would be. The card revealed a dancing skeleton swinging a scythe.

Madam Maree let out a gasp. “No. The girl is dead. I can hear her voice. She is not alone. Oh no, you . . .” She fell silent and pushed back from the table.

“Got to hand it to you, Madam Maree, you’re the real deal,” Tony said as he pulled the gun and pointed it at her across the table. “Just a shame you didn’t see this coming.”

Madam Maree leaned across the table towards him. “Oh, but I did.” Tony felt the cold blade press against his throat.

“Now, do you want me to tell you how this ends?”


Jon Park lives in the North East of England and loves to write.  His story “Too Tough to Die,” appeared in Gabba Gabba Hey, an anthology of fiction inspired by the music of the Ramones published by Fahrenheit Press in 2021. 


He loves loud music and plays guitar badly. If you meet him, you will need to shout. 

If Charles Addams, Edgar Allan Poe, and Willy Wonka sired a bastard child it would be the fat asthmatic by the name of Michael D. Davis. He has been called warped by dear friends and a freak by passing strangers. Michael started drawing cartoons when he was ten, and his skill has improved with his humor, which isn’t saying much. He is for the most part self-taught, only ever crediting the help of one great high school art teacher. His art has been shown at his local library for multiple years only during October due to its macabre nature. If you want to see more of Michael’s strange, odd, weird, cartoons you can follow him on Instagram at mad_hatters_mania.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024