Stories

LEGEND CONSUMER – BARBATUS

in his dream, he keeps the body in his apartment’s bathtub for the next 15 someodd minutes before making any phone calls. the body and its face look enough like himself that he can superimpose a vision of himself over the dead thing in the tub, crumbled and stuffed awkwardly, forehead caved inward and brain matter dribbling out of the broken nose. he’s taking in its stillness and its new designation in his brain as Object.

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Stories

Melvin’s Evasion – Teddy Engs

Big surprise, Melvin’s not here. It’s gotten so bad that Vince gives him a two-hour grace period before he calls. I listen in as Vince dials him on speaker, he picks up on the millionth ring.
“Where are you, big guy?” Vince says.
“You’ll never guess what happened,” Melvin says, yawning.
“Hit me.”
“Rats chewed through my brake cables.”
“Rats?”
“Yes, rats. It was disgusting.”
“How did rats get in your car?”
“My neighbor smashed my window and tossed his garbage bags inside.”
“What?

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Stories

Burn Me To Ash – Chandler Morrison

In the unmoving dark, your voice on my stereo, I can almost cry. The unshed tears sting like rejection. Your words are the invisible wounds on my back. Red, gaping. Weeping as I can’t. I do this to myself because the pain feels like home in ways the city does not.
Driving up Hyperion, the lights glittering in the black hills like promises unsaid, unbroken. I leave the car parked on the street in front of a sign I don’t bother reading.

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Stories

Chasing the Suburban Dragon – Dutch Simmons

Browsing through the stacks of used books at a Goodwill thrift store is a guilty pleasure. Like being in a local dog shelter, I’d love to turn everyone loose and bring them home with me if possible. Every time I moved and was forced to downsize, parting with any books was Sophie’s Choice redux; each was a beloved child that held gossamer thin tethers to my heart. I didn’t understand how others could part with theirs without a moment’s hesitation.

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