My Father’s Buick

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My Father’s Buick

by David Gilman-Frederick

            Cyrus could scarcely believe his ears.

“You can’t seriously be saying,” he raised both eyebrows, “that you don’t make any decisions at all? That the Lord Jesus Christ does all your thinking for you? I mean, he chooses your outfits in the morning; they, like, magically appear, all laid out on your bed? Do you do your homework, Jeremy – or does your Heavenly Father? What kind of grades do you get?” he laughed without amusement, a friend without an r. “I mean, God what, God brushes your teeth for you . . . .”  He mimed this and then laughed again.

Sitting opposite him on the stoop, Jeremy slumped forward, pale and shivering. His skin was a sallow, hypothermic blue, despite the warmth of the early May evening. He focused on a spot on the step between his generic tennis shoes. He didn’t answer, just trembled and tilted his head in a gesture somewhere between a nod and a shake. Continue reading

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The Only One in the Room

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The Only One in the Room

By Nick Manzolillo

The bodies sway gently in the breeze, with one hanging from every other lamppost along the Main Street.  Robert wonders how they all got up there, he doesn’t see any ladders.  He takes one final pull from his cigarette and then tosses it against the asphalt. There’s a brilliant flash of sparks before the stub’s sole ember is left struggling to remain alive before it eventually suffocates.  Other corpses rock to and fro from the tree branches, but they are shrouded in the late evening darkness.  Go figure, the next bus isn’t coming ‘til the morning, but this was always meant to be the boring part of the trip. Continue reading

Theater Three

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Theater Three

By Ellie Brown

When I was in my early twenties, I worked at a small movie theater that showed only independent, cult, and foreign films. The theater was built in the early 1940’s and was decorated in the style of the era with heavy red velvet curtains, stained glass light fixtures, and dark wood. My co-workers were mostly college students at nearby Wayne State University or were enjoying their post-graduation “lost years”, like me. We slacked off, smoked pot in the basement and on the roof, picked the films for the summer midnight movie series, came up with cast lists for who would play each of us in a movie about our theater, and generally had the run of the place. Despite the minimum wage pay, tacky uniforms, and the misanthropy that comes with working with the public, it remains my favorite job. Except for this one thing… Continue reading

Drops

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Drops

By Lee Blevins

The first drop fell during a Buster Keaton comedy at the arthouse theater in the city nearest their town. Bertrand felt the cool plop of a single drop of liquid upon the edge of his hairline. He raised his hand and brushed the water off and chalked it up to leakage or spittle or maybe premeditated hooligansim and continued watching the film.

The second drop fell during fourth period the following day. Bertrand had placed a slide upside down a projector. One of the less anarchic students then pointed out the error. Bertrand was turning the slide around when the second drop fell onto the transparent sheet. The fluid ate through the word Indochina. Continue reading

Don’t Fear The Reaper

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Don’t Fear The Reaper

Alexander Brown

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“I need you to kill him for me.”

The words were spoken in the right order, the request not unreasonable. After all, Brian Turner’s father had been a son of a bitch long before the Vietnam War but an even bigger one since.

But Brian also knew that rules were rules.

“You know I can’t,” Luke replied.

Before he could continue, Brian snatched the words out of his mouth.

“Rules are rules.” Continue reading

Flash Fiction Friday *When He Left Himself*

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When He Left Himself

By Jillian Bost

Alfred curled up underneath his blankets. The evening shouting had begun. His father had staggered home early from the White Hart Inn, and his mother had hurried Alfred upstairs. He fancied he still felt the warmth of her grazed kiss against his forehead.

But the ghost of his mother’s kiss, and the warmth of the blankets, didn’t keep out his father’s shouts, and the smash of glass, and his mother’s silence.

Alfred squeezed his eyes shut, willing the blackness to grow darker still until he could become nothing, and float away from his body, away from his trembling limbs and the chilled attic.

He murmured the words again and again: “Far away, far away, far away.”

Alfred felt himself floating and gave a quick whisper of delight as he gazed down at his prone body. He spotted an owl perched on the windowsill. He longed to sit beside it and stare out into the night.

He moved through the window, seeking the moon.

The round comforting glow became obscured by a figure, with no face but a black void. It beckoned to him.

He flailed about, but couldn’t get back to his body.

The dark figure was pulling him down to the ground. Alfred could sense a grim joy from the thing.

He couldn’t speak. Couldn’t move.

A warm spot on his forehead grew and intensified, and Alfred jolted back to his bed, feeling as if he’d fallen from the sky. He stared wild-eyed at the chestnut-haired woman looming over him as she stroked his forehead.

“Back to sleep, my darling.”

He smiled and nodded, and closed his eyes again, scarcely hearing his mother’s soft footfalls as she left the room.

He was just about to drift off to sleep, when he felt a tugging on his foot.

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Crown of Thorns

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Crown of Thorns

By Mark Slade

Blake came to Kerr’s séance, hoping to get in touch with his dead son.

Miles had committed suicide almost a year ago, just as Gregory Blake decided to quit his nationally televised show where he gave his sermons every Sunday morning at eleven a.m., a prime spot for syndication, right before football. Rev. Archbishop Gregory Blake, his full title, had his show, loyal worshipers that hung on to every word he spoke, nice cars, and a nice home in Canyon.

But he also had a lot of troubles. Twice a divorcee, women and drink would always complicate Blake’s life. Almost tried twice for being Heretic, he had less than half of the Church Officials he could call his friends or colleagues. It was Blake’s outspoken rants on Homosexuals in the Church, and getting the right literature to for married couples and non-married couples concerning planned families, or the fact he didn’t believe Mother Mary was  a virgin when she had Christ, that was kind of way of thinking as a carrier of Christ’s words and teachings, really ticked them off. None of that weighed on his mind as much as being able to talk to Miles one last time. Tell him, he was sorry. Continue reading