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Weightthe bottle of 5 o'clock is heavy
though it's half gone
take a swig
remember that I hate alcohol.
half-crushed marlboro golds
found them in my sheets
I quit smoking a year ago
maybe I'll start again tonight
they're light as a feather
they smell stale
my father has rope in his room
he does a lot of outdoor work
thick, dirty weave
flecked with red pigment
heaved over my shoulder
heavier than I thought
the ball-peen hammer from the kitchen drawer
can easily wield it
can easily carry it
goes in my belt
the shovel in the trunk of my car
crusted with soil
hard, black, scraping my hands
as I load it in
consider smoking a cigarette
put the 5 o'clock away
out to the car
rope, hammer, and shovel
they weigh my car down
so heavily that I can
feel it sag
my tires don't want to turn
but I drive
to where he lives
my darling boyfriend
he doesn't know
but tonight I will tell him
it's time we start seeing other people.
I Think I Can SeeSometimes when I blink, I think I can see something. A figure. A man.
Sometimes, when I'm walking, I think I can see him around me. Under a tree. Ducking behind a building. Out of the corner of my eye, just out of my line of sight, behind me, walking next me, in front of me.
Sometimes, when my mind gets ahead of me, I think he's following me.
When I blink he's only there for a moment. A second. Barely a nanosecond, even. He's scarce, barely-there, hardly physical and yet very real to me.
He's a menacing presence. He watches me, this tall, black figure without a face, eyes, no distinguishing characteristics of any sort. He's blank, yet... every time I see him, he's furious.
He hates me... this man I think I can see.
I blink and he is there, blink twice and he is gone. That tall, forever silent figure. I hate him, this man I think I can see. I hate him and his featureless leer, his overshadowing presence, and his constant, unfailing ability to be where I am. All the time.
The Importance of DaresIt smells like the color orange. Warm, welcoming, with the spicy tang of spaghetti sauce and the yellow glow of mama's kitchen. That glow was a box of light against the otherwise gray and dark backyard, the only window into the world of color.
Sounds of rushing water from the creek that flows about 100 feet from the boundaries of the house's backyard, not quite on the property but not quite off. Three boys are standing in front of it: scraped knees, dirty pants, round faces flushed with the pinching cold of the early spring evening.
"Do it," one says, crouching on the muddy bank. "It's spring. It's okay."
The tallest one, Dallas, a brown-haired, blue-eyed boy, frowns down at him. It's his creek, his house, and his mama cooking spaghetti in the kitchen. He looks at the speaker and pouts his lips. "It's cold," He says, looking down at the water. Gray, cold.
"I dare you," the third boy says. "I dare you to do it." His name is Eddie. He's the youngest and the shortest.
Dallas doesn't want
The Health InspectorThe health inspector shut down the restaurant. Nobody saw it coming, of course. The restaurant's reviews were raving, the business was booming, and popularity was off the hook. So when it was shut down, needless to say, the restaurant's owner suddenly found himself carrying a tarnished reputation that he knew he was never going to shake himself of.
George Reed stared up at the locked doors, his once-blazing blue eyes searching the front of the restaurant that he was once so proud to own and manage. CLOSED, it said, BY ORDER OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. The neon sign was dull, dead, and now as lifeless as the building itself.
"I don't understand it," Reed scratched at the patch of salt and pepper beard on his chin, looking to his side at his former head chef, a very thin man by the name of Dallas, "We had excellent food. Nobody ever complained."
Dallas shrugged both of his bony shoulders, his knotted hands digging in the pockets of his threadbare trousers. A cold gust of wind rattled the p
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
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