Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is “Left in the Rain” by Sheri L. Wright.
by Jim Harrington
The fake rabbi stood on the frozen sidewalk leading to the Catholic church. He blew each parishioner a kiss as they exited the noon service. A bitter mix of alcohol and cigarettes permeated his breath. He saw her shake the priest’s hand, smile, say something that made the priest laugh. She, the drunk driver, the killer of children, the judge’s wife. The rabbi reached in his pants pocket, felt the knife, took a deep breath, and tottered away. Around the corner, he threw the beard and hat in a trash can. Revenge wasn’t in his nature.
The Garden of Love
by Patricia Crandall
“Elisa, I love you.” Hendrik said.
“I am engaged to your cousin. Tory has promised me the manor and I do love this garden.” Elisa dropped her hands among the folds of a rose and white striped cashmere dress.
“Tory’s an empty-headed boy.” Hendrik reclined beside Elisa on the grass and whispered, “You should be mistress of several manors. I’ll give you European gardens laid out with exquisite taste.” He pulled her to him.
A tall youth darted from behind a hedgerow. Tory raised a meat cleaver over Hendrik’s head.
“Cut!” ordered the director.
Witch Way Home
by Nathan Hystad
I spat out shards of rock as I walked the overgrown forest path to the witch’s hut. The gravel left a dusty taste in my mouth, but it was the only thing keeping me from chewing everyone in sight. The curse she cast upon me–compulsion to chomp–wouldn’t go away. She would have to fix it or she would be my next victim. Greeting me at the door with hesitation, she told me there was nothing she could do. I ate her, and the compulsion died with her. Now I have a hut.
by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz
Her tall, handsome neighbor, father of curly-haired daughters, exits his house carrying a large and elaborately wrapped birthday gift just as her dog takes a shit near the parked Subaru across the street from his house. He carries the pink box – ribbons dangling, like a piece of distasteful trash. She holds the opposite end of the leash from where the little dog is doing its little dog business, and stands up straighter. Above them all, life and death drama unfolds as a gang of mockingbirds chase a crow swooping away with its prize of crushed hatchling.
Baptists in Bed
by R.V. Scaramella
Under this sliver of porch, not quite keeping dry, waiting for a kid from Craigslist to show, wishing that I had a cigarette. We quit smoking when Em got pregnant. Daycare is $1100 a month. This guy wants to look at three of my last four guitars and will probably offer nothing on the dollar and I’ll probably take it. Fine, it’s fine though. Our band’s name was the one good thing about us, Baptists in Bed. Billy moved off anyway. That neighbor lady smokes. Daycare is expensive and I really do need a cigarette.