Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is “Mazatlán II” by Rachelle Olsen-Veal.
by John Laue
On New Year’s Day, 2009, Norman Moser, also known as The Good Natured Psychopath, walked from San Francisco to Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge, a feat he was accustomed to perform on Sundays. That day he was one of just a few people since the weather was rather blustery. When he reached the halfway point he saw on the sidewalk in front of him a pair of white running shoes. Since the shoes had no visible owner, he tried them on. They fit and he proceeded to his destination leaving his old shoes neatly in their place facing the rail.
So They Said
by Robert Scottellaro
The chickens pecked around their steps as they headed back to the house. The sky lay low, brooding, charcoaled by rain. It would soon be more intimate. They’d just returned from an exorcism. A boy with one leg shorter than the other. Who didn’t listen to his parents. Typed Satan-speak into his computer. Spoke sometimes in tongues. They said. All of them gathered around with God-words, and he told them to go fuck themselves. In a language they understood. They waited for the holy water to smoke and sizzle when it touched his skin. When it didn’t, they headed home.
by Tanya Gouchenour
“Demons from hell…yep…” she muttered to herself as she filled in the hole. Sure enough, it had been a real possession and she was unable to save the host. Demons jumped into humans and kept ’em upright no matter what, but when that force was gone…nothing she could do. She knew some hunters left a trail of bodies in their wake, but that never felt right to her. She leaned on the shovel for a moment after finishing. It was gonna be a long drive to her next job, so she’d better pack it up.
Collards on the Corner
by Joan Leotta
A large swath of green plants extended back to a clapboard house.
“Collards 4 Sale.”
Thinking, “collards for tonight’s dinner,” I pulled into the driveway.
“Hellllllooooooooo….” A large man in a plaid shirt came out.
I extracted three singles.
“Come on.” He had a machete! Hard to say no to a machete.
Despite fear, I followed Plaid down the plant rows.
I pointed out a plant. Thwack! An entire plant, mine. Filled my trunk. Collards nightly for two weeks. I still cringe when I see collards.
by Nathan Hystad
I watched the whole thing like it was a car accident, craning my neck, slowing down to see the damage, but I was just a bystander. They signed the papers and told me Dad would be moving away. Dad’s apartment was small and musty. Signs of a female friend—a small, pink t-shirt, votive candles, potpourri in the bathroom—were there when I visited every second weekend. It became normal. Eventually Mom dated, Dad married Becky, and I was numb to it all. Years later, I’m divorced, and I’m numb again.