by Thomas Henry Newell
The house smells of new paint, but the stain remains. It’s all too much for the director of a cleaning company.
The employees he demanded come out on the weekend are running late. So, he stares at that blasphemous spot.
What if he bleaches it?
He pours chemicals into a rag and dabs at the darkness coming through the whitewash. His fingers start to burn and blacken.
The workers resent the boss. When they enter the house through the open door that was not answered when knocked, they find there is no work for them. Just nothing.
Fire in the Hole
by Jeannette Connors
Stanley lined them up for epic battles. Some pointed broken rifles, some had smooth nubby helmets, others were headless but fought anyway. A cracked bazooka balanced precariously on a saluting private. A water canteen sat in the grass just out of reach of a footless soldier. “Where’d you get all this crap?” a friend once asked. “A special place,” Stanley said. Each evening Stanley’s father came home with barely a chance to remove his scrubs before his son begged him for the day’s booty.
by Scott Bogart
She ducked behind the car. I snuck up and got her good. She nailed me in the groin. Reeling, I retreated, packing another snowball. I let it fly as she rounded the corner, striking her boob. She screamed and fled towards the house. Believing it was over, I limped into the garage. The shovel made a loud thwack against my back and down I went. I took out her shins with the skateboard. Back into the snow we rolled, with neighbors aghast, turning the yard into strawberry shortcake before exhaustion forced an amicable stalemate. Never argue before a snowball fight.