Fiction: The Kid with the Sad Face by Jason Beech

Molly Molly sat hunched opposite him, her face hidden behind long blonde hair, the smell of cheap bacon a nasty tenant in her nostrils. He rested on his elbows, raisin eyes fierce in a doughy face, a giant above her – angry being with her, angry she couldn’t stem the tears, angry she couldn’t open…

Fiction: Outlaws by Robert Ragan

So many people want to be outlaws. They want the adrenaline rush that comes with the gunfire. They don’t realize the blood remains on their hands long after it’s washed off. Devin would make fun of you for having a conscience. He had the best work ethic of any thief out there. Creative when putting…

Fiction: The Power of the Donk by Jim Shaffer

 When Tommy slammed on the brakes of the ’56 Chevy Bel Air, two things happened: Ellie’s face bounced hard off the dashboard and the body on the back seat bashed against the front seat and collapsed on the floor.           “Gonnamn it, Tommy!” She sounded like she was talking in a bucket.           Ellie punched…

FICTION: MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME BY BEAU JOHNSON

For his eighty-six years, Mantooth appears stronger than he is.  Veins on his forearms like cables.  A chest that could still be classed as barrel.  None of it mattered.  Not once we begin.  Four teeth falling from his mouth and we’re halfway to the place I want us to be. “You’re going to tell me…

BLOOD ON THE BLACKTOP RURAL NOIR BY S.A. COSBY

Years ago, when I first started writing what would become my first crime novel, My Darkest Prayer, I had a fellow writer tell me they didn’t like “country” or “rural” noir. When I asked them why they said: “I just don’t buy it. I can’t believe all that crime happens in the country.” I’ll clean…

Fiction: Carcass by Paul D. Brazill

Ava drove her battered, old Ford Escort to the edge of the forest and parked beneath a pine tree. As she sat and watched the autumn rain batter the windscreen, she listened to the Siouxsie and The Banshees CD that Martin had given her for her birthday. It was a copy of a bootleg LP…

Christmas Stockings by Paul Heatley

Chris owns a dive bar and as such he is regularly drowning in the flotsam and jetsam of life. Even on Christmas Eve, when his customers include a drunken Santa Clause and Chris’ friend Randy – a perennial disaster waiting to happen. Paul Heatley’s Christmas Stockings is a violent torch-song. Like a bittersweet blend of…

Short Story in a Song— The Menzingers’ “The Obituaries” by S.W. Lauden

Coming of age. Exploring independence. Adulting. These are well-worn themes in the arts. A quick glance at the bookshelf reveals classics like The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Likewise, many bands have explored similar territory with songs like “Suburban Home” by Descendents,” “Burnout”…

Reflections/Iceberg Slim – Record review by Michael A. Gonzales

Living in Harlem in the early 1970s, my father’s apartment on 7th Avenue and 123rd Street was upstairs from an infamous Harlem bar known as The Shalimar. Glancing out of daddy’s fourth-floor window on a Friday or Saturday night, it wasn’t uncommon to see rows of brightly hued Cadillac’s lined-up from corner to corner with…