3 Flash Prose Pieces by Timothy Gager

Punk Noir Magazine

Disremembering

You forgot to take your medication so things go wrong. No,you didn’t barricade yourself fighting off police, but thoughts of suicide re-emerge. Those thoughts of insecurity occur. Those thoughts of uselessness, and those thoughts of thoughts, and about thoughts that are dangerous. First do no harm to yourself—to others. 

Back to your psychiatrist, who scolds you, says, this is not an emergency. You wait for his next move. An increase? A new prescription? Are there any medicines to help you remember to not forget your medications? You look at the camera where the virtual meeting is taking place. The psychiatrist is frozen and the tea kettle has been sounding off for five minutes.

When that chaos ends there are changes. It’s in the future. You will soon be able to get out of your isolated shell. Inside you are dying. Your father’s brain is dying somewhere in another state. He had dementia so there is an excuse for it. 

You’re both completely alone. 

You thought you could stop the sun from rising. That would be easy, but cowardly. Try it out, the psychiatrist says.  

How You Met Your Husband

​You believe in faith, and that everything happens for a reason, so that guy at the end of the bar you’ve never met before—he is there because you are going to marry him. His clothes are working man rugged, but he is not. The thing you do is ignore him. It’s messed up, but it’s instinctual. You don’t want to walk over there, nor do you want him to come to you. That would ruin everything.  

His friends have arrived and are throwing money at you—flirting. You know after years working as a bartender, tipping is a lazy way to flirt. Customers are like animals involved in some weird mating ritual, but instead of doing territorial things, or a scent release, even charging you, smashing their skulls into yours, then throw bills on the ground, at your feet, after they’ve paid you fifteen dollars for their drinks. More of that where that came from baby, when do you get off?

​The guy at the end of the bar does not do that. He has ordered, after 45 minutes of ignoring him, a Budweiser. A simple, stupid Budweiser. Then he motions with his hand for you to move because you’re blocking the view of the Rangers-Red Wing game, and it burns you. In fact, your last boyfriend noticed that before you said anything in anger, your face would turn red, but your ears would be redder. He said you were like a fire igniting, the steam whistle in Bugs Bunny cartoons when they blow, the metal twisted and red. It is only after that the color returns like bare branches after fall foliage. 

​Well, speaking of assholes, you don’t reach down, or dare bend over to pick up the tens and twenties off the spongy rubber mat, which smells more like rancid fruit the closer you get to your money. It’s intentional so they can catch a good view of your black-panted server butt, or even worse, their way tohumiliation: You are prey or predator, dominated or aggressed upon. It is pure hell in the animal world. 

​That is why you are acting that way for him. You were walking onto your shift, saw him and begged your friend to stay. “I can’t be serving him!” you shout, as your friend looks at you like you were crazy. 

​“Look,” Linda said. “I’m meeting a current boyfriend so I’m not taking a double shift so you can…I don’t know, Bev, so you can do, whatever you think you are doing. Fick that, I’m leaving.” How to change curse words is another thing you had to change for this job. Everything is recorded. 

​“Hey, I was the one who got you this job,” you say. “youowe me!” as it all makes sense, and it’s not just a Hail Mary pass. She should work a double because you know how it is going to play out. All the pieces are in place, but she has decided to not play along, leaving you there to work your shift, and to ignore your future husband. You know it seems crazy, but to you, you’ve never known anything stronger than the feeling you are having right now. 

​So you work the shift. Capture or be preyed upon, prayer answered or not answered. God,.the bar is busy now, peekinglike the top of a bell curve. On the way down, the friends of his leave drunk with empty wallets. You always thought that customers should just dump their wallets out on their way in., but seems, everyone there is playing it the other way, like a long painful yearning. Like those autumn leaves resting on a lawn that are blown away, the crowd thins out, and it is last call. Thetarget has had only one Budweiser all night. His hockey gameended three hours ago, and it’s quiet. All you can hear is your chest thumping, in your ear canal, his ice-blue eyes the enginepowering it, the hairs on his arms, with his thick wave of his hair are its battery. If he’s waiting, but you’re not bringing the bill, while knowing your behavior is bad enough for termination by complaint. You think you are standing, looking in his direction, but distance seems to be pulling and refracting between the two of you, as you feel you are standing cemented to the ground, when in fact you are walking toward him. 

​“I’ve waited,” you tell him, seeing his work shirt expandingand deflate, taking in the Universe, then letting it out, “I’ve been waiting as well,” he says.  You lean toward him to reply. Your face is less than two feet away. 

Poke

Wesley was fresh from bouncing around the internet, when he texted his friend Lindy to tell her he had decided to bring poking back.

“Remember when?” he added.

Lindy always thought that poking was strange until she first met her first eventual husband that way. 

“Fine. Go ahead,” she said, “but don’t let me say I told you so after you realize it’s 2020.”

“It’s the pandemic and people need to be poked!” was his reply.

Wesley had come to this conclusion when logged into social media that morning. He had quit ten months ago, after watching a documentary about why he should quit that platform. He couldn’t ever call them by their name either, even when asked if he was on Facebook, he would just answer, “No, I am not on social media.” Today he was back because he was bored, but there was a notification that he had been poked over three years ago by someone he didn’t know, and if he would like to poke them back. 

Wesley was all-in. He returned the poke, and waited. Nothing. That’s when he texted Lindy, then weakened after a few when she said to just call her. 

“It’s like pre-historic Tinder, Tinder,” he said. If you poke someone and they poke back it’s like a match, except no swiping.””

“Swiper, no swiping,” Lindy said.

“What?”

“Nevermind.”

“Look,” he added. “Those Tinder folks made big bucks. I can too, by bring poking back, and there’s a world of possibilities. I mean an app, just for poking.”

“But this already exists,” Lindy said. “Also it exists in a way that sometimes, even on Facebook, a poke is just a poke, or just a hello, rather than, you know, a poke.”

“If you match on Tinder it’s just a match. It’s not a fuck.”

“Especially, not with you…”

“Shut up,” he said. 

Wesley went back that night to find people he’d want to poke. In the morning there were messages. 

Seriously, a red haired woman one-word replied.

Just trying to bring poking back he wrote back.

Ugh, she messaged…then unfriended and blocked. He wondered how to reinvent this as socially acceptable. He went to old poking history, and poked them all.  By morning he had been unfriended 15 more times, and blocked five times. There was one message which said, Creepy.

You poked me first, he replied. 

Yeah in 2003

There was also a message from the social media platform informing him his poking privileges had been revoked indefinitely. What??? He appealed. He wrote quickly and concisely in his appeal to Facebook and defined what a poke meant today vs. in 2003. He gave them his plan to come up with a socially acceptable poking app. He went on to describe the success of Tinder and Bumble, and how their own dating app, Datebook, was failing. He even brought up how a poke could open conversation and bring the world closer together.  

Wesley logged in every ten minutes to see if his poking ability had been restored. The sun had begun to sink low in the sky until it was under his blinds on his windows. Nothing. At midnight he decided to give it one last try. When he tried to log in he was directed to a page, indicating: The account associated with this e-mail no longer exists.

He was pissed. Seething even more a month later, Facebook announced to the world that they were introducing their new Pokebook app, which would be automatically installed in all of their platforms, with special new poking emojis. “Fuck Facebook,” Wesley yelled. He thought that nearly every time the Face-word came up.  Wesley’s phone buzzed. A text from Lindy.

“Poke.”

Timothy Gager is the author of sixteen books of fiction and poetry. His latest, 2020 Poems is his ninth of poetry, and was an Amazon #1 Bestseller in five categories. Timothy hosted the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2001 to 2018, and as a virtual series starting in 2020. Timothy was the co-founder of The Somerville News Writers Festival. He has had over 600 works of fiction and poetry published, of which seventeen have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work also has been nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award, The Best of the Web, The Best Small Fictions Anthology and has been read on National Public Radio.

Timothy is the Fiction Editor of The Wilderness House Literary Review, and the founding co-editor of The Heat City Literary Review. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Timothy lives in Dedham, Massachusetts with some fish and two rabbits, and he is employed as a social worker. He is currently seeking representation for his third novel, Joe the Salamander, a semi-finalist for The Holland Prize.

http://www.timothygager.com 

http://timothygager.blogspot.com/

The Factory by Todd Sullivan

Punk Noir Magazine

Todd Sullivan currently lives in Taipei, Taiwan, where he teaches English as a Second Language. He has had more than two dozen short stories, poems, and novelettes published across five countries. He currently has two book series through indie publishers in America. He wrote for a local web and play series in Taipei in 2020. He hosts a YouTube Channel that interviews writers across the publishing spectrum.

Strange Lovers by M. D. Smith

Punk Noir Magazine

Strange Lovers

Marv examined his latest paper target and totaled ninety-seven points. Seven shots in the bullseye and three in the nine-ring.

“Not bad,” a voice purred from the station next to his at the outdoor gun range.

Another shooter unloaded gear. She had luscious flowing red hair and a gorgeous face. Not like the magazine models, but strikingly beautiful for a woman in shooting gear. As she moved away to finish her setup, he noticed the shapely legs and hips covered in tight-fitting cargo pants. He smiled, thinking this was his kind of woman.

“Thanks. My name’s Marv. Come here often?”

“Not as much as I’d like.” She removed a sizeable semi-auto handgun from her case, set the .44 magnum ammo next to it, and loaded the magazine. 

“I’m Liza.”

“Wow. A Desert Eagle in .44 mag. That’s a lotta handgun. Almost five pounds.”

“Helps me be a better shot with the smaller calibers to practice with this one.” With a fresh target twenty-five feet in front of her, she fired all eight shots in the magazine. The center ten-spot almost obliterated.

Marv opened his eyes wide. “Fantastic.” He had to get to know this sexy woman better. A half-hour passed,and they’d swapped and shot several of each other’s guns and had a friendly conversation going.

“Well, I think I’ll pack up.” Marv closed his ammo boxes and began putting his guns in carrying cases. 

“I think I’ve enjoyed enough too.” Liza’s soft, deep-throated voice captivated him.

“I’m gonna get a beer at the roadhouse on the way into town. Wanna join me?” He expected a no answer.

She looked away in thought. “I don’t know.” Finally,looking back into his eyes, she nodded. “Yeah, that’d taste good. Sure.”

* * *

Over ice-cold bottles of beer, Marv talked about his gun room in the basement and his collection of over a hundred firearms. She seemed very enthusiastic. “Wannasee ‘em?”

“I see a wedding ring, Marv. What’ll your wife say?”

“We have a totally open marriage. Shirley’s out of town on a book tour. She makes a ton and probably has a guy in her hotel room right now. She won’t know.” Marv leaned in closer. “I’ll order a sumptuous dinner delivered,and we can compare our hunting experiences.”

“I don’t know. We just met.” Liza drew back with a questioning look.

When Liza finally agreed, Marv was so thrilled he nearly wet himself. He couldn’t believe how lucky he was to coax such a good-looking woman with similar interests for an evening at his home. Later he planned to show her the trophy mounted heads in the master bedroom.

It was bad enough when his bitch of a wife was there, complaining that he never worked and she provided all the money. But she let him build out the basement for his gun and reloading rooms. What he wouldn’t give to have a wife like Liza to live in that house with him. If this new friendship developed, he hoped his wife’s book tour was a long one.

Liza said she had to stop off at her house to change clothes, and she’d be along at eighteen hundred sharp for dinner. She was prompt and knocked on his door precisely on the hour.

Marv opened the door and smiled like a Cheshire Cat. “Wow. You…you look great in that skirt and blouse, Liza.” The clothes clung to her like a second skin. He admired her legs and calves in the high heels.

She walked in, hips swinging just right, with a large Louis Vuitton leather purse hung on her shoulder, nestled under one arm, and her jacket on the other. “Nice place you got here.”

Shortly after seeing the impressive gun collection, she donned her jacket for dinner. They enjoyed an outstanding catered meal. “The caviar is a pleasant touch. Delicious. Developed a taste for it in the service.”

“You were in military service?”

“Yes,” she said. “Navy SEAL. Killed people. That turns some men off.”

“Not me.” Marv leaned against the chair back and interleaved his fingers. “It makes you all the more intriguing.” 

“Not a big deal, but no bonus pay. I’m not in the Navy anymore.”

Marv didn’t press for clarification. He believed he understood the drift.

“I like you, Marv. You’re a cool guy and enjoy things I like.”

“If you’re finished, Liza, I have a couple of trophy mounts in the bedroom I’d like to show you.” He knew if she accepted that offer, a romp in the bed would be next.

Her brow wrinkled as she considered. Then it smoothed, and she smiled. “Yeah, let’s see what you’ve got.”

As they entered his massive bedroom and she removed her jacket. Marv stared as she pulled her shoulders back, quite impressed with what he saw. The first button she undid revealed a vast cleavage. 

He ripped open his shirt and yanked it off along with his undershirt. Kicked off his shoes and hopped onto the bed. 

“If I understood you correctly downstairs, we might put a deal together after tonight. I’d like you here all the time, and if you could arrange for an abrupt ending to my wife while I’m out of town real soon, I could pay you very well. Perhaps two hundred thousand dollars?” Marvcocked his head and looked at her sideways, wondering what kind of response he’d get. 

Liza put her purse on the vanity and seemed to twistat something inside. “Well, that’s an attractive offer, Marv. A price I’d normally take.”

She turned and withdrew a Beretta 9mm compact pistol with the recently attached silencer on the barrel. She pointed it at Marv. 

“But unfortunately for you, Shirley hired me already for five hundred thousand. Sorry, Marv. I kinda liked you.”

Liza fired a shot in his forehead and another center chest. The love affair was over.

M.D. Smith, IV lives in Huntsville, AL. He’s a life-long story-teller. He has written over 150 short non-fiction stories in the past 20 years for Old Huntsville Magazine. Turning to fiction, he’s written over 200 stories in the past three years. 

He has been published in Reminisce Magazine (non-fiction) and self-published seven books including Romance novels, Flash Fiction anthologies, and non-fiction short story anthologies.

2 Poems from the Heart by Ian Copestick

Punk Noir Magazine

My Depressing Hands

My hands
depress the
Hell out of me.
I avoid mirrors,
so I can quite
easily forget
how old I am,
but then I will
notice my hands.
They are covered
in old man skin,
and just looking
at them you can
tell that they are
the hands of an
old man. You
don’t get skin
like this until
you are at least
45 years old.

Maybe I’ll start
wearing gloves.

Ive Been Ill

I’ve been
really ill
all week.
I woke up
Monday
morning,
and I just
couldn’t stop
SHAKING !

Then the
vomiting
started. Then
the diarrhoea,
It’s now 11 pm
on Wednesday,
and I’ve only just
managed to
hold down a
cheese sandwich.
That’s all I have
eaten this week.

But, I’ll tell you
something, it’s
made me
think about
some things.
I blocked a
load of people
on Facebook.
I thought why
would I want
to converse
with these people
I’ve got nothing
in common with.

It was sheer
loneliness. I’m
beginning to look,
and think about
things in a
different way.
I suppose that I am
coming to my
senses, coming
up for air after
being underwater
for 5 weeks.

I should
explain 
that my wife
died 5 weeks
ago.

I feel better,
I feel cleansed.
I’ve got rid of
a hell of a lot
of puke, and
shit, and I’ve
been ill too.

2 Poems from the Heart by Ian Copestick

Punk Noir Magazine

My Depressing Hands

My hands
depress the
Hell out of me.
I avoid mirrors,
so I can quite
easily forget
how old I am,
but then I will
notice my hands.
They are covered
in old man skin,
and just looking
at them you can
tell that they are
the hands of an
old man. You
don’t get skin
like this until
you are at least
45 years old.

Maybe I’ll start
wearing gloves.

Ive Been Ill

I’ve been
really ill
all week.
I woke up
Monday
morning,
and I just
couldn’t stop
SHAKING !

Then the
vomiting
started. Then
the diarrhoea,
It’s now 11 pm
on Wednesday,
and I’ve only just
managed to
hold down a
cheese sandwich.
That’s all I have
eaten this week.

But, I’ll tell you
something, it’s
made me
think about
some things.
I blocked a
load of people
on Facebook.
I thought why
would I want
to converse
with these people
I’ve got nothing
in common with.

It was sheer
loneliness. I’m
beginning to look,
and think about
things in a
different way.
I suppose that I am
coming to my
senses, coming
up for air after
being underwater
for 5 weeks.

I should
explain 
that my wife
died 5 weeks
ago.

I feel better,
I feel cleansed.
I’ve got rid of
a hell of a lot
of puke, and
shit, and I’ve
been ill too.

Deep Ended by Basiliké Pappa

Punk Noir Magazine

Basiliké Pappa lives in Greece. Her work has appeared in Heron Tree, Sledgehammer Lit, 11 Mag Berlin, Rat’s Ass Review, Dodging the Rain, Eunoia Review, Surreal Poetics, Bones Journal for Contemporary Haiku, Sonic Boom, Visual Verse, Timeless Tales and Intrinsick, and is forthcoming in Glitchwords.

Snapped by Jennifer Patino

Punk Noir Magazine

Hey, Google. How long does it take for a person to bleed out from a knife wound?”

It depends. Is the injured party screaming, or no?”

*

Jay is cradling his innards, shuffling toward me and I think about running.

*

I ran the last time he needed my help. That was in eighth grade and I was only running because everyone else was. Through a part in the crowd I saw the extra tall boy who threatened Jay’s life every day in fifth period, lying on the concrete and bleeding from his face. Some girls were crying so I thought the boy was dead.

Jay was in a corner nearby. He too was lying on the ground, but his hands were being zip tied behind his back by a school administrator. A pair of bloody brass knuckles was wrapped around one of those hands.

My whole crew got suspended for two weeks. They all played a part in the scare tactic gone wrong. They only wanted to shake him up. Get him to leave Jay alone. My best friend had a locker full of weapons, one of them being a lead pipe. They were all honor roll kids. They didn’t want to involve me because I was the innocent one, the tiny one, the baby. Plus, my parents were the most likely to murder me for getting into trouble.

Jay was sent to the “bad kids” school. Jay was put on Lithium. Jay didn’t talk to me for six months and I was too afraid to admit I missed him. I didn’t condone what he did but I thought I understood why he did it. The tall boy, Watson, had a bad concussion and needed stitches but he was going to be just fine.

*

“I just snapped,” Jay said over the phone six months later. His father’s name flashed across my parents’ caller ID and my heart froze. I remembered that Mike Tyson said the exact same thing when he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear. I believed that snapping could happen. I saw it happen in real life with my own too young eyes many times. It was something both men and women did. Intuitively, I knew it would happen to me someday too. I wasn’t afraid of the violence I knew I was capable of, I just wondered what would finally drive me to act upon it.

*

Another boy named Dan who lived on my street went to the “bad kids” school with Jay. These kids rode a bus home that arrived five minutes after the “regular kids” school bus. One day it got there early, so our buses arrived at the stop at the same time.

A maniacal voice screamed my name. It was Jay, hanging out the bus window. His hand was reaching for mine. I stood on my tiptoes to grasp it. The bus driver was screaming at him to get back inside.

“Write me a letter! Give it to Dan!” Jay yelled.

“Back up, little girl!” the bus driver yelled at me.

*

Jay called that night to tell me Dan could be trusted. We passed love notes back and forth through him. We talked on the phone long past phone curfew. Eventually we took our relationship to AIM messenger boxes. Then one day near the end of ninth grade he told me in a low voice that his family was moving to another state.

Our correspondence continued. We could make long distance love work. Our love was strong and even though my mother warned me about “psycho boys” I hid the letters from her and didn’t listen.

When we were sixteen, he called to tell me he had a girlfriend and that he was so sorry. “You’re still my best friend,” he said. “Please don’t stop writing me letters.”

I didn’t even when he did. Then two years later I decided to stop torturing myself. I sent a goodbye note and sealed it with a tear stained cotton candy Lip Smacker kiss.

*

Jay and I are 21 now and he’s paler than ever under the streetlights. We’re both single. He called last month to tell me he’d be back in town and that he desperately wanted to see me. I bought a new dress because I’m that kind of hopeful romantic girl.

It’s just after sundown and I’m staring at his bleeding torso.

“Watson–” he mutters when he falls into my arms. “He gutted me.”

“What?” I don’t know what to do other than take off my sweater to try and stop the bleeding. I also have to keep telling myself not to pass out or panic.

“After all these years, he still held it against me.” Jay coughs and a trail of blood trickles out of the corner of his mouth.

“You got a cigarette?” he asks.

“You can’t smoke now.”

“Like hell I can’t.”

It’s a Bogart and Bacall moment. I light the cigarette for him and he smokes it shakily.

“I’m calling 911,” I say when I spot a pay phone to use because neither of us are cool enough to own cell phones.

“Don’t. I need you here.”

“I’m not going to let you die,” I say. “Hold this here and I’ll be right back.”

I run and do what’s necessary and in thirty five minutes I’m using the same pay phone to call my mother to pick me up after an ambulance has transported Jay away to the nearest hospital. I’ve also convinced the police that showed up that I had no idea what happened but that Jay mentioned Watson’s name.

I’m covered in Jay’s blood and all my mother can do is scold me not to get her van all messed up and say, “I warned you about those psycho boys.”

*

Jay succumbs to an infection from the knife wound three days later. His parents let me visit the day before he dies. He isn’t conscious but I finally tell him I love him anyway.

“I just snapped,” Watson tells the courtroom during his trial. Trauma does things to people. Trauma causes grudges we don’t even know exist.

Watson happened to be walking to the park that night on a drug run. He saw Jay and knew he was going to stab him. He knew he had the knife in his pocket for that reason. He said that for years every time he got a headache he would think of Jay. “It’s like it was…destiny…or something.”

*

I think of Jay now too when I get really bad sinus headaches. It’s a Spring thing and Jay left this earth during the Spring. The new life, the heat, the flowers, the vibe–it all makes me sick with grief.

I get offered a job as a nanny for a single mother with twin six year olds four years after he died. She’s got a bed of snapdragons in her yard.

“Aren’t they beautiful?” Her smile is too wide. I nod in faux agreement.

I decline the job but later that night I sneak into her yard and stomp the shit out of all those flowers. I don’t feel better though. I probably never will.

Jennifer Patino is an LCO Ojibwe poet residing in Las Vegas. She has had work published both online and in print with publications such as The Ginger Collect, Half Mystic Press, L’Éphémère Review, A Cornered Gurl, Font Magazine, The Chamber Magazine, Briefly Write, and Door is A Jar. She is also a regular contributor to Fevers of the Mind. You can visit her blog at www.thistlethoughts.com.

USED PANTIES by Anthony Neil Smith

Punk Noir Magazine

USED PANTIES

 

Posted on E***.**m, May 18th, 2021, by MistressDoneWithYou.

USED PANTIES – $98.00

This is a high-quality pair of women’s silk underwear from a high-end shop (you know the one. Shh!) I am selling to one lucky buyer out there. Not only will I wear this for you all day at my job as a Liberal Arts Dean at a very selective private Christian university, during which I will sit through a dizzying number of meetings with other administrators spouting jargon (“synergy,” “goals-based equity realignment,” and “F2F qualitative assessment”), meaning we should have another meeting later to talk about the same thing but never actually move past reports saying there’s a need for more study.

Those meetings can be awfully steamy as I rub my thighs together under my dress from 7:45 to 4:45, with a break for lunch, some personal meetings with department chairs, aggrieved faculty members, and occasionally students with complaints that usually turn out to be their own damned faults.

Once the working day is through, I will continue to wear these panties as I head home, kick off my shoes, relax, then later murder my boyfriend for leaving me to go back to his wife. 

It’s complicated. I’m married, too, but we had hit the wall. Our sons are both in college, and we hardly see them. It’s just me and my unemployed husband, who daydreams about starting get-rich-quick businesses instead of looking for a job in his field – insurance. Once I became a dean, I started making more money than him anyway, so I can laugh at the pre-nup I signed when I was young, in love, and stringing together adjunct classes to teach. He didn’t expect that, nope. He’s been out of work for two years now. One of his “business” ideas inolved, you guessed it, selling my used panties online. 

Why would I do that, though? Why would I wear these silky, dainty panties all day, sweating and fantasizing, only to hand them over to him for half the profit?

As you can see from the photo, they are lacy, skimpy, and violet, stretched across my thick hips. I am no stick-thin model, not at my age, but curves are sexy. You know that already, don’t you, gentlemen? That’s why you’re here reading this.

My marriage was falling apart, my body was desperate for passion, when in walked Giancarlo. Five foot ten, all thatmuscle in a tight frame, with midnight dark hair and olive skin – third generation Italian-American. Born and raised in New Jersey, joined the Army at eighteen, two tours in Afghanistan, and now looking to make a new life for himself outside of the military. 

He had moved to Iowa for a girl, a pen pal from the war, and now they had a baby together. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. He was kind, polite, and it stung when he called me, “ma’am” because I was fourteen years older than him. He was blue collar – jeans and a trucker hat, work boots. Didn’t shave often. He awakened something in me. If only I had sold that pair of panties – I couldn’t stop thinking about him after we discussed his financial needs to pursue a degree in missions ministry. 

Now, while I may be a Dean at a Christian University, it’snot because I’m a good Christian. My husband is agnostic at best, and I exaggerated my Methodist upbringing to secure the job. I just wanted to be an administrator, but couldn’t get a job with secular schools. So while Giancarlo talked about his callingto one day go to India or China as a missionary, I was flirting my ass off. It took effort. My blonde hair was going gray, and I knew my skin and tits and ass had been stretched by gravity – not that any of that matters when there’s plenty of gas left in the tank. Trust me, I knew how to light it up. I smiled. I kept eye contact. I nibbled my bottom lip when I told a joke. I laughed at his. I found excuses to move my chair closer – so he could read along on the paperwork, say. I kept touching him, accidentally, and apologizing. 

Somewhere in my bumbling seduction, he reached out to me. His arm around my back so he could point to a clause and ask a pretty simple question about it. 

Made me squirm. You can only imagine what that smelled like, dear fans.

It wasn’t an immediate thing. Giancarlo was loyal. He liked being a family man. He loved his baby daughter. He felt his wife was his best friend, even if her libido had slowed to a crawl. 

We had that in common. I had lost count of the weeks and months since my husband and I had enjoyed a little too much wine with some friends at an Italian place, both of us tingly, both of us “backed up,” so the blowjob I gave him in the car didn’t last as long as I thought it would, and that was that. I had to take care of myself later, after he’d passed out. 

Thank God for a thick dildo – or as I called it that night, Giancarlo.

Our first time, after a week of my “stalking” him, I’m not proud to say – bumping into him unexpectedly in the hallways, the library, at the supermarket, a few blocks from his apartment building – was in my office. 

Another occasion when selling my panties would’ve been a financial windfall. 

It was fast and hard. One of those fumbling times where we kissed and held each other and fought with our clothes, expecting to be caught at any moment. I was wet the moment he stepped into the room, thanking me for something, something, honestly, just an excuse. I sat wide on the edge of my conference table, he slid his jeans down just past his ass, and he pushed my panties aside, fucked me quick, but it wasn’t like with my husband. Giancarlo was as thick as his plastic namesake. Powerful. For the four minutes it took for him to come, I squeezed my thighs around him and dug in my heels, unwilling to let go until he’d emptied every drop into me. 

I could tell Giancarlo immediately felt guilty. How could a man who wanted to preach the word succumb to my Delilah-like temptation? 

Remembering Samson, I might have told him, Prettyfucking easily, but it might have scared him away. 

Instead, I consoled him, apologized, and told him how much it meant to me. Told him how I was falling for him, that he deserved better than a selfish young woman trapping him in a loveless marriage. 

Me, a homewrecker? 

I felt so dirty. So delicious. 

Luckily, it must’ve been great for him, too, because after that, we fucked all over town, and even out of it once. Our cars, our homes, my office, an empty study booth in the school library, in the men’s room, a fancy hotel when we were both out of town for “business” but that business was him fucking the living fuck out of me. A cheap, sleazy motel where we told each other the sick things we wanted but our partners wouldn’t do,and we did them all.

I felt like a teenager again, with one of my first loves – after the first awkward attempts, how I found someone who knew what he was doing. I felt drunk, giggling all the time thinking about him, daydreaming of my husband dying and Giancarlo’s wife leaving him so we could be together. I loved fucking him on campus and feeling him all inside of me the rest of the day, through the meetings and other meetings and lunch meetings and executive meetings and committee meetings, everyone else talking about budgets, FYE, equity, revenue, microaggressions, athletics, new lab equipment and course evaluations, while I drew Giancarlo’s cock on my legal pad in various states of rigidity.

I started buying nicer underwear, a lot like the pair here I’m going to sell to a lucky winner out there, my admirers. I bought black stockings with a seam up the back. Sometimes, as I passed Giancarlo in the hall, I would hand him a pair of panties that smelled very much like me in every way. For free.

It couldn’t last.

Giancarlo began to make excuses for why he couldn’t meet me. He was mopey and sad more often, the guilt weighing his down. I had to push harder, employ emotional manipulation to make him yield to me. I had to threaten taking my own life(which I would never do). The more guilty and upset he got, the harder he fucked, and the more I wanted to keep him for myself. 

That was a mistake. 

He began to hate me. 

While it made for fantastic sex, I had lost him emotionally. 

Until the night I was sucking his cock the sloppiest, most filthy way I could, telling him in-between how, “We…could be…together…and feel…like this forever…if you’d only…kill your wife.”

Giancarlo shoved me away. “How could you even think a thing like…?”

He tucked himself into his underwear, zipped up, and said, “Never again!”

Left me naked on the floor of my office, after midnight, no one else around except the maintenance crew, who had probably been listening through the walls for weeks.

Giancarlo meant it that time. He avoided me. He knew I was shadowing him, and learned how to lose me. He would not answer his phone, or my texts, or my emails, or my Facebook messenger, or the notes I left tucked under his wiper blades…blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked. 

I stopped attending meetings. Told my colleagues I was sick. Something chronic. I fell far behind on my paperwork. When I was in the office at all, I was snooping electronically. I found the wife’s socials. I made up profiles to follow her, befriend her, see what was going on. I finally saw Giancarlo’s daughter – an ugly child like her mother, a pasty dull brunettewith a puffy face, still in her mid-twenties. Barely an adult.

Giancarlo must’ve have confessed something to her. She stopped posting photos on Insta for a week before coming back with a picture of the both of them, Ginacarlo embracing his smiling, gap-toothed wife from behind: Love hurts, but God heals. As Jesus forgives us, we must forgive each other. 

I felt feverish. 

I threw up on my secretary’s desk. 

I went home. That was yesterday afternoon

Today, I have a plan. 

First, I specifically chose this pair of panties, violet and silky and lacy, because they are close to the ones from the first time Giancarlo fucked me. 

Then, I will return to work and tell my colleagues it was a twenty-four hour stomach bug, and thank them for their concern. 

I will fake my way through all those meetings, thighs tight, getting wet at the thought of seeing Giancarlo again. All for you, dear fans. All for you.

After work, I will return home and prepare dinner for my husband, the bastard. His favorite – spaghetti and meatballs. I’venever seen my husband stop at one plate of this. He is a glutton for it, eats until he is poping the button on his khakis. I will add extra garlic and salt and chili flakes to hide the taste of the rat poison and sleeping pills.

Once that’s taken care of, I will leave the house, hiding my long filet knife in my coat, and drive to Giancarlo’s apartment. I will bang on his door, I will scream and cry and tell him it’s an emergency.

One of them will open the door. I swear. Be it Giancarlo or his skank wife. They will both let me in, whether she knows it was me, specifically, who’d led her husband astray, because they are good people, with caring hearts, who would not want to slam the door in my time of need. 

Idiots. 

My adrenaline will carry me into their apartment, my panties soaking in my fear, my rage, and my lust. 

I will take the wife first. She will lead me to the kitchen or the living room to take a seat, then ask if I’d like some water or tea. When she comes back with a glass of iced water, I will take my knife from my coat and stab her in the throat, rip the blade across, and then stab into her abdomen again and again – into her womb, trying to prove a point to Giancarlo, in case another child might be the reason he’d called things off with me. Had he still been fucking his wife the whole time he was with me? 

I would show him how much better it would be, him and I and his ugly daughter.

If Giancarlo still wouldn’t see how perfect it is to take me and his daughter away from this place to begin a new life, well, I suppose he’ll have to die, too. By my blade. 

Then I will take his ugly little girl, although she willbecome a brilliant seducer once I train her well. I will call her Estella, no matter what her name actually is.

But I promise I will stop somewhere not far from the scene of the crime and remove my panties, seal them in an envelope, and mail them to the lucky individual who has given me the price I’m asking. Rest assured, I will fulfill my contract with you before I am caught, if ever.

One more thing: if my plan goes in another direction, such as Giancarlo accepting his wife’s death and agreeing to come with me, you’ll still get my panties, but with a forty percent discount. 

Thank for your business. 

 

Anthony Neil Smith is the author of numerous crime novels, including the Billy Lafitte series (including YELLOW MEDICINE and HOGDOGGIN’), award-winning ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS, plus CASTLE DANGER: WOMAN ON ICE, WORM, SLOW BEAR, XXX SHAMUS, and more.

He is an English Professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. 

He likes cheap red wine and Mexican food. 

His dog is named Herman, and he is a good boy. (RIP Herman,