Dave and Devin’s Toxic Adventure

Devin reached for the oh crap handle, hanging on as I swung the Chevette into the Dairy Queen lot. The bald tires screamed, joining the chorus of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” rattling through the cheap door speakers. “This has to be it.” Devin nodded as he figured out the clue. “Ah, right. Bovine Royalty.”... Continue Reading →

Mumbled

Dylan's forehead rests against the backseat window. His lips move in pattern--whispers over the thumps of the road--in chorus to whatever he’s blasting through those silly, two-hundred-dollar headphones that make him look like he should be holding glow sticks, taxiing planes at O’hare. He’d begged Jill to buy the goofy things and I’d laughed when... Continue Reading →

The Jake

It was on our fifth date when I realized I wasn’t original. And by then it was too late for me. Heather was bubbly and fun, with an easy laugh and big brown eyes. She was sweet, too, always squatting down to pat puppies at the park, smiling at little kids, gushing about the kindergarten... Continue Reading →

Thirst

Harold arrived at the Black Cat Tavern around dusk. He wandered to a quiet corner booth, ordered his customary Bloody Mary, and looked over the menu with a yawn. He’d worked the last three nights at the plasma center and hadn’t slept much since the new neighbors had moved in upstairs and ran what sounded... Continue Reading →

The Dive

The first day of August arrived with a bang. Or, what I first thought was a dream about jackhammers but turned out to be real banging, at my door and getting louder. I was a little ticked because sleep was fitful around here these days. Our new neighbors had a brand new baby, who from... Continue Reading →

Shine

Paul calls it wandering. I heard them talking about it at supper. I don’t see the harm in it, the golf course is peaceful at night, without Janet shouting questions at my face, asking if I’ve taking my meds or need to use the bathroom. Out here I can piss where I please. I pull... Continue Reading →

Murray Bill

Murray Bill was often seen dragging his trusty mower up and down Dogwood Drive. His flabby arms stayed sunburned and slick with sweat, hanging out of a vulgar Big Johnson sleeveless t-shirt, his gas can tilting, jostling on the trusty Murray push mower he’d kept running like a top for fifteen years. Mrs. Olive paid... Continue Reading →

Valentines

I found Mom at the sink, head bowed, shoulders drooped, water running. My unassembled Valentines scattered across the counter. I tried to slip away, but she turned. “Oh, Josh.” She wiped, sniffled, recovered. "Sorry, I lost track of time.” We lost track a lot since Dad died. His birthday. Christmas. Anniversaries. The calendar had endless... Continue Reading →

Toothache

Linwood Wilmer was known affectionately as “Toothache” to those who frequently crossed the Jamesway Bridge. He could usually be found near the billboard, a palm to his jaw, wincing as he hobbled, searching for aluminum cans or whatever else anyone may have pitched from their window. Sometimes he’d fix up a scarf, tying it up... Continue Reading →

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