slasHim – Part Two

By Edle Winnie

She felt trapped. They sat at a beautiful table in an elegant dining room but she could feel the invisible bars around them. The supper was some fancy stuff but she could not taste it. Her boyfriend Morman the giraffe was a talkative animal and he and his mother kept the conversation light and constant. Oblivious. She sawed at everything with her table knife. Daddy scarface sat silent, smiling politely and staring at her. She glared back and sawed her potatoes into even smaller pebbles.

The rest of the evening was spent in banal conversation. As they were leaving Norman’s father managed to catch her alone, a strong hand on her thin arm.

“What are you going to do?” He hissed.

“What are you going to do?” She hissed back and twisted his grip away. Continue reading

slasHIM – Part One

By Edele Winnie

She could not pinpoint the beginning of it.   As a child she had been obsessed with knives. A cute little girl with a shining blade in her hand. Her parents, predictably, had scolded and slapped and shaken and hidden the knives until she learned to pretend that she was not interested in them.   She was only nine when her mother found the first scars on her arms. That had been a freak out. She’d been hauled away to see doctors and therapists and she told them whatever she thought they wanted to hear.   Now, as a woman in her twenties, she realized that those therapists had just nodded and collected their hourly fees. No one can care forever. No one can understand everyone. What if you were born not caring or not understandable?

She liked blades because they were powerful. They shined. They were hard, yet they could easily slip into a stuffed animal, or an armchair or a thigh. They could transcend barriers. They could take life. And sometimes when life was taken, it could give life. She didn’t believe in vampires but she knew that humans had always killed and eaten. And that was how she thought of herself. Huntress. Continue reading

The Fifth Monday: Hard-On’s Curse – Part One

By Ben Van Dongen

Chad sat at a scarred counter, behind bulletproof glass. The pawn shop was empty and he was on the verge of beating his Joust high score, on his phone. His boss, Mr. T, was in the back office doing the day’s banking, and probably, he thought, some blow.

“Hard-on!” Mr. T’s yell was accompanied by a bang, crash, and swearing.

“I pity the fool who calls me Hard-on.” Chad ignored the continuing swearing that grew louder.

“Cut that shit out.”

Chad put one hand up, the other was furiously tapping his phone screen. “Don’t call me Hard-on and I won’t point out that you go by the name of an 80s icon.” Continue reading

The Fifth Monday: Hard-On’s Curse – Complete

Part One

Ben Van Dongen

Chad sat at a scarred counter, behind bulletproof glass. The pawn shop was empty and he was on the verge of beating his Joust high score, on his phone. His boss, Mr. T, was in the back office doing the day’s banking, and probably, he thought, some blow.

“Hard-on!” Mr. T’s yell was accompanied by a bang, crash, and swearing.

“I pity the fool who calls me Hard-on.” Chad ignored the continuing swearing that grew louder.

“Cut that shit out.”

Chad put one hand up, the other was furiously tapping his phone screen. “Don’t call me Hard-on and I won’t point out that you go by the name of an 80s icon.”

The owner of the pawn shop was perpetually sweaty. Thick black, sweaty, body hair poked through his t-shirt. Even his voice was greasy.

“Put that damn thing down. You responsible for that coin on my desk?” Mr. T swatted at Chad’s phone, but missed. Spit flew from his mouth and he pointed to his office.

Sad digital music played from the phone as the last ostrich-rider died.

“Come on T, I was going for the high score.”

“This is serious, little shit. The coin, on my desk.” Mr. T wiped his brow with a dirty handkerchief.

Chad pocketed his phone and swiveled to face his boss. “Yeah. Some super old, jacked-up, dude brought it in this morning.” Continue reading

Maternal Blinders

By Patrick Firth

On the night she saw the goblin, Valerie had decided she could no longer put up with her mother. She had been strangling an old doll, tears streaming down her face, mouthing slow down, slow down over and over again in a silent scream. That was until she noticed a small, wizened face, staring at her: needle teeth and thin lips, sunken eyes surrounded by deep, shadowy creases, warty nodules like tree knots on its hairless skull. Her fingers relaxed and the doll’s head flopped to the side. The pinched little face moved closer to hers, yellowy eyes not meeting hers, but rather following the path of her tears to where they collected on her chin. One rough finger reached out to catch one of the drops on a cracked nail. She shuddered at the contact. The goblin placed the drop on its tongue and its smile deepened, splitting its face. Eyes rolled back into its head, and then back down to her face again.

It tried to collect another, but this time she slapped away its hand. Continue reading

Shooting Stars

By Patrick Firth

Gus struck a match and dipped it into the end of his pipe. He sent the first puff through the tattered screen door. The same wind that ruffled Deb’s salt and pepper hair carried the sweet smelling smoke beyond the forested hill and into the purple sky. She sat at the crown of their hill, on her Adirondack throne, the soft hum of her chant only audible between the rhythmic hiss of leaves sliding against one another. The chant was familiar to Gus though, and he mouthed the words around the pipe stem. He only opened the door with its inevitable creak when the chant was done.

“Hear anything tonight?” Gus placed her pipe on the arm of her chair. Continue reading

Love Never Dies

By Edele Winnie

The thunder woke him. House shaking, teeth jarring thunder- sounding like an angry god right over top of their little house. He rolled over to see if Deanna had been woken as well but she wasn’t there.

He waited but she didn’t return. She’d always been a bit spacey- it was one of the things he liked about her. She wasn’t intellectual- she was emotional. She’d been called ‘slow” but she wasn’t- she just felt things first, before she thought about them.

She wasn’t in the bathroom, or the living room, or the kitchen. Had she gone outside? She liked storms and would often sit on the porch – tasting them, she called it- feeling the thunder, seeing the bright lightening flashes, inhaling the wind. Continue reading

The Boarder

By Edele Winnie

Mean streets, wild dogs, crack house. Laughing on the front porch, guarding the stash, guarding the cash, guarding me, queen bee, Queen Sheila of Detroit.   I may be thin and short but I’m covered in spikes that no one else can see. They call me Whip Lady because I have a real whip and I once strapped a junkie ‘til he was almost dead. Now everyone walks softly and smiles at me, cause they like happy times. But there’s always clouds, you know, and broken pipes and dirty grit that gets in your eye. You gotta deal with it best you can or go down, fall into the mud, and there ain’t no future with dirt in your mouth.

Jeff Nooper came to us in the summer, saying he’s looking for a safe house to sleep. A whole neighbourhood of empty boarded up houses and he wants to sleep at the Queen’s palace! Who are you Jeff Nooper? I ask but he just shrugs and says he’s a guy in-between. Like we all are. Except the queen’s palace isn’t in between it’s a someplace, with electricity and water- both illegal but no one bothers us cause the queen’s guard sees to that.

Most of the guard are users who still have some life skills left, like walking and talking and shitting in the right places. The coke and the crack take that away from you so I ride them hard, making sure they’re my guards and not rainbow police grasshoppers that will jump away when trouble comes. That’s why I was suspicious when Jeff Nooper, who has been my boarder, sleeping upstairs in the race car room and paying me in bags of groceries, says he wants to join the guard. I know nothing about this schmoe. He smokes weed and sniffs a little, but mostly he keeps to himself and he’s always smiling. Never trust a smiler, ‘cause they know something you don’t.   Nooper’s not a real name probably slang for snooper and that’s what I think he is- some kind of a spy. He’s either blabbing to the cops or taking gum from another dealer who wants my neighbourhood. There’s no shortage of wannabees- Crimson Daddy, with his long red hair or that one armed guy everybody calls the Slot Machine. Continue reading

Spider-man vs. Dracula

Spider-man and Dracula stepped off the porch.

“What did she give us? I can’t see.” Dave pulled his Spider-man mask to adjust the eye holes.

“Take your stupid mask off, we’re not even at the door anymore.” Twin lines of spit dribbled down Rob’s chin from where his plastic fangs poked out past his lips.

Dave shook his head emphatically. “Sorry dude, with great power comes great responsibility.”

Rob raised his arms and looked around with exaggerated movements. “There aren’t even anymore house on this street.”

Behind them, two Batmans, a Transformer and Princess Bubblegum ran up to the steps.

The pair walked to the edge of the sidewalk and stopped.

“Where to now?” Rob glanced to where the street ended at a large woods, then back up the newly built road. Only one house was finished on their path back out, the owners opting to move in after Halloween. There were three muddy pits dug for future houses, but no other prospects for candy.

“This area’s tapped out. We can check out the action on the other side of the bush.” Dave slung his pillowcase over his shoulder.

“I don’t want to go all the way around. It’s already getting dark; by the time we get there all the candy’ll be gone.” Rob wiped his chin, taking off some of the white makeup. “We’ve got a lot already man.”

“Blasphemy!” Dave made his best Spidy pose, almost knocking over Princess Bubblegum, who was trying to get to the sidewalk. He adjusted his mask again. “Sorry kid.” He shifted the sack and moved out of the way of the other kids. “This is the last year we’re gonna get to go trick-or-treating. I’m not going home until we’ve knocked on every door in town.”Peering out of the one hole he managed to align with his eyes, he pointed at the mass of bare trees separating the neighbourhood from the older ones on the other side. “Let’s just cut through the woods.” Continue reading

Fifth Monday – Part Three

Andy opened his eyes, but wherever he was, it was too dark to see. He shivered, feeling the cold concrete beneath him. His stomach rumbled, then gurgled. A mouthful of vomit climbed his throat and he coughed, clearing the liquid away. It tasted like bile and it burned.

He struggled up, afraid of the spreading pool. The dark room was disorienting. Andy’s legs shook under him, his teeth chattered, and he had to throw up again. Continue reading