violence

Man in the House

Edele Winnie

“Are you going to peek in the window again?” the little girl asked.

“Isn’t that cute?” Derek poked his wife awake. It was the middle of the night and they were in bed. “Josey’s talking in her sleep.” They could hear their three year old daughter babbling away in the next room.

“Mommy and Daddy are sleeping.” Josey said.

“That doesn’t sound like sleep talk.” Sabrina slid her nightgown on. Josey’s room was right beside and they kept the doors open.

“Mommy’s here!” Josey said when Sabrina appeared.

Sabrina kept a smile fixed to her face. Josey was not sleeping. She was wide awake. “Hi Sweetie. Who are you talking to?”

Josey laughed, and all of Sabrina’s tension evaporated. Josey was a sweet playful child and had probably been playing make believe.

“Talking to the man.” Josey said. “Funny man gives me candy.”

Sabrina tickled Josey under her chin and made her laugh. “Well I think your funny man is probably sleeping now, and so should you. See, its dark outside. That means sleep time.” She tucked her daughter under the covers. “Sleep now. Play when the sun comes out.”

Josey was such a good girl. She gave a big sigh and closed her eyes. Sabrina watched her for a moment and then began to tiptoe out of the room.

The baby monitor on the side of the crib crackled and a male voice said “Josey, is she gone?” (more…)

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Hello Justin

Joey Jules

Matt Colby was never the biggest or the strongest guy in his youth. In fact, he was the victim of cruel bullying back from some of his peers. His worst years started at age 9 when a kid named Justin Meyers started attending his school. Justin was his monster.   

“What’s going on dick weed?” Justin would often say to Matt before slamming him into the lockers, often followed by a spit to the face. “Tell your mom she sucks in bed” He would say as he walked away, laughing.

The bullying got worse as the school year went on. When out in the school yard, Justin often hit Matt with basketballs and footballs in the back of the head when he was walking by. When Matt was having a snack, Justin take his food from him, chewing open mouthed in his face. When Justin was with other people, he would insult and humiliate Matt to get the other children to laugh.

“Just ignore him” Matt’s mother would say. “ He is new to the school and just trying to seek approval. He will stop bothering you if you don’t pay attention to him.” (more…)

The Uninvited Guest

By Joey Jules

Stephen stood at the entrance with his hand on the door nob. He was growing tired of the conversation. I told you, you have the wrong place.” he said for the second time to the man standing on his front porch.

I know what I saw, and this is the right place! The man exclaimed. “You have my wife and she is in there, so let me in or I will go through you if I have to!”

Stephen frowned. “Listen sir, I don’t know you or your wife. She is not here. You need to leave right now!”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “I will see her again, and believe me, you and me are not through with each other!” The man turned around, stepped off the porch in a huff and stormed away.

Stephen sighed. He watched the man walk down his gravel driveway until he was out of sight,  and shut the front door,  engaging the lock with a click. The last light of the day was shone through the cabin window. He went and sat on the sofa and lit himself a cigarette, inhaling deeply and savoring the sensation of nicotine running through his veins. (more…)

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. (more…)