Table of Contents

Photos

Alexi Maschas
Long Light, 2020
Murphy’s Grave, 2020
Lost World, 2020

Rebecca Pyle

Carved Raven Above Legos
Looking out the Window of the Hotel Manhattan

Poetry

Joe O’Brien

More Felicitous

Gregory Crosby

Chronophobia

Sophie Dufresne

a second

Abigail Welhouse

Black Swan

Playlist

Jeff Laughlin
Some NYC Killers for FYN #1

Video

Emily Hursh

Baked with Emily – Rhubarb Crumble

Skit

Seamus Scanlon
The King of Galway

Short Story

Kris Green

Long Light

Alexi Maschas

More Felicitous

Joe O’Brien

Never forgetting: you come
from a long line of beautiful
resilient people, each direct
ancestor fuckable to some degree,
surviving long enough at least
to make your tough sexy ass

Rejecting all unnecessary
emotional labor; relinquishing
what you never had
control of in the first place

Refusing attempts to calculate,
formulate or even estimate
with any measure of accuracy
the impossibly complex algorithm
gauging the weight of one
soul’s fortune or suffering

Asking not what your country can
do for you, because you can
not afford your own lobbyists

Engaging with the discourse
like Elaine on 
Seinfeld,
that time she had to run
into Jerry’s fumigated apartment:
get in, scramble for what you need,
get the hell out before the poison gets you

Eating not until “full” but only
until “no longer hungry,”
drinking not until “drunk” but only
until “no longer on verge of meltdown”

Resisting urges to bludgeon
skulls of inconsiderate
passersby with wiffle ball bats,
communicating displeasure instead
through pouty head-shakes and downturned thumbs

Meditating at least 10 minutes a day;
should this prove impractical,
meditating at least 6 hours a day

Watching and rewatching
I Think You Should Leave
until each vignette makes you cry
from laughter, then watching again

Rereading old science fiction, marvelling
how laughably / alarmingly wrong / right
their haphazard prophecies got us

Listening to songs from years
you want to relive, or were never alive, classics
and deep cuts and hot trash alike,
swimming in dead zeitgeists, procuring
nourishment in phantom nostalgia

Defying conventional “wisdom”
that every year’s a “dumpster fire,”
that ours is “the darkest timeline,”
imagining, for the sake of perspective,
a world without humor, or
where orgasms cause rabies

Pondering Armstrong’s theorem—There is no progress,
evolution killed it all
—and remembering that thing
about all your fuckable ancestors

Joe O'Brien

Joe O'Brien

is a writer, editor, musicmaker, and public librarian. Their writing has appeared at Entropy, Yes Poetry, Many Loops, Matchbook, Culturico, and Newsday, among other places. Joe founded FLAPPERHOUSE magazine and served as its managing editor during its five-year run. Read more of Joe at josephpobrien.com/writing

Fuckovid Enamel on Surgical Mask

Mario Loprete

Chronophobia

Gregory Crosby

I have an appointment in the past
that I can neither keep nor avoid.
I return & never go back, destroyed.
I let it all go, & hold to it fast.

It seems I can neither keep nor avoid
the weather on this day, in this mind.
I let it all go, & hold to it fast.
Sometimes, pace Freud, a sign is just a sign.

The weather on that day is on my mind.
The quality of the light, going gray.
Sometimes it seems a sign is just a sign:
the meaning so close, & so far away.

The quality of the light, going gray.
The decline of dusk, the descent of dawn.
The meaning seems close—I am far away.
How is it that the end goes on & on?

The moment is never there, never not.
I have an appointment in the past.
I wave from a window inside a thought.
I return; I never go back; I’m destroyed.

Gregory Crosby

Gregory Crosby

is the author of Said No One Ever (2021, Brooklyn Arts Press) and Walking Away From Explosions in Slow Motion (2018, The Operating System). He is currently the poetry editor for the online journal Bowery Gothic

A Second

Sophie Dufresne

the shy smile has long faded
from my lips
when i see a notification from you,
my eyebrows furrow instead

just like it took a second
for a spark to ignite
between us,
it took a second
for it to extinguish

Sophie Dufresne

Sophie Dufresne

Sophie is a psychology college student at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada who developed a strong interest in reading and writing poetry ever since they read “Hope” by Emily Dickinson when they were in the sixth grade. Although they no longer live in NYC, they are still a New Yorker at heart… albeit one with a slight French Canadian accent.

Lost World

Alexi Maschas

Carved Raven Above Legos

Rebecca Pyle

Some NYC Killers for FYN #1

Jeff Laughlin

Some folks who had the audacity to still release records &/or stay active when the industry shut down.

A Spotify playlist of New York City Pandemic Musicians.

Jeff Laughlin

Jeff Laughlin

is British Soccer and hates talking about himself. He cohosts the Cabbages Hip Hop Podcast, runs Pathways, a radio show on Newtown Radio. In the aftertimes you’ll find him in the dank basement shows rebuilding his immune system.

Black Swan

Abigail Welhouse

“There’s no fear in this swan body,” says the ballet teacher
as I twirl on a computer screen with fifteen other black swans.

We land in our killing/hiding poses.
This year, there are many poses.

This year, the lucky are bored and the unlucky are dead.
This winter, they put a mask on the Nutcracker doll,

as though a piece of wood could infect. But also
funny, in the way we laugh when we don’t know

what else to do with ourselves. We make believe
to stay alive. When we run, we pretend it’s from zombies.

When we make food, we pretend it’s for friends.
We put up a projector screen and imagine we’re at the movies,

complete with the chemicals that make movie popcorn taste
so good. Sometimes we forget where we are, because we’ve tried

so hard to do that. Other times we are stuck in our own bodies,
when we’d rather live in another, just for some variety.

We give up on to-do lists and make could-do lists.
There is so much waiting, and planning seems impossible

without knowledge of fortune telling, which would be too expensive
if it worked. I remember the fortune tellers in Jackson Square,

looking at their phones in between customers. Somehow
that ruined the effect, as though they were looking up the answers.

If only we could look up the answers, but there is too
much in these swan bodies, spinning and spinning.

Abigail Welhouse

Abigail Welhouse

is the author of the chapbooks Small Dog  (dancing girl press), Too Many Humans of New York (Bottlecap Press), and Bad Baby (dancing girl press). Her poems have been published in The Toast, Flapperhouse, Ghost Ocean Magazine, and elsewhere. Subscribe to her Secret Poems at tinyletter.com/welhouse.

Baked with Emily – Rhubarb Crumble

Emily Hursh

Emily Hursh

Emily Hursh

is a doula, aerialist, amateur baker and mixologist, podcaster, sometimes-writer, and ukulele player living in Brooklyn with her girlfriend and their cats. She’s on the internet at flyingdoula.com

Fuckovid Oil on Concrete

Mario Loprete

King of Galway

Seamus Scanlon

CHARACTERS
DADDY – 60s
SONNY – 20s – late 30s

Pub near Galway docks. November, 2015, Night. Raining heavily against the windows. ‘DADDY COOL’ song on radio.

DADDY sits at table. Cell phone in front of him and a drink. He is casually checking the phone. SONNY comes in. He looks around. Then he saunters/swaggers over showing off, He pats DADDY down for weapons and sits down at the table.

SONNY: Well hello dare Daddy. Long time no see. (NOTE He can probably look around while waiting for reply)

DADDY does not look up. DADDY says nothing.

SONNY: (cntd) Hello dare Daddy I said.

DADDY: Don’t fucken hello Daddy me.

SONNY: (in a mock scolding voice) Temper temper!!

DADDY: I would not call this here a temper.

SONNY: Temper fugit!

DADDY: It’s tempis fugit dummy – Latin. Time flies. (beat) Except around you!

SONNY: Now Daddy don’t be like that. SONNY nods at the cell phone. Waiting for a call to say your shipment is landed I suppose?

DADDY shrugs. Casually checks phone.

SONNY: It may not happen!

DADDY: You happened. That’s bad enough.

SONNY: Now now!!

DADDY: You are a suppurating wound on the criminal body.

SONNY: Jesus – will you listen to him suppursomething.

DADDY: Suppurating!

SONNY: looks up word on phone. Suppurating – (reading) – OK I got it (beat) Well – you are an educator at large. That Open University degree in Mountjoy worked out.

DADDY: I would not call 10 years inside “worked out”. (beat) Look up ‘fuck off’ while you are at it.

SONNY: DADDY DADDY – such hostility! Anyway I have bad news for you. You won’t be getting a call about the latest shipment into Rossaveal.

DADDY: (not bothered) Yeah?

SONNY: We are hijacking your truck. Haven’t heard from my boys in a while so I guess your boat is behind schedule.

DADDY: I always factor in possible mishaps – weather, Gardai, customs, mermaids, giant squid.

SONNY: Always a jokester!

DADDY: Easy to be a jokester compared to you, the quip less boy wonder.

SONNY: Well, I will have the last laugh anyway. (points at DADDY) You ARE over. I’m the next big thing. You will stand on the bridge over Lough Atalia, [ATHAWL-YA] a broken reed of a man and people will say he used to be the one. Not now though, his son runs things.

DADDY: You couldn’t run diarrhea out of your arse if you had dysentery.

SONNY: That smarts DADDY.

DADDY: Unlike yourself! You are a throwback. A sniveling rat. A dipsomaniac cur.

SONNY: (looking up dictionary on phone) Dipso.. Whatever. Well, I’m afraid there’s been a change of plan with that truck of yo…

DADDY: Sure a truck is a truck. Fuck a truck. Am I there in the truck? Am I on the quay side avoiding miserable squalls and customs patrols? Am I crying my eyes out like a scalded baby? NO! That is your domain. I’m here in Crowe’s Bar where I started drinking in the 60s. When I wore gear that was all shiny and new. When I was all shiny and new. When the high summers of the sixties made me great. When I met your mother, who carried a blade for her Blade. And a Luger in her bag. For me. The King of Galway.

SONNY: The 60s are far away now, Daddy.

DADDY: Not so far SONNY boy.

SONNY: My name’s Jack in case you forgot.

DADDY: I try to forget. We named you after my uncle Jack. He won a Military Cross in the Great War. His torso was puckered for ever-after. He had more bullets wounds than Bonnie and Clyde. He walked around with limps in both legs so they cancelled each other out and he could walk straight. He didn’t even hold a grudge against the Germans. He liked their high spec belt-fed machine guns.

SONNY: Another family nut-job.

DADDY: You are the opposite. As soon as you get picked up by the Guards you were spewing your guts out. A speculative police trawl that was minor. That sent you into a major league spiral. Your mother didn’t carry a Luger and burnished steel in her tote bag for me so the likes of you could undo us all in one fell swoop. MCs and Lugers and Sheffield Steel should have steeled your backbone. Instead you turn out to be a supine serpent.

SONNY: Supine serpent – great allitesomething.

DADDY: Alliteration.

SONNY: You are a literary edge school.

DADDY: Hedge. A fucken Hedge School! Galway is a literary epicenter in case you never noticed. Nora Barnacle’s boyfriend waited for her all night in the heavy rain rushing in from the Atlantic. Died he did from consumption. And then Joyce was consumed by her and consumed by the English language that he cut to pieces with a literary blade and forged it into something beautiful and dangerous.

SONNY: Jesus – you have a thing about blades.

DADDY: I have a thing about blood-tainted rats.

SONNY: When you got out of jail you should have called it quits Daddy.

DADDY: The only downside about being out is knowing you’re still slithering around somewhere in the long grass.

SONNY: (checking phone, not paying attention) Hah? What? Grass? You mean heroin right?

DADDY: Can you only follow conversations in cop shops, spilling your guts onto the floor like a baby projectile-vomiting tainted formula across a room? Do you think your boys will help you? They are slothful. They have camel faces. They look like thick fuckers. They smell like the underbelly of slow moving tugs. They are not thugs. I’m a thug. A literary thug. A wise-cracking thug. A mensa-minded thug. I have no clue where you came from. You are a throwback, a spew-back, a rotten yellow-back. Your mother would die if you hadn’t killed her already.

SONNY: You are all talk.

DADDY: In the Talk of the Town I was a doorman. Me and Chick Gillen. Chick could knock you into the middle of next week. We worked every Sunday. The rest of the week I robbed houses, cars, shops, factories. We punched Culchies from Tuam out of their shoes when they started arguing. Everything slowed down for me when a fight started. It was like a blue light went through me. I could hear everything – I could see everything. I could see myself from above. In slow motion I could see Culchies going for razors. I could hit them before they even knew about it. I can still hear the song that bands were playing during fights. I can see every guy I hit. I can see their eyes waver in fear. Their irises contract. And feel the cool fine heft of steel knuckle dusters finding their mark. And hear girls crying fearful in the dark. I can smell the fear. And smell the spilt lemonade and the sweet sweat of women running away shrieking and see crowds leaning over the balcony to see what was happening and the band playing louder to distract the dancers.

SONNY: Jesus – it sounds like Love Story. I’ll be crying soon. Does gesture of crying with hand to raised to eyes as if a child crying.

DADDY: You usually are.

SONNY: (lowers his hand) Anyway back to business. So no call I see from your boys in Rossaveal Daddy. You should join the 21st century and upgrade that phone. It is dented and scratched. Like Uncle Jack! (laughs at his own joke). Did you bleed on it as well. You might have Parkinson’s. (SONNY does palsy shake of hands) Next stop the old folks criminal home. Look at this phone all shiny and new.

DADDY: I used that already.

SONNY: What?

DADDY: All shiny and new! I suppose you have to steal everything?

SONNY: Sure it is flattery if you look at it that way. Last chance to cry before I call my boys.

DADDY: Call away.

SONNY: Okay get ready Daddy. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1

SONNY hits quick dial. The hesitant jerking motion of the clock’s hands on the wall is audible. The battered mobile on the table in front of DADDY rings sharply. The ringtone is DADDY COOL. SONNY looks uncomprehendingly at the phone on the table and back at his own.

SONNY: Oh Fuck.

DADDY: Exactly!

DADDY pulls a knife from inside jacket and lunges at SONNY.

BLACK OUT

SONNY screams his lungs out.

DADDY COOL music comes up

Seamus Scanlon

Seamus Scanlon

is an award-winning librarian (Carnegie Corporation/New York Times) at the CWE library.

He is a playwright, novelist, short story writer and screen writer. His first play The McGowan Trilogy (Arlen House, 2014) was staged in New York (2014), Ireland (2015) and Japan (2018) (www.mcgowantrilogy.com). The play was translated into Japanese and starred Tori Matsuzaka.

The Long Wet Grass was on the film festival circuit (2018-2019) and The Butterfly Love Song on the film festival circuit (2019-2020).

Looking out of the Window of the Hotel Manhattan

Rebecca Pyle

Rebecca Pyle's

Rebecca Pyle's

artwork appears in many art/lit journals, including Dream Noir, The Menteur, The Healing Muse, FOLIO, LIT, The Kleksograph, Grist (as photographs and paintings and drawings). She is also a writer. See rebeccapyleartist.com.

Murphy’s Grave

Alexi Machas

Alexi Maschas

Alexi Maschas

grew up in the Hudson Valley north of NYC, in a condo complex incongruously stuck in the middle of the woods. The way that concerns of utility and economics outweighed all others in the construction of the place impressed itself upon him, and continues to provide the focus of his work. He seeks to document the way thae fingerprints of our values as a society imprint themselves on our landscape and the places we live. Alexi has a degree in painting from Skidmore college, and an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York. He is making a concerted effort to avoid accruing any additional credentials.

Bite Me

Kris Green

When he bit into my flesh, seeing his fur matted with my blood, I couldn’t help but think about zombies. The only thing about those monsters that seemed scary was the bite and becoming just another nameless face in the crowd. But as he pulled back from his first bite, I forgot all about zombies looking into his yellow eyes and hearing his fierce growl coming from deep within. Then, I couldn’t help but wonder how I got here.

I don’t think people really want to hear about me going back to college. Not that I was back there more than a semester and a day. The semester until I ran out of money and the day was just to find out if my suspicion was correct. I do like being proved right. She was cheatin’ on me. It didn’t take long. But that’s not really the story I’m tellin’.

I think it was Mark Twain who said that the two most important days in your life are the days you are born and when you figure out why. Hell, it could’ve been Whitman, Thoreau, even Wilde, but I’m pretty sure it was Twain. Then again, I never thought too much of Twain. Kind of thought his reputation was as over blown as anyone could get. I read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, even saw some of the movies. He was in a Star Trek episode too. I’ve always thought the man a curmudgeon and cynic at heart. Even though he is supposed to be the inventor of stand- up comedy. I never really understood why people seemed to gush over him.

Anyway, I mentioned Twain because I thought he was outright wrong. One of the most important days and I dare say it may rival the top two is the day you die. The day you die has to hold some kind of tier of importance. How many people live without ever knowing why they were born? I reckon a lot. How many people die? Every single one.

The Apostle Paul said, “I die daily”. That always stuck with me but that’s not what I’m talking about although I suppose we do die daily a little bit inside, but I doubt that’s what dear old Saul thought. We die a little bit every day with technology. The world echoes and hungers for something more to come. The good book talks about the groans of creation. There’s something too that. Whether you believe it or not you might be hungering for the good lord to return to earth riding on clouds. Not that I believe such things, I just really like a good theology class. Either way, I suppose, it is human nature to want something more. Something deeper. Creation groans.

I guess we’re all a little bit like Paul, trying to die to ourselves. God had renamed him on that old road to Damascus, but that old goat, that old codger, Saul still lived inside of him, you see. Paul had to put that man, that old man Saul, to death. That’s what life is like. You have a good side and a bad side and if you can, if you’re strong enough whether by the grace of God or the stubbornness of your grit, you hold to one side that you want and make your life about that. But I digress.

Long distance relationships don’t really work or maybe it is more proper to say that they are a lot of work. I took my second semester off and had moved in by circumstance and misfortune with the girlfriend’s family. Imagine a sheep moving into a den of wolves.

Well anyway, I was working on their farm singing to myself and sneaking out to town every Friday night to crash local clubs to listen to bands when I got the sensation that they were doing more than just putting up with me. They were fixing to wedge themselves between me and my girl. They worked or she did. The old codger inside of her sprung anew. When I showed up on campus in a red truck that belonged to her daddy, she didn’t recognize me at first.

The beard had admittedly grown out. The muscles had toned and if I may be so bold, I may have grown more because of the hard work. She was sitting on the bleachers necking with some boy whose identity I didn’t care to discover. I had known she had class but hadn’t known she had skipped it to go necking. I had waited on the bleachers not too far from where her and her escort had decided to rendezvous. It was truly a serendipitous meeting.

I watched for a minute. Allowing the shock and the dismay to wash over me. I suppose you might be wondering if I confronted them. I suppose you might want to know about the fire in the barn a few nights before I left and the other sordid details which may or may not have given me my new leather jacket and now, as I saw it, a new pick-up truck, ruby red. But that’s not what the story is about. Maybe it’ll be told in some other time in some other way, but right now, I wanted to talk about the wolves.

Wolves are interesting creatures. They hunt in packs and live in community but once a wolf is ostracized from the group, the lone wolf keeps to himself and rarely howls. They usually mate for life. They live for community but the lone one is separated from his own desires. I felt that leaving the college campus for the last time. Knowing my credits would remain forever unused.

Alfie Fernandez’s family owned a cabin up in the woods a day’s drive north two or three states up. He had recently expired within the fire of the barn and, by proxy, had given me an unspoken permission to squat there while I figured things out.

Their desire to find me also might have had something to do with slapping their daughter. The heat was on, as they say. I did not slap her hard but merely, my hand, I do attest, bounced off the face of the boy she was necking and ricocheted onto hers. There is something about a slap that is emasculating when a man receives it from another. It’s as if to say you’re not worth my closing my fingers into knuckles. I didn’t stay long to find out how much damage there was, but I suspect it was more shock than triage. I do remember her calling out my name, “Dylan!” She shouted but I was already gone. Once love is lost, it is never to be found again.

Either way, I had reason to leave. Reason good enough to move on to other parts of the world and I found the mountains. Temperature and air move differently there. Winter was already beginning to bear down while the campus had felt more like an autumn. Although we were through enough of November where you could argue both. The cabin, the key of which I had in my safe keeping, was fully furnished. I did not have possessions, being a man of little means when I made my escape, but I still was able to acquire enough groceries for some time to squat.

It’s hard to blame someone for your troubles when you’re alone. It’s takes exceptional skill and so I used such skill that I had previously transposed into music to blaming the red head who had stomped on the little bit of my heart that still throbbed with feeling.

I did notice the moon that first night. I guess, when you’re on top of a mountain you can’t help but notice it. Damn thing feels like it is standing right outside your window. I had a picture of her from my wallet that I took out with a beer that I had liberated for my own needs. I remember telling the picture, “Maggie, you used to be beautiful” not thinking that my slap did more than just leave a worn and red mark but rather that love has a funny way of making people feel a little bit better and a little bit nicer than they actually are. As well as drastically the opposite when it leaves.

That was when I heard the howling in the middle of the night. There was a wolf out tonight, I thought. Also smiling to myself wondering if the beer was strong or if I were a lightweight, the wolf is inside tonight. I laughed to myself, but the power flickered on and off. I saw in the dark, half-drunk with growing trepidation at my present circumstances, opportunity calling me.

I had always liked werewolf stories from American Werewolf in London to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although, I suppose I have never been fully satisfied with it. Hyde is a werewolf if there ever was one.

The moon often feels like it features either too prominently in the story or not prominent enough. The anger, the rage, the transformation, all seem a bit too much. I don’t care for watching or hearing about the change. Elongating faces or splaying noses all seem like something that would appear in visages of stain-glassed catacombs.

I felt it looking at me before I saw it. I half-drunk immobile on the couch. The picture I had been holding fallen to the floor and frankly, I couldn’t see a reason to bend over and pick it up. Nor do I think I could if I wanted to. I felt it looking at me. My eyes drifting over to the window. Seeing outside the dark shadows rising blocking out the moon and those yellow eyes peering in from them.

He must think I’m asleep. We watched each other. I do not how long he was there before I noticed. It could not have been very long. I wanted to get up with fervor and say, “The wolf is in here too”. But I lacked the luster and I knew that glass could easily be broken. I waited to see if something would happen. I waited until those eyes disappeared as suddenly as they appeared. I waited until I was fully alone. Then, I waited some more.

Two people. Saul and Paul. Two waring halves. Jekyll and Hyde. Opposites bent on war. Me. And my good, old werewolf friend. The tracks the next morning were right up to the window. Maybe it was my fanciful imagination or my desire for it to be a werewolf, but I swore it walked on hind legs and came up to the window. I swear I saw the snow that its paws might have collected from a fast gallop through the snowy mountain pass clinging on the sides of the window as it leaned in. While I may have been indisposed, it is worth saying, I was aware that those eyes were not coming from waist height but higher.

I had traveled this far with my old friend. It’s the same friend as Lyle Lovett had, it is coal black and it is .45. I had thought maybe I could use him for something. You know what Lennon said, I get by with a little help from my friends. I decided I would I wait for the wolf to return. I slept during the day leaving the door open as an invitation to allow the moonlight and a friend to drift inward.

I kept sober because I thought that might be the only way of dealing with such a thing. I set no trap but just waited. Things have a way of coming around. I lay on the couch with my legs up under a blanket. My old friend in hand under the blanket too.

Darkness has a way of betraying people. It has a feeling. It has a taste that is rich and powerful. It has a hunger and speaks to you if you are willing. Sometimes if you open your eyes in the middle of night, you might find you’re not alone.

The wolf hovered over me. Closer than I would’ve allowed consciously, but he moved swiftly with purpose and if he hadn’t hesitated, we would reckon that Twain quote and speak of its folly right here and now. See, I told you this was better than slapping my girlfriend.

Anyway, I woke to the low and thunderous rumble of the wolf man. A mutation of old-world beliefs and the scientific present. A strange and absurd beast that desired nothing more than to eat and to eat and to eat before moving on. I stared up at it seeing it had more than just a night or two to transform but change as regular as the night.

He leaned forward about to bite down when I smiled. He hesitated, and I knew I had taken the upper hand as he stared curiously at my smile. I knew inside there was that good ol’ Paul beggin to come out and that good ol’ Jekyll wanting to be free again. I smiled. It was a nice smile. At least, I always believed I had a nice smile and when it came to attack, my smile was nice enough to cause it to step back. Dismay or maybe just shy at the grace I was bestowing. It took a step back and then I shot. I did not hesitate. For if I did, surely it would have been my ruin.

The growl, I will never forget. It was a low and angry rumble. It was if he had decided to go and spare my life, but I had outraged it to the point of need. I was now an itch to scratch. It fell onto all fours before rising up and howling high into the sky. I grinned watching feeling the power of its might about to bear down on me. I had more bullets and they were ready to go for sure, but I wanted to know what he was going to do.

When the howling returned to him from somewhere alongside the mountains, I realized I had overstepped my burden. I had lured him in, but I had thought this a lone wolf not a pack wolf. While the gunshot might not call the others, the howling sure would.

I don’t know if wolves can smile, but as he turned to me and cocked his head to the side, I swore I saw a smile on his face. I still lying there like some kind of fatted calf waited for it to come back when the howling had grown closer.

I don’t remember why it hadn’t crossed my mind before now. I just took it as a foolish fancy, but the bullets weren’t silver. I did not possess any silver as far I could tell. The folklore had been wrong about lone wolfs at least I was quickly discovering this truth with the howls still echoing across the mountains outside, but had it been wrong about silver? The wolf was in pain, I was sure. Still staring at me, he waited for me to either move or for back up to come.

It is an important thing to keep your composure when you are caught in a difficult situation. Composure is everything when you are in the midst of a good bluff. I held my hands upright, ready for anything that may come. I braced as the howls grew even closer, and the silence between me and my new friend stretched.

“It wasn’t silver.” I said but the words sounded weak and apologetic. I hated that.

“I know.” The voice responded almost stoically.

This surprised me just a little because I was right in my suspicion that it was not stuck in a full animal mind. I thought it a good chance to reason with him as long as I did not sound weak or apologetic. We might both get through the night. He knew the gun was still pointed toward him. He knew I was still alert and at full strength.

“Maybe we can talk this out.” I suggested.

“You don’t have anything I want.” He grumbled in a low growl.

“I have your life.”

His arms which hovered crooked in the air began to lower.

I shot again. The momentary pause grew an ease in him, and I leapt from the couch on top of him. He howled in pain and then drew silent as I fired again into his head. I laughed feeling the exhilaration of the moment take hold as I rose to close the door when another appeared in the doorway. Then the window behind me shattered as a hairy paw broke it. Growling growing deep from within a cavernous chest came from behind me.

The one in the doorway sniffed the air. I was confident there was more than one behind me. I stood my ground although my entire being wanted to retreat. Any step back would be seen as weakness. This old wolf would take that as permission to come into my place and call it his own.

“Your people have invaded my house.” I said mentally calculating how many bullets were still in the gun. I loaded every bullet I had and knew I had three shots left. My mind drifted to the bathroom which wouldn’t hold them back for long. I had to get the truck, but I would need to shake them, give myself a couple of seconds to get in and get the old junk started. I had no doubt it would start. Maggie’s father loved that car more than he loved his own son.

“This isn’t your home.” The wolf growled from the door.

Admittedly, my response to this statement was a poor one. It was the best that I conjure at the moment as I held my hand out to them as invitation. “Bite me.” I said asking them to make me one of their own.

When they took their first bite, it didn’t feel bad. The gun fell out of my hand and bounced on the floor. I don’t know what I expected. I don’t know why I thought of zombies. I don’t know why it didn’t feel bad. He pulled back and locked eyes with me. I thought this would be our peace summit. Then the others came closer and the one in front of me, as I looked into his yellow eyes, he let out a low rumbling, growing growl.

The others advanced faster than I knew what was happening as they began to tear into my flesh. I suppose Twain was right. But most people don’t find out why they were born and it becomes too late for them. Most people are left with the two most important days of their life being the day they were born and they day they die.

Kris Green

Kris Green

lives in Florida with his wife and one-year-old son, Tennyson James. He had my first short story published in 2018 through Morpheus Tales. Last year, He was a finalist for the Chester B. Himes Memorial Fiction Contest. This year, he has published a short story, “Power” in the summer edition of “Flume” with The Haberdasher: Peddlers of Literary Art.

Fuckovid Concrete Sculpture

Mario Loprete

Mario Loprete

Mario Loprete

is a graduate at Accademia of Belle Arti, Catanzaro (ITALY).

Painting for me is my first love. An important, pure love. Creating a painting, starting from the

spasmodic research of a concept with which I want to transmit my message this is the

foundation of painting for me. The sculpture is my lover, my artistic betrayal to the painting that

voluptuous and sensual lover that inspires different emotions which strike prohibited chords.

For my concrete sculptures, I use my personal clothing. Through my artistic process in which I

use plaster, resin and cement, I transform these articles of clothing into artworks to hang. The

intended effect is that my DNA and my memory remain inside the concrete, so that the person

who looks at these sculptures is transformed into a type of postmodern archeologist, studying

my work as urban artefacts.