“How Many This Evening?” by Elisa LaBeau
... Table for one. Table for one. Table for one. Table for two. Table for one. Table for two. Table for one. Table for two. Table for two. Table for two. Table for three. Table for four. Table for four. Table for four. Table for three. Table for two. Table for four. Table for two. Table for five. Table for two. Table for six. Table for two. Table for seven. Table for two. Table for eight. Table for two. Table for eight. Table for two. Table for eight. Table for two. Table for eight. Table for two. Table for seven. Table for one ...
Untitled by Wes Moore
It was a beautiful day on the river.
John had come through the easy class III stuff and was now approaching his first big test, aptly named No Name Rapid. His goal was to go in river left and skirt the large rock, and subsequent hydraulic in the middle, and then swiftly move right to miss the falls.
He didn't make it.
His new raft wrapped, and the swift current forced him to the bottom, where he stared up through the clear, cool water at the sky and at the surface air he so desperately needed.
His last thought was, "It was a beautiful day on the river."
“Why Did You Do That?” by Teegan Stewart
“Was I not supposed to?”
“Do I look happy?”
“Why’d you do it?”
“I didn’t know it was such a big deal.”
“Well, it is.”
“OK? What do you want me to do about it?”
“And how in the worl—“
“Your fault, your fix!”
“My fault, don’t care, your.”
“But ... you can’t just leave me like this!”
“The Legend of Bad Bradley” by Jeremy Maes
Bradley was a bad man. Badder than you can imagine. The posse caught up with him one morning, and there on the trail he killed six men before they gunned him down.
The four members of the posse who survived buried him in his alligator boots and his black hat. They didn’t talk about his red eyes, or how he’d killed their friends. With his long teeth.
Afterwards, the potter’s field they planted him in was buried under ninety feet of water when they dammed the river, and four men slept easier.
Beneath the water, Bad Bradley smiled in his coffin.
He was waiting.
Not for much longer, though.
He was getting hungry.
“Assassination” by Bernie Lieving
How did I get so close to my target?
I thought they were trained to check on people like me.
I keep walking, maybe I’m jogging, worrying that they notice me.
My head is pounding without respite—one thousand jackhammers are trapped in my ears.
Is that really him—surrounded by all the short-haired suits?
My struggle for breath is unmanageable and I feel like I have to shit.
There he is.
POW! POW! POW!
The once-enclosed contents of his head become frenzied designs of pink, yellow and red on the faces and clothes of those who scramble like hyenas to find me—now, I’m their prey.
I did what I was told to do.
Untitled by Liz Marshall
Joe pulled the dirty spark plug from the Chevy Impala and blew into the coil. “I quit beer drinkin’. Found God,” he said, dropping a cigarette into a cup of cold coffee on the engine block. A flock of geese headed south overhead. Beyond the scattered truck-bones in the yard, a dog howled. Fred leaned in and protested, “What did’ya do a thing like that for?” Joe pulled off his cap and scratched his thinning hair, “God’s been talking to me. Telling me things.” Leaning closer, Fred asked, “What’s he been sayin’?” Joe looked to the winter sky and remarked, “Well, I don’t know. I can’t remember.”