Monday, January 29, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 11 - Robin Hillard


Norman Jackson-Smythe is dead!

William knows he is dead. When Jackson-Smythe collapsed, William was in the washroom and he waited until the man stopped breathing before screaming for help. At the hospital doctors confirmed the diagnosis, the undertaker had no qualms about putting the body in a box and the office manager arranged a wreath.

William went to the funeral. When the curtain dropped in front of the coffin he knew where Jackson-Smythe had gone: into the hellfire flames of the crematorium oven. Jackson-Smythe is dead!

But here he is, marching up the street as if he never had that heart attack.

It is not Jackson-Smythe. William forces his legs to move, one in front of the other, carrying him closer to the thing ahead. Is it a ghost? No way. Would a ghost be walking down the street on a Saturday morning?

As it comes nearer the figure will lose its shape and the body will have a stranger’s face. For sure.

But the closer it comes, the more it looks like Jackson Smythe.

“You’re dead!”

William realises he spoke aloud when a young woman pushing a stroller shies away with a jerk that makes her child scream.

The familiar throat-clearing cough! William leaps sideways through the nearest door, a bakery. He moves to the back of the shop and stares at shelves.

“Two loaves of wholemeal, please,” the voice of Jackson-Smythe demands, as it always had, a healthy bread.

Dead men don’t eat bread!

William waits till footsteps leave the shop – surely a ghost would move more quietly?

He swings around. Peers out the door and sees saw the customer’s back, a back with the shape of Jackson-Smythe, crossing the road. The woman behind the counter wrinkles her nose as if, like William, she smells a charred meat pie.

He goes straight home and bolts his door. Can dead men walk through doors? He switches on the radio but over the announcer’s voice he can hear footsteps. The heavy tread of an overweight man.

“No one is tramping about outside,” he tells himself. “No one is coming through the door.” He turns off the radio.

It is stuffy with everything closed, and the room smells like burnt meat.

William is nervous for the next few days ... but as time passes he forgets his fear. And things are going well in William’s world.

He is next in line for Jackson ’s post. Now he is in charge of ordering supplies and can implement his own system. So he often stays back late, to deal with matters that need privacy. Sometimes, in the empty rooms, he thinks he smells scorched steak.

Then one evening in the delivery bay, while he is talking to a contractor, there is an awful stench.

“Pphew,” his companion sniffs. “Bit of a pong, eh?”

A crunch of gravel behind them - footsteps of a heavy man? William turns. An overweight back is moving away. AWAY. It stops beside a car. An old black sedan like the one that had been parked, every day, in the space reserved for Jackson-Smythe. The car Sheila drives, now her husband has no need of it.

Ghosts do not drive!

It must be a member of staff, someone who stayed late, going home in an old black car.

The engine starts. The car turns and moves up the lane, heading for William.

He pulls his companion out of the way as a familiar bent antenna scrapes his face.

“Bloody car!”

“Wot car?”

William splutters an explanation and the contractor shrugs. “It’s the stink,” he says. “Leaking gas. It’s getting to you mate.”

It must be leaking gas.

Jackson-Smythe – his body reduced to crematorium ash - could not – possibly - be driving his old car.

William accepts a bundle of notes and gives, in exchange the signed order form. He will be glad to be home.

But there in front of his gate is the old, black car.

Ghosts do not drive! It has to be Sheila.

She is waiting on the porch. “I was just passing. I thought I would drop in.”

Just passing? In the cul-de-sac? He has to take her inside.

“Careful aren’t you,” she says as he bolts the door.

“I was sort of hoping you would get in touch.”

She prowls around his sitting room, “You know, it was sort of funny, you being there – when Normie died.”


“He was a bit of a stick. Not that I didn’t love him,” she says, “I did. But he’s gone.”

“Has he? I mean,” William adds quickly, “sometimes, at work, it’s hard to believe...”

“I know. That’s what I feel – as if he’s still around. And I’m sick of being on my own. Phoo,” she sniffs, “Your neighbour’s having a barbecue!”

The neighbour is a Buddhist – vegetarian – but William nods. He has to get rid of the woman.

“I’ve got a meeting,” he says, and pushes her outside.

He can’t face staying in the flat himself. He drives around for a couple of hours, parks for a sleep and is woken by a torch flashed in his face. He swears he is sober, and his breath proves him right.

“I was a bit tired,” he says, “I’ve been working late.”

The young policeman sniffs, grumbles about “that smell” and walks away.

William wrinkles his nose. A stench like burnt roast pork. He opens the window to get some air, and the car swerves dangerously. It veers across the centre line - he pulls it back.

It swerves again. Something is pulling the wheel. He struggles to get control of the car as it moved, purposefully, into the oncoming lights - the huge, round eyes of a lorry.

William screams as he feels the crash and the scorching heat of a burning car. There is a stench of petrol and the acrid smell of burning flesh.

Bio: Robin Hillard has taught in Australia, England, and Canada. She has published a book of poetry and had stories and poems published in a number of print magazines and ezines.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 10 - Clair Dickson

by Clair Dickson

The women were ecstatic to see each other again after nearly fifteen years apart. They had lost touch when Bev's husband accepted a transfer to the far side of the state. Eventually, the logistics of hauling increasing numbers of small children across the distance resulted in both women seeing each other less and less, until it was never.

The years passed, phone numbers and addresses changed. It was not that they had forgotten about each other, only that their lives no longer allowed them time, they thought, to continue that friendship. Until one day, when Bev answered the door to find a flower-delivery man on the doorstep with a large, basket of varicolored flowers.

Tucked in between the petals was a little card that ultimately raised more questions than it could answer in the 2 inch by 4 inch space inside. The card claimed the flowers were from Bev's long-misplaced friend, Carrie Lusson. And it included Carrie's phone number.

When Bev called Carrie, both women wept at the mere idea of meeting up again. They lived closer now, and their children older. In fact, Bev's kids were all in high school. Carrie's youngest was eleven. The two women met for lunch, happy and anxious. But they were as they remembered each other.

Then the question was asked. A question that was pushed by curiosity-- innocent enough. Except, the most innocent questions tend to lead to the ugliest answers.

Bev, wiping her mouth with a napkin, leaned in and asked how Carrie managed to find her. She went on to explain how she had looked for Carrie, but been unsuccessful at it.

Carrie was flabbergasted. After all, it was Bev who had called her first, seemingly out of the blue. As Carrie tried to stammer out her astonished questions, Bev fumbled in her purse for the card. She handed Carrie the flower-basket card. And Carrie quietly explained that it wasn't her handwriting and that she never sent any flowers.

Curiosity got the better of the women, and they decided to investigate the origins of the flowers. It was easy enough to wade into, like a gradually sloping shoreline. They called the flower shop and were told that Gerry Lusson had purchased the flowers.

Carrie was pleased that her husband would do such a thing. In fact, as Bev was putting her cell phone back into her crowded purse, Carrie explained how Gerry had been doing lots of nice things for her like that. It was to make up for having to work long hours lately.

Bev, an embittered divorcee who looks upon all men with hardened eyes, was skeptical of those long hours. She suggested that while Gerry was away for many hours of the day, it was not necessarily because he was working.

The enjoyment Carrie felt about the flowers, candy, and reunion her husband had given her wilted faster than a week-old bouquet. She hadn't seen much of Gerry, but she had seen the increase in money they'd gotten from his recent raise. Or recent alleged raise. But Carrie, oddly, wanted to trust her husband.

So, with that damning evidence, Bev offered to pay the tab of a private investigator. It was her opinion that Carrie know for certain. Even after learning that her own husband had been involved in three affairs besides the one Bev caught him in the middle of, Bev thought it better to know than to wonder. Carrie wasn't gung-ho on the idea; however, she was more of an "any way the wind blows" sort of person. And Bev was blowing.

Obviously, the investigation started with surveillance of Gerry Lusson. For several weeks, Gerry was tailed in one of several cars by a PI with a collection of library books and nearly endless patience. So long as someone was paying the tab, the surveillance could continue indefinitely. However, Carrie became increasingly upset and finally called of the investigation. She had enough. She had a large collection of photographs and written reports that were conclusive.

The investigation had revealed that his day at the office began just before nine. He left for lunch with a few pals from the office: three men and one woman. All returned from lunch just a few minutes short of an hour. Most of the office folks left after five, with the cars clearing from the lot like a horde of ants after picking the picnic blanket clean. The remaining dozen cars left an hour or so later, leaving two for security. Gerry's only deviations were the times and the ties. He had a collection of ties that suggested he was considered difficult to buy gifts for.

His day ended between six and seven. On his way home, he usually stopped at the same place for a coffee and a fruity-flavored pastry. He lingered for a few minutes over the drink and Danish before heading home. To his wife. Where things started to get heated. Then he lingered a little longer over his coffee and crumpet. And she just knew he was actually spending a little longer with the other woman whom the PI wasn't smart enough to catch.

The only person at the divorce proceedings several weeks later who was not hurt and resentful was the PI, there to testify on the evidence provided. Evidence that showed, conclusively, that Gerry Lusson did not have any affair. He had been honest and faithful. For whatever it was worth at that point, with the trust broken like a drop-kicked egg carton.

The Lusson marriage was probably broken with the first accusation of wrong doing, planted by Bev when they discussed the origins of an otherwise benign bouquet. From there, the cracks spread until the whole relationship was nothing but painful shards, and Gerry and Carrie Lusson stood before a divorce lawyer with lists of demands.

At least Gerry learned he should never do anything as nice as buy gifts or flowers or, worse, help his wife reunite with an old friend.


BIO: Clair has had a dozen stories accepted for publication in the past year. She writes in the vast amounts of free time she has as an alternative/ adult high school teacher, or when she puts a movie on in class. She's been accused of being the meanest, hardest teacher and she's okay with that.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 9 - Glenn Gray

By Glenn Gray

Howard and Natasha had dinner at Le Cirque the night before, then drinks at Trader Vic’s in the Plaza Hotel before ending up at Howard’s new apartment on East 43rd Street, not furnished yet, having moved in two weeks before. They made love all night and then at one in the morning Natasha started to sob.

They talked until four, sunlight peeking in the window, Natasha telling Howard how she felt it was time for a break. The morning came quickly, Howard getting short fits of intermittent sleep.

Natasha was up now, quickly dressing. She looked at Howard. He was getting onto one elbow, rubbing his eyes.

“Just some time,” she said.

He lay on his back, staring at the ceiling, head throbbing. “Take all you friggin want.”

Natasha wriggled into her bra, clasping it in front, tossing her hair.“It’s not how it should be happening you know.”

“How should it happen?” Howard rolled then sat on the edge of the mattress. “Tell me.”

“Don’t know,” Natasha said. “Not like this.”

“Figures,” Howard said. He stood, a pair of boxer shorts clumped in his hand, and shuffled naked to the expansive window looking South over Manhattan. The king-sized mattress rested on the newly lacquered hardwood floor. The new floor smell hung in the air. Next to the mattress, black socks flopped over the edge of an opened but sparsely filled suitcase.

From the 68th floor, smoldering wisps of smoke were visible in the September morning haze above Ground Zero. Howard pulled on the boxers then leaned on the sill, straight-armed on palms, nose pressed to cool glass. He wondered what it was like to jump from a skyscraper.

Natasha finished dressing, except for shoes, wearing dark slacks and a tan cashmere turtle-neck sweater. She stood near the door, the weight on her right leg, arms folded across her chest. “I won’t stop loving you,”she said. “You know that right?”

Howard did not move. His deep exhalation created a circular fog around his face on the glass. “Right.” People on the street below appeared as tiny figurines, unaware of the unfolding tragedy.

“I will you know.” She stared at the deep curves of his back, accentuated by dim light and shadows. “Should I go?”

He wanted to turn around and embrace Natasha, hold her lovingly, and then perhaps strangle her. He knew from the moment they met that Natasha was the woman he should have, should bear his children. And now she was leaving. He remembered their first dinner at the Upper East Side Italian bistro, how he felt after they walked hand in hand through Central Park drenched in moonlight, then sitting on the stone steps in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, laughing.

He did not turn. “Do whatever you want.”

There was a long silence. “Maybe I’ll just go.”

“Go then.”

“I’d like to talk a bit more.”

“About what.”

“It,” She said. “Us”

“There is no us.” Howard said. “You just said it. Stop your bullshit.”

“We can still talk, no?”

“Talk then.”

An awkward laugh. “You just don’t see it.”

“You say you love me but can’t be with me,” Howard said. “What’s not to see?”

Natasha shook her head. “It’s not that simple.”

“Sure it is.”

“I’ll just go.”

“There‘s the door.” Howard thrust his hand without looking at her. “Go.”

“I wish we could’ve connected more, that’s all,” Natasha said. “You‘ve changed since September eleventh.”

“Yeah I’ve changed. Everything’s changed,” Howard said. He spun around to look at Natasha, his face dark in shadow. “Half my goddamn friends are dead.”

Natasha’s eyes welled up. She took in a breath and seemed to hold it. “You think I don‘t know it?”

He took a step forward.

“It got me thinking,” Natasha said and stepped back. “People died. Going to work one morning. Just like that.”

“Just like that.” Howard stepped closer. “Just…like…that.”

“Made me think is all,” Natasha said. “You know, reevaluate things.”

“Nice reevaluation,” Howard said, in her face. “The holidays coming.”

“So,” She said. “So what.” He rubbed his face, eyes closed. “And my stocks.”

“So what.” Natasha raised her voice slightly.

“So what?”

“Who cares?” Natasha said. “It’s not important.”

“The fuck is.”

“Everything else,” she said. “Me.”

“I adored you.”

“Two years,” She said. “Don’t see a ring.”

Howard shook his head and made a cackling sound. “Whatever.”

“Fine then.”

“Fine.” Fists clenching now.

Natasha stepped back and slipped her feet into the black half-heels near the mattress. “Guess I’ll just go.”

Howard said nothing.

Natasha said, as if making an announcement, “I’m leaving.”

Howard turned and walked to the window and again caught the black smoke curling in the sky, twisting and arcing, his body numb.

Standing in the open doorway, she said, “Goodbye Howard.”


Then the clicking sound of the door as it closed.

After a moment, Howard turned and sat on the hardwood floor next to the suitcase, legs outstretched, his face in his hands.

He sat that way for a while before he walked to the bathroom and took along hot shower, letting the water massage his face and upper back. Afterwards he shaved and splashed on cologne. He put on one of his navy Armani suits and his favorite power tie, one that Natasha had given him after their first month of dating.

He then returned to the window clutching a shiny 9 mm Glock. He stared downtown. He turned the pistol over in his hands several times, rubbing the slick metal, mesmerized by the smoke.

Like a soldier saluting, he pressed the shaft to his right temple. Howard stood at attention, sucking in a deep breath through his nostrils, his grip tightening.

After a minute he lowered the metal to his throat, and then to his sternum before he tossed the gun into the suitcase and stood in the massive window, head slung back, his body silhouetted in glass high above New York City.


Glenn Gray is Radiologist in private practice. He writes fiction late at night and early in the morning. He is at work on his first thriller. He can be contacted at

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 8 - Gerald So

Call Me Cupid
by Gerald So

Lilah twirled some spaghetti onto her fork and brought it up to her mouth. Somehow she slurped it with no loss of dignity. She sipped some wine and swirled it, downing it in two swallows.

"Okay. I can't wait," she said. "What's your big news?"

The light in Powell's eyes dimmed. The smile packed up and moved out.

You wouldn't see it unless you knew Lilah better than Powell did, but before he said anything, she braced herself.

"I think we should see other people." His words were only a formality, eyes darting everywhere to avoid her. Lilah showed no reaction, so he picked up the lull in conversation. "It's not you. It's me..."

Still Lilah gave him nothing. She twirled another forkful of spaghetti as if he'd said it would be partly cloudy tomorrow.

Powell's face, meanwhile, had gone so white you'd think he was the dumpee. He stood and paced as she ate. It looked like he was doing the pee-pee dance. Soon his legs tired and he took his coat from the closet.

One last try: "I'm sorry to do this on Valentine's..."

Finally he realized how dumb he sounded and waddled out.

From my usual spot between the low trees, I focused on Lilah. She deserved better. A lot better than Ted Powell. I couldn't feel too sorry for her the way she stood her ground. I loved her.

Powell's high beams came on and he backed out of her driveway. Lilah may have been waiting for just that. As soon as Powell sped away, she dropped her fork and cried. My heart went out to her. I didn't have to follow Ted; I knew where he lived.

* * *

Arriving ahead of Powell, I found a good position. It made me think of the time in college someone dared me to serenade Lilah. My first look at Lilah rattled me to the point of saying, "It's too powerful. I'll only sing for my wife."

And I thought about Lilah all through Western Lit class. That night, I called my mother and asked what she would think if I married outside our religion.

The next time Western Lit met, I arrived early, ready to sing "Dulcinea." Lilah was late, as she would be often.

Powell's garage door rolled up and I tracked his car, recalling how I asked Lilah out, "purely in the interest of fellowship and good conversation."

The next day, she found me in the student union and told me straight. She didn't like me "in that way," but hoped we could stay friends.

I nodded dumbly and didn't try making a case for myself.

And we have stayed friends, though she hasn't seen me in years. Every Christmas, she sends a mass-produced update on her life. Last year, she mentioned meeting Ted at a bar. This year, she called him "warm, sensitive, and caring."

The light in his bedroom came on. I steadied my hands and looked through the scope.

A puff of cigarette smoke led the way as Ted stepped into my sights. I was sorry to see he was like all the rest. Between beats I squeezed the trigger, sending a round through his heart.


GERALD SO is Fiction Editor for The Thrilling Detective Web Site. He blogs at

Monday, January 15, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 7 - James Winter

By James Winter

“The Word is life! The Word is abundance! The Word is your only hope of salvation!”

I'm not sure what blast was worse: The cold air off Lake Erie blowing through Gotham Square or the hot air from the street corner preacher standing in front of the Bixby Building. I pulled my overcoat around me a little tighter and started across the square toward Tribe's. A late breakfast, hot coffee, and most of all, heat waited at Tribe's.

Every damn Saturday he showed up at noon. Every Saturday, rain or shine, in the blistering heat and subzero cold, he would stand on Gotham Square across from the Bixby Building and shout at anyone moving to or from the PORTA Center inside.

I decided to walk around the far end of the square to avoid the schmuck. Another blast off the lake hit me like a cold slap. I made a beeline across the square instead. The reverend blathered on.

I'd made it across Musgrave Avenue when I heard the preacher say, “You! With the red book!”

I stopped. I had a red book all right, The Days Are Wicked by Stephen Blake. Signed by Steve himself. It was a birthday present.

“You're reading the wrong book! That guy's a loser!”

Something colder than the wind blew down my back. I turned around and marched back across the street toward the preacher. A bus and a taxi both slammed on their brakes.

“All of you! Your salvation lies here!” He held a Bible over his head, waving it around in his ungloved hand. Christ, what idiot stood out in this weather without gloves and a hat? Well, me, but I hadn't planned to stay outside this long.

“Drop what you're doing and pray! Pray now to Jesus Christ!”

“Excuse me!” I could shout, too. And I wanted an audience.

“Heed unto the Lord and -”


The preacher turned to me. “Yes?” It was the quietest I'd ever heard him.

I held up my copy of The Days Are Wicked. “Do you know this man?”

He stopped and stared at me “Er... No.”

“He's Stephen Blake, a former priest from Belfast. Sound familiar?”

“Look, sir, I have a mission to perform here and...”

“Now that's very interesting, Reverend. See, you said I was reading the wrong book. You also called Mr. Blake a loser. How do you know that if you don't know Mr. Blake?”

“I don't,” he said, now looking anywhere but at me. “Sir, I really must...”

“So you lied. Doesn't that violate one of the Ten Commandments?”

He held up his Bible, and shook it at me. “My point was you need to read this. You weren't reading this.” He began to speak louder again. “My friend, if you do not have this, nothing you read will do you any good.”

I snatched the Bible out of his hand and tossed it in front of a passing PORTA bus.

“Hey!” He started to go for the Bible.

I grabbed his belt and yanked him back. “I'm not finished with you. Have you been through what my friend Steve's been through?”

“Sir, I have known more despair in my life than you can possibly imagine.”

“Really? So, your sister was killed by Unionists for being in a Protestant neighborhood at the wrong time? And only a week after losing your father in an IRA bombing? Tell me, when did this happen? Because you're in Port fucking Ontario, Ohio, Reverend. The only fucking IRA here is my fucking retirement fund.”

He started to walk away again.

“Hey! Hey! I'm not done!” I said. “You never answered my questions. I just want to know how you think this guy's a loser.”

He turned and shoved me to the ground. I got up, swung the copy of The Days Are Wicked as hard as I could at his face. I heard his nose snap, and blood poured from it. The preacher took a swing at me.


We both looked up to see a mounted police officer, baton hanging at his side.

“Did you see that officer?” I said. “I can't believe a man of the cloth would....”

“I saw everything, mister. Now get out of my sight before I haul you in for assault.” His eyes flicked toward the preacher, who held his nose while blood soaked his shirt and jacket. “And you. Take your sideshow out of here, and don't let me catch you harrassing pedestrians on this square again.”

“He attacked me,” said the preacher.

“Really? Who shoved him? Who called him a loser?”

“I called his friend a loser.” He'd started whining through his broken nose.

“It's real simple. Off the square and don't come back. Or you can preach to the Norwalk lockup over the weekend.”

“Can I get my Bible?”

The cop rode out into the middle of Musgrave Avenue and halted traffic. The preacher scurried out and grabbed the Bible, which came apart in his hands. He shuffled off into the Bixby Building and, hopefully, the PORTA Terminal downstairs.

The cop grabbed my shoulder. “Here.” He handed me a card. It listed him as a minister for a church out in Vodrey Heights. “I'm a preacher, too. Guys like him make my job hard.” “So now you expect me to come to your church?” I said.

“No, I just want you to understand we're not all like that.”

“I know that.”

“And if I ever see you toss a Bible out in the street like that again, a littering charge will be the least of your worries.”

I looked at his card again and tucked it into Steve's book. The cop Steve would understand. Even if I still didn't.


James Winter, author of 2005's Northcoast Shakedown, usually shows up for work 15 minutes late and zones out for most of the day. He lives in Cincinnati.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 6 - Stephen D. Rogers


They laid me off again.

Fuck 'em and their games. Lay me off after eighty-nine days so they don't have to let me into the union and then call me back in a week.

I slammed my locker closed and headed out, ice scraper in hand.

Bastards paid me just enough that I couldn't find a steady job that wouldn't net me less. Course the money was good because the work sucked, unloading trailers in the middle of the night.

Especially in the dead of winter. Trailers weren't heated. Unloading bays weren't heated. Sometimes, the wind screaming in through the door would threaten to blow the packages right off the conveyor belt.

I nodded at the union stiffs sitting behind the glass in the heated control room.

Enjoy your week. See if I care.

The bitter night took my breath away and then turned it into a thick white cloud.

Hunching over to make myself as small a target as possible, I stamped towards my car which was parked over by the chain-link fence.

The feet were the first thing to go numb working this shift. Last week I dropped a box that must have been filled with rocks onto my right foot. Didn't feel a thing. It wasn't until I was home and trying to peel off my sock that I saw the blood.

What? You didn't file an injury report before you left the building? It didn't happen at work then.

My car was a single sheet of ice.

Knowing better than to even bother trying to open my door, I pawed at the edge of the windshield, trying to break the surface. My last car, I could start the engine and blast the heat while I scraped but this piece of junk wouldn't run less I kept giving it gas. Not to mention, the defroster didn't do shit.

The wind changed from a whistle to a wail. Barbed wire might keep out vandals but provided nothing in the way of protection from the elements.

When you were hired, they emphasized the hourly rate and the dangled the possibility of a union job. They neglected to mention that they sent you home early more often than not and the minor detail that a union employee would have to quit or die for a slot to open.

But make sure you're here on time and that you work your ass off because we're always watching. Impress us.

Yeah, right.

Having scraped a jagged crease in the ice, I now chipped at the edges to make a clear area so I'd be able to drive home.

Impress us.

The union guy who drew the short straw that night supervised us and the rest of them stayed busy killing time until the end of the shift. And if they couldn't kill time fast enough, they stayed late for the double pay.

The parking lot was surrounded by tall buildings. Why did none of them break the wind?

I could finally see my seat through the window. Having solved the visibility problem, I transferred my attention to the door.

This fucking winter would never end.

Concentrate on freeing the handle since none of locks even worked. Then crack the seal around the door.

The worst of this weather would be over by morning when the suits came in. They had no idea what it was like for us night guys. Wait a second. What was I thinking? Even if they did know, they wouldn't care.

If I died out here right now, they'd just call the next name on the waiting list to replace me.

I grabbed the handle and yanked hard, my breath coming out like steam. On the third pull, the door finally yielded.

Bobby, one of the union stiffs, was sitting in the passenger seat. He wasn't fogging up the interior of the car. He wasn't bothering to hide the syringe that sat on his lap.

I climbed in next to him and rubbed my hands together before starting the engine.

This wouldn't look good, illegal drug use on company property, on company time. Local, state, and federal law would be all over this place once the news broke and that was going to affect productivity.

If the news broke.

The suits would be here in two or three hours. Until then I could try to thaw my fingers around a cup of coffee at that diner a couple blocks up.

Bobby wasn't going anywhere.

First thing I was going to do after joining the union was buy me a new set of wheels.

Damn straight.

The security guard didn't even look at me as he pushed the button to open the gate. He probably didn't have heat in there either.

I bumped over the curb and slid into my lane.

Get some new wheels. Move into a better apartment. Save up some money and maybe pay a visit to the farm, show them how I made something of myself.

The suit would know what to do about the body. I heard they had ties to people who did stuff like that for a living.

Flashing red lights sparkled through the rear window. I pulled to the side of the road and the cruiser stopped behind me.

I pushed the door open.

"Stay in your vehicle."

"I can't roll down the window. It's frozen. What seems to be the problem, officer?" I put my hands on the wheel in plain sight.

"You're driving with obstructed visibility." The cop was standing just behind me now.

"I work only a block or two back and I'll be home in a few minutes. It would take me an hour to clear all these windows."

He stepped forward and shined his light on my face. "Let me see your license and registration."


Then the cop saw Bobby.

As I sat there making smoke, the chance of a better life melted right in front of my eyes.

Bio: Over four hundred of Stephen's stories and poems have been selected to appear in more than a hundred publications. His website,, includes a list of new and upcoming titles as well as other timely information.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Powder Burn Flash #5 - J. H. Bogran

The Shootout
By J. H. Bográn

The first bullet whistled past his left ear.

It all started some twenty minutes before when Frank arrived at the bar. His eyes took a little time to adjust to the dim light; the room had a heavy feeling due to the smoke and loud music. He walked past the booths and the pool tables to sit at a stool next to his life-long friend John.

After the first exchange of pleasantries, John pointed towards a girl sitting across the bar. “She has been checking me out all night, pal,” assured John nodding vehemently.

Frank knew this could be true. John was a good looking guy in his early thirties, single, and always hitting on girls.

On the other hand, Frank was about to reach his eighth wedding anniversary. These Thursdays get-away were his only link to his former life as a single.

“Go for it, then. Hope this one is not married.” This was not an uncommon exchange; John had gotten into trouble before.

“You know, I think I will.” John got up, gathered his strength from the last gulp of his beer, and walked over to the girl.

She sure looked pretty with her long straight blond hair, blue eyes and killer legs. On her right hand she held an exotic cocktail glass, topped with a multicolored umbrella and pineapple slice.

Frank watched with amusement the bird of prey at work, she seemed not to take her eyes off his friend, and Frank knew this would inflame John and launch himself into more daring questions. Frank kept digging on the stale peanuts and was about to order the second beer when he saw the lady got up and walked away and out of the bar. John returned to his stool with Frank at his right.

“How did it go?” he inquired.

“Very good, I’d say. Her name is Heather, single, lives with a friend and works in a computer software company.”

“Man, you’re fast!” said Frank truly impressed.

The bartender brought Frank his beer and slipped a paper to John.

“What’s this?” John asked while scanning the piece of paper. His frowning almost forced his eyebrows to meet in the middle.

“Her tab,” said the bartender, pointing with his thumb roughly at the direction Heather had left, “She said you would pay for it.”

Frank chuckled and took a glimpse at the bill.

“Wow! Five hundred dollars!” Frank whistled in surprise.

“I am not paying this!” said John with a stern look.

“Yes, you will.” The bartender countered, he was over six feet tall, broad-shouldered and a menacing look on his face that only the fool would take lightly.

John started to mumble something out of his rising anger but was cut short by the bartender who added with a smirk, “I am sick and tired of con-artists like you to who shit on my bar! I know your little game, she comes, order drinks, then you come, pretend to hit on her and then I’m stuck with the bill.”

Frank began to say something to calm things down but he was short stopped with a killing stare from the bartender.

John got up and turned to leave. A clicking sound stopped him death on his tracks. Frank eyed the silver long-barreled revolver.

“I said you will pay, or else…” there was determination on his voice. Frank did not doubt the bartender’s resolve.

Frank concluded this was not the first time the place got conned. But it sure looked like the bartender had figured out how to make it the last time.

“Look, even if I wanted to pay, I don’t have five hundred bucks on me!" John pleaded with the guy. Sweat broke on his forehead, Frank knew it was the first time he was meeting the business end of a gun.

“We take credit cards,” the bartender rebuked coldly, then stole a glance at Frank.

John saw it and tried to make the best out of it by breaking into a dash. The loud music seemed to fade away as the barman opened fire; the first bullet hissed by Frank’s left ear and broke a lamp somewhere. Frank turned to see his friend had already reached the door and was opening it.

Five more shots followed, the man behind the bar was breathing heavily now. He kept pulling the trigger, the hammer kept on hitting empty shells every time…

Born and raised in Honduras , J. H. Bográn has always been interested in writing. Son of a journalist, he ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. In his professional life he has worked in the garment industry for the past 15 years, in the areas of Quality and Merchandising. In true Honduran tradition, where college classes start after 5 p.m. so students can hold down day jobs, he went to work fresh out of high school, and took night classes to finish college.

He currently resides in his hometown, happily married, and looking after his three sons.
His debut novel
Treasure Hunt was recently released through Chippewa Publishing LLC, the first chapter is a free read HERE! You can find out more about J. H. Bográn by visiting his Website, Blog or My Space!

Powder Burn Flash #4 - Patti Abbott

A Philadelphia Story

We all watched the day Sandra Riviera was escorted from her house by two men wearing vanilla-white uniforms much like the one the Good Humor man wore. Philadelphia row houses, and the street life their square footage necessitated, permitted constant scrutiny, and in the sixties, there were more children than trees on our street. None of our mothers called us inside that day, but instead peered out from behind Venetian blinds, hissing mumbled questions at our backs. Mrs. Riviera did not go quietly and her two children clung pitifully to the robe she still hadn’t replaced with the customary housedress—even hours later. Her feet were bare and her purse swung wildly from one of the attendant’s arms. The cacophony was mesmerizing in the summer heat.

Mrs. Riviera’s departure followed quickly her morning’s appearance at the October PTA wearing pink rollers and a stained chenille bathrobe that swung open when the breeze caught it. We assumed Mr. Riviera had arranged for her escort from his shoe store up in Pottstown. Generally, he slept in Pottstown during the week, coming home only on the weekends. This was an odd arrangement for the time and much was made of it on our street. All the other fathers slept with their wives in bedrooms so small that the twin bed arrangement we saw in the movies or on Leave It To Beaver was out of the question.

Sheryl and Mark Riviera, ages 10 and 11, stood on the pavement crying for a few minutes before Luther Voorhees pulled up. He was the first black man any of us had seen close-up. Well-dressed and handsome, he drove a late model car, making him seem even more out of place. We were only familiar with “colored” people who rode streetcars and dressed in the uniforms of the service industry at that time.

These were the questions people asked in the days ahead: Where does Luther sleep? Is he on parole? Does he know this is a white neighborhood? But Luther’s confident manner didn’t permit such questions to be asked directly. We accepted him much like a black, male Mary Poppins. Soon he was answering the Riviera’s door, taking the children to school, cooking dinners. The yard had never looked better and he washed the windows every two weeks. If he finished work early, he was known to throw the ball around with the neighborhood boys in the alley or pontificate on interesting matters—like why Superman needed Clark Kent for a cover or why the Phillies would never win the pennant. He was brighter, nicer and better-looking than anyone else we knew.

The trouble didn’t begin until Sandra Riviera returned home. We guessed wearing rollers to the PTA didn’t necessitate a long-term stay at Norristown, the closest hospital for…that. Only a few of the neighbors witnessed her homecoming, but they reported it was Luther Voorhees who brought her back. He helped her out of the car and most people said she smiled her biggest smile for him right on the street. Sandra Riviera was an attractive woman, we children were told. If she hadn’t been crazy, she’d probably have made a better match than Mr. Riviera with his squinty eyes, snooty manner and low-end shoe store.

The questions arose again, of course—especially the ones about where Luther slept. There were only three bedrooms and now five people lived in the tiny row house. Nobody had finished basements yet. It was 1961. Basements were called cellars and the floor downstairs was concrete.

Mr. Riviera probably began to wonder too because suddenly he came home unexpectedly some days. The drive was a long one and when we saw his silver and pink Bel Air in front of the house on a Wednesday afternoon, we knew what he was thinking. Still he didn’t fire Luther or send him back to Pottstown. He probably couldn’t take the chance of leaving Sandra alone. Or of losing such a good housekeeper or au pair. Some of the men said Luther had something on Mr. Riviera. He knew where the bodies were buried, we heard them say.

When we first heard the shot, it was anybody’s guess who the victim was. Maybe crazy Sandra Riviera had shot her husband? Perhaps Luther was a convict and familiar with firearms? Probably Mr. Riviera had found them in bed and killed his wife or her lover.

It turned out Mark Riviera, age eleven, had shot his father. He heard Mr. Riviera tell Luther to pack his bags and went for the gun. Luther had to leave after that, of course. No one would allow a black man to stay put once they’d carted off Mr. Riviera’s body. And this time, the men in white took both Mark and Sandra away. Only Sheryl, age ten, remained at home with a grandmother who should have come in the first place. Or so people said.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Power Burn Flash #3 - Ed Lynskey

Bag of Bones

She didn’t speak English, and my sign language had failed us. I didn’t mean to stare for an extra moment, but the tiny, elderly lady was a true hunchback. Osteoporosis -- or something dark and heavy -- had bent her over at a thirty-degree angle from the waist. She only communicated in her native Korean. That and she nodded her head a lot.

“Leave her, Frank,” said Gerald. “Granny is no help.”

“Look, Granny hangs out here all day. She must see things,” I said.

“Sure she does. Now, just pull it out of her,” said Gerald.

Cocking her head, Granny chattered on. My baffled expression set her to bobbing her head again. “Shit,” I sighed. A few minutes earlier, we’d driven into this blue-collar neighborhood to chase down a tip Gerald had received on a bail skip. Late afternoon shadows engulfed us and a chill vaporized our breaths. I saw garbage bags piled up at the curbstone. A feral, black cat crawled into the sewer vent. I had an urge to go join it.

“Yo, this is a dead end.” Gerald spat. “Let’s split.”

“Somebody on this block must speak English,” I said.

Granny elevated her eyebrows to gape at Gerald. Maybe I caught a glimpse of her sly smile. She quit talking, and I next had to wonder if she understood us better than she let on.

Gerald ruffled his shoulders. “Treadwell didn’t haul ass this way. That tip was bogus.”

Feeling uneasy, I didn’t want to argue with him. Gerald could bench press his weight, no sweat. I thought back. Treadwell had been a no-show in court the previous day, and Gerald had his first fugitive of the new year to go grab up. I’d agreed to come along and cover his back. Just then hoisting up the gunnysack, she held in a knobby fist, Granny trilled out a few more lines.

Gerald grinned over at me. “Granny wants you to take her bag of bones.”

“She picked up the chestnuts off the sidewalk,” I said.


This time I shrugged. “Their culture uses chestnuts in dinner dishes. Where do we go look now?”

“Let’s split. Treadwell is white. He’d never lay low in this ghetto,” said Gerald.

“Now that strikes me as a good reason to hide out here,” I said.

“You give Treadwell too much credit. He isn’t that imaginative,” said Gerald.

Speaking in her gibberish, Granny shook the gunnysack several inches from under my chin. Having a second look at her startled me. Her angular face took on a darker cast. Her jet black eyes narrowed into a pair of hot brands even as the air turned colder. I could no longer hear the traffic thrum out on Braddock Road. A new fright stirred in me.

Nervous, Gerald coughed. “What the hell is she going on about?”

I shook my head. “Beats me.”

“Well do something to shut her up. My nerves are getting jumpy,” said Gerald.

I sidled a step to my right and Granny countered my move to block me. She held the gunnysack in two hands. Its flap fell open and all I saw inside was more filthy burlap.

“Word I hear is Treadwell shanked a dude his last time inside,” said Gerald.

My grunt indicated disgust. “And you wait until now to share this piece of information with me?”

“It’s just a rumor I heard from my snitch,” said Gerald.

“A credible snitch?” I asked watching Granny screech at me. The gunnysack smelled rancid.

“Credible enough. Do me a favor, will you?” Gerald pointed a finger. “Just take Granny’s bag and humor her enough to shut up.”

“I’m not going to take it. You take it.” I upraised my forearm as a shield. “Besides it stinks. A rotten smell.”

“Can’t be. Chestnuts don’t have a bad odor,” said Gerald.

Granny shoved the gunnysack into my chest. My lips curling, I grabbed to the burlap. Off to the side, I heard Gerald chuckle under his breath.

“Dig it. Granny has taken a shine to you, home-boy.”

I stuffed my hand into the bottom of the gunnysack. My fingertips groped small, hard chestnuts. Uncertain what I was expected to do next, I dove in my hand deeper. I touched a moist, malleable object, not like the chestnuts. I pinched the object between my finger and thumb to roll like a cigar. A picture flared into my brain as I identified the object. In fact, there were two objects.

“Gerald, who did Treadwell kill when he was in prison?” I asked.

“Some Oriental dude. Why?”

I drew out my fisted hand and opened it. Two fingers, both severed at the bottom knuckle, lay in my palm. Gerald recoiled and I was too damn numb to move.

“Because we just met the Oriental dude’s granny,” I said.

Gerald spoke in a growl. “Give her back the bag, Frank. We’re out of here. I don’t want any part of this. You don’t either.”

I handed the gunnysack to Granny. Accepting it, she winked at me just before we turned to leave.

The End

Author Bio.
Ed Lynskey is a crime fiction writer and poet living near Washington, D.C. His first two books are mysteries featuring his PI Frank Johnson: THE DIRT-BROWN DERBY (Mundania Press,2006) and THE BLUE CHEER (Point Blank/Wildside Press, 2007). Two sequels include PELHAM FELL HERE (Mundania Press, 2007) and TROGLODYTES (Mundania Press, 2008).

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Powder Burn Flash #2 - Iain Rowan


Left, left, right back and right and back and slide, slide, left, and stamp. No, no, should have been right. Fuck it.

I kicked the rail on the side of the game, then looked around to see if the old sod or one of his gimpy sons had seen me do it. The three of them gave me the creeps. They all looked like they come from the fifties, quiffs and that, like Elvis, and stank of cigarette smoke and oil. They didn’t like kids thumping the machines in the arcade, and I was barred from too many of the others to risk getting thrown out of this one.

The man was leaning against an Addams Family pinball machine, watching me. I didn’t know how long he had been standing there.

“Good dancer,” he said.

“Done better,” I said. And I had. When I was really giving it some, I was top of the high scores. And if someone else beat me then I would find the money from somewhere to stay on the machine until I beat them.

“You must practice a lot,” he said.

I ignored him. Blokes that hung around the kids in the arcades, well. Some of them were just simple, kids themselves in grown-up bodies. Others, they were grown up all right, and they wanted grown-up things.

“Got very quick feet,” he said.

“The best,” I said. “You a pervert then?”

He went red, looked quickly around to see if anyone had heard. “No, no, I’m not.” Meant nothing, but at least he knew that if he was, I had him made.

“Give us a quid then.”

He thought about it for a moment, and then fished in his pocket and held out a coin. I went to take it and he pulled it back so I couldn’t get it. Here we go, I thought. But he surprised me.

“It’s for the dance game,” he said. “You can’t take it and spend it on whatever. I want to see you put it in the game.”

“Whatever turns you on,” I said. Not like I could do much else with just a pound, is it.

So I danced, and he watched. Most likely got his kicks from it, but at least I got to dance. And I was good. Got in the rhythm, got in the trance, when I’m dancing like that there’s nothing else in the world. And believe me, my world, that’s a good thing.

I danced, he watched, and every so often he handed over some more money.

“I think that’s enough,” he said in the end.

I pulled a face. If I got in the high score top ten one more time, it would just be my name, over and over.

“Tell you what,” he said. “Instead, I’ll buy you a coffee, and we’ll sit down and have a little chat.”

You know what happens when you hit one of the machines too hard, or tilt it? Alarm goes off, loud as anything, and the old man or one of his sons comes over and kicks you out. Bar you from the arcade, if you do it enough. Anyway, my alarm went off, just like that. Coffee and a chat? Not a chance.

“See you,” I said, and I jumped off the game and walked away.

“No,” he said, “Please, wait.”

But I was away down past the slot machines and the air hockey tables, and through the big glass doors that opened out on to the empty night.

A little further down the road, I found a ciggy lying on the pavement, only half smoked. I picked it up, and fished about in my pocket for my lighter. Then there were footsteps behind me, and I turned around quick because I knew who they would belong to.

He held his hands up, look, I’m no harm, me. Smiled, even. “It’s ok. I just want to talk to you.”

“Aye, that’s what they all say.” I’d seen kids from the arcades go off with men like him before. We all knew the score. I’d done some things to get more money for the machine, I tell you, but I hadn’t done that. Had thought about it, once, but I robbed a few quid off these younger kids instead.

He took one step closer, and another. “Look, all I’m asking—“ he said, and then he didn’t say anything else because I kicked him hard in the balls and he went down on the pavement like someone had folded him up.

I looked around quickly to see if anyone was watching, but the street was empty. Round here, chances are they’d have turned and walked off anyway.

“Fucking pervert,” I said, and then I kicked him. Only meant to do it a couple of times, but then I felt a rhythm and I followed it, Left, left, right back and right and back and slide, slide, right, and stamp.

Fair out of breath when I was done. Not as much as he was, mind.

Went through his pockets. Found thirty quid in cash, some plastic I could sell for fifty a card, a picture of some woman with a nose twice as big as it should have been, and a load of leaflets about Jesus and some shelter place for kids on the street. Looks like he wasn’t a pervert after all. Ah well. How’s a girl supposed to know?

I stopped off at a corner shop, bought a litre of vodka and sixty Lamberts, got a bus into town, and headed for the arcade by the bus station. Wasn’t barred from there either. Got my dancing shoes on tonight.


Bio: Iain Rowan lives in the north-east of England, near the sea but not near enough. He's had over thirty short stories published in magazines and anthologies including Ellery Queen's and Alfred Hitchcock's. He is currently working on his crime novel, One of Us, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger. Read more at his website:

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


By BJ Bourg

“Why aren’t you happy?”

“I am.”

“You don’t look it.”

“See?” Otis Redman forced a smile and pointed to his face. “I’m happy.”

Claire threw the plastic stick across the room. “I understand your dad just died, but you don’t have to be such a prick!”

“It ain’t about that.” Otis shook his head and threw his hands in the air. “I lost my job this morning.”

Claire’s mouth dropped open. “Your--what happened?”


“Nothing? Something had to happen.”

“Nope. I walked in and Ricky said things weren’t working out. Said he had to let me go.”

“You’ve been there four years, without a problem.”

“I know, but ever since he took over--”

“You have to get your job back. What about health insurance? The house note? The car?”

“Baby, I know all that.”

“ Bethany ’s birthday’s next month. We promised her Disney. What are we supposed to tell her now?”

“We’ll just tell her we can’t afford it.”

“Yeah, a two-year-old will understand.” Claire sank to the sofa. “My mom warned me about this, told me you wouldn’t be able to keep a job.”

Otis felt a pain deep in his chest. “It wasn’t my fault.”

“Really? I’m sure your record had nothing to do with this, did it?”

Otis stormed out the door, jumped in his truck and sped off. Music blared from the radio but he didn’t hear it. Traffic buzzed by on the busy streets but he didn’t notice. There was only one thing on his mind--getting his job back.


Otis parked next to Nelson Bailey’s Lexus and stared up at the miniature mansion. “What I wouldn’t give for the change in his pockets.”

He walked up the cobblestone drive, pressed the buzzer. A short Spanish lady, mid fifties, answered the door. He nodded. “I’m here to see Mr. Nelson.”

“This way.”

She led Otis to a spacious office, then scurried away. Nelson Bailey looked up from a large oak desk. “Hi, Otis.”

“Mr. Nelson, I have to talk to you about my job.”

Nelson pursed his lips. “Ricky told me he had to let you go.”

“Well, he fired me. This morning.” Otis wiped sweaty palms on his Dockers. “He didn’t even tell me why.”

“Well, your past has been an issue.”

“Not to you. Never to you. That’s why I’m here. Ever since Ricky took over the business, you know, people say he’s not like you. You’re a good man, compassionate. I need this job. My little girl, she’s not even two yet and…” Otis rubbed his face and hung his head. “I just found out my wife’s pregnant. She’ll have to take maternity leave, and with me out of work, we’ll lose everything.”

“You’ll find another job, don’t you worry.”

“All I know is selling cars.” Otis shook his head. “I’ve been to every dealership in the city today. No one will touch me.”

“You were convicted of a felony, son. You have to expect people will be a bit leery about hiring you.”

“You weren’t. You gave me the job straight out of prison.”

Nelson sighed and put his glass down. “I did it as a favor to your dad. He saved my life in Korea . I owed him.”

Otis’ heart pounded in his chest as realization slowly sunk in. “What are you saying?”

“Excuse me?”

“What, now that he’s dead you don’t owe him anymore?”

“Son, Ricky runs the business now. His decisions are final.” Nelson pointed to the door. “If that’ll be all.”

Otis clinched his fists. “No, that won’t be all. You can’t just fire me because my dad died. I understand you hired me as a favor, but I’ve been busting my ass for your company. I’ve earned my way.”

“Otis, if you please? I have a function to attend.”

Otis stood and gritted his teeth. “Sir, I’m not leaving ‘til I get my job back.”

Nelson’s eyes narrowed. He stepped forward and put a hand on Otis’ chest. “You, get out of my house this instant!”

“Not until you call Ricky and tell him to give me back my job.”

Nelson leaned forward and shoved Otis against the wall. The impact caused him to lose his breath. He gasped.

Nelson seized the moment and grabbed Otis’ left arm, pulling him toward the door. Otis quickly caught his breath and braced his feet. He jerked his arm away from Nelson and pushed the older man to the floor.

Nelson’s face turned to crimson. “You bastard! How dare you come into my house and push me around!”

“I’m sorry. I just want my job--”

“You’re going back to jail, where attempted murderers belong!”

“I’m sorry. Look, I’m leaving. I’ll never come back, just please don’t do it.”

“It’s already done!” Nelson crawled to a mahogany table and snatched up a cordless phone.

“No, please don’t!” Otis rushed forward and dove for the phone. His right shoulder made contact with the back of Nelson’s neck and Nelson’s head smashed into the corner of the table. Nelson collapsed under Otis’ weight and both men fell to the floor.

Otis scrambled to his feet holding the phone. Nelson’s body convulsed, blood trickling from a gash in his temple. “Mr. Nelson, are you--”

A piercing scream shook Otis to his core. He turned. The maid stood slack-jawed, a hand on her chest. He brushed past her and ran to his truck.


When Otis pulled into his driveway, Claire ran to meet him. She jerked the door open and screamed, “I did it! I did it!”

Otis just stared straight ahead.

“Baby, it’s okay! Look, don’t be mad. I went to the dealership and talked to Ricky. He understands! He’s giving you back your job!”

Sirens sounded in the distance. They drew nearer. Otis turned to look at his wife for what little time he had left.

A puzzled look fell over Claire’s face. She pointed to the cordless phone in his hand. “Where’d you get that?”


BIO: BJ Bourg is a career law enforcement officer who writes mystery fiction and manages an online mystery magazine called Mouth Full of Bullets in his spare time. He’s had over ninety stories published in over twenty different venues, including several anthologies. The latest anthology, “The EX Factor”, is available through For more information, visit his website at and his online magazine at

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

OK, This is How Its Done....(Submission Guidelines)

Take your best shot! I'm looking for dark but well written noir that focuses on crime and mystery. Those stories with cordite get extra points!

Check out the bullet points (get it?).....
  • I'm looking for original material. That means not published anywhere else.
  • 1000 words or less. OK, 1001 might be OK too.
  • You, the author, retain the copyrights to your material. What would I do with them anyway?
  • Stories need to be fairly well edited. I don't plan on editing anyone's work. I have a hard enough time doing my own.
  • If the story is too far off base, I will let you know. No gory torture or graphic sex. Be good and let your audience fill in the spaces with their imagination.
  • You are encouraged to respond to comments posted by readers.

Where to point the gun (submission information).....

  • Email your story to with Submission in the comment line.
  • Cut and paste your submission in the body of the email…no attachments.
  • Include a short bio or where you can be contacted.
  • I will not post anonymous submissions.
  • Average posting time is 2 to 3 days.