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Short Story

S

Cutting Bait

C

I wasn’t there the morning they found old Bill Yawley with a knife in his chest at the fish camp, but you can be sure I heard all about it when I got back. Story went, and this was from several reliable sources, someone shoved a filet knife straight into Darryl’s chest, clean through his yellow rubber waders, and either he fell back into his chair or he was sitting when he got stabbed. Don’t really matter much either way. They found him sitting there, on one of those cheap, white plastic...

A Brief History of Violence

A

I’m the guy no one sees. An invisible man in a city of millions. Oh, it’s not hard to be invisible in the city—not like back home in Calumet, Oklahoma where we had a whopping 553 people in the whole town—well, until I left, and then I guess it was 552. Haven’t been back in years, so who knows how many people live there now. Not enough I can tell you that. Or maybe far too many. It’s hard to know sometimes. Often times I don’t even meet the owners. The maid lets me in, shows me where the piano...

They Go Flat

T

“They go flat,” she said. “What goes flat?” I asked. “The cats,” she said and motioned to the old black cat laying on its side on the deck. She sucked on the crab leg she was pointing with and continued, “They go flat in the summer.” I looked over at the cat and it did kind of look flat. Like someone had a let the air out of it. “Yup,” she said, “Darndest thing. We were on the back deck of her house, eating crabs. The table was covered in newspaper. A few dozen blue claw crabs, smothered in old...

Bar Talk

B

“So she looked at it and said, ‘What the fuck is that supposed to be?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, this was your idea,’” said Dave. The guys laughed. Dave, Frank and Carl sat together at Fred’s on a Wednesday afternoon. They’d known each other since grade school. Sometimes they met for lunch and even though it was the middle of July, Fred’s was cool and dark. Frank had always complained that it was like a cave but in the summer when you worked outside all day, it could be a welcome relief. The...

Going to Church

G

Back before the accident we’d always go surfing on Sunday mornings. He called it going to church. “Come on, let’s go to church,” he’d say. “I’ll call you in the morning. We don’t want to be late.” Then he’d laugh and slap his knee like he hadn’t said that a thousand times before. He was big knee slapper. I can still see him, riding along in the passenger seat of my old pickup, drinking a Red Stripe, the wind in his hair, the wrinkles in his face from years in the sun even more pronounced when...

Uncle Bill’s

U

He sits in a booth in Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. The corner one near the window. He gets there early before the crowds and gets the same thing every time. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just that it’s the same and that there aren’t many people. He doesn’t like the people. He doesn’t even really like Uncle Bill’s. It’s overpriced flour and water, he thinks. Still, he doesn’t have the will to make them himself, and the waitresses are cute. Mostly. He flirts with them sometimes, when he’s feeling...

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