Kristin Garth

The Cry Shot

Forgot your own name some months ago.  Reinvention is the reason you leave when he asks you to go, from college dorm to his condo to be dressed in organza puffy sleeves, oversized JoJo bows in your hair, turned over to a “nanny” when he leaves — though this one’s only credentials are an obscene imitation in porn.  Plays you one where she spanked her employer with a thick bouquet of blooms in her fingers, offering only the thorns.   

Impressed him enough to procure her, like you, a girl he renames Dove to return to a childlike state to — if not undo, erase what she suffered before. Met you in a neurolinguistic programming chat room.  After he heard your sad incestuous childhood story, he swore to replace it.  Give you a childhood again.  Nap when he tells you.  Confess every fantasy, sin. 

Open your legs to strangers because he knows best who and what’s right.  Bathe every wound they inflict in his honor.  Turn you on and your Hello Kitty nightlight for tales of bad girls he hopes you to turn out to be, raised this time without abuse or Christianity, just consensual use, with some bruises, and some iPhone videoed tears.  

Collates digital files of you sobbing into labeled DVD’s reflecting the seasons and years of indignities.  Revisits them while you are sleeping when he is in need 

of release — how many ways will beauty suffer for your insatiable beast who placates his needs with these records to give you some peace?  Bespoke porn he directs and demands to service his own special niche where the most climatic scene is not a cum shot.  It is the closeup of a splotched, wet, weepy face of a womanchild who should run but will not. 

PJ Grollet

The Horny Lego Guy’s Little Lego Dick

Hey, have you guys seen that new Lego movie? 

You know which one I’m talking about. The one about the horny Lego guy in outer space who tries to have sex with all his female crew members. 

That movie was bonkers! 

Spoiler alert: 

I couldn’t believe the scene when the Lego guy had the massive heart attack while he was blasting the ship’s lieutenant commander. 

And then the ship’s doctors rushed in and pulled him right off that Lego woman!

That shit was crazy. 

The best part was when they rushed him to emergency on the gurney. They snatched him off the Lego commander without his Lego pants and I couldn’t believe they actually showed his little Lego dick! 

I always wondered what a Lego dick looked like. It was like a small branch with a thorn piercing through the middle of it to form a cross. 

I thought for sure that Lego guy was dead, man. I mean, with no pulse and all. And then they pressed the defibrillator onto his little Lego dick! 

I was like what are they doing!? 

And it worked! 

They shocked his Lego dick and the guy popped right off the gurney!

You guys gotta see that movie!

Judge Santiago Burdon

‘Fingers In The Fan’ is another odyssey about Santiago, a recovering addict, ex-con, womanizer, gambler and ill-fated pilgrim, along with his ex cellmate, loose cannon, alcohol and drug fueled, Colombian carnal, Johnny Rico. 

While working as drug smugglers for a Mexican Cartel, the two encounter situations of structured devastation. This collection of short storíes is filled with the same gritty dialogue, dark humor and adventurous mayhem Santiago has popularized in his previous books. ‘Fingers In The Fan’ complements the Bohemian tales of bizarre and twisted states of mind first exposed in  ‘Stray Dogs and Deuces Wild’ and ‘Quicksand Highway’.

Adding to the book’s irresistible appeal is that these cautionary tales are well written. Santiago’s prose is clear and his language concise: spiced with the Spanish of his streetwise bilingualism. The indelible portraits of even minor characters in other stories of life’s disappointments make this collection something to get high on.

Dave Wolff
Asphyxium Magazine
Cerebral Agony Magazine


Anthony Dirk Ray

5 Star Review

A lot of bad happened to Jimmy in a short amount of time that led to his walk on that lonely, dark road.  He didn’t have a destination in mind, other than a fresh start, wherever that may be.  After his wife had a miscarraige, his whole world broke down drastically and turned to absolute shit.  His drinking amplified, which led to physical altercations with his wife, an arrest, and a pink slip from the factory where he worked.  A court ordered stint at a sober living facility was short lived due to his continued drinking.

As Jimmy walked the desolate road, he pondered the decisions and events that led him to where he was at that very moment.  This frustrated and further depressed him.  He wanted nothing more than to jump in front of the next set of headlights that sped by.  However, the lack of cars on this stretch of road made that plan highly unfeasible.  Jimmy knew that he was damaged and would never be a pleasant memory in anyone’s mind.  He just didn’t see the point in going on living.  He thought, maybe there will be a rocky ravine up ahead.  Then I could just disappear, and never be found.  That thought alone was enough for him to take faster and wider strides toward the darkness in front of him.

A car could be heard approaching from behind and the landscape in front of him became illuminated.  The vehicle slowed and pulled next to Jimmy.

“Hey there friend.  Are you alright?”

“Yeah.  I’m good.”

“There’s nothing out here for miles. Get in and I’ll take you closer to where you need to be.”

“Really, I’m fine.  Go on.”

“Nonsense.  Get in. I insist.”

Jimmy reluctantly got in the car with the stranger.  Jimmy thought, what’s the worst that could happen?  Maybe he’ll be a serial killer, and do the hard work for me.

“My name is Carl,” the driver said, with his hand extended.

“Jimmy,” he responded, as he shook Carl’s hand.

“Where are you headed?” Carl asked.

Jimmy remained looking forward, and said, “West.”

“Ok.  West is pretty vague, but I can get you a little closer in that direction.”

They rode in silence for the good part of an hour, when Carl pulled into a gas station.

“Need to fuel up.  You need anything?” Carl asked, as he got out of the car. 

“No, I’m good.” 

Carl went into the store and returned with a six pack of beer and a pint of whiskey.  He opened the passenger door and handed the items to Jimmy.

“Here.  It looks like you need this.”

Carl began fueling the car as Jimmy opened and turned up the pint.  The entire pint and one of the beers were emptied by the time Carl got back in the driver’s seat.

“Wow. You don’t waste any time do you?  I knew you needed a drink.”

“Yeah, thanks. You have no idea.”

As the two were back on the road, the alcohol allowed Jimmy to open up a little about what had recently transpired in his life.  Carl reminded Jimmy that life had a way of being shit sometimes, but it could always be worse, and that there was a good chance that it would get better.  Jimmy wasn’t in the mood for a pep talk.  He just sighed and continued on the beer.  Carl told Jimmy about a young woman in a purple dress that he gave a ride to recently on the same stretch of highway as him.  How she was at the end of her rope as well, running from an abusive husband.  However, by the end of the ride, he had her smiling and confident in her decision to leave and start anew.

“See.  Sometimes you just need someone else to put it all in prospective for you,” Carl said in a comforting tone.

“I guess you’re right,” said Jimmy, as he contemplated what Carl said.

The horizon began to brighten, as Carl slowed and turned right into a closed restaurant.  There were no cars in the parking lot, and most of the lights on the inside were off.  Carl pulled around to the rear of the building near the back door.

“This is my buddy’s place. I make runs for him roughly two times a week.  He’s not the most social guy.  As a matter of fact, he doesn’t really talk.  I just have to drop off a few supplies and we’ll be on our way.  Come on in.  I’ll see if he has anything ready yet.”

The two of them got out of the car and Carl knocked on the rear door.  A short, fat man with greasy hair and sauce stains on his apron opened the door.

“Bubba. How’s it going? This is Jimmy. Can you fix him a couple of your famous sandwiches?”

Bubba grunted and gave a slight nod.  Carl showed Jimmy to the counter in the front and pulled out a stool for him.

“Bubba has the best barbeque around. He’s been in the paper and even on the local news.  Look at all these awards,” Carl said, as he pointed at framed pieces of paper above the counter.

Jimmy looked around, nodded, and said, “That is a lot. Smells good. I am pretty hungry.”

“Here it comes now.  You’re going to love it. I have to get some items out of the car so he can open up in a few hours.  Eat up.”

Bubba placed two huge barbecue sandwiches in front of Jimmy and he didn’t waste any time digging in ravenously.  Through the order window, Jimmy watched as Bubba and Carl hauled bags of items into the kitchen and walk-in cooler.  Carl poked his head through the square opening and said,

“Pretty good, heh?”

“You weren’t kidding.  The meat is so tender and the sauce is the best I’ve ever had.  Everything is terrific.  I can see why he has all those awards.”

“I told you.  Hey, when you get done, do you think you could help us move a pig from the cooler to the smoker?”

“Sure thing.  I’m about done.”

Jimmy used his last bite of sandwich to sop up the remaining sauce on his plate and leaned back in his stool, full and content.  He took his plate to the back and Bubba motioned for him to put it in the sink.

“Bubba, if I could give you another award for that meal, I would my man,” Jimmy said, as he patted his stomach.

Bubba let out an appreciative grunt, and shook his head in acknowledgement.  Carl came through the back door with another bag, placed it on the counter and motioned for Jimmy to follow him to the cooler. 

“It’s a big fucker.  Might take all three of us,” Carl said as he opened the cooler door.

Jimmy entered the dark cooler and the door slammed behind him.

“Quit fucking around!  Open the goddamn door!”

Jimmy beat on the door and continued yelling in the pitch-black cooler.  Moments earlier Jimmy thought he wanted to die, but now his instinct of survival took over.  He continued beating on the door to no avail.  He started feeling faint and dizzy and staggered around the refrigerated death trap.  Jimmy was losing consciousness and realized he must have been drugged.  He located a pull string and a light illuminated the cooler.  He couldn’t believe the horrific things he saw.  Bags of body parts and buckets of blood surrounded him.  Jimmy lost his footing and fell to the cold floor.  Just before everything went black, he looked into the lifeless eyes of the girl in the purple dress.  

That day during the lunch rush, a dad and his son, who were traveling through town, sat in a booth next to the door.  They finished their meal, and the dad told the waitress that it was the best barbeque that they had ever eaten.  Before leaving, he left a glowing review online.

Jimmy had made a lasting memory in someone’s mind after all.

Judge Santiago Burdon

Kill Them With Kindness 

“Ah good it’s you. Come on in Carmine. I’m glad you’re here. There’s a situation I need to discuss with you. Sit down.” 

“What’s up Capo?” 

“You know Thomas McKenna, the President of First National Bank?”

“Yes sir, the fellow who was arrested by the FBI last week.” 

“That’s right, he’s out on bail. He might decide to make a deal with the Prosecutor and spill his guts. That could be an unfortunate turn of events for us.”

“I understand. Do you want me to make the problem go away?”

“Yes, he’s become a liability. It’s time we dissolve our business relationship.”

“Okay Boss. Who do you have in mind to do the job? Want me to call the guy from Detroit? He’s a no muss no fuss cleaner. Or maybe that cold-hearted broad from Los Angeles, she’s always stealth.”

“No, it has’ta look natural, like a heart attack or somethin’, so if there’s an autopsy they’ll find it was due to natural causes.”

“I know who can do the job, but he’s expensive. You know who I’m thinking about?”

“You’re thinking Petruchio? Petruchio ‘The Gentleman’?”

“Ya. He’s perfect for this job. no guns, no knives, no staged accident, no Jewish Lightning, no blood and guts bullshit. He ‘kills them with kindness’.”

“Exactly, that way there won’t be any investigation or questions.”

“And no suspects.”

“See if you can get a hold of him. Listen to me, don’t get into a conversation with him. Make it short and unfriendly. No small talk. You got it?”

“Okay got it boss.”

“Just thinking about that guy scares the hell out of me. I’ve never met him in person but I talked to him on the phone once, couple of years ago. You gotta be careful. If he starts making all kinds of compliments, you can’t be sure, there might be a contract out on you. And he could be ‘Killing you with kindness’.”

“I’ve been told his method is surefire and he never raises any suspicions.”

“That’s right. Listen, if he mentions how nice your house is, then starts in on how good you look. Or mentions that you look thinner like you’ve lost weight and asks if you’ve been workin’ out cause you look buff and bullshit like that, you’re a goner. Like I said, he ‘kills you with kindness’.”

“Now that you mention it, you do look good for your age Vicente.”

“Okay, enough. And don’t discuss this with anyone else. We can’t have this getting out. I know I can count on you. It’s the reason why I’ve given you the responsibility to take care of this. You’ve been a loyal and trustworthy member of the family Carmine. I’m very proud of the man you’ve become.”

“Thanks Capo. I’ve never told you this but you’ve been like a father to me. I want you to know there’s no one else in the entire world I respect more than you.”

“Okay, don’t you start. It ain’t gonna do any good. You know when I retire next month. I’m turning control of the family over to Arturo. My son will be the next Godfather.” 

“Of course Capo, an excellent choice. No one can ever question your decisions. You’re a wise and ingenious man. You’re made in the image of the great King Solomon. A more honorable and fair-minded man than you doesn’t exist.”

“Thanks for your compliments. No need to voice your appreciation.”

“It’s just important for you to know. I am and will forever be indebted to you for your kindness. You took me in when I had no one. I was alone after my parents were murdered. You took me in and gave me a home, welcomed me into your family. You treated me like I was your son. You have a heart of gold. I will never be able to repay you for your benevolence and unselfishly sharing your home.” 

“Carmine, please stop. Enough with the compliments. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were tryin to ‘kill me with kindness’.”

“I’m sorry Capo. I felt it was time to express my gratitude and declare my admiration for someone who exemplifies generosity. A man deserving of respect and to be regarded with esteem. You are a God among men. So much bigger than life size. A living legacy.”

“Carmine, something’s wrong, I’m not feeling so good right now…”

“What’s wrong Capo? Are you okay? It’s nothing you can’t overcome. You’re stronger than anything in the universe. A Superman. There’s nothing that can harm you. Even God is jealous, in awe of your magnificence.”

“I’m having chest pains. I think maybe you should call me an ambulance.”

“Are you sure?” 

“Yes! I’m not fucking around!”

“Right away il mío Re (My King). There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for such a great man. I am such a better person for having known you.”

“Carmine, what are you doing? I think I might be having a heart attack. With every compliment I feel chest pains. You’re literally ‘killing me with kindness’.”

“Whatever do you mean?” 

 “My heart, please, my heart. Did someone put a contract out on me? You’re Petruchio, aren’t you?”

“Once again you demonstrate your vast knowledge and extreme astute intelligence. Let me introduce myself. I’m Carmine Petruchio Martinelli, son to his father Giorgio Armani Martinelli and his mother Franchesca Rose Pedone Martinelli, brother to Marco and Elena Martinelli. All murdered in their home in their sleep. My uncle Martini told who the killers were before he too was killed. I took care of Tomaso and Riccardo, your accomplices a few years ago. You remember when they died unexpectedly and within a week of one another. Neither of them begged for their lives, they enjoyed the kindness I bestowed upon them right up until their deaths.” 

“I’ll give you anything you want. Please, I can’t take much more.”

“What I want, my dear man of distinction, is for you to bestow upon me your dying wish. You are the man who showed me that patience is a virtue. My teacher who taught me to reciprocate to those that you have wronged. Although you are the supreme master of vendetta è dolce (sweet revenge).” 

“Arturo, Arturo help come quick! Salvatore, someone! Somebody call an ambulance! Arturo!”

“Don’t strain that lovely operatic tenor voice of yours. Arturo has met with an untimely fate. He had a brain aneurysm this morning after being showered with praise and congratulations concerning his fortunate appointment as Godfather of the Cappelli family. Like the others, he fell victim to being ‘killed with kindness’. Everyone is at the hospital right now paying their respects. I was supposed to inform you but it simply slipped my mind. But being the gracious kind-hearted man you are, I’m certain you will exercise your merciful forgiveness for my faux pas.” 

“Why? Why did you kill my son? You two were like brothers. How could you be so heartless? He was my only son. Please, stop. Show me some mercy, you at least owe me that.”

“Ya, brothers like Cain and Abel I think. Owe you? In all these years you’ve never asked for reimbursement for your generosity and unselfish acts of benevolence.”

“After all I’ve done for you. I even made you a Captain in the family.”

“Once again you showed your incredible managerial skills, rewarding those that have shown loyalty.”

“Tell me why?”

“You think I didn’t know who was responsible for killing my parents? Who murdered my brother and sister? If I had been there at the time, I would have been a victim as well.”

“Please reconsider what you’re doing.”

“Reconsider? I don’t think so. I’ve dreamed about this day for years. Since I first came here at six years old I’ve had to live with the man who made me an orphan.”

“Carmine it was business. The order came down from the bosses in Chicago. There was nothing I could do. I’m going to pass out. Call an ambulance for Christ’s sake. I’m sorry. So sorry.”

“It’s too late for an ambulance. I have no doubt you are an emphatic and compassionate man. You’re definitely experiencing an incredible amount of remorse. Being the religious and God fearing man you are, you’ve asked God in prayer for forgiveness, yet still burdened with guilt. I know that you, more than anyone, will understand that those emotions are just not enough.”

“I’m dying, Carmine, you son of a bitch…”

“Just like you, showing such courage until the end. I’ve always admired your strength. You inspired in me the courage to seek my revenge. You encouraged me to be a man of my word. Now, for the final nail in your coffin. Your death will be double edged. Although I’m pleased by avenging my family’s murders, I will miss your presence, your fondness, your sensitivity and your guidance. Even though you are responsible for the death of my family, I am truly saddened by your own death. I am saddened because I love you. Capo? Capo, did you hear me?”

‘Killed with kindness’

Anthony Dirk Ray

Careful What You Wish For

Jeffrey woke to the magnificent sounds of angelic birds.  The sounds of the heavens, and all that hover above, filled his ears.  The ability to open his eyes right away was hindered by the bombardment of brilliant and bright facets of light.  Once able to finally peer at his surroundings, he realized that he had awakened in a beautiful, enchanted forest. What he saw overwhelmed his being.  Colors he never knew existed were visible.  They entered his field of vision and danced around.   Clouds that were usually drab and dreary were bright, fluffy, and almost neon in appearance.  Plants and trees gave off a color that was seemingly off the spectrum of green.  A gleaming, lively green, unimaginable even in the most creative of minds.  Feelings of warmth and contentment overtook him.  Jeffrey felt as if he was getting a warm hug from Mother Earth herself.  He looked around and observed a multitude of flying and crawling creatures he couldn’t quite identify.  Each one seemed to be smiling cheerfully at Jeffrey, as if they were welcoming him to this new land. 

How he ended up in this mystical, magical environment was unknown to him, but he wasn’t questioning that at this moment.  Jeffrey was intrigued and in awe of what surrounded him.  The tree stump that he was leaning against felt as if it was a pillow filled with the softest of down, as did the forest floor where he sat.

As Jeffrey continued surveying the landscape around him, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye.  He quickly turned to see a small man darting quickly from tree to tree.  Jeffrey thought that he was fast, in fact, too fast to be a normal person.  As the little man reached the closest tree to Jeffrey, he emerged with an abrupt hop, and startled him.

“Ayy!  I am Lornforth,” he shouted at Jeffrey.  “I am ruler of this forest.  Don’t let my small stature fool you big one, for I am mighty as they come.  All of the creatures you see do my bidding, and they will do as I say.  How have you arrived in my forest?”

Jeffrey was taken back by the size and confident nature of the little man, and also didn’t exactly know how to answer the question that was posed to him.

“I don’t really know.  I just woke up here.”

The little man shook his head in acknowledgment, as if he knew exactly what had happened.

“Yes. It’s the elders of Wrathmoth.  They send big normals to my forest to test me.  They’ve indeed done this before.  I always prove myself, but they still insist on trying my magic every step of the way.  See, I am going for lead elf in the committee of the Golderson Faction, and the elders don’t think that I have what it takes.  So they send you dumb, no offense, big normals here to evaluate my abilities.”

Jeffrey didn’t know how to respond.  He just stared at the little man, still in a tremendous state of confusion.

“So you are a magic elf?”

The little man, now seemingly frustrated, as his body language showed, spoke in an aggressive tone.

“Yes!  Did you not hear anything that I just said.  I don’t have time for this.  Just tell me your three wishes and be on your way.”

Jeffrey was as dumbfounded as ever.

“Three wishes?  I thought that was just storybook shit.”

The little man was now getting extremely agitated. 

“No.  It’s real.  I’m real.  You are here, and I will grant you three wishes of your choosing.”

The little man rolled his eyes condescendingly and continued under his breath with disdain.

“If it pleases the cock sucking elders.”

Jeffrey was befuddled at the little man and the claims that he made, but also knew that the land that he awakened in was far from normal.  The little man glared at him with impatience.  Jeffrey thought, what’s the worst that could happen, as he closed his eyes and spoke his first wish.

“I wish I could have sex with a beautiful woman.”

The little man shook his head in disgust, as if he expected Jeffrey to say that.

“Soooooo original.  Your wish be granted.”

Jeffrey opened his eyes to find a naked woman in front of him.  She embodied everything that he considered sexy.  She knelt in front of Jeffrey and gave him amazing oral pleasure, before turning around and accepting all of him.  It seemed as if she knew exactly what turned him on with every sensual, fluid movement.  Jeffrey couldn’t hold back any longer.  He exploded with all of his being into the fairy of seduction.  Before he could collect himself fully, the little man appeared again, as anxious as ever.

“Okay, you’ve got your rocks off big one.  Now, what’s your next wish?  Let me guess, money?”

Jeffrey looked at the little man with wide-eyed disbelief.

“I do wish for a bag full of money.  How did you know?”

“Oh, just a hunch with your kind.  Your wish be granted.”

Jeffrey closed his eyes and awaited the bag full of money.  At the same time, he was pondering his third wish.  Jeffrey realized that he may be thinking way too small.  For his third, he thought, he’ll wish to be an executive at a huge corporation.  He figured that if he was the big boss, he could have all the sex and money that he could ever want.  Jeffrey knew that his third wish could be the one that would truly change his whole future.  He had the rest of his life planned out in his head at that very moment.  He was ready to make his final, life changing wish.

When Jeffrey opened his eyes, he wasn’t holding a bag full of money.  He was clutching a cum-filled condom, with a little person in front of him pulling up his pants.

“What the fuck is going on?” Jeffrey angrily asked.

“Ayy!  You back with us?” said the little man, as he finished buttoning his pants.

“Back with us?  And who the fuck are you,” Jeffrey questioned, pissed, oblivious, and stupefied. 

“They call me midget Tony.  A bunch of us were partying at Phillip’s, and I overheard you say that you wished that you could try the new research chemical T3O-CME.  So we did, and ended up out here behind Phillip’s shed.  Good stuff heh?  Some say it’s magical.”

Matt Sweder

Holy Shit

Welp, you just gave a whole new meaning to christening the toilet. You shat out a gargantuan turd that may or may not have, ever-so-slightly, resembled the big man upstairs—the Lord and Savior, the Good Sheppard, the Jesus Christ—and now you have people flocking over to your place like cardinals in masses to come and check out your shit. Your local church community, the town over’s local church community, God-fearers from all parts of the country, overseas—altar boys, priests, clergymen from the Vatican—the goddamn Pope himself—coming to inspect your shit and bless it.

The problem is: it’s shit. Looks like shit. Smells like shit. And you are forbidden to flush it. Adam and his apple, forever lodged in the throats of mankind. You and your shit, forever lodged in your own personal shitter.

It’s like the water leak that soiled that house with Our Lady of Guadalupe. Or that burnt piece of toast. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Toast. Except this is the toast after it’s been digested. You wonder what you ate earlier. Definitely not notre pain quotidien. Fast food, probably. Or gas station nachos. No, definitely fast food. Your holy Big Mac with fries and a shake, please. You swallowed up some of America’s finest like it was the Last Supper and you ended up shitting out Jesus. In your one-bed-one-bath’s run-down half-broken toilet. Brown Jesus. Digested Jesus. Prince of Peace. Or rather, prince of feces. The second coming—in a wave of shit.

You called the priest at the church around the corner from you because you thought maybe you could con him out of a few bucks and that’d be that. End of the line. Simple transaction. Cash for brown gold. But what you didn’t expect was for him to bring in the whole cavalry. The Knights Templar at your door—24-hour surveillance to ensure that no one breaks in and fucks with your shit. On the plus side, in a way, it’s kind of nice. You don’t live in the best of neighborhoods. Nobody’s gonna be trying to snatch your VCR to hock it for dope as long as God’s bodyguards are hanging around.

There’s a line out your door—worshippers from all parts of the globe to witness your turd. The pious poo. The poo prophet. It’s a floater—like it’s walking on water. They’ve got some member of the Patriarch orchestrating the whole ordeal (er, ordure?) letting in groups of three at a time like it’s a goddamn theme park ride. The Holy Roller coaster. They come in, kneel down before your biblical bowel, your sacred stool, your godly guano, they say a prayer and then they leave. Art thou hallowed Hankey. And so on to the next three. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. All the way down the line.

While you’re staring at the nativity scene that is your number two, opposite the holy usher—both of you on either side of the toilet like some sacred shit brigade—you can’t help but wonder: did Jesus poop? He must’ve, right? He probably shat out some real moral manure. Crucified crap. Jewish deuce juice. My shit doesn’t have shit on His shit. What’s all the fuss about? It’s no righteous rump release. Divine dump. Sanctimonious steamer. It’s just shit. Good, old-fashioned human shit. Matthew, Mark, Luke and I used the fucking John. You smile and nod at the group of three as they thank you and motion the sign of the cross. “And also with you,” you say like a half-strung marionette because you don’t know what else you’re supposed to say. Our Father who art in thine toilet? Maybe you’ll try that one on the next group.

In they come. Signum crucis. Kneel. Bow. Reconciliation. Or whatever beef (perhaps lamb, anyone?) they may have with the Almighty. Using your turd like a divine switchboard to the heavens. A séance with the Supreme. The Creator. The One and Only. Hello, Mr. Holy Ghost. Are you there? It’s me, by way of Evangelical excrement.

Another herd of three. In and out, in and out. How many hours have passed, you think, standing there in your small bathroom with an un-flushed floater and people flowing in and out like a museum exhibit. You go to check your watch, but then you realize you’re not wearing a watch so you opt for an inconspicuous nose wipe in case anyone is watching you. Never, in all of your existence on God’s good green earth, did you think that you’d ever get a single thank you for dropping a deuce. Yet, here you are, in a matter of mere hours, being thanked by the masses. A swarm of hundreds. Thousands, maybe. That’s got to be a world record. I’ll call the Guinness Book later, you think.

But then something happens. The lights flicker. Of course, you know it’s just the building’s shoddy electrical work and the landlord’s negligence to fix it—but everyone else thinks it’s an act of God. The ethereal lord from up above. A sign! He’s communicating. It’s a fucking miracle.

And what perfect timing—the coincidence, dumb luck—the Pope rolling up in that ridiculous looking bulletproof papal transport car—the white Mercedes with the phone booth sticking up out of the back of it. Ladies and gentlemen, the ceremonial blessing of shit commences.

In he comes—the Pope, that is—to your one-bedroom apartment. You, him, and that other dude in the Men in Black uniform who’s been with you the whole time are crammed into the bathroom together. The Pope does some spiritual ritualistic hand gesturing and pours some holy water onto the floating turd—as if it wasn’t wet enough from floating around in the bowl. He closes his eyes for a moment and stands completely still. Silent. Then, he breathes in heavily (wrong move, holy man) then whirs his head around as if caught by surprise of the horrid stench emanating from the Jesus turd trying not to pass out. I mean, that’s some fast food shit. Probably some beer shits, too. That ain’t no Redeemer steamer. “Whew,” he says. “Forbidden fruit, more like forbidden fudge, eh?” Whoa. Who knew the Pope had jokes?

“My man. Right out from the downtown chocolate factory,” you say, pointing at your ass. The religious regiment (religiment? coining it) man who’s been there the whole time scolds you with dagger eyes. Apparently it’s not kosher to chime in on the fun.

Papa Pope’s holding up the Rosary now in one hand and the Bible in the other, speaking to no one in particular in Latin or Italian or whatever mother-tongue of the houses of the holy. “It is now blessed,” is all he says after his anti-climactic theatrics. And then he leaves! That’s it. From the Vatican to the one-bedroom. Five minutes tops. Peace’d the fuck out.

Everyone is applauding and cheering and hugging. Did I miss something? I don’t get it. All you’re doing is wondering if you can flush it down now. You motion toward the man who’s been there the whole time to ask him what the protocol is, but he brushes you off by shaking his head and bringing his finger to his lips. You’re definitely gonna have to move out now, you think.

So, there it is. The Holy Shit. Blessed by the Pope himself. Now, all because of you, the hive mind of the faithful idolizes, worships, and prays to a single piece of solid, floating, enshrined, steaming shit. A new relic. The symbol of God. Lord, shit almighty. A-fuckin’-men.

Scott Manley Hadley

Rasputin in the Disco

Rasputin feels the madeira flow through his veins and the sweetness and the liquor make him feel fucking alive. The room is dark and it flickers and flashes in bright colours, there is dyed or painted paper fixed to the lanterns, the mirrors on the walls, one of them shattered, send out scraps of multi-coloured light in a thousand directions as the movement of the dancers shakes the wall its chains are attached to.

Rasputin stamps his feet and swings his head, his arms raised (one, holding a glass, tentatively) and his face shows a bliss he only ever feels when his body is engaged in these bestial, essential, human pleasures.

Like dancing, like drinking, like fucking, like prayer.

The room is full of beauty, beauties, beautiful women, beautiful young women. They aren’t beautiful because they’re young, he thinks as he stares, his body shaking and sweet wine splashing from his large right hand. They’re beautiful, he believes, because they’re women. Because woman is beautiful, because woman is life. Femininity is divine, he muses, his eyes focused on the bouncing tits of a blonde actress renowned as a hedonist. Femininity is fertility, Rasputin thinks, his head nodding to the bass and his shoulders twisting to the melody. We must love the beautiful, divine, female, he thinks, and to prove this to God we must make love to as many women as will have us.

Rasputin is taller by a foot than everyone else in the room. His beard is five times bigger than every other man’s, and the gold crucifix that swings from his neck beneath it looks like a broken pendulum as his jerky movements keep it in motion.

The dance has him gripped, his feet, his knees, his chest, his arms (he drains the last of his madeira and flings the glass towards a wall; there is a gentle twinkle of smashing glass and a booming laugh from one of the smarmy fucking aristocrats who follow him around trying to lick his bootstraps or his balls), his whole body seems to roll and shake and shudder. Sweat drips from his eyebrows, his heels tear into the wooden floor, almost splintering it beneath him, his robes float, his eyes light up and he doesn’t stop. 

The band finishes a song and in the moment of silence before the next he doesn’t stop moving, just shouts ‘Bol’she! Bol’she!’ and continues dancing to silence.

The musicians on the low stage share a look and start to play again, but Rasputin is demanding ‘Bystreye!’ over and over again. He wants the music faster, he wants more of it, he wants it constantly.

Deep breaths, pumping feet, plucking strings, fingers and arms moving with the speed and an intensity that Rasputin wants, and he floats, drunk, licking his lips and looking at the bodies of the women around him, listening to the music that fills the air, blinking into the lights that surround him from a thousand directions, the shattered mirrors, the coloured lanterns, the glow that seems to emanate from his own eyes. Rasputin dances, and Rasputin dances hard.

Anthony Dirk Ray

Making Mother Proud

Gerald couldn’t believe the beauty in front of him.  He was absolutely terrified to be in the same room with such an attractive woman.  His mother always harped that he would never be able to find a woman that would be into him, and those words haunted him his entire life.  Gerald looked up to the heavens and thought, look at me now Ma, as he gave the cutie a sly smile from crooked lips.  Sweat started to bead up on his forehead and run down his side from his underarms.  The nervousness overtook him, and he had to excuse himself.

Gerald went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror at himself.  In a low volume he chastised the reflection that stared back at him. 

“Get it together motherfucker. This is the opportunity of a lifetime you’ve always dreamed of. Don’t blow this. You are the man. Show Ma that you CAN be a man.”

After a few short, hard punches to his face, he flushed the toilet and exited the bathroom.  Once back in the room, Gerald apologized for the interruption and returned to his seat next to the dream girl.  He stared deep into her eyes, and relished in the moment.  Gerald anticipated her saying something, but quickly placed his finger over her mouth and gently shook his head.

“No, no. You don’t have to say anything. Your beauty speaks a million words even without a sound.”

Gerald thought to himself, that was good.   Not wanting the moment to fade, he thought about kissing her right then, but halted.  A plethora of scenarios ran through his head.  What if she turns away?  What if she laughs?  What if she vomits?

In spite of all of his negative concerns, Gerald decided to risk it, and went in for a kiss.  When his lips touched hers, he immediately fell in love.  This was Gerald’s first kiss, and it was everything he could have imagined.  Best of all, she didn’t withdraw, laugh, or vomit.

Her lips were soft and full, and Gerald gently licked and sucked on them.  He used his tongue to explore her mouth, gently biting her bottom lip upon withdrawal.

Gerald was getting extremely hot, and began to explore her body with his hands as he continued kissing her.  He moved his hand up the side of her body, under her gown, to her breast, and sensually massaged her with every caress.  The absence of panties and bra excited Gerald even more, and gave him the confidence he needed to take things further.  

She really wants it, Gerald thought, as animalistic urges took control of him.  His breathing quickened and heart raced, as he ripped at the material just enough to expose a breast.  Gerald maniacally sucked at her nipple, as he feverishly rubbed and gripped every portion of her body that he could grab.  He mounted, and struggled to pull down his pants and spread her legs, while still tonguing her slightly parted mouth.

Just as he was about to penetrate her, the door opened, and a hysterical, loud voice could be heard.

“What the fuck are you doing?  Jesus Christ!  Get off of her!”

It was Frank, the proprietor of Resting Days Mortuary.  

Gerald worked for Frank for about two months and had been an exemplary employee.  That is, until Frank had to leave to run an errand and left Gerald alone for the first time. 

Frank was absolutely horrified.  He pulled out his phone and called the police, while he covered up the body and pushed Gerald away.

“Yes, this is Frank Lorretto from the mortuary.  I’d like police assistance immediately.  Defiling of a dead body.  Yes, defiling a dead body!  He’s here now.  Hurry.”

Frank picked up a metal rod from the table beside him and held Gerald at bay.  Neither of them spoke much while they waited.  Frank shook his head, looked at Gerald in disgust, and surveyed the rest of the room.

A few minutes passed and a knock could be heard at the front door.  Frank motioned for Gerald to head that way as he followed.  Frank opened the door and two policemen were standing there.

“Thank God, officers.  I caught my employee having sex with a corpse.  I want him off the premises right away, and I would like to press charges.  I run an honorable business here, and the dead need to be given the respect that they deserve.  How would you feel if she was your wife or daughter?”

Neither cop knew how to respond, but tried to remain professional as possible as they looked at Gerald.

“Is this true sir?”

Gerald was embarrassed, scared, and visibly shaken.

“Yes.  I’m sorry.  I couldn’t help myself.  She was just so beautiful.”

The cops handcuffed Gerald, put him in the car, and one of them informed Frank how to go forward with the legalities.

“Thank you officer.  I appreciate your fast response.  I am in shock.  He seemed like such a  personable guy and was always great help.  I was under the impression that he wanted to learn about this profession.  Now I see that it was for all the wrong reasons.  I just don’t know how I’m going to tell the family.  Like I said, no one deserves this treatment, living or dead.  I have hours of sanitizing and repairing to do tonight because of him.  Again, thanks for your assistance officer.”

Frank shut the door behind the officer and went back into the cooler.  He looked around and attempted to notice anything else that Gerald may have contaminated.  He nervously made his way over to the body of the woman, reluctant to look at her.  Frank stood over the woman and shook his head.  A single tear ran down his cheek and fell to the floor.  He looked down on the woman, and spoke in a reverent tone.

“I’m so sorry.  I should never have left you with him.  I’m just glad I got back when I did.  Let’s get you fixed up.  What do you say?”

Frank retrieved numerous sanitizing agents and his makeup bag, then spent several hours righting the wrongs that were done by Gerald. 

When he was finished, Frank stepped back and observed his completed work.  He proudly smiled wide, then began to disrobe.

“Now where were we beautiful?”

Ralph Benton

Big Betty’s Bad Day

This was Peckerwood Johnson’s lucky day. He rummaged through the dumpsters behind the mall, one eye open for an airsoft cop, one eye looking for anything to eat, wear, barter, or sell. Fleas leaped between his voluminous beard and the dumpster. A half-eaten Cinnabon went straight down the hatch. Socks, too small, but keep those, you never know. Whoa, what was this? He pulled out a bright yellow box, still sealed. “Big Betty… inflatable party doll,” he said. He sounded like a little boy who has opened the present he never dreamed in a hundred years he would get. Occasionally he had looked for a Big Betty, or one of her sisters, but they were like fifty bucks. His eyes stared back at the package’s flirtatious gaze. His soul filled with the thought of having a body to lie next to at night, under the bridge. It had been so long… so long. Big Betty’s eyes looked so kind. 

“Hey! You! Gethefuckouttamydumpsteryapieceofshit!” Peckerwood saw the Paul Blart wannabe huffing and jiggling towards him. He took off into the woods behind the loading docks, the yellow box clutched to his chest. He made a beeline for the Jiffy Mart, where the air pump was still free. He had a woman!

Jimbo Puffpants dragged himself upright, one hand after another, clinging to the lamp post in the park. He stood, swayed, took a step, bent over and vomited. It spurted out of him, red with wine and blood, spasm after spasm, until his ribs ached and his throat burned. Finally he spat a few times and stood up. Now he felt like a new man, especially after he pissed down his legs. The urine warmed him and softened the stiffened filth in the several pairs of trousers he wore. He thought about finding that bench at the bus stop to watch the high school girls bounce by, but he knew this robust feeling wouldn’t last. Booze, he had to find more booze. Thunderbird, shart-donnay, it didn’t matter, but he had to get something.

He dug through all the pockets in all the clothes that layered him. A few nickels and pennies. A single quarter. Fear prickled his spine. He couldn’t take the shakes again. It would kill him. He knew there was a long stoplight nearby, good for change and foldables. He pulled the crumpled cardboard from his shopping cart and shambled off to the Jiffy Market.

Peckerwood’s heart raced as he fiddled to get the air nozzle latched onto Big Betty’s valve. “You just piss off if a customer needs that pump, y’hear?” someone from the market yelled, but he was too excited to worry about some aproned clerk. Soon he heard the hiss, and Big Betty’s arms and legs trembled, flapped, and unfolded with a crinkle of fresh plastic. Her head, and her red mouth! He would be so happy tonight, so happy.

“Hey, whatcha got there?”

Peckerwood glanced over his shoulder. “Mind your ways, Jimbo, this ain’t nothin’ for you.” She was almost full, her tits high and perky.

“I need that, Peckerwood, I ain’t got time to wait for change. I can feel the shakes comin’ and it’s gonna be bad. You gimme that doll and I can get twenty for her at Russell’s place.” Jimbo had a thought and looked at Peckerwood all skewy. “You ain’t used her yet or nuthin’, have you?” He shook his head. “It don’ matter, just hand her over. I’ll give ya half, promise.” He stepped forward, arms outstretched, fingers grasping like a toddler wanting a lift.

Big Betty had filled to her full, curvy glory. “Fuck you, Jimbo, back off. Big Betty’s my girl, and she’s spending the night!” Peckerwood stepped away, but Jimbo was fighting for his life.

He grabbed for an arm, missed, grabbed at a leg and found purchase. Peckerwood wanted to flee, but he had to face the maddened Jimbo or lose Big Betty entirely. The battle was vicious, two implacable foes bent on victory yet mindful of their prey’s fragility.

A big-car honk sounded long and loud as an Escalade pulled up looking for the free air. A middle-aged woman with a short haircut hammered the horn in righteous rage. Water sprayed the combatants as the store clerk unleashed the hose coiled at the back of the store.

A gaggle of high school girls walked by, spellbound and disgusted in equal measure, fortunately unaware of the role they had almost played in Jimbo’s fantasy afternoon.

The end was nigh. Jimbo had his hand stuck in Big Betty’s life-like action mouth, while Peckerwood pulled on an arm. Now a breast was grabbed in the reckless, desperate melee.

With a terrible ripping of pink plastic and a sudden whoosh Big Betty collapsed to her former, foldable self. The store clerk turned off the water once he saw the fight was over. The Escalade now had room by the pump, but the lady refused to open her door until the combatants cleared the field. The girls had passed on from the terrible scene. 

Jimbo sat on the curb groaning as the tremors began. Peckerwood shook the water off. He wanted to kick Jimbo, but he knew what horrors the night held for him. He trundled back to the mall. Maybe it was still his lucky day.