I Guess You’ll Do … By Mick Rose

Flash Fiction Offensive, Mick Rose, Punk Noir Magazine, The Flash Fiction Offensive

i guess you'll do.

I Guess You’ll Do …

By Mick Rose

Armed with a 500 mm lens, a black bandanna draped across my face, I stalked my prey across the beach at isolated Coltons Point.

Corona virus woes aside, not a bad April evening on the Maryland coast. Fifty-nine degrees. Scattered scuttling clouds. Tide rolling in. Sunset in thirty minutes. And suddenly to my right—

A lone beach bunny.

“Hey,” she shouted, her tinny high-pitched voice as welcome, warm, and grating as a shitty drive-thru speaker. “What are you shooting?”

Silicone boobs billowed from an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini. Judging by her fake tan? She probably bought the scraps for spring break down in Florida. “At this moment? Nothing. You just scared the birds away.” At least she didn’t have a dog.

“Ooops, sorry,” she said, oozing insincerity.

She parked her pert ass on a boulder. Shit. Forget about stalking shore birds. The mixed flock had regathered a hundred yards south and the sun was slipping fast.

“I walk this beach every evening. You’re the first guy I’ve seen in months.”

I detached my long lens, capped the camera; packed the glass away. “I live over in Delaware, but the beaches there are closed courtesy of the governor.”

Pink lips sneered. “My boyfriend’s a doctor. Wants to be a hero. Volunteered to work in NYC when this damn virus hit. Hasn’t been home since.”

I nodded without sympathy. “I was in New York mid-March covering the Big East basketball tourney before they cancelled play. Got the hell out of Dodge and back to Delaware. But not fast enough. I tested positive for Corona two days later,” I lied. “Felt sick about five days, spent two weeks in quarantine. Eventually got cleared by the health department.”

Her plucked eyebrows instantly arched. “I have asthma,” she whined. “So I’ve had to isolate.” She tapped her glittered nails. “Why wear a bandanna if you’ve already had the virus?”

“A lot of people are freaked out. Seems the sensitive thing to do when I’m out in public.”

“How old are you? Like thirty-eight or something?”

Intent once again on getting the hell out of Dodge, I shrugged and stowed the camera. Reading my body language she untied her top.

“I don’t have daddy issues. And you’re not my type. But I guess you’ll do.”

Without inhibition she peeled her polka-dot bottom. “Take me from behind,” she ordered. “No need to take your clothes off. But feel free to pull my hair.”

Dropping to my knees, I delved a backpack pocket. Not into pulling hair, I snagged a pair of rubbers. Slipped them on my hands—

Wrapped a shiny, barbed garrote deftly round her neck, relishing the feel of highly-lacquered cherry hardwood handles.

Ninety days without a kill and a night of necrophilia? Yeah, I guess she’d do.


Crime author Mick Rose pens haiku and prose while wandering the United States in a Quest for the Perfect Pizza. Though his crime fiction can loom dark, and not for the faint-of-heart, he typically tells tall tales involving sexual humor (which sometimes prove explicit).

His stories have kindly found good homes in half a dozen online magazines, including Yellow Mama Webzine, England’s Close To The Bone, and Horror Sleaze Trash.

Care to say, “Hello?” You can visit Mick below:





Flash Fiction Offensive’s 11th year anniversary.

Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Jesse Rawlins, Jim Shaffer, Mick Rose, Punk Noir Magazine, Sandra Seamans, The Flash Fiction Offensive


‘Greetings all you Gutterites. Ezine years are even longer than dog years. And we’ve reserved November to celebrate Flash Fiction Offensive‘s 11th year anniversary. Readers. Writers. Editors. That’s a lotta love and energy. The chocolate frosting we offer on today’s cake is surely bittersweet. Yet we’re pleased to present the tale “Loaded Guns” — penned by Sandra Seamans — and first published at FFO back in December of 2008. We hope y’all will take a few minutes to partake.’



John Wisnieski interviews Jason Beech

Close To The Bone, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Interviews, Jason Beech, John Wisniewski, Pulp, Punk Noir Magazine, Shotgun Honey, True Brit Grit

When did you begin writing, Jason? Did you begin by writing short stories? 

I started writing in the late 1990s, but only to see if I could. I didn’t write anything that a
publisher would touch but the two books did teach me to finish something and to recognise what did and didn’t work.

I’d never thought of writing short stories until I became serious about writing in the early 2010s when I discovered the classic sites of Flash Fiction Offensive, who were the first to publish something I wrote, Shotgun Honey, Pulp Metal Magazine, and more.

Any favorite crime authors?

My favourite crime author is James Ellroy, and that’s just for The Black Dahlia and American Tabloid. I’m into Walter Mosley, Paul D. Brazill, Keith Nixon, Tom Leins, Kate Laity, Ian Rankin, Ray Banks, and lately, Matt Phillips, Paul Heatley, Jake Hinkson, Tess Makovesky, and Thomas Pluck.

I need to read more Aidan Thorn and get involved in Nikki Dolson, Beau Johnson, and Angel Luis Colón.

Could you tell us about writing your novel City of Forts? It is a coming-of-age story as well as a crime novel?

City of Forts is both coming of age story and crime novel. Four kids discover a body in the basement of an abandoned house in an uninhabited development on the edge of a disused, decaying factory. This place is their escape from the town they live in and they don’t want anybody finding out about a body that will bring the outside world into their oasis.

They all have their problems. Ricky’s mum works two jobs to make ends meet because his dad has gone west and seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth. So Ricky has to look after his younger brother, and he hates it – does his best to hide the kid in their home while his mom works so he can go out and live his life.

Bixby is homeless. He’s escaped foster care and has no intention of going back, but it means living in the abandoned houses as social services narrow their search for him 

Lizzie has to contend with a useless dad in mourning for a dead son, with a vicious girlfriend and a drug habit. Lizzie’s looking beyond the town and her teenage years to a life with broader horizons. Tanais just wants friends after being dragged round the country by her parents. She makes a friend in Bixby, but he turns on her when he finds out what Tanais’ dad does. The body they found is not some nobody. A gangster Ricky calls Tarantula Man searches for him, and he’ll kill whoever’s in his way to find his whereabouts. The kids need an ally. Maybe rich man, Mr Vale, will help them out. Maybe Floyd, the greasy wanderer who seems to know everything they’re doing. It all barrels along to a bloody end.

So yes, it’s coming of age, but there’s violence, death, betrayal, and sweaty palms that go along with it.  

Are there any crime films that you like? Any film noir?

I’m behind on a lot of films. I want to see the old Cagney gangster films. I need to see The Kill List. Tons to catch up on. There’s the obvious I like: The Godfather parts 1 and 2, Goodfellas, Casino, Mean Streets, Heat, and so on. My favourite film noir is The Last Seduction, starring Linda Fiorentino. What a twisted bit of work that is. Fiorentino should have been huge on the back of this. Where did she go? I enjoyed Blue Ruin.
And, I know Ellroy dropped some abuse on it recently, but LA Confidential is a great piece of film noir, and Russel Crowe’s best performance in any movie

What makes a good crime novel?

  A great crime novel induces a feeling of dread. The best ones are those which, when you’ve got your head on a pillow and you’re half-knackered, make you sit right up and lose your breath for a second or ten. It doesn’t always need a mystery. Matt Phillips’ Know Me from Smoke and Countdown both let you sense what’s going to happen, but he builds a fear for the characters he’s drawn so well that your palms become clammy and you want to look away – but you can’t.

Same with Jake Hinkson’s The Posthumous Man. Starts off innocuous, but by the end you’re in full-on “Noooooooo” mode.

What will your next book be about, Jason?

Barlow Vine just killed a man – his lover’s lover. Now he’s heading from Spain back to his
hometown to escape his actions in the vain hope they won’t catch up with him. Never Go Back is a wild ride featuring nurses, strange kids in Edwardian garb, one blinding headache, and dead-eyed killers who want to use him for their own ends. It’s a cold, murderous homecoming – and he’ll need the luck of every bastard to survive it all.
The book is out in November, published by Close to the Bone

Could you tell us about the short story collection, Bullets, Teeth, & Fists. How is writing a short crime story different than writing a full length novel?

The first Bullets, Teeth, & Fists is where I really learned to write. I published all the stories as a way to get my newly minted blog on the road and showcase what I could do. The first one is a mix of crime, thriller, paranormal, and slice of life. My favourite story in there is Bring it on Down, about a shy kid who finds his personality but goes off the rails along with his new-found confidence. A short story is a sugar rush. I often write them when a spark hits. I get it down there and then, if I can. If I’m in the middle of something I’ll take a note so I don’t forget. But it can take a day, sometimes more, and you’re done. You leave it alone for a week, come back, iron out the typos and plot/character missteps, and you can move on. They scratch an itch and explode a
satisfying “Aaaagghh.”

However, there’s nothing more satisfying than writing a full-length novel, knowing you can do it, getting into the weeds and coming out the other side with a full length beard, shattered, and in need of a wild act to celebrate the achievement.

Then I go back to writing a few short stories to make sure I can still write – because I wonder, after I’ve done longer work, if I still have it in me.  Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 is a little darker and bigger, and includes a couple of novelettes. Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 3 is out in early 2020, with one of my favourite shorts I’ve ever done.


jason beech


The Bayou Boobie Blues By Jesse “Heels” Rawlins

Blue Collar Noir, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Jesse Rawlins, Punk Noir Magazine, Short Stories, The Flash Fiction Offensive


An hour after sunrise. And I didn’t smell my finest. I tugged the jangling door to Cajun Queen Cafe—and a blast of sharp AC jammed the stink thru my nose—square into my brain. But hey, not my fault. I’d spent the dim wee hours tossing Ezekiel Daniel Boone (in hearty twelve-inch-chunks) to a brood of orphan gators down at Funkman’s swamp.

I strolled past the empty tables. Plunked my weary ass on a red-padded stool, eagerly propped my elbows on the solitary counter. Alerted by the tinkling bell … or maybe my rank smell, BJ popped her head from the walk-in freezer. Deftly slammed the door.

“Well, well. If it ain’t Mr. Taylor. Finally back from Funkman’s to grace us with his stench. Only a gal born on the bayou wouldn’t hurl her cookies at the likes a you. My mama warned me back in middle school you were a rotten boy.” 

“And more rotten by the year, dear. How ’bout an oyster Po-Boy? And some alligator nuggets.”

Lithe as a bobcat, BJ sprang on the counter—

Sauntered on all fours. “Still only servin’ breakfast, mister hungry man. How ’bout you try my Eye Opener instead? Authentic Cajun spice along with everything nice.”

She offered her pink wet tongue. How could this po-boy resist?  

I’d fled this bayou outta high school … a dozen years back. But a recent letter from Aunt Sadie sayin’ she was dyin’ sent me scurryin’ south to this coastal haunt. Bobby Jo had welcomed me. With open arms—and open legs. Only thirteen when I left. A cute bombastic Tomboy: rather like two raisins on a  shiny new wash board.

Everyone called her BJ then. Now they’d rightly crowned her Queen of Blue Bayou. And I couldn’t get my fill of this blazin’ Cajun muffin. Cravin’ her sweet icing, I slipped an agile paw beneath her loose black skirt—

But halted when I spotted Ezekiel’s barefoot niece … wearing nothing but some strings (that multiplied by fifty didn’t equal a bikini) … yet wrestling to wedge a bulging hot-pink gym bag past the kitchen’s back screen door. 

Like struggling Jesus with his cross, she stumbled to the dining room, and soundly clunked her burden on the red-n-white tiled counter. Corralling her butt on a stool two seats down from me—long, pale legs splayed like a victory sign—she absently scratched her crotch.

“Hot damn, Corey. Boy, you smell more yummy than my dear ol’ grammy’s kitchen.”

BJ rolled her eyes—practically out her head. Slid her hot muffin bottom sleekly off the tiles, landed on the kitchen side.

“I took that trip to Alabama, just like you tol’ me, Corey. Did me some shopping, too. And knowin’ you’d kill my uncle Zeke—makin’ me rich, rich, rich—I bought me some new boobies.”

“So I see, Jolene. Did they let you keep the old ones?”

“Shit, Corey. Now that you mention it … I didn’t ask the doctor for ’em. You think he’s still got ’em?”

“Wont know unless you ask, Jolene,” Bobbie Jo chimed in.

“Guess you’re right about that ….

“But damn I sure hope so. I’d hand ’em down to my daughter when she gets old enough. Give her a good head start on all them other girls—” 

“You got the rest of Corey’s money?” BJ interrupted.

“Sure, do! Right inside that gym bag, sittin’ on my sundress.”

“Should be fifty-K, Bobby Jo, if you’ll kindly count.”

“While BJ’s busy countin’ wanna feel my new boobs, Corey?”

BJ’s baby browns blinked bigger than a Saw-whet owl’s.

“That’s a mighty gracious offer, Jolene. But—”

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!

Smirking BJ brandished a cast iron skillet … like Serena Williams wields her Wilson tennis racket.

I knelt on the floor, checked Jolene for a pulse. “That wasn’t the plan, Bobby Jo. Though you’re sure as hell efficient. Her lights were pretty dim. But sure as shit, girl, they ain’t coming on again.”

“I wandered off the reservation when I looked inside that gym bag—

“And found a million bucks give-or-take, tucked beneath a Batman towel. All crisp Benjamins, banded in stacks of twenty-five. Speakin’ of which—

She tossed my $50K. Set the skillet in the sink, cranked the cold water faucet. Snagged a box of Saran, and pertly vacuum-wrapped Jolene’s misshapen head. “That’ll keep this new-boobed-ninny from bleedin’ on my floor. Drag her toward you, Corey, away from this here puddle.

“Good. Now your turn,” she instructed, waving the Saran: “Start at her ankles and stop at the knees. Then we’ll stand her up—and I’ll slip that sundress on. I’m gonna stash this lovely gym bag in granddaddy’s root cellar.”

I wound and bound Jolene; returning BJ mopped the floor … using a fresh dish towel and a bottle of Clorox bleach. “I didn’t see Jolene’s car, Corey … she must’ve caught a ride. One less task to deal with. Damn these boobs are hard,” she gasped, tugging on the orange dress.

“Ta-da. Sling her over your shoulder like a fireman’s carry, baby. We’ll truss her in the freezer. Wanna keep her nice-n-straight before rigor settles in.”

BJ dried her skillet. We scoured our hands and arms. Sighed in giddy relief while BJ poured us lemonade.

“All that money’s makin’ me horny, Corey.”

“Me, too, Bobby Jo.”

We both hopped on the counter, BJ rabidly unbuttoning her lacy ivory blouse. I stripped off her bra. She whipped off my belt—

The bell out front jangled. Fuck off, I mumbled, BJ’s nipple in my mouth.

And Sheriff Towne waddled in.

“Hey, why don’t you two buy a room? Or is the Cajun Queen now servin’ legs-n-eggs? If yeah, I want me some.”

“Just grabbin’ ourselves a bite of afternoon delight, sheriff. Why don’t you wash your hands, while I fetch your usual,” BJ practically sang.

Still gawking at BJ’s boobs, Towne managed a sneak-peek at his Apple Watch. No easy task by any means. Especially with his right eye buried under a mound of gauze and black electric tape. “A bit early ain’t it? Only seven in the mornin’ if this stupid thing ain’t broke. This smart watch ain’t too bright. I shoulda bought another Timex.

“Anyway, I didn’t drop by for breakfast. Y’all seen Jolene around? She come by my house last night. Drunker than a skunk and a hunert times more horny than a mare in heat … wantin’ to show me her new boobies.”

Almost as if on cue, BJ buttoned her shirt; slid once more off the counter. Towne’s lone eye dulled with disappointment. “I swear her redneck doctor musta used concrete. Them things is hard as rocks. Nearly poked my damn eye out—

“While I was givin’ myself first aid, Jolene took ta jabberin … sompthin’ ’bout a hit man killin’ her uncle Zeke. I barely slept all night, between the pain an’ her yammerin.’ But when I woke this mornin’? Her Kia’s sittin’ in my driveway, but that crazy gal was gone. So was my cruiser.  Had to drive my Ford. Anyhow, I called them folks at OnStar. They say the cruiser’s round here somewhere … but it ain’t on this here lot.”

“Damn,” I finally added. “That’s some flaky stuff, sheriff. You need some help looking? I’m happy to lend a hand. But I outta take a look at that eye of yours first.”

“That’s mighty kinda you, Mr. Taylor—”

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!

“I warned ya, Corey-baby: that hussy had loose lips along with those loose hips.”

“And a bunch of loose screws, too. But Christ, Bobby Jo. You just whacked the sheriff.”

“Don’t whine, Corey Taylor. Whining ain’t sexy.” She tossed me the Saran wrap: “Here, you know the drill. Least we don’t hafta dress him. Toss me his keys, will ya? I gotta quickly haul his Explorer round the back and toss a tarp on top. The breakfast crowd’s about to start. And I’ll stay slammed straight through lunch.”

“How the hell you learn to swing an iron pan like that? And don’t tell me slingin’ hash.”

“Had me eleven cousins. And once I started fillin’ out? All a them turned horny goats. Tried grabbin’ a piece a me everywhere I went … kept sneakin’ in my room.

“I took ta keepin’ this skillet with me. And learned to stay alert. Every single one earned his self a big stay-cation at the county hospital’s dazzling trauma center. But some were slow to learn. Two are now in comas. Uriah—you knew him. He’s buried at St. Laurent’s. With a ceramic pig for a headstone.

“But I bat nearly a thousand now.”

We’d barely trussed the pork chop Towne securely in the freezer when again the front door jangled. And wouldn’t you bloody know: in strolled none other than Deputy Moreaux. “Y’all seen Sheriff Towne?” he barked without preamble.

Bobby Jo nodded. “Sheriff’s parked out back talkin’ ta Jolene Boone. The two of ’em had a spat last night. She nearly tore his right eye out. They was screamin’ like cats-n-dawgs. But they settled down since. Here. You can cut through the kitchen. But ya better be careful, deputy—

“Them lovebirds is likely doin’ the nasty in the sheriff’s SUV.” Bobby Jo winked. “Ain’t nothin’ near as hot as make-up sex, deputy.”

“Jolene and the sheriff? Who the hell woulda thought?” He paused in the doorway, right hand twitching atop his holstered gun  … and peeked around the corner.

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! 

“Aw, fuck, Bobbie Jo. This bayou’s fulla boobs. But for the love of God, girl, you can’t keep killing all of them.”

“Don’t be a rube, Corey Taylor. You been gone fifteen years. Off to see the world. Looks like you done forgot how folks in the Bayou act

“Since you boned her back in high school, Jolene spent her wasted life jonesin’ after you. Never left this Bayou even for a single minute, hopin’ you’d come back—afraid she’d miss you if she did. Why you think that gal bought herself new boobs? Why you think she stumbled in here, wavin’ tits and pussy? Her dress was in that bag. She coulda worn the stupid thing. Why the hell you think she asked ya ta kill her uncle Zeke?

“That ol’ coot had terminal cancer, one foot in the grave. Jolene wanted to bond with you. Wanted you to trust her. Thought if she had Zeke’s money, if she had bigger boobs, maybe then you’d want her—and maybe grow to love her.”

BJ’s words whacked me like that goddam skillet.

“And where do you suppose, Mr. World-Wise, Jolene got that cash? Under uncle’s mattress? I doubt you reckon that. Don’t know where he got that money … but she grabbed the cash from Towne. Dreamin’ the two a you would ride off into this evening’s sun. She trusted you’d killed Zeke, and made her rich, rich, rich. She didn’t need to steal Towne’s cash. Didn’t have to show here. But she risked all for you. I admire that she tried.

“Towne played at bein’ dumb. He wasn’t a rotten fella. But he had to feel desperate loosin’ a million bucks—specially if that cash wasn’t solely his. I sure as hell don’t reckon that much money was. And desperate folks got a way a doin’ truly desperate things. Whatever Towne was up to? Moreaux was sure as shit involved—why else turn up here? No bones about it, Corey: that bastard had a mean streak.

“Now go and grab them gas cans outta yer truck, darlin’—I need ta fire-up them pits out by the sheriff’s SUV. Been a while since I cooked a rollickin’ Cajun barbecue. Folks’ll come from miles around once the word get’s out. Squirrel, possum, coon; gator, goat or boar. Down here in the bayou meat is meat, my dear. You forget why old-time Cajuns love to spice things up?

“Folks here love their gossip, too. Bet your sweet ass, Corey, I’ll add fuel to their hungry fires. That greedy slut Jolene wanted Zeke dead. Was screwin’ the sheriff and Moreaux. Urgin’ both to kill her uncle. A messy love triangle. One of ’em killed her uncle—then the jealous lawmen tried to kill each other. Everyone will hear that Jolene’s car was found at Towne’s place, givin’ credence to the rumors. I’ll sprinkle all three a them’s blood in the sheriff’s driveway for the CSIs to find. Who’s alive and runnin’—or wound up six feet under will be anybody’s guess.”

BJ dropped the window blinds, hung the Closed sign on the door. “When you’re done with the cans, luv, take Moreaux’s cruiser and park that silver baby longside the sheriff’s wheels. For the time bein’ that green tarp should cover ’em both.”

I strolled out to the Ranger. Hauled ass west for Mexico—

Suddenly I’d lost my appetite for Cajun.


Addicted to tawdry tales that sometimes make her blush, Jesse typically writes crime, mysteries, and humor. You’ll usually find her stories on the wrong side of the tracks, including flash-zine Shotgun Honey and The Rye Whiskey Review. Jesse also pens Bad Ass Book Reviews, and author interviews—fondly known as Ink-Quisitions—for Southern Crime mag Story and Grit. She dazedly accepted  The  Gutter’s online publishing torch for the Flash Fiction Offensive in February 2019 … and her murderous band of writing cohorts keep Jesse on her “heels.”

At the time of this writing, she hasn’t killed anybody yet. Wanna say “Hello” you can vist her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesse.rawlins.583

Jesse Rawlins



Beau Johnson, Blue Collar Noir, Crime Fiction, Down and Out Books., Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Punk Noir Magazine

It weighs on my mind every second of every minute of every day.  Obsession does not describe me though, not to an accurate degree.  I am him now.  He, unfortunately, me.  The difference, the main difference, being our retaliations and how we’ve chosen to implement the pain.

“Your ribs are showing.” I close the cell door and put the tray down atop the roughed-in toilet.  The chains around his wrists rattle as he adjusts himself upon the mattress, his demeanour in an instant changing to what it always changes to once he realizes what’s on top of the tray.  Took some doing getting him here too, emotionally I mean, and it isn’t until his right eye is removed that he comes to understand what I have always known.  That I was capable of doing what he only ever paid his men to do.

It meant his need of solid food was no longer required.

It meant he would never again wear shoes.

“You don’t start drinking more, you’re only going to give me a reason to go in there and excavate.”  He’d respond if he could, more so in fact, but his tongue had been one of the first things to go, going early, pretty much at the beginning of what we’ll call year one.  It was joined by his left thumb and right nipple later that same year.  All three combining to become the least of what Reggie deserved.  Little could I know how difficult it would prove to keep things healthy, let alone infection free.

“Not that I’d be adverse to such a thing.  Not at all.  Inner, outer, you know it’s all the same to me.”  He makes the noise in the back of his throat, the one he’s come to use to beg.  I respond by asking him if he recalls when it had been me who’d begged.  He turns his head at this, lowers it, the concrete wall suddenly the most interesting thing in the room.  The response is far from new, coming into play about the time his need to stand while urinating became obsolete.  The old-fashioned way could still be used, sure, but the dribble aspect it creates, this is what forces the desired effect.  Year three is when this occurs.  Along with his nose and left ear it coincides with what would have been Becka’s sixteenth year.

Today is a different day altogether.  Today, Daniel would have turned ten.

“Do you remember what you said to me as you had them brought in?  When your goons were holding me to the glass?  You said how much you appreciated their names and that each of them sounded strong.  I remember this, Reggie.  I have never been able to forget.”  I have gone down this road before.  I probably would again.  As ever, he only nods, but then again, I’ve never given him much of a choice, not since tracking him down.

Caught, I’d been posing as a surgeon in a body parts ring when my own cover is blown.  Forced to watch, Reggie whispers in my ear as my children are strapped to operating tables and ripped apart and then thrown into bins.  The reason I’m left alive is meant to be viewed as a deterrent, for when me and the agency I work for decide to come at him again.

Reggie’s words.  His arrogance.  Not mine.

But it took years for me to find him, long after Janet left and I’d resigned.

“My son, he would have hit double digits today.  Means he would have been just out of diapers when you had him taken down.”  More mewling.  More trying to push himself into a corner which would never relent.  “Because of this, in honour of this, I believe it’s time I let you choose.”  He stops at that, waits, then raises his one good eye to mine.  On his face sits everything he wants, everything he needs.  It just might finally end.  The chance having come at last.

It hadn’t though.  And never would.  Not after everything that’d been done.  But it gives me what I require.  What I will continue to take from Reggie until I no longer can.

It meant we’d just begun.

Find out more about BEAU JOHNSON here.

a better kind of hate


I Thought I’d Try by Ian Copestick

Blue Collar Noir, Brit Grit, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Ian Copestick, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine, Writing

I’m trying to remember when it first was
That I thought I’d try to be a writer
I vaguely recall, at about 15, under
The spell of Jack Kerouac, I dug out
My mum’s portable typewriter and tried
To write my first novel. As I had no
Experience of life, either on the road
Or off, the book died a sudden and well
Deserved death. The next time I remember
I was 17 (I think) and under the heady
Influence of Henry Miller. I was pretending
To take a typewriting class, that was
Coincidentally taught by my mother
So I could claim £27:50 per week
Youth Training Scheme money.
As I had access to a typewriter again
I churned out some Milleresque nonsense
That is best forgotten, but still the idea
Lingered in my brain.  For about 15
Years I played guitar and wrote songs
Until, nearing 30, I realised I was
No musician. But by that time I’d read
Bukowski, Carver and Larkin and
I’d finally seen what it was I could do.
So, since then I have remained a poet
Who writes a short story, every now and then.
In the future it might change and
I will finish that novel, maybe the
Same one I started when I was 15.

Bio: Ian Lewis Copestick is a 46 year old writer from Stoke on Trent England.
Although he started writing poetry in 2001, he only started sending them out for publication 8 months ago. In this time he has had over 100 poems and 5 short stories published. He is featured in print anthologies by Alien Buddha Press and Horror Sleaze Trash.
His first book Detritus Of The Drunken Night is OUT NOW, published by Cajun Mutt Press.

Shorts Stories For Sunday: Laure Van Rensburg, Roy, & Paul D. Brazill.

Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Offensive, Laure Van Rensburg, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine, Roy, Short Stories, Spelk Fiction, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Urbanista Magazine
typewriter keys

Photo by Caryn on Pexels.com

The Daytripper by Paul D. Brazill

‘The early morning train was cramped and when Jacqui King stretched her long, stocking-clad legs she felt a twinge in her lower spine. She immediately knew for sure that it was sciatica or, if it wasn’t, it was some sort of freak reaction caused by a brain tumour. Or maybe that old standby cancer.

“Just because you’re a hypochondriac it doesn’t mean life’s not out to get you,” she said aloud.’

Read the rest at the FLASH FICTION OFFENSIVE.

‘Whose Coat Is This Jacket?’ by Roy

The telly is on but no ones watching it. Eggheads. Me Ma shouts the wrong answers from the depths of the back kitchen. We all call it the back kitchen, despite it being situated at the front of the house. My sister, Olivia, occasionally looks up at the telly and blags that she knew the answer. Me arl fella is scanning The Echo, bins perched on the end of his nose. I’m impressed that they remain there, despite the vigorous head shaking he’s doing in accordance with his reading matter. The aroma that floats through the ether can only be described as tea, generic tea. There isn’t a particular smell. Everything just seems to amalgamate into one. Foodstuffs petrified to come out and play incase me Da kicks off.’

Read the rest at URBANISTA MAGAZINE.

Lilith by Laure Van Rensburg

‘She was the warm breath in your ear that told you to speak to the quiet girl at the end of the bar — the dare you followed until my number was stored in your phone.

She was the flame that lit your cigarette, the high that hit you when you took that first drag of the day, the black tar that stayed in your lungs long after you stopped smoking.’

Read the rest at SPELK FICTION.