69 lede

Don't Tarry by Shirley Golden  


MUM SAID bears and wolves had been set loose; she muttered something about cages and escape. Harry said the trees unraveled their tangled arms and captured trespassers, binding them into their hollows. “Is there a headless horseman?” I asked. “Are there dead bodies with maggots in their eye-sockets?
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Looks Like Rain by Brian Michael Barbeito

Nice to drive like that and we told him that we had seatbelt laws, and that where we came from they made us wear the seatbelts. Here too, he said. But also added that he didn’t bother with such, and did this in two ways. By not wearing it. And with a brush of his hand downwards and across his chest the way you brush a fly, not with hatred but with a little bit of contempt to be sure or else even minor vexation. The thing is, he continued, because he'd been talking about tinted windows, is that now you can’t have completely tinted windows, the black ones you know the ones, because these cops stopped this van and were walking up to it and meanwhile inside three guys were loading semi-automatic and automatic weapons and they, well, opened fire and there was nothing the cops could see on the way. Then he paused and I looked out the window. I noticed the sounds of the traffic were like the sounds of the ocean in pitch or tempo or something. He was our super. Superintendent that is, and I didn’t know that that was the last time I would be talking to him. Never thought something like that because he was spry and full of everything that seemed well and right. He used to cut the lawn each morning and was like a fixture there, and we used to go down to the gun ranges, joking on the way that it looked like rain and you can’t work outside in the rain anyway, when the whole time there was no rain coming and the sky was a cloudless perfect blue artifact, or else drop firecrackers into metal poles and watch them go to the sky in the adjacent lot. If not those things, there were many things that involved fish and the salt sea or else the tempo of the sub-tropical night where the western world came down with the good parts of its creations like organized roads and cold drinks alcoholic and non-alcoholic, both with smart and curt sane labels affixed to their boxes and cans and bottles painted with proud and popping hues and many other things like blue jeans or simpler things even yet and met the rough hewn earth of coral shining in the sun, hard and old and fast and long-fashioned coral of antiquity, or the whitecaps of the waves always ancient and new seeming to run on an internal motor or the sea itself where cargo ships went in the far distance and in the foreground of these pictures were shrubs unencumbered and blue man o' war and sea weed or broken bits of storm shells multi-colored waiting on the ground slumming around like ducks or good dregs they did all those shells of that world. Well the car drove on and now he was talking about motorcycles and how this group from more northern environs came down in sweeps and had a way of just loading bikes in parking lots onto rental trucks and that was it that was the way they boosted them. I looked out again then and watched the streets and the various things of the world race by including boxes, crates, carts, racks, signs, signals, post offices, stucco walled houses, pastel colored store fronts, women in handsome business suits, the skateboarders and locals with deep tans that must have been embedded forever, bumper stickers strong and beautifully tacky and gauche because everything was okay and the ponds manufactured and the big secret manta rays surely swimming their way through the adjacent intercoastal waterways and the young and elderly both all around by bridges that mechanically broke in the middle and raised up to stop the world so that tall vessels could go by and by and by and I made a mistake and the mistake was thinking that all that would go on forever. But in a year he was dead and his brother also, of a similar look and a similar way, only a couple years older, in mid-life, with darker hair was all. The wife I always wondered about because we used to go visit her in a local mall while she worked in an eyeglass place and was ‘good people.’ That’s what everyone does. You stop in and say hi because that is the way of things. And the father I sometimes remembered about, and how they used to fish on piers but now if he did it would probably be alone. Or not at all.

“You and a Bottle of Boh” by Jonas Kyle-Sidell

Couldn’t we be on a beach
somewhere [sunlight]? Like your hair, we know
exactly what to do:

            I’ve never worked