Monthly Archives: May 2007

No by Iain Rowan

“Give me your money.”

“No.”

“What do you mean, no? Give me your fucking money. Do it, do it.”

“No.”

“I’ll cut you.”

“No.”

“I will, I’ll fucking cut you. Just hand over the money.”

“No.”

“You’re fucking crazy, I’ll do you, I will. Give me it, last chance,
I’ll cut you.”

“No.”

“You asked for this, you’re going to get it.”

# # #

“Jesusfuckingchrist, no. Stop.”

“No.”

“Please stop, I won’t oh Jesus I won’t do it oh shit shit shit I won’t
do it again I needed the money, I needed oh Jesus Jesus please stop
doing it I’m sorry I’m sorry…I can’t, I can’t breathe. Stop.”

“No.”

“I won’t. Again. Swear. Please. Please. Breathe.”

“No.”

“Stop.”

“No.”

“Pl-”

“No.”

Detachment Parenting by Christa Miller

Why should she have what I never had? was my thought when I saw my daughter nurse my granddaughter for the first time. What makes her special?

 

This was really why she invited me here. I’m sure she thought she was establishing some kind of mother-daughter bond with me, so I humored her when I accepted. Really I came to watch her screw up, heat the formula too long and fight with her husband when the baby wouldn’t stop crying and fall apart until finally, for once in her life, she needed me.

 

None of that happened. Instead I came to a vision of the perfect household. Quiet baby. Doting husband. My daughter sitting there, like a queen, nursing every few hours without even letting the baby cry for it. I told her it’s good for the baby to cry, keeps them from getting spoiled, but the little snip told me you can’t spoil a newborn. I bet her mother-in-law filled her head with that nonsense.

 

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she invited me here to rub my nose in her perfection. She’s always had to outdo me, tried to be better than me. She refused to nurse from my breast, yet she won’t even pump her milk into a bottle for anyone else to feed the baby. Hell, she holds onto that baby as if she’ll never let her go. As if I never told her about all the times I tried to hold her like that, but she pushed me away.

 

Well, I’ll show her, I thought, watching her nurse.

 

I waited until they went upstairs for a nap. Then I pretended I’d forgotten something—I forget what—and asked her husband to go get it from the store. She’s got him so trained to get her water and plump her pillows that he never even balked. Pathetic.

 

Then I went upstairs. She was sleeping with the baby in her bed, can you believe it? That made it easier to justify what I was doing. If they ever find me, I’ll just tell them I was doing it for the baby’s own good. God knew her mother would’ve rolled over on top of her, smothered her.

 

By now my daughter has probably been crying for hours, wondering why she deserved this. I hope someone tells her it’s not about what she deserves. I look at my granddaughter, sleeping in her infant carrier on the floor of my car. Five hundred miles from home, and all the kid does is sleep. She must have gotten her sleep genes from her father, because her mother sure never had them. She does fine with the formula, too. It’s better for her anyway. When she’s old enough, I’ll tell her she’s with me because I deserved a second chance a hell of a lot more than her mother deserved her.

First Note

Apparently the default setting for WordPress is to moderate comments and I did not know that. I’ve freed all of the comments that were waiting and I think I got it straightened out so that won’t happen again. Thanks everyone for posting stories and commenting.

Cold Comfort by Sandra Seamans

“Do it, or I’ll shoot you myself,” said Chester.

Her ex-husband’s words were still ringing in Penny’s ears, along with the deafening explosion of the gun. She slipped down on the couch, curling her body into a ball. She shivered under the friendly caress of her grandmother’s afghan, comforted by the familiar warmth as she pulled it up around her chin. She felt so cold. Numb.

Damn, Chester, and his stupid drunken games. Forcing her to play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun. Making her press the muzzle of the gun to her temple, pointing his own revolver at her until she pulled the trigger. Click. His obscene laughter filling her tiny apartment as urine stained her jeans, and fouled the air.

“Chicken shit,” he’d laughed. “There’s only one bullet in the cylinder. The odds are in your favor. But, hey, even if it does go off, I don’t get charged with your murder, cause you pulled the trigger. That restraining order of yours ain’t working so well now, is it?”

The blast from the gun had made her jump. Lying on the couch, she watched a trickle of blood slowly drift across the linoleum. Penny knew she should call the police, tell them what happened. But Chester wasn’t quite dead yet.

The Sound by Aldo Calcagno

The sound was deafening echo in my ears. The sky was suddenly red and then instantly black

The End of the Arc by Stephen D. Rogers

The swing set was a contact reminder.

We’d turned her room into a home office, given away her toys,
ignored the stricken looks of her older sister.  The sobbing late
at night.  The stretches of haunted silence.

If she’d never lived, she’d never died.  If she’d never died, she
hadn’t been killed.  If she hadn’t been killed, her parents
couldn’t be blamed.

The swing set wouldn’t stand if we cut it in half, and her older
sister spent all her free time out there, lifting from the seat
at each end of the arc, while the rhythmic screech of the chain
sawed through our souls.

Cop Talk by Gerald So

Partnered with Culkin two months on the overnight shift in Astoria, I’d said maybe two sentences to him.  He’d gone on about the Yankees, his ex-wife, the Star Wars trilogy…

You’d think he’d have less time to talk on nights he drove, and you’d be wrong.  Turning onto 37th Street for the fourth time, Culkin was saying, “…why he had to fuck with it.  No way Han steps on Jabba’s tail.”

“Right,” I said, though I had no idea how it came up.

“But heck, you’re young.  You probably think the digital shite is boffo.”

Boffo?

Edging away from Culkin’s roast-beef breath, I spotted three guys–looked about my age–pushing a car up the street.  As we got closer, I saw the car was a beat-up Olds.

I tipped my head to Culkin, who said, “They’re not jacking that car.”

He anticipated my next question.  “That’s a Delta 88.  Piece-of-shit since the day it rolled out.  Gotta be theirs.”

As we pulled up, I saw their faces.

“Black, Italian, Chinese,” Culkin said.  “Minorities on parade.  I saw them in the deli when I got my roast beef.”

Thank God and tempered glass they didn’t hear that.  The Asian guy at the rear looked to be favoring his right leg.  I waited a beat, then said, “Should we help them?”

“Sure.  Roll down your window.”

I did.  The guys stopped pushing and looked over.  Before I got a word out, Culkin said, “Almost there, guys.”

He gassed the engine, but I still heard someone say, “Aren’t cops supposed to help us?”

When I looked at Culkin, he was chuckling.  “Almost there.  Get it?”

I shook my head.

“The Death Star trench battle, when all those X-Wings bite the dust…”

The First by Dave White

Twister was playing in the background.  That’s what Annie would remember.  That stupid, terrible, suckfest of a movie.

Her boyfriend, Dan, sat next to her on the couch laughing at Helen Hunt.  He didn’t notice the change in her. 

But she did. 

She felt it deep within her, like she felt when Dan kissed on the neck.  When she closed her eyes, let all her thoughts go and just went with the moment.  But it wasn’t exactly the same.  It was . . . darker.

The feeling wasn’t foreign to her.  Annie’d had it before, but hadn’t been able to figure out what it meant.  But now, with the sharp steak knife from dinner in front of her, she knew.  Everything came into focus, like when you adjusted a camera.  She now knew what she wanted to do.

Reaching out, suddenly the steak knife was in her hand.  It couldn’t be stopped now.  Dan didn’t even know it was coming.  He didn’t scream when the knife sank into his throat.

Annie was pretty sure she did, however.  Her blood ran warm, and she kept stabbing, feeling his own run across her fingers. 

It was pure ecstacy.  It was beautiful.  It was art. 

She wondered if this was how Ted Bundy felt. 

Confident.

Invincible.

Annie could do anything at this moment.

Here she was at her most primal, watching her boyfriend gurgle and choke and die.

It was orgasmic.

And she knew one thing.

This wouldn’t be the last.

Submission Guidelines

Flashing in the Gutters did it well. I’m not going to screw with the formula. This is a place for flash fiction. That’s fiction under 700 words for our purposes.  I’ll post whatever I get, cleaning it only up for readability’s sake. No editing, no rejection. Send submissions to flashpansubmissions@gmail.com and include a short bio if you’d like.