Archive for fiction

The Piper by F. John Sharp

Posted in F. John Sharp with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot

The Piper sits on a wooden chair in a dim corner of a church. He has always used wood, believing music flows from Earth itself, that a chair of metal or worse, plastic, is an unworthy conduit. And he always chooses a corner, where the sound can dance off the angles and fill the souls of mourners who know an ache that only music can feed. He aches too.

The Piper has been piping for what seems to him the whole of time, learning at the knee of his grandfather and then his father, playing every last day of his three-score and nineteen years, either for practice, pleasure, or money. He has played ‘Amazing Grace’ nearly five thousand times if he were to count, and today he tries to make it sound like he composed it himself for this very occasion.

He tries not to dwell on certain things: He has had to start earlier these days, to allow himself more time for traveling and warming up. And while his fingers still know where to find each note, they make more of a fuss about getting there. And when the drones and regulators are going full out, pulling air from the bag in hungry swallows, he works the bellows with long, steady pumps, and the effort makes him winded to the point of concern. He has thought once or twice that there could be worse ways to spend his last heartbeats.
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Prom Dress by David Dominé

Posted in David Dominé with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot

That night when I pulled into the gravel driveway, the moon hung low over the apple orchard. Remembering the smooth fabric of Anne Spicer’s dress, I loosened the velvet bow tie at my throat and took a ragged breath. The sting of peach schnapps lingering in the back of my throat, I saw him standing at the back door. But I lowered my head and went in anyway. The belt was lying in its usual spot on the dining room table. Nearby, crumpled up on the floor, lay one of Anne Spicer’s dresses. He must have found it under my bed. It was the one she forgot to take with her earlier that afternoon after we scrambled to put our clothes back on when my father’s car crept up the drive.

It was the last time my father beat me.
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Halloween and the Delivery Boy at the Go-Go Bar by Mark James Andrews

Posted in Mark James Andrews with tags on November 5, 2012 by Scot

I was delivering pizzas for Dino at Roma’s on Halloween Night.  Driving my Dodge and wishing the radio worked. My job was to feed the hungry.  I wanted them to be filled, to be satisfied. That’s about it. Tonight I was the Catcher in the Rye on the look-out for the little beggars stepping off curbs into oncoming traffic.

The parade of angels and demons, soldiers and hippies, ghosts, witches and vampires into the pizzeria was mundane to me.  Like Santa Claus.  Like the Easter bunny.  Skeletons?  Bat Man?

Dino had baked waffle cookies, pizzelles, to give out.  3 platters stacked high.  Word got out and they were gone in 20 minutes.

“Fuckathis.  We give out pennies now.”

Finally a spark.  Something.  I had a run of five pies to The Duke, the neighborhood go-go bar.   The caller was Mack.  Each pie ordered was different and not the sort to be coming out of our neighborhood.  Mack’s orders were precise and unique in his demands for toppings and arrangements.  Plain pizza with heavy sauce, extra oregano and no cheese.  Number 2 with extra pepperoni, anchovies on half, artichokes on half…

Dino prepared the pizzas for The Duke with loving care, boxed them up, stacked them high and stapled the ticket to the top box with a flourish.  He handed them off.

“You gonna get some spicy tip on this one.  You gonna go over there and sneeze in the bush.  You gonna come back with a cobra snake down there.  You gonna get bit by the snapping turtle.”

“That’s all?”

Dino’s laughing exploded into a monster fit of coughing.  His beady brown eyes were tearing up.  He quickly lit up a Kent.  He smoked them religiously because they had “the micronite filter.”  So he wouldn’t get “the cancer.”
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