Monday, March 7, 2016

ORAL FUNGUS by Jeffrey S. Callico

She lay on the bed in the middle of the afternoon while some dude she barely knew slammed a video game into rare victories. The room smelled like raw umber – that’s what she thought – and the dude’s voice grated her nerves like severed limbs. She rammed her bare foot into the small of his back when he spouted off at his semi-foaming mouth. “Shut up and leave!” she screamed, knowing right then the night wouldn’t come fast enough.

Choices by Joseph J. Patchen

There’s a man in my closet. He’s there every night. I have no idea where he goes during the day but once the sun recedes behind the hill just past Belmont cove, he appears within the frame of the door.
There’s a man in my closet and he is not a member of my family. What more?

“There’s a man in my closet!” I shout most every night; sometimes once, sometimes twice, sometimes more. But my parents never find him. My parents have grown numb. They have begun yelling at me.

I’ve been seeing a psychologist on Wednesdays.

I have been forced to bed without any lights on. My flashlight has been locked away. This is to toughen me; to force me to face my fears; to leave me no choice but to sleep and quell my flights of drama and fantasy.

There’s a man in my closet. He’s been there ever since we moved here. He’s been there for over six months now. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t gesture. He only stares and projects his thoughts into my head.

There’s a man in my closet. He’s covered in rats. His fingers pulsate and move independently. His fingers are worms.

His face is old and stern. He has no mouth or nose. His eyes burn bright red; yet I know he’s inviting me inside. He’s promised to give me a kingdom with riches and joys all my own in exchange for my soul.

I don’t know what to do. I am only a child of nine. While I am terrified I’m also curious. I wonder if I make such a choice I might be able to help my struggling family.

I am confused. I don’t know what to choose. I would like a better life but…

My parents are of no help to me. They have never seen the man. They don’t understand. They have never seen anything and I don’t know which way to turn. You see the man under my bed; the one with fangs and talons has made me the same offer.

BEING by Jeffrey S. Callico

This is the story of a man who drove naked to work. When he got to the office everyone gawked. Security was called and the man was removed. As the elevator descended the guard asked the naked man about his future plans. The man declined to smile and said, “You tell me. All I’m trying to do is deal with reality.” The guard stepped him off then out and waved goodbye, watching as he made his way to whatever he would now consider being.