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..:: CONTENTS ::..
   Volume VI, Issue II

..:: POETRY ::..


..:: PROSE ::..

..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I
   Volume IV, Issue II
   Volume V, Issue I
   Volume V, Issue II
   Volume VI, Issue I

 
Prose


Straight
Len Kuntz

     

          I killed my first thing the day my girl gave me the ditch. It was a bird, a robin, same as my ex girl's name. I got my Dad's rifle, full of buckshot, and blasted the bird until it was feathers and a bloody sock in the grass. After that, I met Lorenzo who was burnt out dealing. We started slow and easy hustling kids and homeless people (you'd be surprised how much loot those codgers carry.) From there it was convenience stores. Who knows how far we might have gotten if that guy wasn't working as a teller. I saw her kiss him goodbye. Robin placed her palm on his cheek just like she used to do with me, working her thumb as if it was nervous on a trigger. I would have puked but I had better options, like the gun in my pocket.
          He looked pale and stupid, sort of like a possum, and he had a road of acne running down the right side of his face all scar rashy.
          He got the "What" of the "What can I help you with?" out, but that was all. He took bullets across his body and through that ugly face, a shower of metals and smoke. Sadly, the only real relief I felt was a millisecond of adrenalin when Teller Boy flew a few inches off the air, arms backstroking hard. It's strange, yet you kill a person and it goes one of two ways-either it scares you straight, or it gets under your skin and floods your system, like an oil slick living it up in the ocean, the dirty fouling the clean.
          So, me? I wasn't scared. Not straight, not anywhere.
          If someone moved, I fired. I shot at people breathing in gasps. I fired at the clock and counter and the floor, ripping up vinyl tiles in the shape of Doritos. I even put a few new buttons in Lorenzo's flannel shirt, and damn if he didn't look less surprised than Teller Boy.
          When the cops came, I kept thinking, "Dog Day Afternoon," which was this movie I'd seen starring Al Pacino. Not "Scarface" or "The Godfathers" but this odd other one. Dad and I had watched it once with him bitching every three minutes about, "Who would rob a bank to pay for his boyfriend's sex change operation? I mean, come on, even normal, straight guys wouldn't do that."
          Now that I was remembering him, I sort of wanted to blast Dad to a billion bloody bits. He was always mouthing off about things he didn't know. And he treated Mom like a dog. Worse than a dog.
          So, yeah, that's what I wanted to do, what I was going do, as soon as I killed me some cops. Then I'd see about Robin, and maybe try to apologize.

 

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