Archive for February, 2013

The Unofficial Dogpark Down by the River by Michael Chaney

Feb 15 2013 Published by under Stories

Simon browses sawgrass. Cricket snorts the bank. Then, Flipper! Cricket rushes. Then, Zoe! poodling hysterical. Tension from Flipper’s mother stains the air. Danger syrup. Simon nods to Zoe’s mother. Elderly stalk of wild cotton. Flipper whimpers as Zoe circles away and back. Neck hairs electrify. “Zoe No!” snaps Flipper’s mother. Zoe’s mother surveys trees. Rotting broccoli mountains. Flipper yelps when Zoe bites her hard on the haunch. Simon imagines a Gaullish plain, a trip of wizened goats herded by a sepia version of Zoe. But the unofficial dogpark has no time for history. “Goddamnit, Brenda! How many times have I told you to train your dog?” Circling, Zoe bites Flipper hard again on the leg. “No! Stop, damnit!” Flipper curls supine as his mother kicks the poodle whose mother shrieks. Simon steps back. “How dare you kick my dog.” “Brenda! For the last goddamn time, train your animal.” “I’m never coming here again.” Zoe’s mother storms. Simon drifts to the last time a woman that age cried so public rough: the home before his mother passed. Homeward, memory burns a hole in his pocket. He flips it with a biscuit chip. Both disappear into Cricket’s maw. Aerial velocity. Common at the unofficial dogpark.

Michael Chaney is a native Clevelander, an academic in New Hampshire, a writer in Vermont, and a walker of a dog named Vegas. When less spatially confused, he works diligently on a novel about the absurdities of the pharmaceutical industry.

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The Unfolding by Kevin Tosca

Feb 01 2013 Published by under Stories

Nathalie came home and they kissed, and it was that kind of a kiss. He had been horny: it was the AIDS test’s and peeing in cup’s fault. But what had she been doing, thinking? He didn’t ask. He got off one of her gloves. She walked over to the closet. He stopped working. He stood and said: I want to fuck you. She smiled and hung up her coat. He got onto their bed and started to undress. She lit a candle and turned off the other lights, leaving only the candle and the blue of his computer’s screen. He touched her; she pressed herself into him, moaned. They took off the rest of their clothes and what was amazing him, what he was thinking about was this: Not ten minutes ago she wasn’t here, wasn’t in this room, in their bed, naked. They had lived their ten hours of respective day and then bang, now, he’s naked too and on top of her and under her and inside of her, having sex with her after all those hours and all those thoughts and all that life of solitary, womanless time. In forty minutes, give or take, he’ll be back at his desk and she’ll be napping, stealing glances at him from beneath their blanket, a little smile on her lips, wondering when he’s going to start to make their dinner.

Kevin Tosca’s stories have been or will be published in Midwestern Gothic, Thrice Fiction, Fleeting, Umbrella Factory and elsewhere. He lives in France. Read more at www[dot]kevintosca[dot]com

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