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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

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Fiction

Rings – Jessica Sequeira

Rings

We hadn’t wanted to go out, had even considered changing our minds with a lateness sure to offend, in order to enjoy the cool inside of the house with its scent of fresh cedar, its hardworking fan. But we mustered the resources we had, slipped on our sandals and passed over the threshold. The invitation had been extended to us with such excitement that there was no choice but to attend, despite our prejudices against classical art and the theatre, here found in the same work.

Continue reading “Rings – Jessica Sequeira”

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An Honourable Death – Victoria Briggs

An Honourable Death

A woman out jogging in a park at dawn saw a smoke drift rising from a patch of blackened earth. Lying on the ground in the middle of it was what looked to be a mannequin with its legs half bent and arms raised in a peculiar, pugilistic pose.

There was a shopping trolley at the scene, adding another layer of curiosity to what must have seemed a strange tableau. The smell of fuel hung heavy in the air and, it being too early in the day for barbecues, the woman’s first thought was that somebody had been burning garbage. Continue reading “An Honourable Death – Victoria Briggs”

Forever, The Little Girl – Kristine Brown

Forever, the Little Girl

Vomiting in a cubicle space was definitely unpalatable and embarrassing. It was a repeated incident, despite the last projection occurring eight months ago. My boss remembered, so when I waddled up to her in my pencil skirt and tights, unaware that I would be moaning, convulsing, and caught under covers a week earlier than expected (and not on a fortunate weekend, mind you), she nodded for me to go, reminding me, “You’ve got sick leave.” Continue reading “Forever, The Little Girl – Kristine Brown”

Dov Nelkin: 6 doors and One Slammed

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My brother’s childhood room and mine connect through paired doors, at three different points. Walk out my room and and ten paces would take you to my brother’s door, next to the AC control, across from the panic button. We also shared a bathroom, each room opening onto the sinks where we would brush our hair, or teeth, or forget to, side by side. With both doors open, you could have seen from pillow to pillow if you tried hard. Continue reading “Dov Nelkin: 6 doors and One Slammed”

Rachel Kass: 2098, Salt, Fire & Yolk

2098

I’ve never seen space but it’s probably a waste, i hear they rent rooms for two thousand apiece, sure they have breakfast but what’s with the lakes?  it’s like they filled craters with chlorine and grease.  feh! like i said by the time our kids are eighty, they won’t even know Barbra Streisand’s version of Happy Days Are Here Again, the robots will take us all on their shoulders, they’ll remove all our bracelets and eat them all vile we never should have made those smart phones so so stylish  Continue reading “Rachel Kass: 2098, Salt, Fire & Yolk”

Aimee Campbell: Hospital

Outside the ward, there were at least fifteen people waiting, some sat in chairs and others stood around. I pulled out my phone and scrolled through my emails looking for something, anything to read. I couldn’t get comfortable leaning against the wall but it would have to do.

Yeah, I’m going to put her bed in the living room, I heard a man say. Could you come down at the weekend and help me move it?

You think she’ll be out on Monday? Continue reading “Aimee Campbell: Hospital”

Dustin Kennedy: Response Ability

When the dust mask is covered in soot I take it off and add it to the sack slung over my shoulder. The rubber straps have left imprints all across my face, sore to the touch. I take another one out of the box and put it on anyway, trying to change the angle enough so it doesn’t dig into the same grooves as the last one. The seal fits poorly over my beard but I already used my last razor and I haven’t made it to the store yet.

I’ve been making progress, though. For example, I’ve almost caught up to whoever is on the road in front of me. I haven’t actually seen them yet, just their sack. Judging from the size, I’m guessing whoever’s pulling it must be twenty, thirty years older than me. For every time I manage two or three steps, they’re lucky to move an inch.

Continue reading “Dustin Kennedy: Response Ability”

Max Wilkinson: A Hundred Ways The Fire Starts

A Hundred Ways 1A Hundred Ways 2A Hundred Ways 3A Hundred Ways 4

Continue reading “Max Wilkinson: A Hundred Ways The Fire Starts”

Benjamin Joe: PERFECTLY HAPPY WORKERS

PERFECTLY HAPPY WORKERS

Not too much was working these days.

In the passenger seat, Eric was having trouble with his seatbelt. It wasn’t that it was stuck or even disabled. The metal sat coolly in its socket, but Eric didn’t seem to be having a good time.

“Fuckin’ thing,” he said and took the belt off entirely. George frowned. There wasn’t a lot of risk in their job, he reflected vapidly. The day was warm, the air-conditioner was on. Outside the sun shined and now that the morning was done, none of it was getting in his eye.

There was a certain point where George always got an erection coming east of the Mississippi.

“Fuckin’ thing!” Eric put the belt back on. Instinctively, George looked in the rearview mirror. A cop with his lights on was directly behind him.

“Shit!” said Eric as George pulled the car over.

Not a whole lot of risk and not a whole lot working as well, thought George.

George fast-talked the cop. He was a middle age white guy much like George was. Eric had some kind of farmers tan going on but he looked out the windshield, ignoring the cop on his direct right and let George do the talking. It was probably the smartest thing he could do.

So, the cop walked away, befuddled by George’s small talk about going east and all, and don’t mind the trailer in the back, yeah, it was home-made, but the lights worked, why did he get pulled over anyway?

The cop, mumbled something about a description matching them. George kept nodding and smiling. Eric continued to stare straight into the horizon.

“What’d we do?” asked George.

“Ah, nothing, someone pulled a gas run, but no, you fellas look all right…” That was code that they were looking for some black guys or just wanted to get a look at the California plates.

George smiled, letting his heart settle. He didn’t know what Eric was thinking. He mumbled thanks a long time after the officer left and didn’t touch the seatbelt after that. The sun continued its journey across the sky and eventually, as it was setting, they were in Tennessee.

George pulled the car and trailer into the parking lot for viewing the Blue Ridge Mountains, put it in park and got out of it. Eric followed.

They walked over to the fence, stared out at the mist and the view and Eric lit a cigarette and George sucked on his chewing tobacco. A couple minutes later a girl in a trench coat and glasses walked beside him.

“Do you like the Talking Heads?” asked George amiably.

“Shut up.”

“Oh no, please don’t be like that, darling! Shit, we’ve been all over and you, you with your spy master disguise…”

“You’re going to be all over again. They want you in California.”

“We just came from there! This is bullshit!” Eric walked away then, kicked a rock over the edge of the cliff.

“Regardless, those are the coordinates.”

“All right, all right, but please, take a look at the business and tell me where it needs to go.”

“No need.”

“We’ve got…. Damn it!” A few yards away, Eric got into the car and slammed the door.

It had been going on like this for a month. George didn’t know what was going on. Eric had been dropped off to him in Boston and his surly ass wasn’t the only thing getting sick of the feel of fake leather seats. After they picked up the weapons in NYC, they drove straight to Louisiana, then to Minnesota, then to California and then to Southern California, and now to this southern, stupid, idiotic, fucked up place on the side of a road!

“Hey!” she said, taking off her glasses. Her eyes were blue. “You signed up just like all of us! We’re all hoping this will come off…”

“What’s the point of a revolution that does nothing! Christ! I thought things were ready! I thought it was cool to be radical again!”

Eric honked the horn.

“We just don’t need that kind of service right now,” she said, then walked away. George stared after her.

“Well, excuse me for listening to you when you did!” He yelled. He didn’t care. There were several cartons of bullets and a couple assault rifles under a big camping equipment tool-box in his car’s trailer. Sights and silencers in the trunk.

George didn’t care, why should he? Why should anyone? Why should anyone care about the world and be willing to do something to change it? What the fuck was the point?

George slammed the car door. Eric was all hunched into his seat with his boots on the glove department and his head covered by a cap.

“Where too now?” he asked.

George sighed.

“Nowhere in particular,” he said and started the car. Outside the air was hot and he threw on the air-conditioning again and drove away. Eric whistled something because their radio was broke and it was a long way from L.A.

 

Benjamin Joe lives in Buffalo, New York where he works as a freelance writer for The Niagara Gazette and IPWatchdog.com. His first novel, Nirvana Dreams, was published by NFB Publishing in November and excerpts from it can be found in the March 2018 Ghost City Review and Issue 14 of Riggwelter Press. A short story can also be found at Aspirant Magazine. Twitter: @benjamin_joeb01

featured image: Bob Modem

SPLIT – Elanacharan Gunasekaran

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Lacquer Garden by Joseph Spece

like guys with a video game’s dimension. I think about Parasite
Eve this way. Its rich antagonisms are feminine, animal,
familial, bodily, savvy, fractured, abstract. It contains a
squirrel.

You see how rarely I like a guy.
Continue reading “Lacquer Garden by Joseph Spece”

Schedule of Somnambulist Roads #46 – #49 by Alec Ivan Fugate

ROAD #46 – FOLLIS AVE. TIME: 10:45 PM. WEATHER: DRIZZLING. PAVEMENT STATE: SOLID / NO CRACKS OR BREAKS / CLEAN OF DEBRIS.

[ Darkness uncovers certain predictions in the trees. The grey breath of the stars and moon show me the surrounding area, heavily forested; thick green hovers above the ground, the leaves healthy, hearty for summer. Coyotes can be heard faintly behind the treeline. A quick walk works up a sweat. Temperature outside recorded at 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Small mice skitter just out of reach in the ditch. No homes can be found, though lights in the distance betray somebody or something. Maybe a porch. Smell a campfire nearby. Smell no voices. Continue reading “Schedule of Somnambulist Roads #46 – #49 by Alec Ivan Fugate”

DNA by Johannah Rodgers

On desktop browsing the below hyperlinks are functional (if you are on a mobile device you can amble over to [here] for functional hyperlinks).

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The New Atomist: A Selection from the Catalogue Raisonné of Anton Aubinov by Joshua Rothes

 

“In the end, I would like it to be said that I have been a silent conversationalist with the world, a patient interlocutor devoid of names and arguments, seeking and at odds with, always, the atomic.” — Anton Aubinov, 1998

For a while, he graced a footnote in a biography of Clyfford Still1, removed in subsequent editions, purged as too obscure, adding no value to the lay reader. He is heavily rumored to have been the young artist called a “pissant” by Barnett Newman in a story attached to but never actually recounted by Betty Parsons. He may or may not have been able to do hands.

The late painter Anton Aubinov remained near-hidden throughout his career, subsumed into the greater wave of late American abstraction. His lone New York exhibition, at a here-today-gone-tomorrow space in Chelsea in 1952, was thrown together to capitalize on the recent fame of Mark Rothko, who had displayed, for the first time, his multiforms the year before. As the story of Aubinov’s opening goes, the drywall on which his works were mounted had been improperly adhered to the concrete casing, and the collapse of one wall was the subject of much of the subsequent press. So it went, so frequently. Continue reading “The New Atomist: A Selection from the Catalogue Raisonné of Anton Aubinov by Joshua Rothes”

The Unrecalled by Rita Hynes

The olfactory bulb feeds directly into the limbic system, the seat of both long-term memory and the emotions. The results of smelling are processed here, and loaded with associations, before they even reach the upper cortex, where language is composed.
NOTES ON SCENT
Adam Jasper and Nadia Wagner Continue reading “The Unrecalled by Rita Hynes”

MONDONGO by Louis Armand

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MONGREL by Jelle Cauwenberghs

Continue reading “MONGREL by Jelle Cauwenberghs”

Girl at End at the Algorave by Richard Brammer

 

Unlike Thinprep™, the small white brushes or ‘broom-heads’ associated with Surepath™ preparations just snap right off. They are made to just snap off. Insert the brush into the endocervical canal and rotate it five times in a clockwise direction. Then pull it out and snap it off. Simple. There’s no mystery. It sounds reckless? It isn’t reckless at all. The sole aim is to sample the squamous cells in the transformation zone for it is the cells of the transformation zone that are most in danger of becoming abnormal™. By snapping off the head of the brush inside the vial of ethanol-based preservative fluid there is zero chance of air-drying artefacts and you can be sure that the sample is 100% ‘there’ to be transported to the lab in the same vial. Continue reading “Girl at End at the Algorave by Richard Brammer”

As Day Breaks by Tianna Grosch

Continue reading “As Day Breaks by Tianna Grosch”

Reality/Fantasy by Michèle Fry

Continue reading “Reality/Fantasy by Michèle Fry”

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