I have three poems, two drawings and a cartoon in the Fall issue of Transition. You should send them something, too.
Spider Magazine has acquired first publication rights to two of my short stories, which will appear in the magazine over the next pair of years. If you write for children, you should send them something.
A Very Famous Ostrich
A very famous ostrich came to town
wearing teardrop earrings and a frown.
We gave her red roses
(she tossed them in the sea)
then she bit our noses
and sang just beautifully:
“The people, the people,
I love the people,
every people I see.
O people, O people,
I love you people
but please: don’t look at me.”
She drove off in her limo and
we never saw her face again.
“How’s the wine?”
“But does it taste expensive?”
“It tastes older than you. You must know Franco pretty well.”
“You look beautiful. Really. It’s not just me. The guy by the window…”
“He can’t take them off you.”
“I wish he would.”
“No worries. They’ll cook him up shortly.”
“So you’re a friend of Franco’s? I mean, to get a free bottle. You must be well-acquainted?”
“Not really. I’ve known him … twenty years.”
“I never could stand the man.”
“Does he know that?”
“I’m guessing he’s knowledgeable. With a forehead like that.”
“Then why the wine?”
“And why come here?”
“You’re a beautiful woman.”
“Frog Eyes seems to think so.”
“Franco, too. He keeps looking at you.”
“If we’re not vigilant, a duel could break out any minute.”
“That I’d pay to see.”
I only noticed the masked man when he yelled something unintelligible. He pulled out a gun and…
Franco’s head exploded.
Then we were on the floor. Under the table. Madeline… I’m sure I looked just as terrified. I’m not sure who took whose hand. Who gripped harder, with every shot.
People falling. Tables. Shattering glass.
No words. No screams.
For a minute or an hour, we didn’t move.
When we crawled out…
Frog Eyes was lying in the middle of the room. In a puddle. Breathing hard.
No one else was breathing.
We knelt beside him. In the broken glass.
He was gasping.
We each took a hand. He squeezed them. I took Madeline’s.
Shots. Somewhere outside. Faint. Fainter.
Frog Eyes stopped squeezing.
One shot, far off.
Then it was quiet.
From The Big T, a flash fiction mini-collection. Order a copy.
I was perusing the diary of Tummywumps, the orange tabby with whom I reside, when I came across the following half-decent poem. I never took her for a cat with literary ambitions. She’s full of surprises…