Boom

by Michael Frissore

Once again the kitchen exploded. When Steve gets high he starts freaking out and thinks there are "scary little dudes" in the refrigerator trying to kill him. I don't know where he gets the dynamite. He shoves a dozen sticks in the fridge, lights them, and then hides behind the couch with his fingers in his ears like Tom from Tom & Jerry. This explosion was particularly nasty. All they found was a package of duck sauce and a big jug of Steve's tobacco spit.

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Michael Frissore lives in Leominster, MA with his wife. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming on Antithesis Common, Zygote in My Coffee, Nuvein Magazine and elsewhere. He is also a staff writer at The WRIToracle and a contributor at Undress Me Robot.

Commercials: They're Great!

by Harry B. Sanderford

I was watching the tube recently and when I watch TV I like to watch the hell out of it, the remote is key to my viewing pleasure, they don't have three zillion channels for nothing. I don't watch commercials as a rule, this is ordinarily my prompt to move along so it is mildly ironic when my interest is caught by one of those deals where the whole point of the show is to count down a list of TV's most memorable commercials. It's pompous indulgence on my part because I'm really only hanging on to verify my prediction that the old commercial where Mean Joe Green scores some Coke from a kid and tosses him his filthy sweat-soaked jersey will win out. It does of course and I relish in my astute ability to predict cliched predictability. But for my money the best commercial of all time is that one with Mr. Whipple sitting on the crapper noisily grinding out some grundlers and since he has nothing to read he's left with just his thoughts and the camera moves to the little thought bubble over his head where a gore muzzled Tony the Tiger is plop-plopping Alka Seltzers into a glass of water with the freshly mauled carcass of Captain Crunch visibly oozing entrails dotted with yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers in the background. Not sure just what they were selling there.

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Harry B. Sanderford, author of Sugar, Them's Ears Not Handles, is a Central Florida surfing cowboy who'd sooner spin yarns than mend fences.

Sisters

by Rod Drake

If looks could kill, my ex-girlfriend’s hate stare would be a death ray. We see each at work every day which is a good reason not to date coworkers, but at the time, it seemed like a great idea. My ex-girlfriend thinks I cheated on her with her younger sister. She’s wrong; I didn’t. It was with her youngest sister. Lost again in Lolitaville.

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Rod Drake, author of Trust, mourns the closing of Flashing in the Gutters, a really cool flash fiction weblog. Check out Rod's longer stories in Flashes of Speculation, Fictional Musings, Flash Flooding and MicroHorror.

Anger Pangs

by Madam Z

I know it's not ladylike, but sometimes I get really angry and when that happens, sensible people had better just get out of the room quickly, because it could be dangerous to stick around. I try to control myself, but if someone just keeps on irritating me, yammering away after I have politely asked him to be quiet, I start to feel the hot lava boiling up in my gut. And if he still won't shut up after I have warned him that he's going to be sorry, the lava hits the back of my throat and I start spewing. All pretense of decorum is broiled alive at that point, and not only am I using some very unladylike vocabulary, but I have been known to threaten the offender with dismemberment, or even disembowelment. At that point, most of them get a little nervous, and start tiptoeing backwards toward the exit. One of them who didn't is buried in the back yard, but I did give him a fairly dignified burial, considering the circumstances.

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Madam Z, author of Plain and Antsy, lives, loves, and writes unpublished stories in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, though her heart is still in her native California, which makes it extremely difficult to do much aerobic exercise.

Jeter's Lament

by Jason Kranzusch

His grandfather's property was not an oasis; the trips out there didn't really relieve his mind. Jeter's existence was a rhythm of sadness: he missed Frank, he wanted to reconnect with his wife, and, as much as he did not want to admit it, Grandy Paul's farm was a lousy substitute for Sundays at church. His absence on the deacon board was much more painful due to the loss of comradery than for any loss of position or reputation. He felt like a ghost at work, as people seemed to look right through him. He missed the faith that failed him, the church he wanted nothing to do with and the God in whom he no longer believed. The weeks flowed like muddy water.

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Jason Kranzusch likes buffalo wings, blues music and basketball. He blogs at axegrinder and occasionally writes short stories at Poboy Muse.

Cadillac Knockin’

by L. Monique

Val had been waiting for Uncle Otis to arrive for days, harassing the curtains and nagging her husband, hoping that any minute that old raggedy Cadillac he had been driving for the last twenty years would roll up in the driveway before she lost her mind. The sooner he arrived and they caught up on all the alcoholic binges, imaginary singing engagements, and illegitimate children she had missed, the sooner he could leave and the sooner she could embark on never forgiving her mother for telling him he should come visit in the first place. When he finally did come a banging on the door, there was no Cadillac, only a beat up cab with a very impatient driver waiting for his fare, and Uncle Otis, who had hopped out like he was limberly 20 again, before he looked around and said, “Holy fucking Jesus, what you got to drink, niece?” Oh hell, she wondered, slowly making her way down the front walkway, wondering where was the caddy, why the hell he was pulling all those boxes out of the cab, and what happened to just coming down for a short visit? “Girl, I can’t go back to Michigan, I think they’re looking for me.” He shuffled his huge belly and overloaded packages past her as she stood at the curb swallowing air, rage and disbelief, wondering how many times she’d have to call her mother before the bitch would decide to stop being a coward and just pick up the phone.

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L. Monique is the author of a book of poetry entitled The Swallow Project: A Guide to Consuming Obsession. All that other fascinating stuff can be found at www.LMonique.com, or at her blog.

The Tools of Conquest

by Rod Serling

The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, explosions and fallout. There are weapons - thoughts, ideas, prejudices - to be found only in the minds of people. For the record, prejudice can kill, suspicion can destroy. A thoughtless search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own. For the children yet unborn. The pity of it is: these things are not confined to the Twilight Zone.

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Rod Serling, born on Christmas Day in 1924, was an American screenwriter, most famous for his aforementioned science fiction anthology.

In the Air and On the Sidewalks

by Amy Guth

She loved him so well and for such a long time that once she knew him and saw his days she was pained to see he failed to recognize her intentions and know her and understand the two of them to be on the same standpoint. His vigilance shocked her and made her grieve quietly as he threw statement after statement, each time thinking experience taught him to do such a thing, and each time thinking he was sufficiently protecting his own frightened heart, but unaware it was at the expense of, perhaps, alienating hers. She quietly hung up the telephone in the dark apartment and looked out onto the street below and wanted to cry just for the release but had no reason to, as nothing was left to wonder about, nothing was left unattended to, but somehow the conversation made everything seem unstable and made competitive things appear, instead of the easygoing things she wanted, not placed expectation upon, only wanted from him. Slowly and painfully, she again became aware that she was summed up all wrong, assumed to be an antagonist, miscategorized entirely and though the inside of her brain beat with such a long rope of unrequited something in his direction, she knew he saw none of it. For as long as she loved so quietly from so far away, she was both relieved and distraught to see they had hurriedly arrived at the point of argument and misunderstanding instead of still sitting back to see it all unfold as it would and to give her a chance to show her shy ideas of him. She fought the urge to believe she had everything wrong and began to hate the eggshells covering the sidewalks between them.

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Amy Guth, author of Under This Cover of Quiet, has written about blaxploitation, Judaism, feminism, media literacy, bandwagonism, art, cult films, racism, hate crime and social irritants for all sorts of places like The Believer, Monkeybicycle, blah blah blah. She's toodling around at the moment promoting her novel Three Fallen Women and having a very nice time, thanks. She blogs Bigmouth Indeed Strikes Again. Come say hi.

Feeding on the Past

by Miranda Gaw

Theirs is a civilization for which bones are the principal ingredient: bone flutes, bone toothbrushes, bone computers, bone cars, bone TVs. Coins, for example, are disks of cured bone, hollow in the center where the marrow has rotted away. The pair of delicate bones that hold each woman's hair up off her shoulders can also double as an emergency pair of knitting needles, or a makeshift hammer or wrench. One has markings down its side so it can double as a ruler, the other encircles a stem of ink and can be used as a pen. A single bone can be fractured to create a key and its lock; these keys can never be duplicated. Cast lots, for fortune-telling, burned and sent up in smoke; an incense made of bones ground together with herbs and doused in perfume; bones steeped to make broths or tea.

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Miranda Gaw, when not sleeping hard, writes at geegaw.com.

Plain and Antsy

by Madam Z

I can hear Stanley in the kitchen, making popcorn. He eats it without butter or salt. That's just one of the differences between him and me. He likes his popcorn and his life plain, unadorned, unflavored. And I like mine with lots of butter and salt, and sugar and honey, dripping with hot, juicy, melting, sticky stuff, at least I think I do, or would if I could, I think, but I don't actually know, because, so far, the condiments have been in depressingly short supply. Perhaps I should go shopping.

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Madam Z, author of 's No Way to Die, lives, loves, and writes unpublished stories in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, though her heart is still in her native California, which makes it extremely difficult to do much aerobic exercise.

Is This Day Not Perfect?

by Virginia Backaitis

It was a bad day to get married, sky full of sunshine, rather than rain, and well-wishers standing all around them, chanting, “for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, you have all of us, not only each other.” The band played We Are Family, instead of You and Me Against the World, and her bouquet of roses had been delivered thorns-off rather than thorns-on as she had requested. “Is this day not perfect?” her groom-boy asked as he leaned toward her for a kiss. Perfect was not how she had planned it, still at first she nodded, then smiled, then finally bit his lip and chewed until she tasted blood. “So hot,” he said, a smile on his face as he worked a skeptic stick to stop the hemorrhaging. “So not,” she said and shed a tear wondering where they would come from -- the obstacles, the barriers, the landmines in this new kind of out-of-control life.

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Virginia Backaitis, author of You Lie, I Love, writes fiction, personal essays and articles. If you're interested in reading more of her work, Google!

My Story

by Jeremy Blachman

Showed up for an improv comedy class. We had to go around the room and tell a story about ourselves. I talked about a woman I saw at CVS who forgot to give the cashier her Rewards card until she was finished checking out, and then the cashier refused to take it, and the woman got really upset. Decent story, I guess, but it wasn't actually about me at all. Then again, if I was comfortable talking about myself to strangers, I probably wouldn't need the improv comedy class. I don't think I took very good advantage of the exercise.

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of the recently-released novel Anonymous Lawyer, a satire about the world of corporate law, hundred-hour work-weeks, and sixty-dollar lunches.

Nor is Global Warming a Hoax

by Rebecca Jane

A recent study conducted by The Center for Humane Conduct Toward Your Fellow Man published its findings: 20% of the time, your family, lovers, associates, colleagues, and cronies are trying to intimidate you. 30% of the time, they're trying to scare you. 40% of the time, they're outsmarting you. 10% of the time, they wish to avoid you. Lesson? Don't be manipulated; hide under a rock, now!

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Rebecca Jane, author of Daily Routine, writes fiction to stay out of trouble. She always grins. She sometimes fails. She never squeals.

Every Planet We Reach is Dead

by Peter Wild

We travelled insane distances in the dark. I mean you couldn't see a fucking thing for miles. Allison said "we're not lost, we have Sat-Nav" or some fucking shit. Christ, it made me so angry. I was so angry and so desperate. When I think back about those times, out there, our craft like a twinkling silver tack in the silky black bulletin board of space, all I feel is remorse.

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Peter Wild, author of Everything Has Gone Green, makes his online home at peterwild.com.

The Makeeto Lesson

by Peter Farmer

Makeeto opened a place called "Teeny's" with high hopes; he poured his entire life savings into it, plus loans from friends and family. "Teeny's" was an ice-skating nightclub for dwarfs. Makeeto's main rule was “NO ONE OVER FOUR FEET ALLOWED.” The dwarf bouncers he hired would've enforced the rule; problem was, no one ever showed. "Teeny's" flopped; it closed after a month - everyone laughed, called Makeeto foolish. But at least he tried, right?

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Peter Farmer is the author of My Wallet and My Dream.

The Pain

by Shawn M. Hetz

It hurts to walk. It hurts to move out of the bed. I ask myself why don't I give up. What is the point to live with this much pain? Will I ever know a day without pain? I wonder if I just gave up, would I finally die and not have to deal with the pain?

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Shawn M. Hetz is the author of The Trick and Beating the Odds and Society.

Discussing Oops

by Melinda Locke

Bad enough the baby was an accident. Did they have to name him Oops? We were talking about him over dinner – Carmela was the most upset. “That poor kid,” she said. “With a name like Oops, his life’s gonna be so stupid.” I think Carmela’s life is pretty stupid – she’s an opinionated bore – but I didn’t say anything.

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Melinda Locke speaks before she thinks.

Fall Home

by Anna

Like the shade of ancestry it haunts me. Sidewalk squares, and graveyard statues, each one whispers its own grievance. Smoky sunlight sifts through finger branches and mossy hair of oak tree and magnolia. A marble scent entices from old houses of old ladies who wore simple pearls and weekday gloves. Six o’clock the chimes ring from the courthouse square, the siren song from silver bodiced sycamores. Please remember; must remember.

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Anna, author of Pinehurst, is starting to write again after 17 years in the doldrums. We're happy about that.

Mindless Conversations

by Kimi Goodrich

After another night of faceless people, mindless conversations and too much wine, I stumble into my apartment wondering what the hell I was doing tonight anyway? I take off my stupid heels that at the beginning of the night made me feel sexy, now I just feel they are another piece in the game, so I throw them to the floor, kick them aside, and think, “Fuck those goddamn shoes anyway!” I make it into the bathroom and make the mistake of turning on a light, where the mocking reflection of myself is a joke. My makeup is smeared, my eyes are bloodshot and dead, my mouth turns slightly down, I look a hot mess and the reflection is a perfect vision of all the shit I hold inside of me. I turn away in disgust but the image pierces my mind, branding me a sad and lonely girl, with empty eyes and a full heart that is sure to implode without the proper outlet. Scenes from the night cascade around - laughing and grinning faces, big teeth with too many false hopes, too much fucking wine, too many stories about what isn't real and not enough listening to what is there, but I laughed with them, grinned my toothiest grin, drank the wine, followed along, but all along I wished I was anyplace but there because that place sucked, the night sucked and it had nothing to offer except the taunting reminder that I am better off alone.

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Kimi Goodrich, author of The Invitation, never tires of obsessing. In fact, if analyzing things until they are dead and beaten were a contest, she surely would own that title. (But seriously, she is not a stalker.)

Beggar on Corrientes

by David Miller

On the way home the other night we stopped at a red light on Corrientes. From across the intersection, a one-legged man hobbled over to the car on a pair of homemade crutches. Adalberto fished out a few monedas and handed them through the window. "Gracias," said the man, taking the coins, his voice sounding cigarette-scorched. Then he pivoted on his crutches and started towards the car behind us, leaving a final word hanging in the air: suerte, luck. Down here it's a common way of saying goodbye, only the way he said it was more like a prayer.

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David Miller, author of What They Act Like, is a regular contributor to magazines such as Mountain Gazette, and the webmag Matador Travel.

Trust

by Rod Drake

Gina waited by the phone, nervous, chewing her lower lip. Frank would call; he just had to. Otherwise what would she do with all the stolen money, the dead body and the still-smoking gun in her hand? Lisa jumped when the phone finally did ring, grabbing the receiver like it was a lifeline from a rescue ship. “Hello, Frank, thank god you called,” Gina rambled on, “I was getting worried, waiting here alone all this time, afraid the cops might be getting wise and …” But it wasn’t Frank; it was the police, informing Gina that the building was surrounded, that Frank had given her up as part of his plea bargain.

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Rod Drake, author of Mental Chess, watched too much television growing up, which obviously warped his imagination. Check out Rod's longer stories in Flashing in the Gutters, Flashes of Speculation, Fictional Musings, Flash Flooding and MicroHorror.

This Business of Meaning

by Stephen King

This business of meaning is a very big deal. If you doubt it, think of all the times you've heard someone say "I just can't describe it" or "That isn't what I mean." Think of all the times you've said those things yourself, usually in a tone of mild or serious frustration. The word is only a representation of the meaning; even at its best, writing almost always falls short of full meaning. Given that, why in God's name would you want to make things worse by choosing a word which is only cousin to the one you really wanted to use? And do feel free to take appropriateness into account; as George Carlin once observed, in some company it's perfectly all right to prick your finger, but very bad form to finger your prick.

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Stephen King is the author of countless worldwide bestsellers. His six sentences are taken from On Writing, a memoir of the craft.

's No Way to Die

by Madam Z

Stanley and I had been fighting all day and it felt like we'd been fighting all year and all eternity, and it was January and snow lay thick and cold as far as the eye could see and even farther, and I was so miserable I wanted to die. I recalled reading about Eskimos being sent out on an ice floe to die, and it seemed to me it would be a relatively peaceful, easy death; you just fall asleep and never wake up. So I told Stanley I was going for a walk in the woods and went outside with no jacket, no hat, no gloves, and set off looking for my final resting place. I found a perfect, coffin-sized mound of snow between the woods and the barn and lay down on it, wriggling around to settle myself into the snow, so my body would freeze quicker. I lay on my back, with my arms folded across my chest and my eyes closed, waiting for the big sleep to take me away. Unfortunately, the snow that was in contact with my still-warm body started to melt, making me both cold and wet; I didn't feel at all sleepy, even though my eyes were shut and I really wanted to die, so finally I just said "oh shit" and got up and went back into our warm, cozy house.

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Madam Z, author of Good, Bad, Batter, lives, loves, and writes unpublished stories in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, though her heart is still in her native California, which makes it extremely difficult to do much aerobic exercise.

Everything Has Gone Green

by Peter Wild

Amy said she wanted to go unshopping. I repeated the word 'unshopping' back to her with a question mark at the end because I really didn't have a clue what she was talking about. But Amy was already on to the next thing. She wanted to fight bio-piracy, assist cancer survivors, start her own aid agency, help a goat revolution. All I wanted to do was eat pizza and make out. I didn't think we had any kind of future.

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Peter Wild, author of Of Course It Means Something, is the editor of a forthcoming series of books for Serpent's Tail, the first two of which - Perverted by Language: Fiction Inspired by The Fall and The Empty Page: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth - will be published in 2007. He is also editor of The Flash, which will be published by Social Disease in February 2007. His fiction has appeared in Word Riot, Pen Pusher, Scarecrow, Thieves Jargon, Rumble, The Beat and a bunch of other places. You can read other bits and pieces at peterwild.com.

Dear Mom and Dad

by Chris Van Orden

I'm sorry I haven't written you in a while and that this is going to be such a strange email, but I've been really, really busy with the painting, I've yet to adapt to the European keyboards, despite months of practice and the prices at the internet shops are astronomical unless you take them up on their special offers to pay by the sentence, which is the only feasible option for shoestring budgets like mine. There's a grizzled old Parisian man looking over my shoulder, counting my sentences as best he can with his limited English - that's where I am, by the way, Paris, for the past 2 months, living on the Rue du Poteau with my new girlfriend, Antonia (mom, you'd love her - super sweet girl - and dad, you'd be be impressed, check the photos in the next email). Antonia and I met when I got stuck in Barcelona last May after I got robbed at the Plaza Catalunya (I'm fine, Mom) by these four teenage kids who Antonia - my erstwhile pottery instructor - knew from the neighborhood and convinced to return my wallet, a valiant rescue which I compensated with a fine, home-cooked American dinner of meatloaf and green beans, where we really hit it off and wound up moving to our new place in Paris, which is over a patisserie (unreal pastries, Dad, you'd love em) and which I help to pay for with the money I make as one of those cycling gondolier-dudes that you guys always point out when you're on vacation. So all in all, I'm good, Mom and Dad, safe and sound, hoping to talk to you guys soon or maybe even see you if you have the time for a quick jump across the pond, what with Stacey's college search (how is she and tell her hi) and the dog and the jobs and everything else going on back in the good old U S of A; in any case, I love you all very much and miss you and all that. Oh, and please send money. I'm hungry.

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Chris Van Orden is a delightful young man, living, studying, and doing other things in Philadelphia. When he's not gracing the world his winning smile and rapier wit, Chris writes for The Pennsylvania Punch Bowl. He is also a handsome devil.

Peake

by breakylegg

Only Chester Peake could make an exit like that – throwing open the front door of his apartment, bolting headlong into daylight, cutting across the lawn, stuffed garbage bag in one hand, other clamped over his mouth, then stopping dead in his tracks in crabgrass, dropping the bag, doubling over, vomiting on his bare feet, picking up the bag, racing toward the parking lot where the dumpster sat, only gaining a few yards before stopping, retching on the sidewalk, drawing a deep breath, snatching up the bag, sprinting while dry heaving, guttural moan trailing in his wake, whereupon he at last conceded by flinging the bag at the dumpster and collapsing in a heap on black asphalt as the bag sailed over the wall behind the dumpster out into the street. He got up slow and, upon seeing spilled blood, screamed enraged at the sky as if the sun itself had torn the flesh of his palms and knee. Chester had inherited his father’s white-hot temper, which teetered on the brink of psychosis during flare ups. I didn’t know what to expect as he approached and said, “What was in there, a fetus?” He passed me staring at the grass wiping bloody palms on his shorts. “Some kind of meat,” he muttered, limping slightly, as I followed him inside and shut the door.

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breakylegg, author of OHCYSP, wrote the above piece about running, because these days he wears a knee brace and is unable to; plus, he still misses W.E.G. after all these years.

The Invitation

by Kimi Goodrich

Now I am all turned up inside because I wasn't expecting to see you so soon, not that it is soon, it's actually been quite a long time, I just didn't expect it at all. Your apology fell on deaf ears, if you were sorry you would have said so sooner, not because the evidence of your wrongdoing was standing in front of your face reminding you of your actions, making you save face by asking me out because you feel guilty and are trying to make it up to me. The last thing I want to do is sit across from you digging around in my mental filing cabinet for the one labeled "small talk," but only coming up with the vault titled "what I really want to say, but don't." Since I don't trust your eyes or what they might discern, I would probably avoid them, taking pains to notice everything else in the room besides you, elevating the levels of uncomfortable awkwardness between you and I to an all time high. However, if I ignore your invite, it will seem like I am doing a "tit for tat," trying to get back at you for ignoring me, but if I tell you to your face I don't want to go, that builds an even deeper reserve behind the dam that already threatens to overspill. Damn you and your topsy-turvy existence in my life; I guess I will accept your invitation if it arrives, and hope that these waters remain intact, but I won't hold my breath.

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Kimi Goodrich, author of Stupid Thumb, never tires of obsessing. In fact, if analyzing things until they are dead and beaten were a contest, she surely would own that title. (But seriously, she is not a stalker.)

The Entertainer

by R.T. Sehgal

The letter was first read silently, then judged entertaining enough to be read out loud. He called over a group to listen, beckoning them with guarantees of laughter, before starting in his most comically serious voice. Several times he stumbled, sometimes because of the difficulty in deciphering the small cursive letters which seemed slightly embarrassed by the wide-ruled paper, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. He was like an orator, a great speaker at a podium in front of the thousands who paid to see him, pausing at the most exemplary passages to allow for gasps and laughs. At the end he laid the note down and felt suddenly full of sadness. He wondered how the meaning would have changed if she had been successful.

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R.T. Sehgal is a sometimes-writer who has written about national affairs for McSweeney's. Most of his work can be found in the charts of his patients.

Cold Humor

by Sarah Schultz-Nielsen

I rubbed my husband's feet in bed one night, and joked that they were like the feet of a corpse. He was wont to waking me very early, curling into to my back first with those cold feet that he would put on the back of my warm legs. I sputtered like an old wife, but I was only 27. Two days after my 30th birthday I saw him in the basement of a funeral home, covered in a scratchy gray blanket, ligature marks on his neck. He was a corpse. What a terrible joke.

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Sarah Schultz-Nielsen is a librarian, but is considering a career change that involves less people and more serenity. She lives in Maine with her husband and 2 dogs. She's had an essay published in Maine Voices: A Celebration of the People of Maine and the Places They Love.

Sugar, Them's Ears Not Handles

by Harry B. Sanderford

Sleepy's hand carresses Cowboy's cheek then tosses his hat and grabs a yank of hair. Cowboy's thinkin' Sleepy might throw dogies in the rodeo as the little lady pushes his face into place but he don't mind the scenery none, kinda takes to it, thinks maybe he'll settle down here. Sleepy closes her eyes and her lips form a small o as Cowboy whispers his muffled story punctuated with kisses. Before long the sleepy cowgirl lets out a breathy sigh, gasps a new lungful, arches her back and shudders, her small o is a larger molar showin' O, then it's OOOOOmygod! Cowboy (thinkin' if'n he had his hat on he'd take it off) glances up for a second and Sleepy gives a look that sorta scares the cowpuncher, then in a voice he don't much care for screams "DONTYOUDARESTOP!" Cowboy's ridden some 'n been throw'd by others, but he weren't ever meant for pullin' up short on the trail, he whoops a giddyup 'n kicks it in for another stretch.

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Harry B. Sanderford, author of A Dog Meat Dog World, is a Central Florida surfing cowboy who'd sooner spin yarns than mend fences.

The Plight of the Underage

by Maxine Riskant

Upon hearing that Jimmy’s cousin would be checking IDs at the bar that night, Haley went home, borrowed her sister’s pink push-up bra and stole her driver’s license out of her wallet, slid into some capri pants and seven-dollar heels, and curled her hair until smoke rose from the barrel. She pulled up in front of the bar in a too-small jeans jacket with a lipstick-coated cigarette moistly hanging from the corner of her mouth. Fully prepared to wave her inside the door so he could get a nice, long look at her ass, the bouncer glanced at Haley’s ID, paused, and said, “Your I.D. is expired, sweetheart, which means I can’t let you in.” Had Haley not been a virgin and clueless about carnality, she might have offered sexual favors in return for getting in the bar. Instead, she had to walk back to her mother’s car, the clacking sound of her cheap shoes echoing off the damp pavement, slide behind the wheel, and drive away while maintaining her composure. After all, no one cried over an expired license.

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Maxine Riskant is a pseudonym for Maxine Dangerous which is a pseudonym for a writer in an unnamed U.S. city who doesn’t make a living off her writing. Yet. Visit her blog, here's your gravy.