Fiction

Two Short-Short Fictions by John C. Goodman

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Living at a Distance

The fog had developed into a persistent cloying drizzle shrouding the Tim Horton’s at the corner of Duckworth and Prescott in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. A woman waited on the corner for the light to change. She looked weighed down, pudgy around the middle, arms hanging lifelessly at her sides, a purse dangling from one hand like a kite caught in a tree branch, straw-blonde hair matted wet from the mist.
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Oxygen by Kenneth Radu

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Oxygen

 

by Kenneth Radu

 

Some days the smell of flowers is nauseous. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a flower hating sort of guy. I’m not afraid to admire roses in a city park or plant marigolds for my mother who now dribbles into her bib at the Nursing home – try to hold your head up, mama, it makes the soup go down easier – it’s just that when confronted with a certain combination of floral beauty resplendent over a coffin, I need all my mental powers, such as they are, to suppress insurrection in my stomach.

Feeling much better today at the visitation, but yesterday the fragrance became so potent that I gasped and had to be held up – held up! – a man of average build, no longer young but not a decrepit octogenarian either – held up by two adolescent sons with iPods plugged into their ears like frigging Martians on a tour of hotspots on earth. Only a Martian would call a funeral home a hot spot. The understated shit-brown draperies and furnishings made you want to cry, except they also seemed to suck in all the oxygen. Show some respect, I wanted to say to my boys, but lack of air and fearful of digested food regurgitating out of my mouth restrained me from correcting manners. Instead, I focused on my stomach jerking about like Michael Jackson’s dancing.
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The Last Savage by Nathaniel George Moore

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Spanning the Reagan/Mulroney 1980s, to the Bush/Chrétien 1990s into the present day – Nathaniel George Moore has created a spirited, humourous microcosm of a middle class family’s disintegration in the new millennium. Expectantly clinging to the myths once held religiously, wherein ‘more is good, much is better, hard work always wins out’ – myths crumbling all the faster the harder The Galores attempt to hold on to them. In this excerpt from Moore’s unpublished novel, The Galores are desperately trying to hold onto the last shreds of their middle class family identity, each member mindful of their role in this shared unfolding fiction – The Last Savage.

~•~

“I was just talking to your dad on the phone, he was having his lunch, it’ll be a year ago that he started working part-time at the funeral home.” Brenda said, putting down a large box of books.

“A year of working undead. Crazy.”
“So what’s the deal with Easter dinner are we going to Grammy’s she coming here, we going to Chuck E. Cheese? Monday Sunday what? I need to plan my weekend.” Holly said with kinetic urgency, one hand half-covering the receiver, the other hand running through her natty hair. “I need to wash my hair but I think it’s raining, what’s the point,” Holly said, now re-engaged with Elizabeth on the phone. She looked to her mother for a response about dinner, to her brother Ricky for no apparent reason, other than he was sitting on the couch, ten feet from her.
“I wanted to have dinner Sunday but your father has to work so Monday at around four o’clock and Grammy might come over,” Brenda said. “Ricky did you go through your room for things to take to the Second Debut?”
“Is that place even still in business?”
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1978 by Daniel Jones – the short story

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1978

 

by Daniel Jones

the short story

 

In 1993, with Urban Graffiti still only a germ of an idea bouncing about my brain, one of the few writers I had even told about it was a friend and fellow micro-press publisher (Streetcar Editions w/ Robyn Gillam), Daniel Jones. He said he had just penned a short story about his punk days in Toronto and would I like to consider it. As it worked out, his short story, “1978”, an early version of his novel of the same name, was Urban Graffiti’s first accepted submission, and set the tone for the litzine for years.

To coincide with the reprint of Daniel Jones novel, 1978, by Three O’Clock Press featuring a Don Pyle photograph of Rojer and Rabies in front of the Horseshoe Tavern, in 1978 – Urban Graffiti is pleased to reprint Daniel Jones’ short story from UG#1.

~•~

Kim screamed at Jacky: “Suck your own pussy! Go fist yourself, you fucking dyke!”

Kim filled her mouth with beer, and then she spat it in Jacky’s face. She threw the bottle at Jacky’s head. The bottle missed and smashed against the wall. Beer and bits of broken glass splashed onto Jacky’s spiked hair and ran down the front of her torn leather jacket.

Jacky sat on the floor with her back against the wall, staring at the cover of a Stooges album. Her lips were parted, as if she were reading what was written there.

“You’re just a fucking clit-teaser,” Kim screamed. She slapped Jacky in the face with the palm of her hand. Jacky did not move. Kim had on straight-legged, tight black pants that she had made by cutting a wedge from the legs of an old pair of bell-bottoms and closing the legs up again with safety pins. She was wearing black, pointed-toe boots. She kicked Jacky in the chest with the toe of her boot. Without looking up, Jacky reached for a package of cigarettes on the floor beside her, took out a cigarette, and lit it.

“Goddamn fucking clit-teaser!” Kim screamed. She punched the wall with her fist, then ran across the room, punching walls and people, whatever got in her way.
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Beer Mystic: A Novel of Inebriation & Light by bart plantenga

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Beer Mystic:

A Novel of Inebriation & Light

bart plantenga

 
Beer Mystic Invitation: Participate in a unique literary adventure that will take you on the longest, rowdiest literary pub crawl ever. Follow the Beer Mystic’s story around the world through a global network of host magazines [next excerpt at end of chapter], each hosting an individual chapter of Bart Plantenga’s novel, Beer Mystic: A Novel of Inebriation & Light. Urban Graffiti is pleased to be hosting Chapter 31 as this blog’s first post. Check out bart’s full bio (and bibliography) at the end of this chapter.

<< Beer Mystic #30: Brews & Books

>Beer Mystic: A Novel of Inebriation & Light by Bart Plantenga

Beer ~•~ Danger ~•~ Night ~•~ Obscure Music ~•~ Mysticism ~•~ Research

The Beer Mystic is Furman Pivo, a dreamer inhabiting the NYC of 1987. One night, like many other nights, Furman is drinking to slow the world down. He discovers himself drunk under a streetlight when suddenly this streetlight goes out, on the blink, extinguished – Poof! – it’s dark. In the ensuing weeks the same phenomenon occurs again, then again and again until the unusual becomes the uncanny, and perceived synchronicity is interpreted mystically – he begins to believe that he is the cause of these streetlight outages. And somewhere in the psychic seam between identity and delusion the Beer Mystic is born. Furman Pivo is inauspiciously called upon to become the Beer Mystic and beer does battle with light – beer vs. light, him vs. cars….

Furman’s life changes, gains substance, focus – a sense of purpose. He believes his new (in) sight empowers him to convert beer and loneliness into belief and respect, a parapsychological alchemy of quasi-religious fervor. His mission: extend the boundaries of fecund darkness, constrict the fields of light, those arenas of control and paranoia. Everything can be explained in terms of light and dark, beer and lust.
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