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The Scum Gentry Alternative Arts and Media.
The Scum Gentry Prose Desk: literary magazines and writing websites hub: literary fiction, horror stories, weird fiction and more...

Being Sax - Short Story by Jim Meirose

That dog was perfectly trained, my man—that dog would let me know he wanted to go potty, and we’d go on a walk and he would do nothing, just enjoy the hell out of the walk and look all bright-eyed and proud that he had held it and asked me to take him out; as it was generally considered to be the last witchcraft trial in early modern France, the Cadière affair was central to the volatile politics of seventeen thirties France, a time when magistrates and lawyers were seeking to contain clerical power, but, no never mind that all, sure we went out, and then after I was all exhausted from the walk in the hundred degree blazing knifeblade of a super-sharp Summer day, I’d bring him home and let him in, and right after I took off the leash he’d squat and let both numbers out on the floor, and wag his tail and look up and smile at me all big-eyed, fully expecting a treat! Perfectly trained!

Hobo?

Hobo.

No please not hobo, after all that’s too ridiculous, chuckled Doctor Sax. It makes me laugh like hell yes it makes me; as the two men sat taking a break from Stannie’s weekly eight-hour intensive boot camp supersax lesson, in the tiny airless music studio with their gigantic tenor saxophones laid across their bone-dry knees...



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Lifesaver - Short Story by Jacob DeCoursey

Once, when I was little, I tried to fix my stuffed animal’s scuffed eye with a Sharpie. I slipped and left a giant blot over its glass retina. My favorite toy. So I tried to add more black to cover it, more and more corrections, until it was completely blind. So I cried. And then I put it into a box which eventually became a mystery underneath my bed.

Tonight’s venue was a refurbished church which homeless-by-choice punksters had renovated into a sanctuary. The final band was packing up their gear when the lights came on while the floor of kids in studded-denim vests began moving like a swirl of bubbles in a murky sea, fragments of the whole breaking off and floating towards the exit. Those who came here, they dreamed of a freedom I couldn’t understand: of hopping trains and sleeping on park benches and sharing cigarettes with toothless creatures leathered by the sun. They were building their mythos night by night. You could see it behind their eyes, how much they wanted to believe in nothing so they could only hope to believe in something. Macy was one of them. I stood with her before the stage, leaning our elbows on a tall, sticker-covered PA monitor.

“Can we go?” She asked.

“I’m starving,” I shouted past my own ringing ears. I was tired and hungry after dancing for hours.

“Do you have money for the drive-thru?” she asked...


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The Last Agent - Short Story by David King

I travelled 30,000 light years and slept most of the way. Insect dreams of sex. That’s what hypersleep does to you. Fucks you around big time. Arrive not knowing if you’re human or some kind of slug on two legs. Stagger down white transit tube whole line of men women children insects waiting behind clear plastic walls yelling screaming give me give me flicky fluck bam bam want hotel cheap tacti tacti me you flicky fluck cheap. Then empty white room, passport control officers in black. Your business, sir? Try to remember. What did they tell you? Takes days to recover. Some never do. You see them crawling down alleys, hands out, gills hyperflating puh-leeze mister you give a damn? Well, I did, but couldn’t afford to. Like always forever. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

I was there for a reason. They don’t send an agent 30,000 light years for fun costs too much. But I couldn’t remember. Lost in a city of rusting iron structures with tiny wood and corrugated iron cubicles soaring into brain dense neural lightning flashes no idea where to start what to look for. Narrow bridges all kind of scrap material swaying between iron bar structures over filthy brown canals said to contain electric lampreys the size of anacondas and poisonous angler fish. No place for swimming and if fishing’s your thing forget it.

Six agents gone. Number seven walking past radioactive street girls on stereo ice radiating lust. Me mister, me mister. You want me mister. Hotel room hot orange light ceiling fan goes round and round with bad helicopter sound as sweating bodies pneumatic breasts lips jackhammer...


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