The Scum Gentry Prose Desk

My Own Worst Enemy

My Own Worst Enemy

Short Fiction
Jenny Butler
The unmistakable stench of death drew the flies. The contrast was striking, black fly bodies swarming around light pink plastic rollers in a mass of bloodied hair. Blowflies laid their eggs in the woman’s eyes and mouth in the limited fly-knowledge that these moist places are the best and one needs to get in and lay one’s eggs before the corpse desiccates. Some of them got in four minutes after the point of death, not from the smell but from watching from nooks and cracks in the walls, aware of the bloating and the dried-sweat salt on the too-warm skin. When the blood-containing foam started to leak from the nose, all local flies were abroad, even ...
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Fear and Trembling

Fear and Trembling

Short Fiction
Jonah Howell
After a long struggle which left small red indentations in most of the fingers on his right hand, Abe wrenched the keyring from the pocket of his Wranglers, shook out some unidentifiable dust and stray tobacco shavings, untangled the floppy rubber dog’s ears from the ring proper, paused under a wash of guilty pride upon seeing his toddler’s gift, and embarked upon the infinitely more strenuous task of setting his one decrepit key into its lock, his second-least-favorite activity, on account of the myriad infinitesimal bends and cracks where the hexagonal butt of the key attached to the shaft—products of improvisational bottle-opening—the sight of which never failed to fray his already threadbare nerves with the possibility, ...
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The Energy of a Stone

The Energy of a Stone

Short Fiction
Jonathan Darren Garcia
Rosemary Journal #1 4/Virgo/2009 . I tried to kill myself. Still, I lay here like a rigid stone etched with scars and without pulse. It’s been rough getting that out, even on here. It was a moment of weakness on my part. I guess—I’ve had many moments of weakness… I really didn’t enjoy fading in and out of consciousness and seeing my mother in a panic though. That was a first for me. I’ve been inside this hospital for about four days now. I have no access to anything here other than my journal and Whisper. I get to go outside for however long I want if the sun is out. Which is great because ...
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Bonswa, Saint-Jean

Bonswa, Saint-Jean

Short Fiction
Patrick Karl Curley
Staring out the window, Sebastian saw the brash, orange sun of early morning set fire to the tails of trailing clouds. He saw three quarrelling grackles swirling downward to the scorched ground; the tortured, singed grass; the ragged reeds and flies and crow feathers caught on tangles of rusty, broken barbed wire which came away from a fence-post and down in a fractured spiral to the cracked soil. It had been dry for several weeks, but it would surely rain today. An arabesque of emotion uncurled inside him when he thought of that delicate, happy face and those smiling, azure eyes. The scent of her skin was still upon him. He wanted to thank her ...
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Dumpster RabbittZ – Part Five

Dumpster RabbittZ – Part Five

Serial Fiction
Bryan Higby and Ricky D. Snyder
Chapter Four Miles Schakowsky was punching the clock, about an hour and a half late, at The CarLowDen Animal Control Department when he heard the telephone ring in the front office. That asshole Bernie had probably skipped out at four. Asshole, Miles thought, but then again, he was over an hour and a half late himself, and Bernie’s shift did end at four. He checked the heat on the front office coffee pot, still hot, but probably as strong and thick as tar, Miles thought. Okay that was fine with him since he needed the early morning wake-me-up anyway. Miles wasn’t as young as he used to be. Pushing fifty with a ...
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Only Dimes

Only Dimes

Short Fiction
Jim Meirose
I’ll tell you the story, Doc—I only want dimes. I like the way dimes feel in my hand and I like the way they look. There’s no reason to carry any other kind of coin. I can’t help it Doctor. I like dimes. Quarters are too big. They’re heavy in the hand. They’re big and they’re gross and I want nothing to do with them. Pennies aren’t worth anything. What can you buy with a penny but a one cent stamp? I’m hung up on money Doctor. All I can think about are coins. Nickels. Never thought much of nickels either. And dollars—just think, they used to make silver dollars, all heavy and gross. Nothing beats ...
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Requiem for an Unmade Film

Requiem for an Unmade Film

Short Fiction
David King
You get a preview of what’s to come. If you were alone, you’d be sitting in a tiny little Housing Commission flat in the Park Street Towers South Melbourne looking down over the street with some race caller gunning for vocal orgasm as an old dreck in an ex-Army greatcoat staggers down the street toward the traffic lights, and just as the caller hits the climax and some horse goes past the finish line and it’s all over again until next time folks, the old dreck reaches the lights and keels over. Slow-ly. And the traffic just keeps on going up and down the street with the old dreck lying there and the race caller gasping ...
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Before the Flood

Before the Flood

Short Fiction
Jacob Ian DeCoursey
By the fifteenth month, the whole damn state had grown so thirsty the ground seemed to drink the sap of its own trees. Those of us who remember admit to speaking of rain the way some Christians speak of the apocalypse, so that in every town it seemed there was someone pointing out signs of the times. Dead fish lay rotting at the pebbled bottoms of shrunken streams. Nightly, stroboscopic heat lightning, like war in heaven, would herald strange distant fires. Behind the hills, rising smoke mixed with the ever-pregnant clouds so that the throbbing firmament seemed to cry out in agony of its pangs. Even the Big Lake seemed much depleted, revealing the ghoulish ...
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