Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, web-surfing I.Q.-augmented transgenic pets and government-controlled robotic mites photographing this computer screen, it gives me great pleasure to usher in . . . [trumpet fanfare & rumble of kettledrums] . . . our first Co-op Writers’ Showcase!
The theme for June 2017 was: 100 Words (Maximum) Related to Numbers. A warm round of applause for all the fast-typin’, hard-thinkin’, talented scritch-scribblers who participated in this inaugural exercise. In no particular order, then:
Writer: Perry Palin
Title: Ten Words
Ten words. The note was ten awful words on a half sheet of lined paper torn from a notebook, crumpled, then smoothed and folded between the pages of a college text.
A spring wind had turned over the leaves on the trees, and then a warm rain rinsed the city dust into the street. Birds carried little things to make their nests. I remember your dark eyes, the hair on your arms, I remember the scent of you. The envelope had melted in the rain, but the message was there.
“I won’t be there Tuesday. I can’t do this anymore.”
Writer: Kris Bowes
Chapter excerpt from Beneath Ember Skies
She wandered down the hallway to room eight. Eight, she thought, how sacred and profane. Change one letter for a fight.
The room was immaculate, save the young man inside the exothermal chamber.
Eight: the only other perfect cube that’s a positive Fibonacci prime.
He looked so much smaller inside the chamber.
In the old faiths, eight meant a new beginning, resurrection from death and ascension into eternal life.
She saw a flash of her three-year-old Ray.
Circumcision committed the Holy Spirit to the newborn on the eighth day – maybe it was the other way around. Who knew anymore?
Writer: Mimi Speike
Writer: Atthys Gage
Title: Three Brutal Curses
He stood, hands dangling. The big guy took his backpack.
“Pleasure doin’ business with you, puto.”
They turned and walked. They hadn’t even frisked him.
His dad always told him: count to ten before you do something stupid. On ten, the little snubnose was in his hand. It barked three brutal curses.
One man dropped. The other scrambled away into the darkness.
Night shivered in silence. He approached the crumpled man. “I’d like a refund, please.”
He took the loco’s handgun. He took the backpack. And he walked.
Ten steps away, and nausea doubled him up like a gut punch.
Writer: Carl E. Reed
Einsatzgruppe C assembled on the parade ground at high noon in Central Ukraine. Their collective punishment: decimation for failing to capture an assigned quota of Jews.
“Sieben, acht, neun . . .” the major counted off, pacing the second row of paramilitary police standing at ramrod attention.
Sprawled on the ground in the first row: two corpses in spreading pools of blood.
“Zehn!” The major halted, raised his pistol to the head of Sgt. Schmidt.
Schmidt locked eyes with his commanding officer. “Still human,” he said. Yesterday he’d discovered two boys hiding in a crawlspace; moved on without sounding the alarm. “You lose.”