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Celebrity Sperm Bank
I am so sick of this shit. They should rearrange their letters like I do and call it USuCk. I mean, who do they think they are? They don’t even know who I am, ’cos when I said, “Do you know who I am?” they were all like, “We know you’re about to fail this semester,” and I was like, “Whatever,” and they just told me I’d have to take it up with my professor. So, here I am in Debussy’s office when I could be, like, anywhere else and not soiling my skirt on this sticky, splintery-ass, pseudo-interrogation chair in front of his desk.
He’s got a beard like he’s from the nineteenth-century and goes, “Hello Cecille, it’s nice to finally meet you,” like he’s never seen me before. Which, okay—I guess there’s a chance he hasn’t noticed me in the twelve-thousand people in his American Lit class. And, I guess I’ve never raised my hand, or even been there that often, but still…
Prince Charming Rides in from Brooklyn on a Bike
Tonight you’re the one making the booty call. Your logic is flawless: you want to get laid, Grindr scares you, you’re too lazy to make yourself pretty for going out, and it’s going to be four hours until anyone interesting goes near a bar anyway. In the past—and by “past,” we are talking three times, four if you count the night you met—in the past, he has called—and by “called,” we mean texted, this is the modern age—he has called you. Still, you don’t believe this is a faux pas, and if it is, you do not want to be fuck-buddying a guy who’s put off at being the called rather than the caller.
He texts that he will be right over. You primp expediently.
His name is Ethan. You met him at a party thrown by a girl you don’t know who is friends with your friend’s boyfriend. There was punch: two parts pineapple juice, two parts grenadine, eighteen parts tequila. You fooled around in the bathtub and, thank you Jesus and blue agave, immediately friended each other on Facebook. He used this information three weeks later to invite you over. You have never seen him sober.
The Family Jewels
A mystery set in the 1920s, continuing the adventures of Frederick Babington.
It was a beautiful, crisp, and colorful autumn afternoon. Frederick Babington, who was visiting his aunt in the Suffolk village of Abbotshill, decided to take a walk. Though the injuries he’d received during the Great War had taken a long time to heal, he was beginning to feel truly well again. His leg no longer pained him and he’d discarded his cane.
Billy Watkins, Freddie’s manservant who had saved his life during the war and looked after him diligently since, insisted that he take a coat in case the evening grew chilly and not tire himself by going too far. Freddie promised to be back in time for dinner and grabbed his tweed coat down from the rack by the front door on his way out.
He had a delightful time wandering the country lanes around Abbotshill, climbing the green hills and kicking up piles of golden and russet leaves that had fallen under the trees. At dusk, he headed back toward his aunt’s house by way of the Rose and Crown pub; a pint of the local beer seemed just the thing to complete his outing.
Why do things have to be so complicated, he thought while watching the boy cry. Old man Johnson, the veterinarian, had come down from the pavilion where both men had seen the race and the accident. Dr. Johnson had administered the shot that made the horse’s spasms stop forever. The boy didn’t stop crying until the tractor came with a chain to drag the carcass down to the far end of the arena. Even then he stood watching the boy.
A glint from the movement brought him back to his place in the stands. Tobacco spittle had sprinkled his white shirt with various shapes of browns. Flecks of sputum had made concentric circles of shadings. Splashes and stains. He must have been mumbling to himself he thought. Then he heard the hurried conversations re-creating the accident.
“Broke one foreleg and I’ll be goddamned if he…..”
“You see that jockey? That old boy sure enough must have broke his back.”
“When’s the next race?”
“And then the other leg tried to catch all the weight and she just busted into a heap.”
“Too bad. What are you drinking anyway?”
The Ferocious Night
“La mort, c’est le commencement de quelque chose.”
(“Death is the beginning of something.”)—Edith Piaf
The end: when had it begun?
In Geoff’s opinion it had started with the body they’d found washed up on the beach. He was mistaken—a story, a final chapter, does not begin from nowhere, in the fiftieth year of a man’s life; it simply continues—but he was convinced that had they not found the body, he would still be alive.
The storms had thrown a multitude of items onto the beach; piles of seaweed, sections of fishing nets, driftwood, a scattering of stones, many of them big enough to cause injury should a person be struck by one. They were not unusual, but this time the sea had cast up something else. It was not immediately identifiable, just a light coloured shape on the sand. As they approached it, two crows hopped into sight, pecking at whatever it was. It was then that Geoff suspected it was a body. Ever the protective father, he warned Lillian to stay away, but ever the headstrong daughter, she ignored him.
They studied the body.
“What is it?” asked Lillian.
It was a white mass, tapered at one end, about three feet in length. Geoff guessed that its girth was almost as much. It was covered in thick, white fur. The underside was shaggy and dotted with sand. Geoff was almost tempted to stroke it. The top was different. The fur here was unattractive; assimilating, it seemed, with the white stickiness underneath.
The Wapshott Press would like to thank Ann Seimens and Sam Labutis for their support of this issue.