The Jobs I Want Are Never Out Of Your Average Jobs Section

Strolling down Bridge Street my eyes wandered to a sign in a window reading, in big bright yellow letters, BOOKS WANTED. I walked in, greeted the man behind the counter with the highest grade of courtesy I could muster, and handed my CV to him with a casual assurance born of weeks of beating the city’s pavement looking for odd jobs. A manager was produced; we conversed. For this kind of position, you see, credentials don’t matter that much but eloquence, the gift of the gab do. And with these I am blessed, and soon I was offered my own office space, on the shelf, where to box in my chatter. What will I be, the brave man inquired. “A Mikhail Bulgakov, sir.” Of the worst kind, of course. A wild and purring mad Master and Margarita. A slight frown shot through my new owner’s face, then disappeared – he would have preferred a Brown or Meyer, a Rankin even, something he’d get rid of in no time. But as a man of taste, he soon muted his commercial concerns and congratulated me for the soundness of my choice.

So here I am, dear reader, sitting on this shelf as I have been doing for weeks now, and if you are reading this at this very instant, it is that I have started tearing up bits of myself, flyleaves, irrelevant front and back matter, to kill time and boredom and sending them for help. Nobody asks for a Bulgakov these days. I’ll grow old on this shelf. But hell, it’s still better than my last gig as a kitchen porter.

by Armel Dagorn

Armel Dagorn was born in 1985 in France and has been living in Cork, Ireland for the past few years. He reads and writes in his adopted language, English, whenever he gets a chance. His stories appear in magazines such as Southword, trnsfr and Wordlegs. He just opened a little place at

The Unbearable Heat

It’s the usual scene – family, close friends, and distant relatives are packed into a tiny salon. Their black mourning clothes make them indistinguishable from each other. It’s hot.

The tension is extreme. It breaks when the body is carried in. Now comes the theatrics, the crying, the weeping, even fainting. Breath, sighs, sweat, and tears add to the humidity. It’s unbearable. Seated on the sofa, kneading a soaked, wrinkled handkerchief, I can hardly hide my loathing. I want them to go. I wish they would sweat blood rather than salt water.

Gradually the dark figures leave, taking their moans with them. Only a few of his closest friends remain. Attempting to comfort me, they offer me coffee. I shake my head. With disturbed and quizzical looks, they, too, finally depart, leaving me alone, fulfilling my wish which would have shocked them…had they known.

I have long imagined him like this – transparent, bluish. I see the grimace of rictus on his face. It chills me to my bones. His eyes fly open in a bloodshot flash. I feel hot. In a moment, he’ll be inside me, taking my breath away, leaving me to pant.

by Carmen Simón (translated by Toshiya Kamei)  

Car Bombs

We drink until we become different people.  Fuck each other stupid to see who gets the most injuries.  There’s a tally chart on our bedroom wall.  There’s a 911 dialed on a cell phone.  There’s a dispatcher somewhere waiting to hear one of us say, “I don’t know how it happened.”  Last night I went to the hospital.  Two broken ribs and a plum eyeball.  I was trying to be Angelina Jolie.  He was Seth Rogan.  I think we were going for the next cult classic.  I have bark skin where my virginity used to hide.  Instead of a heart beat in my stomach there’s a fist looking for asphalt.  I don’t get knocked up.  I get knocked out.  I can’t remember what missionary position is except that one person is on a mission to find a tidal wave while the other waits for something to happen.  And it never does.  Who is this man lying next to me?  His breath throws Irish car bombs into the mattress.  They explode into nightmares.  I see a ring and I don’t know what that means.  I can’t remember what marriage is except someone stares at a wedding cake, wondering whether she is the bride or the groom, and the other person can’t find the knife.  It’s between my hip and my uterus.  Here.  Take it.

by Jessica Farrell

Femur Flutes

I carve holes in the femur bone of my former enemy. I have sucked the marrow out and cooked his tender flesh for consumption. His organs and muscle I have ground into sausage. I cook the sausage and feed the homeless in Tompkins Square Park. The media heralds me as a generous hearted humanitarian. I am a minor celebrity in my community. I have eaten dinner at Gracie Mansion and have had my portrait done by famous artists that live in the city.

The holes are for a flute. I play strange and beautiful music through my enemy’s leg. The music is dark and sensual. The music is forty thousand years in the making. My Germanic ancestors carved similar instruments from the bones of bears. I am no different from them. There is no more dangerous animal than man.

I make another flute from my enemy’s other leg. The rest of his bones I grind into powder. I mix the powder with cocaine and snort my enemy into me. I absorb my enemy’s powers in this fashion.

I play passionate and sad music on my two red flutes and have no intention of recording my songs. Nothing is permanent. Change is the only constant. I exist in the ether; eternal and illusory.

His teeth I surround with oven bake clay, one at a time. I sculpt tiny animals with the clumps of clay and bake them. I create a glaze with some of the left over blood and all of the little animals are red. I surprise the neighborhood children with my gifts and their mothers adore me. I have two dates with divorcees next week and get away with murder.

by Michael S. Gatlin


Michael S Gatlin just finished his second novel and was recently published in Splizz, Dharma Lick, and Tomato-tomato. He owns a bar in Manhattan called Verlaine—because he couldn’t bare hearing people mispronounce Rimbaud.

The Baby Smiles

A child finds lost earrings in the sand and puts them in her mouth. A seagull picks the corpse of a small-mouth gruntfish and crystal jellies and egg-yolk jellies lie holding in their inner folds the balance of life and decay. Seaweed pops on the rocks. Dry stubbly grass pokes from broken shells and reeds stand up ecstatic in the wind. Sand candies it all. The waves come in lashing their glass nerves at the slope before pulling back across the bay and I run to the water, take a blind fall in the wash. The blessed cold cleans me. She comes carrying my son. The baby smiles watching his parents kiss. Chip vinegar stings my lips. Toes curl down in the sand. Nature forgets itself. She feeds him as it goes dark and together we watch him roll and gurgle on the rug. Up she leaps to find something to drink and my son turns his head to her shortening silhouette. And then I see something unfamiliar in him. Someone I don’t recognise. There she comes, waving her arms so the light of a cigarette traces neon nests in the night. A large wave rolls in. We grab everything and retreat behind the line of seaweed but a bag of clothes is left to the water and I run to retrieve it, and when I return I see them together and my heart knows that it is all a lie – that he is not my child. I put my arm around her waist and she holds the bottle away from my mouth and pours. I gag as the red wine runs down my chin and she kisses me again. The baby smiles.

by Joe Evans


Joe Evans is a TV Producer who lives and works in London, UK. He writes short short fiction and novels. His flash ‘Simple’ appears in the April edition of ‘Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine’.

The Fruits of Our Labors

Mother was in the kitchen slowly stirring a steaming cauldron of Harvest Stew. Both Wesley and Aaron sat in the parlor, gently brushing Marjorie’s golden locks. Sweet aromas danced through the air, filling the house with a warmth and good cheer that had been vacant for decades.

Long had it been since the entire brood was under one roof – and this was truly a harvest to celebrate. Large casks of yams and mead were brought up from the cellar. Even Padre Lorenzo was meant to stop by and say the traditional Navish goat blessing before the great feast began.

Jeremy was wheeling in Brother who nearly leapt from his cage when he caught wind of that sweet slow-roasted acorn squash. In our formative years, we would hand feed Brother stringy bits of mule flesh and leftover crème cakes through his wrought iron bars. I can still see Brother’s quivering lips as he greedily inhaled ever morsel given to him. His razor sharp teeth tearing through bone and vein as if it were salt water taffy. Every Saint Crispin’s Day we would all gather around and laugh with delight as Grand Papa Alphonse would shovel burning embers onto the floor of Brother’s cage. Brother would hop from one foot to the other as his bloodcurdling screams filled the air and unholy terror flooded his eyes.

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