By Graham Robert Scott
The pages of my grandmother’s personal cookbook were yellowed, brittle; any recipe not in her hand, a heavily annotated clipping.
“You aren’t looking through my old recipes again, are you?” she called from the deck.
“Good. Amateur scribbles. Buy a real book. From a TV chef.”
I turned the page. The next recipe, in her hand, called for “1 human head, pickled.” I squinted, tilted, peered. Failed to decipher those words as anything else.
“Could you bring out some tea?” she called. “Green tea in the fridge is fine.”
Such was my haste, I spilled some on the counter.
By Christine Goodnough
Uncle Eric captivated the children with his alien spaceship story at the family picnic. Especially Andy, who peppered Eric with questions until mom finally shushed him.
While fixing their burgers by the grill, Andy piped up, “Uncle Eric …”
“Hush! You’ve pestered Uncle enough.”
“But Mom …”
Dad frowned. “Not another word until after dinner.” Andy sighed and shrugged.
After they’d eaten Eric said, “Now Andy, what did you want to tell me so badly before?”
“Two flies landed in the ketchup on your burger and you didn’t see when you put the top on. It doesn’t matter now. They’ve … uh … disappeared.”
By J.J. Vaughan
The construction site was booming
Roofers were swearing over blaring stereos,
3 PM summer sun was beating down.
Pushing a wheel barrel all day,
A bead of sweat dropped from under my hard-hat
And over my safety glasses,
Almost impairing my vision of a jogger:
Low-cut tank top.
Shit. I’m one of those “creepy” construction guys.
Don’t stare, I think.
But just then she looked up at a shirtless roofer:
I should become a roofer.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
By The Urban Spaceman
Two weeks into summer break and bored out of their minds, Tommy and D.J. rode their bikes two miles to the abandoned church in the countryside. They spent three days chiselling the image of a giant penis into an outer wall, and the rest of the summer giggling over their artistic accomplishment.
In 2717, following the aftermath of the Earth-Venus conflict, two anthropologists from Mars University won the prestigious Hawking Prize, and a substantial credit grant, for their discovery of an ancient fertility pilgrimage site and its importance in proving how primitive terrestrial humans were obsessed with phallic worship.
“I’m looking for crystals.”
“We have some excellent chakra re-aligners. They also treat mange.”
“Is your shop affiliated with Cosmic Roy’s?”
“Not quite. We harvest our crystals while Sirius is in retrograde. Cosmic Roy can’t say that.”
“While you’re here, check out the salt lamps.”
“Do those work?”
“Sure do, and our salt is from the Ganges Mountains. You can taste the ions.”
“My cat has diabetes. Can’t I treat that with the crystals I have at home?”
“Our wares are specifically formulated for animals. I wouldn’t endanger my pet with products intended for humans.”
By E.F. Olsson
The news finally broke in interrupting the television show. I was disappointed – not from the show and the bad actors, but because they took so long.
The anchor anxiously warned that the police were on a city-wide lookout for a man, a potential serial killer, and everyone should stay indoors. They gave a description and broadcasted the sketch artist’s rendition from the lone witness.
Once they returned back to normal broadcasting, I went out onto the porch, lit a cigarette, stared up at the moon and smiled at how uncannily accurate that drawing was.
Perhaps I should grow a beard.