A Joke for Jesus

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By Roy Gomez

We stood in the first pew, before the altar. As an usher approached, offering a brotherly hand — which signifies Christian Fellowship, you know — my friends and I didn’t dare to even glance at each other. I stretched my arm. Slipped him this mannequin’s hand I’d found and let it go. We tittered. We could’ve cracked up. Only the usher scowled: Did I believe Jesus thought this was funny? Yes. Why not? After all those years, nailed to that cross, I’d imagined He would. Turning, raising my eyes, feeling a smidgen of His sorrow again, I still believed it. Laugh, Jesus!

          
R. Gomez has been kicking words around for a while. He lives with his wife and pets on a hillside overlooking Medina Lake directly in the center of the Milky Way.

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Animal Costumes

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By James Burt

In Portugal, it is illegal to dress any animal as a human. The law has remained on the statute book for centuries, although the fine remains the same, at one silver piece. It’s allowed for people to dress as animals, but only before noon or on Sundays – and decorating buildings as animals is essential in Lisbon on Easter weekend. But if you put a bonnet on a bunny, a waistcoat on a dog, or sunglasses on a cat, it’s a police matter. Even tourists get arrested – and the British embassy never intervene as ignorance of the law is no excuse.

         
James writes in Brighton, England, where he runs the Not for the Faint-Hearted writing workshop.

Charade

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By Jemma Morriss

film
and book
six words
first word
THE

second word
me?
I?
Gerald
Gerry
Gezzywezzy
boy
man?
MAN?
okay the man …

third word
little word
it? on?
at?
bigger?
and?
but?
who?
bigger? not little then is it, nitwit. could be anything.
do the fourth word

fourth word
THE

fifth word
hand
finger?
knuckle
ring?
wedding?
mistake
disaster?

it’s not that funny, Margaret

gold?
goldfish!
golden?
GOLDEN
the man something the golden …

sixth word
two
fingers?
point
pointing
you?
us?
family?

try the third word again

trousers
pocket?
fucksake which word, Gerry?

oh my god is that a gu …

        
Jemma Morriss writes short fiction and is working on her first children’s novel.

OUT OF OFFICE (email)

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By Lorna Stewart

I am currently out of the office.

For any urgent matters contact Linda on the number below. She will be stressed believing I have gone to the vending machine. Instead, unauthorized, I have taken the pool car. Hopefully by the time they realize I will be in a hotel bar with a fancy cocktail waiting for that geeky guy from IT to arrive with plane tickets.

Otherwise you can visit our website but we are currently experiencing technical difficulties. This is due to Andrew, geeky guy, inserting a virus so we could empty the company bank account.

            
Having grown up in a typing pool, Lorna moved to switchboard for a short period before joining the sales office. She likes to day dream of escape while staring out of the tinted windows pretending to be working.

Invisible Dude

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By David Berger

This morning I woke up invisible. It took a minute or two to get used to. Wife and kids away. Wow!

It’s freakin’ 50° outside, but I don’t care. Glass and dog shit on the sidewalk Who cares? I’m headed for that house nearby no one talks about. I knock on the door. The lady opens up and I slip by her.

For an hour, I watch girls do odd things with gentlemen. It gets boring rapidly.

Back on the street headed home, I bang into something hard. It’s another invisible person.

“Who is that?” I hear my wife say.

               
Dave Berger is a union organizer living in New York City. His wife is a “stupendous jazz singer.”

Note on the Fridge Door

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By Michael Bloor

In 1507, Father John Damian (aka Giovanni Damiano de Falcucci), alchemist to James IV of Scotland, announced that he had discovered the secret of flight. Festooned in hen feathers, he stood on the battlements of James’ Royal Castle on Stirling Rock, declared that he was bound for France, and launched himself into space.

He fell straight into the castle midden, breaking his thigh bone. A truly spectacular miscalculation, but the king forgave him.

So could you maybe follow Good King James’ example, and forgive my failure to stop before I’d hit the back-wall of the garage?

          
Michael Bloor is a retired sociologist living in Dunblane, Scotland. His recent publications include The Cabinet of Heed, Ink Sweat & Tears, Occulum, The Copperfield Review, Scribble, Dodging the Rain, Everyday Fiction, The Fiction Pool, Firewords, and Spelk.

The Very Short Poem

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By John L. Malone

I’ve got a poem for you, a very short one, he promised with a garrulous grin, and then, in a long-winded introduction in which all the masters of brevity were cited from Basho to Lydia Davis, he proceeded to demolish all notions of shortness. The poem took ten seconds, the intro five minutes.

         
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.