• If You Want a Job Doing … by Jason Beech

    I wound down my pick-up’s window, hot air meeting the AC, surprised it didn’t cause a crackling little thunderstorm. My son leaned an elbow in the gap, smiled.

    “Is it done, son?”

    He winked. “He’s lying up there, his face in the stream. Ken ain’t getting naked with Anna again.”

    I nodded, eyes opening from narrow inspection of my boy. I watched the stream’s vein pump down the hillside. Rain had beaten down hard last night – made a tile or two fall from the house and kill a chicken. And yet today’s heat had slurped it all from the soil.

    “Check his pulse?”

    His open mouth and widening eyes made me shoulder-barge the door open and spit on his tan boots. I adjusted my hat and took steps to the track carved by God knows how many feet.

    “If you need a job doing …” I rasped.

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  • Brother by Jason Beech

    My younger brother dropped his bags at my feet, said, “I’ll be here a couple of weeks tops, Barney.” He brushed past, leaving his luggage.

    “Sure.” My only reservation: Ely’s drug-dealing. I shrugged. Needed the rent money now I’d been fired .

    He soon relegated me to the basement, taking residence, and court, in my bedroom. Does all kinds of deals in there. Doesn’t want me to see.

    Sheila started as his customer, now she’s his accountant and lover. I hear their bedsprings most nights, lying right beneath them. Wonder how the bedsprings manage it. Glad they do. Don’t want them coming through the floorboards and smothering me with their horny sweat.

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  • Getting Home Late by Jason Beech

    “What the hell happened, Evan?” my wife Sally says, writing another worry line across her prematurely aging forehead. “I…” I show my palms, because I don’t know where the fuck to begin. I think I do. I had just picked my girl Marie up from daycare, her happy babble in the backseat calming me from […]

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