• El Dulce by Zachary Wilhide

    “I didn’t call any plumbers,” Louis barked at us through the tiny slit made by the chain lock.   His breath smelled bad and that didn’t do anything for my mood.  My head hurt and the aspirin I took in the van wasn’t even touching it. I sighed and stepped back.   I looked at Green Johnny […]

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  • Square by Zach Wilhide

    Indistinct shapes danced in the windows as the stolen Toyota’s speedometer twitched toward ninety. Small tremors filled the cab and Joel wondered if the pickup truck would make it to Elvis Leary’s apartment on Newtown Road. He had some things to say to the man.

    Joel tightened his grip on the vibrating steering wheel and reflected on the events that brought him to this moment. The easy in-and-out job that went tits up, the subsequent arrest and too-quick trial all floated dreamily through his consciousness, like they were scenes from a movie. The most damning memory appeared clear, however: He had served five years’ hard time in Brunswick because his partner went canary on him. Angrily, he took a pull from his cigarette and opened the window. The crisp December air stung his bald head like alcohol on razor cuts. His jaw clamped tighter.

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  • Craig County by Zachary Wilhide

    Boyd and I got the call on the radio sometime around mid-afternoon. Apparently, Jed and Tyler Garvey were back to cooking meth up in their trailer a few miles north of Caswell holler. Lorraine’s voice crackled something about military-grade weapons, but we couldn’t hear all of it on account of the mountains. I felt a jolt of anxious adrenaline as Boyd pushed down on the accelerator and we started tearing ass up further into Craig County.

    Outside my window the leaves were starting to change and the trees stood like colorful sentries guarding a population of nervous deer. I lowered my window and let in the pungent earthiness of autumn. Within a few seconds I was out in my tree stand, freezing except for the coffee in my thermos, my gun nestled between my thigh and tree trunk. I looked down and saw deer walking back and forth underneath me, miles away from the crime and violence of Appalachian poverty. Boyd’s voice jerked me back into reality.

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  • Witch Hunt by Zachary Wilhide

    Cooking fires smoldered, bull frogs croaked and the occasional dog barked as me and Green Johnny stumbled through the poorly lit center lane of the sleepy Stetson River RV- Park at three in the morning on a Tuesday night. Connor Dawkins’s rig was three units on the right and we could already hear the muffled […]

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  • Collection Notice by Zachary Wilhide

    It was too god damned hot as I pulled into a dusty Wal-Mart parking lot in Shamrock, Texas around 10 a.m. CST.  Shamrock, Texas was a single flashing yellow light dumped in the middle of the panhandle, halfway between Oklahoma and New Mexico.  Broke, hungry and far from home I’d decided to call on an […]

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