Pour the Whiskey Over My Heart and Set It On Fire

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cat shaking the paw

She could say it if
she wanted
to but
the words would
carry no
weight behind them

like a cat shaking
the paw with
you
and not understanding
the real meaning
behind
the gesture

so was her
every
“I love you.”

Enough to make an
old boy cry
but he
preferred suicide

Needless to say
her response
was
“Meh.”

“Mother forbade feeding the poor thing” Short Story by Bogdan Dragos

The Chamber Magazine

dog

There was a dog outside and it kept barking for some reason. Ah yes, it was chained and the chain was terribly short and the poor animal was hungry.

Mother wouldn’t bother feeding it. No, mother wanted it to die because it had been father’s dog, inherited along with the house after father died. Mother forbade feeding the poor thing.

Her child stood next to the window and listened to the poor thing barking outside. It was better than listening to mother drinking and talking ugly words with her boyfriends.

He opened the window and the dog saw him immediately and barked at him. He wanted to cry. Tried talking to the creature but it wouldn’t listen. It kept barking.

“Mother would cut my hand off if she caught me stealing food for you.”

But he was a smart kid. He leaned over the window and thrust two fingers down…

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vomiting snake by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

 in nights like this he would just drink in the dark and smoke and lie on his side and hallucinate about a snake vomiting vibrating colors on a white wall   Maybe the snake had eaten paint   But it was a small snake no bigger than a worm and the amount of dancing colors it vomited all over was astounding   Enough to paint the whole house   But the colors would never stay on the things they fell upon The colors would bounce around and dance and vibrate mingle with each other and part and mix again   and the small snake would vomit some more and it would make a sound like babies crying   All he wanted in times like these was to crawl over to the poor snake and comfort it in some way pat its head, place it in his armpit to get warm…

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no country for romantic men

and the few survivors who couldn’t
fight 
were lined up
along with the civilians
and shot
or killed in ways to entertain the soldiers
And dogs were trained to
tear them to shreds 
and the ground became black with
their soaked blood
and over the next few days a carpet of
butterflies gathered on top of it

“It’s beautiful,” he said

She didn’t pay attention. Was too busy
removing golden teeth
from a severed head 
she held in her lap. “Dammit, whoever made these
implants did too good a job. I’ve
to take ‘em with gums, alright. Look, my
knife keeps slipping.” 

“Stab his eyes please,” he said

“What? Why?”

“Because he’s looking at us. I can’t 
stand it.”

“Jeez, you’re such a pussy.” She quickly
stabbed the blade into
the head’s eyes one after the other. “Better?” 

“Whatever,” he said. “Just hurry up 
and pull those teeth.” 

“I’m trying. If I had better tools though…”

He was silent for 
a long time and then
he cleared his throat and said, “Hey, so… now that this
shitty war is over… like, what are you
gonna do with your life?” 

“I don’t know,” she said. “Get myself a few
gold teeth as extra spoils and
go back home. My mom wants
me to marry this
fat guy from the neighboring village. I probably
will then I’ll shit him out a few
kids and… well, grow old and die, I guess.” 

“What? Is that it? That’s all?”

She looked at him with
a grin. “Hey, don’t worry, you’re still
getting some. Just wait until
tonight, okay?” 

“Dammit, that’s not what the heck
I meant. I meant… you know, there’s gotta be
more to life than just… just 
getting married, making kids, and dying.” 

“Really? Well, what are you
gonna do then?”

“I’m… gonna write. About it all. The war
and… everything.” 

“Write? Like, a book? A story?” 

“Yeah. It’s been my dream
since before the war started. Now I’ve the
experience to write about.”

“Bullshit experience,” she said. “Who in the fuck
d’you think will wanna read that? 
What’s the story gonna say? How you 
killed the enemy? Poisoned their wells? Raped
their women and enslaved their children? 
Stuck twigs down the dick holes of
prisoners and broke them inside for fun?”

“Hey, I never did any of that.” 

“But you were there when the
others did it. And did nothing to stop them.
It counts as--”

“Fuck! Okay, you’re right. Writing a book
about this would be
a terrible idea. Thanks.”

“Shit, look, I got one. This is solid gold. 
Two more to go.” 

He sighed. “Listen…”

“Yeah?”

“About that marriage of yours…”

“Yeah? What about it?”

“Well, let’s just say… I mean, you know…”

“Fuckin’ spit it out already!”

“Don’t marry that fat guy from
the neighboring village! Fuck, I said it.”

“Oh? And marry you instead?” 

“Well…”

“Y’know, the fat guy from the neighboring village
is the son of a fairly rich butcher. Family
business. And you… Your father’s the
drunk who hung himself to avoid paying 
back his debts. You see the conflict here, I hope.” 

“So all you care about is money?”

“Why wouldn’t I care about money? I want to
live good, thank you very much. This is 
the real world, not some
romantic story. Wake up. I gotta make the
rational decision.” 

“I thought we had… something.” 

“Yeah, we fucked a few times cuz’ there
was nothing better to do. And we’ll
fuck again tonight, sure. But 
that don’t mean we’re lovers now. Look, you’re
a nice guy. I’m sure you’ll find
love back at home. You don’t need a bitch
like me. I mean, if you think I’m not
gonna screw other guys
behind my husband’s back, you’re seriously trippin, boy. 
So think about it, that could’ve been you. Would
you want that?”

“No, I suppose not.” 

“Good. Well then, let’s get these teeth
and go have some ale. It’s on me.”

She stood and with her hand
soiled with blood
she reached out and pinched his cheek
and stretched it to force 
a smile on his face. “C’mon, cheer up, damn you!
We still have a life ahead of us. Let’s
fuckin’ live it.” 

“Yeah… let’s.” 

Hey, if you enjoyed this lovely love story and would not be bothered to see more, please consider subscribing by typing your e-mail address below. I swear there’ll be no spam. Just more heartwarming stories (^_^)
Thank you.

songless bird

a songless bird

that would be the nicest
name she’d been
called

the others,
far more common,
being
that little wench
your bastard kid
the little rat
useless piece of shit that came outta you
and others

She liked the term
songless bird
It was a title worthy of her in
all the good and the
bad ways

The songless bird stands
locked in her room
and knocks and waves in
the window
for she has no voice to sing

She gives silent cries to the
neighbors and
the passersby when the noises
from the other side of
her door
get too violent

or when it smells
of smoke

Which happens
every now
and then

hope she’s okay wherever she is

she kept saying how much she
hated her tattoos

and kept showing them
to us

"Got 'em when I was young and
dumb and now I
jus' wanna rip my skin off."

She pulled her skirt up
to show one on her inner thigh. "Ugh, look at 
this one. It's supposed to
be a bottle of Jack but looks
like a wrinkly dick that's about to
get in. Shit, and this one… This one
looks more like a cunt than
an eye, really." She kept pulling her
skirt up farther and farther
until it became very
clear that she
had no underwear

"You wanna touch it? she'd ask
from time to time

It was funny cuz she was in her late
twenties and we
were kids. I was twelve if I remember right

She probably got a kick
out of making young boys horny 

It validated her
and we had not a damn thing to object

Good times

“the veins” Short Story by Bogdan Dragos

The Chamber Magazine

Something wasn’t quite right in this small, barren room. The man sitting across the square table, dressed in a white coat, seemed a little to calm for someone in reaching distance.

‘I could just reach for that bald head and snap the neck real nice,’ he thought as he watched the man. ‘What does he want from me? More questions?’

It was indeed more questions.

“So,” said the man in the white coat, “if you are ready to speak, I am ready to listen. I am here for you.”

“How come you’re still alive?” he asked the man.

And the man answered, “What do you mean?”

“Are you one of the few who adapted?”

“Adapted? That’s interesting. Please, explain. What do you understand through this adaptation you speak of?”

He shrugged. “I just… thought I’m the only one who adapted. To the new life.”

“I see. And what about your…

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a woman named Cactus

high school dropout

out of a job

out of options

soon to be out of the
rented studio
apartment

he went to the local bar
and drank himself
to the point he had to vomit
to make room for more
and next thing
he knew
he was dating a woman
named Cactus

Life can get pretty
weird when
you don’t live it
consciously

I knew the guy and heard
he moved in
with his lover
and started a new life

I really, really hope the
headline
“LOCAL ALCOHOLIC DEVELOPS SCHIZOPHRENIA,
DISMEMBERS GIRLFRIEND
PLANTS HER LIMBS IN FLOWERPOTS,
STICKS NEEDLES IN THEM”
is not about him

spend the quarantine at your girlfriend’s house, they said

the atmosphere in the living room
felt classic

He kept asking what was
wrong
and she kept saying
nothing was wrong
when clearly there was something
very wrong

He counted
and it took precisely
74 questions, true
detective’s work, to make her
say it

“Well perhaps I am a little mad,” she
said

“Jesus Christ,” he said, “why?”

And she asked, “Do I have my
panties on or not?”

“What? What the…? How do
you want me to know?”

“Exactly,” she said. “You can’t possibly
know because you didn’t
check. You think I’m wearing
a skirt because I
wanna look trendy while staying
indoors? Why must
you be so blind, man?”

“Well shit, I don’t know,” he snapped,
“perhaps it
has something to do with
the fact that your
nine-year-old kid is around and I’m
trying to be a decent
human being. Have you considered
that?”

“Oh, so you’re saying you’ve
got no skills?” she said

“Skills?” he raised his voice
higher. “Oh, so reaching
under a woman’s skirt without her
kid noticing is a skill now? Is that
how you view the perfect man, darling?”

“Hey, lower your
volume. He’ll think we’re fighting.”

He threw his
hands up. “And we aren’t?”

She rolled her eyes.

The quarantine lockdown
had just begun

“A spider web full of butterflies. Shaking in the wind” Short Story by Bogdan Dragos

The Chamber Magazine

She stretched on the bed and reached with her long leg and placed her foot on his desk, before him, on the notebook he was writing in.

“Wow,” she said. “Your place is so small, like a box of matches. And so empty. So lonely. Why don’t you ever have anyone over? I never see or hear you talking to people. Why must you be like that?”

“I don’t like people,” he said.

“Why?”

“Don’t ask silly questions. For the same reason I don’t like hotdogs. I just don’t like them.”

“Do you like me?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Would you like me to leave?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know a lot of things, boy. I came to you because… I wanted to have a place from which I’d be missed if I left. I thought the heart of someone as lonely as you would be…

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