raccoon by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

always cold in the north

perhaps coming here
was a
mistake after all
It's not so much the weather as
it is the ever gray sky

It favors depression

Lack of sunlight
lack of vitamin D

He walked his dog around the
block
and counted zero smiles
out of sixty-three faces seen
and passed by

The block was no fun
so he followed the dog into the
back alleys. It
picked up on
some
smell

and the smell grew potent enough
that even he
was beginning to feel it

Not pleasant

He expected a dumpster

But found two dumpsters
and a homeless
old man huddled between
them
Ragged to threads
holding a dead raccoon on his lap
eating from its flesh

raw
and bloody

Aw shit, he whispered.
Maybe this place
ain't so bad
after all

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Failing Forward by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

Mafalda by Quino

in high school he repeatedly told her that he was saving himself for marriage and eventually she left him alone but after graduation she approached him yet again and this time he told her that he was focusing on his career as a writer they both had their dreams and they kept dreaming and fighting to accomplish them, insisting and getting up from every defeat failing forward as some would say It took decades but eventually both of their dreams came true they were married and he still hadn’t struck a deal with any publisher but made a relatively okay income self-publishing he wrote for a very narrow niche very trashy erotic fiction and his lovely wife helped him with inspiration and research “C’mon,” he urged her, “moan a bit harder, cry some too.” she did as she was told as he went around her with the…

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open casket funeral by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

what would be the reason to have an open casket funeral? Why should the living see the dead? He addressed the questions to no one in particular but his dead wife answered from the picture on the wall "Don't you wanna see me, darling?" "Not like that, I don't," he said. "That's why I have your portrait. So I don't have to look at your dead body in the casket. But your mom wouldn't understand..." "Darling, I think you're the one who doesn't understand. And I think it's time we talk about your therapist." "What about my therapist?" "You tell me. You tell me why did she have to tell you that she's single now and looking to settle. I thought she was supposed to help you cope with the premature death of your wife, not tell you her problems." "Dear, please..." "And one more thing. I don't like the…

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rice and walnuts

“I fucking hate rice,” she
told me. “And I’m beginning
to kinda
hate you for loving it.”

“Shit,” I said, “what
did rice ever
do to you?”

She opened her purse
took out the pack of smokes
and fished one out
with her lips. “Fuck,” she said,
looking for the lighter.
“I think I still
have the pits in my knees…”

“What?”

She shrugged. “I was a little girl,
alright, and whenever I
did something that my dear grandma
considered naughty she’d
pour raw rice in a corner
of the room and make me kneel
on it and just stand like that for…
I don’t know, hours.”

“Really?”

“Really!” She blew the smoke
in my face. “To this day,
bitch still wonders
how I could steal her savings
from the pension. I didn’t
even need the money. I just hated
her guts is all. And now
I hate rice. And you.”

“Well,” I said. “I never stole
from my grandma. And to
this day I don’t hate walnuts.”

“What?”

“Yeah, that was my version
of the punishment. I knelt on
shells of walnuts just
like you with the rice. And I
don’t hate ’em.”

She blew more
smoke in
my face

Mercy kill

Gobblers / Masticadores

From the hand of the writer Bogdan, we return to the path of short stories – j re crivello (editor)

by Bogdan Dragos

When the enemy strikes keep your gun close to you. That worked during the war, but the war was all those years ago and the saying didn’t apply today.

Today it was more like when depression strikes keep your ice cream at hand. He got into his slippers and went into the kitchen to grab a spoon for his ice cream. Living on the ground floor of an apartment building from the suburbs gives a man quite the sights to see at times. He peeked out the window and saw a man or child, couldn’t tell what the hell he was, only that he was very fat and he held a big silvery spoon in one hand and a pigeon in the other, and crushed the pigeon’s…

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another bulimic princess by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

mashed potatoes poached eggs beans and some homemade garlic sauce but no meat for the princess's sensitive stomach "I'm full," she said "No, you are not," said mother. "Eat up. Finish everything from your plate and trust me, it's been calculated. It's the right amount. Now eat up." Father agreed. Being a step-father he didn't have much of a say in this matter or any other It took the princess another twenty minutes to finish the food from her plate and then stood and went to the bathroom but it wouldn't be that simple. Mother had to go in with her And she did and both of them came out and the princess went to her room and mother started cleaning the table always just one step away from bursting into tears which gave her new husband some work with emotional support and all A princess doesn't steal but this…

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twist the blade

again
she grabs a stool
and places it into the corner
of the room,
climbs on it, assumes the lotus position
and closes her eyes
and covers her ears with headphones

She faces the corner

The voice that speaks into her
headphones starts a
countdown

Meanwhile
her father shakes his head as
he watches her
“You can’t be serious,” he says. “Are
you meditating again to ask God to make life
fair? Is that it? What happened?
Was your Uber late? Internet connection slow?
Heheh!”

She doesn’t hear him. The voice
in her headphones says, “And twist. Remember
to always twist. If you only stab
him it’s not enough. That’s just gonna do
a little damage that can be fixed with a quick visit
to the ER. You have to twist the blade. That’s
when the significant damage happens. Twist
as much as you can. Show no mercy.
Take advantage of
the fact that he will not expect this from you.”


The knife listens by Bogdan Dragos

but that handle was made for his hand hand – handle handle – hand the fingers would close around it to never let go It had to have flesh around it at all times But the blade… the blade was still naked. He couldn’t let the blade naked It wasn’t fair “So that’s why you […]

The knife listens by Bogdan Dragos

pink paint

Pink
pink would be the right choice
because the doctor said it will be a girl
He would paint the room pink and await
her coming into the world
What a blessing
How fortunate he felt
His back and sides were tingling with
happiness

He came out of the store and a
homeless woman came his way
and he was quick to say
“Sorry, no spare change right now. I spent
all I had on paint.”

“That’s all right,” said the woman. “I don’t want
your money. Actually, I was hoping you
could give me some
of your paint.”

“My paint?”

“Yeah.” She held a tin can to him

“Um, all right,” he said and opened the
can of paint and poured some into the woman’s
can. “But what do you need paint for?”

She watched him
Put the tin can to her lips
and drank the paint
“Plan Z,” she said

He wanted to say something in protest
but couldn’t even gasp
when he noticed her swollen belly

He walked away and got into the car
and drove home
and just wasn’t as eager to paint that room
anymore


thick glass

three weeks
and the shards were still there
still scattered on the tiles
of the kitchen floor

that was a thick glass
meant for classy strong drinks
like whiskey

Yeah, now that he thought about it
it was whiskey she
ordered. But he filled
the glass with milk and said,
“You know what the doctor said, mother.
No more alcohol for you. Here, try
this instead.”

And he would strongly
prefer not to remember what followed
after

The shards were still
on the kitchen floor

and the gash still on the side of
his neck. Stitched now
but painful nonetheless


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