“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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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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peace was never an option

there have been
too many fights lately
 
she was a
musician
and she put it as,
“Darling, we need to change
the tune.”
 
He was a
writer
and he shot her
 
and then himself

broken toy

it was dark and
hot
and every breath entered
with salty sweat
inside the nose

the mouth was
gagged and the whole head
covered by a
black trash bag
with two very small holes,
unaligned with her
nostrils

Her skin was itchy all
over
but there was no scratching
with hands and feet
bound to the chair

She didn’t realize that she
was in hyperventilation
and it was making things
worse

After the four hours
it took him to come back to
the basement
he found the greatest
disappointment of his life

He found her dead

There’s no feeling like
paying good money
for a toy
only to bring it home
and find that it’s broken
before you get to
play with it

He broke down and cried
for a whole hour
as he sat on her dead lap
and caressed her hair
and kissed her gagged
mouth and sucked the
snot from her nose

She was beautiful
too

Weeks later he was unable to
forget her
He carried her eyeball inside
his mouth wherever he
went

honestly, I had to look online for the meaning of the term

She pushed gently against me
and fell on the
bed
Stretched a leg towards me
began unbuttoning at her
jeans

I helped her take them
off
Not too gentle, not too rough

Grinning, she turned around
in bed and said, “I just
remembered, you never told me
what your muse looks like.”

“Huh?”

“And please don’t tell me
it looks like me. We both know
that’s bullshit sweet talk poets use
to get girls. Don’t
lie to me, boy. What does your
muse look like? You
can tell me.”

I reached for her foot
moved it out of the way
not too gently, not too rough
Reached for the panties

She pushed my hand away
not too gently, not too rough
“Tell me. Is it, by any chance, a little
girl locked inside a basement like
it was for my ex-boyfriend? Do you
whip her when she’s naughty
and doesn’t give you inspiration? Do
you deny her food and the
bathroom?”

“What?”

“Tell me, poet! Do you? Do you
lie on your back when you masturbate
and imagine the muse
squat above your face
and shower you with her piss
as blessing?”

I took a step back. “What?”

“Oh fuck,” she said. “Just tell
me already what your muse
looks like and how d’you get
intimate with her. Tell me!”

“I, I don’t know. I don’t work
like that.”

She stopped touching herself
Watched me expecting
to add more

I gave a shrug.

Honestly, the last time I thought of
a muse it was
some broke, homeless young guy,
scrawny as a putrid
plank and roaming the streets

He had nothing in this
world
but hunger
A hunger that possessed him
and made him write like a madman

That guy was my muse

But I figured
she wouldn’t care to hear about that

Anyway, we didn’t go out for long
after that evening

She said we’re not compatible
because I’m too vanilla

rainy season damage

It’s been a rough rainy season
and rain always
put father in
the drinking mood

He drank more in this
rainy season than
ever before in his life

Mother’s missing teeth
and broken shoulder
were proof of that

Surprisingly
the old story about falling
down the stairs held up
with the doctors

Well, just like he messed
his wife up
the rainy season messed up
the roof of the house

He downed what was left of a bottle
of vodka and got the
ladder and a few tools
and went out

His son held the ladder for him

He always cursed
plenty when he worked on
something. He was cursing his
wife as he hammered at the
roof and said something
about his son not
being his

and the second best thing
about his fall
was that the son didn’t even have
to shake the ladder, as planned

Father just fell on his own
thanks to the vodka he
drank before climbing up there

The first best thing about
father’s fall was
that he landed on some
screwdriver in his pocket
and got stabbed in the kidney

The pain must’ve been
something to follow him
all the way to the afterlife
as he bled to death
and cried silently

The kid watched him,
watched his watering eyes,
and kicked dust in his face
and went back inside the house

They waited until it was too
late and then
called the emergency number

one unlucky boxer

He was a boxer

Picked up the craft at six
and never put it
down

Unfortunately though
being a good boxer doesn’t
earn you a good job
in today’s society. Best he
could do was bouncer
at a local bar
His IQ wasn’t much help either

He beat up quite a number of
troublemakers
and earned a reputation

became a local celebrity

The women desired him
and got him
and life was good until the one
invincible opponent stepped
into the ring

Well, there are many invincible
opponents in a man’s life
but his was prostate cancer

All the women who wanted to
take pictures with him
and have his autograph on their
chests and wanted to take
him home meant nothing now

One of them was a rich
older lady who
gifted him a car after he served
her a few times in the bedroom

He used it to
drive at full speed into
a pole

And as it happens after someone
dies, the people had only
good words to say
about him

They thought he didn’t leave
much behind
but one of the girls he’d been
with knew better

She rubbed her swollen
belly as she
thought of him. It’ll be fine
as long as her husband wouldn’t
suspect anything

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