Before the Leap by Bogdan Dragos

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MasticadoresIndia // Editora: Terveen Gill

Man standing at the edge of a steep cliff and looking down as if ready to jump
Image Source: Snappa

so this is it then

He stood by the margin of the ravine

looked down

took a deep breath

looked behind him

no shadowy figure reaching

out

no pale silhouette making stop motions

no apparition telling him to

not jump

Of course,

what the hell was he thinking? These

things don’t happen outside

of stories

Stories like the one he was reviewing

on his phone

while driving

with his pregnant wife in the passenger

seat

the crash happened at

the moment he tapped send

and just yesterday he got a response

from the editor

saying it was a great story and they will

definitely publish it

There was no “Thank you” reply from him

just an “I’m sorry” and “I love you” on

his wife’s social media

before taking the leap

-BOGDAN DRAGOS

Bogdan Dragos supervises casinos for a gambling company, working twelve-hour shifts locked in a…

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Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead by Bogdan Dragos?

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MasticadoresIndia // Editora: Terveen Gill

An old woman has lowered her head and has covered her eyes with her palms
Image Source: Snappa

The old lady kept coming by

the hospital to assure the medics that it’ll be okay

“He’s a true fighter,” she said. “I know he’ll make it.

He has won the battle with drugs

twice in the past. He’ll make it this time as well. I

know it. I feel it. I believe in him.”

“Mam,” said the doctor. “We found rusty fragments

of broken needles stuck in his arm. Now, since

you’re his only relative

I do believe we shall carry out a discussion involving septic shock.

The effects…”

“He’ll make it! I know he will!

He’s a true fighter and a champion.

I believe in him.”

He didn’t make it

but it was fine apparently. When they showed his

body in the morgue, the old lady

didn’t flinch.

Told them that’s not her son.

That was a dead body and her son was alive.

He’d…

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alive today by Bodgan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores // Editores: Manuela Timofte / j re crivello

there was a new guy in the park
among the homeless

He arrived just after the mayor had
eradicated all
the tents and improvised huts

and it was easy to spot him
He was the one who
always had a book in his hand, always
reading

"Check out the new guy," they
said. "An intellectual. Heh, hey buddy,
what you reading that for? Not like
you gonna get a degree that'll take
your ass outta here anytime soon. Haaahahah!"

He was reading his own poems
from a time when
he was young and his dreams were
still alive

Today nothing was alive
but misery itself

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good and bad poetry by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores // Editores: Manuela Timofte / j re crivello

Well,
after you write enough
and try to publish for long enough
you just notice it
There is no such thing as
good
or
bad
poetry.
There's just poetry to which people
can relate
and poetry to which
people can't relate.
And that makes all the difference
in the world.

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hunger is the secret ingredient

like a baby left for
hours
and hours in a hot car
he
woke up
with a sweaty forehead
and a buzz
in his temples

no room to stretch

he got out
of the
car

in his underwear

shook his legs
and hands
rubbed the pain away from
his knees
and back of the neck

There was a bottle of water
he got from
the park fountain
among the litter in the back seat

he opened it

hot

took a sip and swirled it
around his mouth
spat
took another sip
swirled
spat

that’s for dental hygiene

He put on pants and a shirt
locked the car
and walked 50 paces
to the nearest public restroom
where he removed his shirt and
washed his hairy armpits

He studied the violet circles under
his eyes in the mirror
checked his teeth
his tongue
felt for wax in his ears

put on a professional smile

went to the public
library
and the desk by the window was free
His smile grew brighter
as he sat down
and opened the notebook

Chapter 86 would
be next in the manuscript

He looked out the
window
This writer life was precisely as
romantic as he thought it’ll be

no more
no less

cheat code activated

Well no wonder he kept dying
or the police
would catch up to him
in the first minute after hitting someone
or stealing a car. The game
was for big kids. It said so on the box. He
got bored despite all the things
he could do and put
the controller down.

He looked around the living room
went into the kitchen
She was nowhere

He went upstairs
opened the door to the bedroom
and, well, she was there
sprawled on the bed
naked
filming herself with her phone
while continually stabbing
herself
between the legs with... a lightsaber? It
seemed painful too. She was gasping.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

And her response was a scream
She pulled the
lightsaber thingy out
and threw it under the bed
and turned off the phone. "Hey, what did I tell
you about entering without
knocking?"

"Nothing," he said.

"Well... Just... Just don't tell
anyone about it, okay? And why did you come
upstairs anyway?

"I'm sorry. Look, I keep dying at
the game."

She came downstairs with him
grabbed the controller
unpaused the game
"Watch this."
Circle, Right, Circle, Right, Left, Square, Triangle, Up
She passed the controller to him
"Okay, now go kill somebody."

he crossed the street and punched an
old lady to death
and then stomped on her body

everyone saw that

no police showed up
no yellow stars. Nothing.

"Whaaaaat? I don't believe it."
He wandered into the street, stopped
a car
opened the driver's door
pulled the driver out
beat him to death and stole the
car.

No police

"How did you do it?"

"A boyfriend taught me. Along with
many, many other things. You can
even get a device that lets you fly."

"I don't believe it!"

"Believe it. Infinite health too. I can
do that for you. If, of course..."

"Yes, yes! I'll keep the secret. I swear! And I
swear to God you're
the best, best babysitter I've ever
had. This! This is what I'm gonna
tell dad when
he gets home. I swear!"

"Don't bother. He knows."

away with you before trouble sparks by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores // Editores: Manuela Timofte / j re crivello

the little building was made of wood though it looked sturdy enough the high windows were barred and he could only see part of the girl’s face as she called out to him from inside “If you got a good drill,” she said, “you could make a hole in the wall and stick it in. I’ll take care of the rest real nice for you.” “What?” he said “What? Don’t you wanna help a poor girl in distress, Mister?” He blinked. “How... would that help?” “Tremendously,” she said. “If you get me pregnant it’ll mean I’ll be set free.” But somebody else called out to him before he could ask his next ‘what?’ A man coming from behind the building. “Hey! It’s off limits here, stranger. Away with you before trouble sparks, got it?” The girl disappeared from the window He raised his hands slowly and backed away apologizing to…

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Hunger by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores // Editores: Manuela Timofte / j re crivello

by Andrea Kowch

those cold evenings
coming inside
the house and crying
"Mom, I'm hungry."

A whirl on the heels
A stare colder than
the outside weather
Hands on her hips
"Show me your tongue."

The little mouth opens
and the tongue
comes out

She stares at it
and then grabs it between
her thumb and index
and studies it, gives it
a rub and
declares: "No. You're not that
hungry. Get out of
here and leave me alone."

And her words carry the finality
of God's words from
the Bible
because she is the god of this
small world
and her word is law

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Failing Forward by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores // Editores: Manuela Timofte / j re crivello

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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Two Bullets

The Yard: Crime Blog

By Bogdan Dragos

she came out of the bathroom with
the pink towel wrapped
around her and found
him sprawled on the bed

very thoughtful

He held in his right hand
two bullets
that he constantly rubbed against each
other with a kind
of obsession

She jokingly said, “So, one for me
and one for you?”

“No,” he said. “One for everyone else in
the world but you and I.”

“Haha, nice,” she said. “Anyway, why do you
always carry those bullets
around?”

“Eh, no particular reason,” he lied

The bullets carried all the
reasons in the world. He
carried them in his pocket ever since seventh
grade when he was mere
steps away from using them on his
bullies

But then
one day
she just showed up and was nice
to him
and the depression became a little less heavy,
just enough to be carried through
the years of…

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