Confessions of a New York City Street Peddler (Part 2 of 3) – By Dr. Howard Karlitz
Offbeat Writings / August 9, 2009

This is part 2 of the 3 part series. Part one can be found here But it would be impossible to close this chapter of the story without some pain. There were two periods during that summer when David thought they had him. The first was during the Democratic National Convention, which happened to take place in New York that year. Word came thundering down from the mayor’s office to sweep the midtown streets clean of vermin, especially around the museum where each conventioneer’s agenda would include a trip to the Picasso exhibit. He particularly didn’t want them in contact with vendors. Little did he realize, however, that out-of-towners love peddlers, and consider them to be just one more vibrant element in the city’s personality. The peddler detail sought to temporarily suspend peddling operations and warned every street vendor in the strongest terms not to work midtown that week. The other T-shirt people stopped immediately, but David was getting greedy, and the next day opened up, business as usual. He was hit four, five, six times a day. Gus told him he was making “enemies on the force,” the ultimate threat. Sergeant Laverty, head of the detail, cornered him in…

Trophy – By J.B. Smith
Flash Fiction / August 9, 2009

Cleaning out a bureau drawer, Jill discovered the key in a labeled baby food jar beneath her mother’s lingerie. For the rest of that day and much of the night, she struggled with her conscience. Her mother had been so adamant. But next morning, she arrived at the old farmhouse determined to go through her father’s things. The large, cherry-colored cedar chest was sitting next to a full length, floor mirror. Jill stared for a long time at the locked container recalling the last fight she had had with her mother. It had been about this chest. For years, every fight she and Jill had was about the chest. Since her father’s death a decade earlier, Jill found her mother’s coolness toward his memory confusing. When she tried to have a conversation about it, her mother shutdown, refusing to comment beyond, “There are some things best kept between a husband and wife.” “Mom, please, go through that chest with me. Dad’s war stuff is in there, but I don’t know about any of it. When the time comes, I just don’t want to throw out something that was important to him.” It didn’t matter. The answer was always the same….

January 11th – By Serina Ruggeri
Micro Fiction / August 9, 2009

It’s coming up. The anniversary of her absence. The day my earth stood still. How much I can remember the moment it all took place. I watched those wretched words as they slipped out my mother’s mouth. As much as she wanted to tell me in loving and sympathetic words, they all sounded the same to me; like a thousand little knives aiming for my heart, all at the same time. Bulls eye. My God, what a relief, I thought as I peered out my bedroom window, a lonely smile spread across my face. I had not imagined anything more heart wrenching, more uncontrollable; an itch that cannot be scratched. Everything around me was strangely serene. The rain, echoing her laughter, trickled gently on the roof. The movement of the clouds had formed a pattern of her face. My tears slid, one by one down my red cheeks. If I could bottle them, I would show her how much she was deeply loved and missed. The day she left, I felt my innocence had been stripped away. Like Eve, taking a bite of the apple. Like, Delilah cutting Samson’s hair, my strength withered. My best friend. My distant sister. Gone….