• The Hand That Guides You

    The Hand That Guides You

    Dark all around. Downer downer colder colder. The smell at first six feet is rot. The smell of organs exposed.

  • Rosehead

    Rosehead

    Cherry liked watching the pretty bulbous eyes of the Santa Gertrudis in the kill chamber until they went blank.

  • Folding Chairs

    Folding Chairs

    Carrying my book, holding my place with my finger, I followed her into the run-down building next to the Drive-In.

  • Glory Udder

    Glory Udder

    Growling along to the electric chiming of Sarah’s Ibanez hollow-body licks, Press again started to feel the sickness that didn’t want to admit it was a sickness.

  • Come for the Popcorn, Stay for the Show

    Come for the Popcorn, Stay for the Show

    “Remember not to call me uncle,” says the liar’s uncle as they both step off the bus, onto the dusty road leading into the drive-in.

  • There Is No Easy Way Towards Earth

    There Is No Easy Way Towards Earth

    Car broke down. Too much dust in the engine, I dunno. Wheels kept kicking up land all the way through California & eventually the car sputtered and died.

  • The Memorandums of Baja Bonita Construction

    The Memorandums of Baja Bonita Construction

    Our rules are in place to prevent needless disfigurement and death. 

  • Ruins of the Sun

    Ruins of the Sun

    The first whispers I heard concerning Louis le Palme’s Ruins of the Sun arrived just hours before the film’s first and, as far as I have been able to determine, only screening.

  • Meat

    Meat

    In the pen I eat anything in front of me. I eat pellets and hay, I eat tails and dirt.

  • Die Pig Die

    Die Pig Die

    I don’t blame anyone but what we did felt like Sin. 

  • Everything Grows Here

    Everything Grows Here

    Everybody at her wife’s family reunion had too much to say about babies to talk to Wren.

  • The Earworm

    The Earworm

    Greg took off his sweat-stained Blue Dicks hat and wiped his brow with his forearm. That goddamn song.

  • Unfilled

    Unfilled

    “Fuck,” the Con Artist said. The stack of fake IDs he’d been holding flew wild, into the dirt, lamination gleaming in the mid-morning sun.

  • Slaughter

    Slaughter

    It’s hard to find good help these days. Before lunch, I knew the new guy they brought in wouldn’t cut it. His hands shook when I handed him the bolt gun.

  • House

    House

    Right before I caved and called Dad, his work called. They never do that. The woman’s voice was warm but strange, shaky at the end of sentences.

  • diary, leatherbound

    diary, leatherbound

    Nasty cold spell early in the season. Forgot about this thing until I got to lookin for tinder. Sure I won’t need those last three pages.

  • Rule 99

    Rule 99

    If the directions the boss gave me were correct, I was getting close to Los Suelos. The road before me devolved from a state highway to a county road of rutted macadam and faded thermoplastic road paint.

  • Ruminants

    Ruminants

    Mike’s getting pretty good shots. The composition’s solid, with the street spinning out into the distant desert.

  • The Carlos Clay Crockery Company

    The Carlos Clay Crockery Company

    Bianca didn’t have time to stuff the hundred-dollar bill into her pocket before Luis came in to check her register. 

  • ¿Eres un Duende?

    ¿Eres un Duende?

    The preparations required ingredients she didn’t like clients to see. Most disliked what they saw.

  • Chasm

    Chasm

    Calvin started going to the diner as an escape. He wanted to avoid church, but his parents made him promise to acknowledge God, His presence, at least once a week.

  • The Buried Man

    The Buried Man

    The truth is I don’t expect them to show up at all. I’m used to getting blown off. It’s basic as hell—New Kid Blues, et cetera, et cetera.

  • Pilgrimage to the Hole

    Pilgrimage to the Hole

    Took a single button. An hour later I started seeing big swirls of color, then feeling slightly nauseous.

  • Rock Bottom

    Rock Bottom

    There are ley lines. You know them because you feel them beneath your feet, humming up your stunted legs.

  • Excerpts From a Doctoral Student’s Closing Notes

    Excerpts From a Doctoral Student’s Closing Notes

    I can’t believe this. I managed to do the only thing I didn’t want to do.

  • Code Switching

    Code Switching

    I’ve been to more Blue Dicks games than anyone else in town, I bet. I don’t like baseball, but since Robert’s gone I’ve got time on my hands.

  • Damn Diary

    Damn Diary

    Goddamn those Schaefers. If I never write another word in this damn diary, let those ones be the ones that stick.

  • Gold-Dust

    Gold-Dust

    It was a short enough walk to the usual haunt. Too short, almost; certainly not long enough to forget the cows.

  • The Heavens Beneath

    The Heavens Beneath

    Los Suelos is a revelation. On the surface the town looks rundown. But there is a thrum beneath the crust here.

  • Caring for Mr. Bernard: An Instruction Manual

    Caring for Mr. Bernard: An Instruction Manual

    The position you are about to assume is one of great esteem.

  • After School Program

    After School Program

    A bunch of ladies tried to go hiking in a cave but it goes a lot deeper than they thought. There was some freaky dudes inside.

  • Pala Hardware

    Pala Hardware

    Lucinda woke up in darkness. There was some sort of noise, like a hum or maybe a very low tune coming from outside.

  • Lying / Garden

    Lying / Garden

    I got yelled at frequently for lying on the ground when I had a perfectly sturdy bed to sleep on.

  • Speaking from the Heart

    Speaking from the Heart

    The last thing she remembered was Abuela’s panic. It rang through her as Abuela’s soft hand pressed against her forehead.

  • Bicicleta

    Bicicleta

    Jagged machines whose ancient forms I can’t imagine claw at the blue expanse above us. A graveyard of metal monsters.

  • The Job

    The Job

    The steel was cold in Marc’s hands as he climbed the side of the house, bones groaning with the beams as they took his weight.

  • Blue Dick Ballhawk Baumbach Blocks Turlock Morlocks

    Blue Dick Ballhawk Baumbach Blocks Turlock Morlocks

    I am starting this article—as is too-frequently the case—with a formal protest of the Daily Spectacle’s editorial policies.

  • The New Nile

    The New Nile

    The mannequins at Esmerelda’s are grateful to have an artist in their midst.

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