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The Cemetery is Full: Short Fiction

The Cemetery is Full: Short Fiction

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The Cemetery is Full: Short Fiction

106 pagine
1 ora
Jun 22, 2018


Award-winning American short fiction writer Mark Antony Rossi has a lifetime of selected fiction ready for examination. With a highly specialized poetic style and the invention of "concrete" short fiction Rossi will bring the gritty urban experience to an intellectual plateau.

Jun 22, 2018

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The Cemetery is Full - Mark Antony Rossi


DECADE I : [1990 – 1999]

"In politics you will have enemies. This is normal for anyone of note. It’s not the enemies you see that cause lasting damage. The unseen enemy is the root of all your grief.


Philosophy of Rent

We've lost our magic. Our instinct for mystery. Most bold questions have pat answers. Whatever's left---few manage to pay attention.

How I long for a day when the classics are read aloud from atop a balcony to studious listeners drawn to every syllable. Perhaps I'm daydreaming abit. Foolishly expecting culture from soulless mall addict’s intent on spoon-feeding corporations. Mindlessly they dump their slave wages into the awaiting tentacles of ugly giants. The fat and prosperous merchants who in turn dump their garbage into our drinking water.

We've lost our minds. Our fear of freedom is the root of all trouble. The cardinal reason we as a people are exploited over and over again. We are too willing to trade a piece of liberty for peace of mind. In the end it can't be done. But you already you know that in your heart of hearts.

Why bother listening? Fear is a friend beamed in from skyscrapers built by the lowest bidder. Grab that remote switch to something more soothing. You can't fight City Hall. You can't change the World. It's somebody else's problem. You don't want to get involved. Not in my backyard! Daddy will walk out. Mommy might start drinking again. And my God, what would the neighbors think?

These are but a few thoughts running through my mind at the precise moment I forced a nervous bank clerk to fill the bag. One could smell her fear...or was that something else entirely? The instant realization that her shopping days were over. It was almost necessary to remind her---the bank had insurance, she did not. What loyalty could such an oversight instill?

Very little I assure you, there was a gleam in her eye. As if to communicate---take me with you. Maybe diamonds are a girl's best friend, but right now I can live without both. A gym bag full of cash and the sight of smartass suburbanites kissing marble is enough inspiration. Thank you.

None of those good citizens care about anything but themselves. The men had no chivalry. A sea of white shirts pissing their pants. I've seen more courage in a baby nursery. The magazines say women want romance. I say they want these gutless gold-card holders with little alligators on their shirts.

Women know romance is a fantasy sold by women with the exact same gripes. A man like me, wavering a gun around, is probably more excitement than any of these ladies will see in their boring bedrooms.

The police arrived at a bank swarming with shaken but unharmed customers. The entire bunch much too impatient for questioning. They're all eager to race home and share a sexy crime story with a friend in front of the nightly news.

I fairly divided the money between my three assistants. Two underpaid bank guards and a single mother: three victims of the American Dream. I'm still amazed to find believers in this fairy tale. But such is life in the land of the free.

I have a young child to feed and a naive woman who expects an island paradise will guarantee happiness. If only she weren't the mother of my child. If only I could explain to her the wicked ways of the world. If only the rent were as sunny as that island paradise I wouldn't mind believing in myself.

The Brown Ones

Today I squashed another brown body against my English book ruining the brown bag book cover. I quickly scraped off the twisted legs and thick fluid with a white cardboard from yesterday's Twinkie package before my friends discover. I don’t need the headache.

Roach spray is not helping matters. I think these frigging beasts get high on it. Laughing all the way to their nests. Millions reveling in Evolution's triumph. Makes me want to find Darwin and smack the shit out of him. But he's a hundred years dead and I've only killed about forty roaches today. Not nearly enough to guarantee peace of mind.

Exterminator's normally do the trick. Mass-murderers even your mother could love. Yet who has the money? That jerk pig of a landlord doesn't care. In fact, when his exterminator stops by the roaches sense danger and rush down to my place. Safe in knowledge that a poor boy with a big book can't possibly pose a threat to their brood. They reproduce better than a copy machine.

Last week my great plan fell through. Call me naive; call me a silly city boy wishing the best. Figured I offer to clean up the exterminator's shop, answer a phone or two, and maybe just maybe the owner would spray my place as payment for services rendered. Fat chance---my simple proposal was obscenely rejected. He gave me the finger.

Business was booming but I still couldn't get the exterminator to help me out. Must be my background. He deals with rats as big as cats without breaking a sweat. Yet Puerto Ricans are a threat to national security. The guy's in fear for his life. Let me remind you, buddy, good chance my family has been living longer in America than yours. You might want to look that up if you can actually read. Dirt bag.

I'd rather not face this bug-infested reality. Too many of my friends are diving head first into dope. The room spins and produces roach-free fantasies every kid on the block wants to believe in. I want to believe in them too. I believe so much that I am willing to live with degrading comments. Live with the fear that a roach or two might have stowed away in my school bag ready and willing to jump ship and streak across the classroom floor. Bringing loathing, embarrassment and explanations I'm too tired to lie about or too pissed off to tell the truth about.

I'd rather not face this roach-ravaged reality. But I must. Dope doesn't agree with my English aspirations. Nor my roach problem. I don't need any more problems. Plus, I see the truth without the help of funny smelling smoke: the only browns succeeding on this block are the roaches. Teachers know this. So, do

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