by Kevin Tipple

Fallen Angels aired on Showtime back in the nineties and can be seen now on YouTube where both seasons are available. Season One consists of six episodes. Season Two consists of nine though the final episode, “Red Wind” is blocked and unplayable in the United States. These episodes are noirish and based on short stories from various authors. The actual tale that served as inspiration for the teleplay is not always credited. Settings range from the late 20’s to the late 40’s and each one is pretty good. These are men who are men in their smoking/drinking/violent glory, the women…


by Ray Banks

I know I’m in the shit the moment the short one asks us for a light.

“Don’t smoke, mate,” I say, try to move on.

He nips in front of us, blocking the way. Streetlight catches his face. Looks like he’s waiting for us to get violent. Behind us looms a bloke so big he couldn’t hide in a pitch black room.

Two hands in my back, shoving us on. A flash behind my eyes, flaring pain in the back of my head, find myself spine to brick. The short one kicks out my knees and my legs go. …


by Graham Powell

Tommy Roccaforte stood in the meager shade of an acacia tree and watched as the movers across the street carried his brand new furniture up to his brand new apartment. An entire household, packed flat in cardboard boxes. When he thought of the heavy oak and Italian leather with which he’d furnished his home on Staten Island it made him want to weep.

He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply.

The movers made one last trip up the stairs and down again, got their dolly and their mats and ropes, and waved as they climbed into the truck. …


by Sean Doolittle

I spent a few days on my buddy Treynor’s couch, as far from the Jeanie situation as I could get before I ran out of buddies with couches. Trey waited a day and said, “Not that it’s any of my business, but when we say ‘the Jeanie situation,’ what are we talking about, nutshell?”

“Her husband went through her phone,” I told him.

“Shit. Then what happened?”

“He used her phone to call my phone.”

“Logical.”

“And yet psychotic.”

“What did he say?”

I’d been trying not to think about that. Jeanie’s husband was a meat cutter by trade, built…


by TS Hottle

It was a long walk back to the service station, where Lenny would be waiting for me, not the sort of walk I wanted to make at 3 AM. Granted, North Royalton was as far from East Cleveland as you could get, but who wanted to walk a rural stretch of road in the dark?

I know I didn’t.

Still, as I locked the gates and whistled for the guard dogs, I began my two-mile walk back into North Royalton. Over the horizon, the lights of Cleveland cast an eerie haze into the night sky. I was too far out…


by Kevin Tipple

“Tower Four, radio check.”

The scratchy voice was barely indiscernible from the background noise. The old radios were damn near worthless. State budget cuts meant that replacement radios weren’t coming anytime soon.

“Tower Four Operational.”

He had to say it again before dispatch was able to break through the static long enough to for him to hear, “Acknowledged. Stay cool.”

The mandatory hourly check-in completed, the solitary man on the watchtower wiped his brow and put his tan ball cap back on his head. Two hours down and probably at least two more before he had his chance. He was…


by Harry Hunsicker

Bobby Ray pointed the muzzle of his Glock at the clerk in the Keep Your Spirts Up Liquor Store. He smiled the smile that used to make the crack dealers and pimps on South Lamar go shaky and cross the street to get out of his way.

The clerk gulped, raised his arms.

Bobby Ray patted the cash register with his free hand and glanced toward the corner of the narrow room where a video camera leered over the shelves of discount-brand vodka and screw-top wine.

“Please, mister.” The clerk’s face was gray, beaded with sweat.

Bobby Ray slapped the…


by Ray Nayler

I had a father for six months.

I met him when I was seven years old. There was a knock on the door of our prefab house, and my mother, who had been in the kitchen throwing cut vegetables into a bubbling pot of Ragu, smiled down at me and said “Who could that be? Why don’t you go and see, baby?”

She knew who it was, of course.

It was June 5, 1976 and my father had just been released from prison for burglary. I knew none of this. My father had taken a Greyhound Bus from Folsom to…


by Bryon Quertermous

Detroit, Michigan 1:05 a.m.

The temperature was stuck at 80 and the electricity in the air was peeling the grease off the walls in the Breakfast Anytime Diner. Detective David Birney pocketed the two dollar bills left on the table for a tip as he squeezed himself into a back corner booth.

“I’m sick of being the fucking bad guy,” he said to his former partner, Tom Atkins.

“It’s the movies,” Atkins said. “They love the cops.”

“There are rotten cops.”

“They’re even more popular.”

“It’s not like I want to fucking be Serpico but a little recognition would be…


by Anthony Neil Smith

I wanted to plan the coolest funeral ever for my girlfriend. I told her parents not to worry, that I’d handle it. After all, Hannah’s stepdad was the latest in a long line of her mom’s husbands, only been around half a year, and her mom was spaced — zoned — out cold. Blame the painkillers, the mango sours, or having to deal with yet another child’s death. Hannah’s younger brother was stillborn. Now it was down to Ford, Hannah’s twin.

Hannah was nineteen and drunk when she jumped off the balcony of my apartment building. Not that it was…

Graham Powell

Computer guy, etc.

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