Konch Magazine - Chapter 8 of "Daymares" by Timothy Reed“
Chapter 8
            After six months she was pregnant. Felipe and Tiffany were happy. They wanted the baby. Hank was also happy, but Violet objected to the baby’s being Puerto Rican. Tiffany and Felipe went to prenatal over at St. Luke’s to have her blood pressure checked, and to receive vitamins. The nurses taught her breathing exercises and warned her about the effect of smoking and drinking on the child. But she couldn't give up smoking New Ports and drinking Budweiser even though the hospital warned her of the harm this would do to the fetus. They placed her in the high-risk category, because she'd had a bad abortion. One day she got up out of the bed and there was blood all over the bed. She went to the bathroom and felt clots coming from her. She lost the baby. There were seven miscarriages after that.
            One night, she and Felipe went to a party given by a West Indian co-worker. The weather was bitter cold. There was West Indian food: pickled cow's head, codfish and rotie (Jamaican rice), goat’s stew, West Indian Jambalaya, peas beans, shrimp, sausage, okra, mushrooms. All different kinds of wine, whiskey. Bacardi rum, sparkling apple cider, fruit punch that was spiked. The host, Khadija, was pleased. People were laughing smoking reefer, and drinking. Couples were dancing West Indian and American dances, the mambo, the cha cha cha, the calypso and the bump, the hustle, and some people were breaking dancing. Felipe even broke dance and drank Bacardi straight even though he didn't drink that much. Tiffany was sitting down on a couch eating from a plate of cow's head, tripe soup, rotie, and cow’s stomach when Khadija called Tiffany into the kitchen. She took her to the sink area, away from some of the people who were coming into the kitchen and fetching Diet Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, Ginger Ale, and other sodas that were in a cooler. Khadija wore dreads, had very full features, and was heavy set with huge breasts. She didn't wear makeup because of her Muslim religion, she said, but nobody saw her praying to Mecca five times a day. She liked to drink. She was sipping from a Bacardi. Tiffany knew something was up because her smile was a dead giveaway. "You know man, your boyfriend is a damned cheater."
            “What's going on? Tell me what's going on?"
            “You’d better have a drink first.” She fixed Tiffany a glass of Bacardi on the rocks.
            “He's a cheating bastard,” she said, shaking her head in pity this time.
            “Is he playing me dirty behind my back?” Tiffany asked. “Who is the bitch?"
            “I have her telephone number. You want to come into the bedroom and call her?”
            "Tell me who it is.”
            “Robin.” Tiffany was hurt. And belittled. This woman was fat, light-skinned, with green eyes. Her legs and hands were chubby. She wore polyester dresses. She was a Puerto Rican woman who spoke very little English. “Not only are they fucking, but she's pregnant with his baby.”
            “What?"
            “I went with her when she got the blood test. It's his. If her husband finds out, he'll kill her. Call that bitch and tell her to lay off your man.” Her wicked grin appeared. They went into Khadija's bedroom. As they passed the living room to get there, she glanced at Felipe who was partying down. He was doing the limbo, a glass in his hand as a crowd had gathered around him, clapping their hands. The bedroom had gold curtains; cable T.V. a full sized bed with a big Fingerhut comforter. On the wall were pictures on the wall of Marcus Garvey, who was probably a cheater too, she thought. Khadija gave her the number. “Call her and fight for your man.” She was grinning. “You want another drink?” Tiffany hadn't realized that she'd gulped the drink down so quickly. She nodded. Khadija left the bedroom. Tiffany dialed the number. The alcohol had made her confident. “Hola. Como coma estas?” A man answered. Robin was married.
            “Hola, can I speak with Robin?”
            “Si. Si. Uno momento.” Robin came to the phone. She could hear loud Spanish music. Sounded like some Spanish ballad being played.
            Tiffany said, “Yo. Robin. What’s the dealio? This is Tiffany, Felipe’s woman. Listen up! Stay away from my man.” Her tongue was heavy and she stuttered a bit.
            “Yes. Yes. Si. Si.”
            “Yo. You don't want me to come over and kick your ass.”
            “Yes. Yes. No comprende. ”
            “Watch your back, bitch. I'll come over and stomp that baby out of your stomach.”
            “Yes.Yes. Si. Si.”
            “I don' t think that your husband would like to know that you are fucking my husband.”
            “All right All right.” Tiffany heard her husband say something in Spanish.
“I got to go.” She said. Khadija brought her another drink. She drank it down and began to cry. Khadija pretended to comfort her. They passed Felipe heading toward the kitchen. He was with some friends. He was talking loud which wasn't like him. Tiffany picked up a drink and started toward the living room. Khadija tried to restrain her. She walked up to where Felipe was standing and threw the drink into his face. He smacked her hard. The people in the room gathered around them. She slapped him back and said, “You know it's quits. I want you out of my apartment by tomorrow morning. Go with that female, Robin.”
            “Mommy, what are you talking about? What's the matter?”
            “You know what I'm talking about motherfucker!”
            “Don't make a scene! Don't make a scene. We're leaving.” He grabbed her elbow. She pulled it away.
            “Get your hands off of me.” He started to slap her again, but stopped when a black man came to her rescue. He was large, wearing waist length dreads, and an ankle length African robe. “You like to hit women, Hit me. I'll kick your Puerto Rican ass. Leave the Sister, alone.”  Felipe turned red and backed off. The brother studied Tiffany for a moment. The music had stopped and the people quit their dancing.
            “That’ll teach you to be with your own kind,” he said, grabbing his coat and leaving the party with a disgusted look.
            “Leave that bitch alone. She ain’t nothin but stankin ' drunk,” one of his friends said.
            Tiffany assaulted Felipe again. She began punching him in the chest. “I hate you, I hate you, you cheatin' son of a bitch. Get out my fuckin' life. I'm going to have the fuckin' locks changed.”
             Khadija was taking it all in. Laughing. She sided with Felipe. “She's drunk. Let her go home and sleep it off,” Khadija said.  Her grin was hateful, mocking, wicked.
 

Frank by Jay Marvin

His high school reunion. Frank went. School; he recalled each punch, every kick, every beating administer his body. A football field pinnate smashed open with an iron rod.

The taunts and fists relentless. Frank careful on the way home. Other kids had cars Frank walked. Frank would move like he had cleats; egg shells beneath  him.

Here he was: High school reunion.

What was he doing here? Maybe Frank came to get a cheep laugh. Frank needed a cheep laugh; a good deep laugh at the expense of these human experiments gone wrong. Frank was morose. Being there was sick, twisted.

Frank stared at the dance floor-shock. Women working it on out to Jumping Jack Flash moving rolls of fat, cellulite and stretched marked  tummies. Women, ankles thick and grizzled old oak trees. Varicose veins along their legs leading to a dry honey pot. Hot, foxes morphed into women Frank didn't recognized. 

Sky Butler a homicidal fuck. Used his ball pean hammer fists to pound Frank in the ground. He was a spike wrapped in 16 year old boy flesh. Sky Butler glides towards Frank. A pot bellied shark zeroing in. His last kill. Frank picked out an exit sign.  Frank couldn’t fathom why this walking pig anus hadn’t grown up.

Parking lot. Sky Butler acted like high school part 2. Frank leaned against car fender waiting; waiting for the inevitable. 

“Same old Franklin boy,” Sky Butler nonplused, voice sliding out on butter of immature menacing. 

“Not high school,” Frank grinned, like he had a reed of straw tight between his teeth. “ Grow up you backwards child.”

Sky Butler laughed. Answered with a slap to Frank’s face made his eyes water. Sky Butler slapped the other side of Frank’s head. A hand packed with bees.

“Like high school small change.”

“Blow me,” Frank said, monotone.

A flash of night slid between them a sick, foul sheet of black glass. Frank jammed his arm through the yawing car window. Darkness dissipated yielding shafts of lamp post lights slicing through the parking lot sky. Popping open the cheap  vinyl covered glove box, the door jumping up and down from the velocity of motion, Frank popped out a 38 drilled three lead holes in Sky Butler. Thick, red syrup splattered dripped everywhere from the explosion. Man down gurgling, gasping for air, white, foaming bubbles fulminating from Sky Butler’s his chest. Gravity pulled  him to the ground.
Frank stepped over him death lingered a glinting halo over the corpse.  Frank drove off engine knocking. Frank couldn’t wait for next year’s reunion.