50s

50s
by Patrick Cooper

SOMETIMES NIGHT GARDENER

Leslie Moon didn’t make a habit of tending to his garden in the dark. But it wasn’t every day Brown showed up to pay his debts and tonight was an oven.

The deer came right to the property line and grunted. It all started to add up.

WENDY WANTS A HORSE

“The bag of money’s coming with me,” Wesley said a tick before he got rained on with his own .45.

His third wife Wendy stood up and fingered the sack’s burlap fabric. A spotted horse. No. A tan one. The color of buttermilk. A whole pasture full of the bastards.

HARMONIC IF YOU WANT IT

Only found half his body. The top. Must’ve been recent, ‘cause the air was still wheezing outta the torso’s organs. If there’s a name for the air that gets trapped in organs postmortem, Floyd was drawing a blank. He cleared his throat, tried to harmonize with the wheeze.

NON-ORGANIC COTTON

“I’ll buy ‘em, just stop talking.”

“Cash is 75 percent cotton. Same as tampons.”

“That s’posed to mean something?”

“No. The rest of cash is linen. Rest of tampons is viscose nylon.”

John Jones fumed. He still thought it was supposed to mean something, but it was hard to tell.

I SPEAK OF TIRED MEN

Brother Amado changed the station. They were outta range of the station he liked, so he settled on a community college broadcast.

“A checkpoint is slowing things down on 81 North, as staties tighten the net for the alleged rapist. The church…”

Brother Amado smiled, gyrated.

Patrick Cooper's writing has appeared in ThugLit, Spinetingler, Out of the Gutter, Shotgun Honey, Dark Corners, and other venues, as well as in the anthologies "Fast Women & Neon Lights" and "Shadows in Salem." He lives in eastern PA with his wife and dog. Check him out at: https://patrickgcooper.com/