9 million people die from starvation every year. Count yourself fortunate. Numbers: 11, 26, 32
Take Two & Don’t Phone Me
Are you struggling to find the right words to say? Do you have a tough time discerning connotation or denotation? Diction can be taxing – never mind grammar and syntax. With R.E. Feiner, it’s easy! R.E. will let you know when you’re not making any damn sense. It’s like your own personal human thesaurus and Chat GPT in one, without the worry that AI might all kill us one day!
With just three installments of $30,000 per year, you can finally communicate everything you’re thinking and get the understanding you deserve.
Disclaimer: R.E. is not for everyone. You should not take R.E. if you plan to be obnoxiously aggressive or ignorant. If taken incorrectly, side effects are a guarantee.
Side effects may include:
• loss of appetite
• night terrors
• hair loss
• neck/butt pain
• sensory overload
• feelings of rejection
• constant defensiveness
• selective hearing
• excessive eye-rolling
• anger management issues
• difficulty concentrating
• ecological or economic concern
• a sudden desire to abandon reality to live in nature
If you experience any of these side effects, you may want to stop using R.E. and consult with a licensed professional immediately.
Try R.E. Feiner today to see if it’s right for you. If you don’t like it, you may be entitled to compensation (probably not though).
Say what you mean and mean what you say, or you’ll never hear the end of it! – R.E. Feiner
Don’t Fuck With Derby Girls
The crew trickles out of the industrial building in twos and fours. By 10 pm, it’s just me and Layla chatting about our tattoo sleeves as we peel off our sweaty, neon skates and pads. The clouds and bullets on her bicep mimic one of my favorite characters from a PC game I used to play in high school.
“It’s late,” she informs me, “I better get going. Will you be here next weekend?”
“Yea, I lock up every Saturday night now.”
“Alright! See ya then!”
She waves then the heavy metal door clicks shut behind her.
I commence clean up duty – checking for stragglers, removing debris, sanitizing every surface in sight, refilling toiletries, and putting skates back in their cubbies.
It only takes about 30 minutes to get the place spick and span. I turn the lights off in each area as I verify each is clean. On the way out, I grab my satin purse, my gym bag, and the laundry bag of used socks. I make sure I have my phone and keys before I type in the alarm code and run out the door. Waddling awkwardly with the laundry hoisted over my shoulder, I manage to switch off the last light and make it out the door before the alarm sets.
The heavy metal door closes, but the darkness of the roller rink follows me. Grunts and muffled screams echo in the quiet of the night. I turn toward the parking lot. There's a man with his pants half off wrestling Layla into the back of his truck. I freeze. Gravel shifts under his dirty boots. My chest is tight. I breathe shallow as I slowly lower my bags onto the concrete. I slip a clammy hand into my purse and feel for the cold pearl grip with my fingertips.
My heart pumps in my throat as I inch toward the man. The sound of Layla’s cries cover up my careful footsteps. I can smell the stench of fryer vats and whiskey permeating from him as I step closer. I place both hands on my chrome 45.
“Aaghh,” he screams as he shakes off a bitten hand.
Layla spits in his face and his thick hands grip her neck. She kicks and claws at his arms as her face turns purple. Her wide eyes look like they’re going to burst from her skull when she sees me. The gun is six inches from the top of his spinal cord when it becomes real. My arms tremble and my teeth chatter. I cock the gun. The man turns and I squint as I pull the trigger.
The blast is deafening. My ears ring in the wake of the shot. The gravel beneath me becomes liquid as adrenaline rushes through my veins. I peer into the cab at the limp body. Layla isn’t moving either, so I pull the man out by his ankles. Layla is frozen, wide-eyed with blood splattered on her face and smeared across her chest.
“Are you hurt?” I call out.
She pulls her arms around her chest and curls up.
“Stay right there. I’ll get you water and a blanket, ok?”
As I hobble to my car, I dial 911 and pray that I’m making the right decision. After all, I did just shoot a guy. With my phone clamped between my head and my shoulder, I unlock the back door of my Toyota Corolla. I don’t want blood stains on my car seats so I place the gun in a plastic grocery bag. I grab a bottle of water as well as my emergency blanket. I run back to find Layla sobbing and stomping on the guy that attacked her.
“Layla, he’s dead,” I reassure her with my hand over the phone’s receiver.
I hand her the blanket and water, careful not to touch her. My head spins imagining what she must be going through right now.
Then, the emergency service operator finally picks up, “911, what’s your emergency?”
I glance at Layla, who’s still in shock, staring at the dead man in the gravel.
“Hi, we had an assault at 34 Flora Avenue.”
“Is the attacker still there.”
“Yea, but he’s not going anywhere any time soon.”
“Alright, I’ll send someone.”
Layla wraps herself up in the emergency blanket, and I silently curse myself for not having an extra pair of clothes.
“Emergency responders are on their way, ok?”
She’s miles away but her head bobs. Only then does my chest loosen, and I can breathe again.
Deep red between the covers
like a book, except
no comforter in sight, and
I didn’t choose this
storyline – less adventure,
more memoir of a
I don’t remember
which nightgown he tore off me,
but I remember
the body he took from me
when I was just four;
I remember the knife he
pressed up to my throat –
the scar it left is still there,
burning, choking me,
keeping me quiet like his
hand over my mouth,
Daddy saying “if you tell,
I’ll skin you alive.”
So he returns to that bed,
with his stiff body
and his heavy knife, that night
and each night after.
The will to fight or cry leaves,
the body lay still,
frozen, numb, hoping, praying,
the knife goes deeper
into your esophagus –
surrendered to the silence.
Integrity in Sync
if it’s 2 a.m.
and I can’t sleep,
you’re awake anyhow
so we exchange heys
with one of many
when I feel off
– my mind’s gone
or my wallet got lost
– you say exactly
what I need
we hang out,
I receive respect –
no need for explanation;
our values match, and we
have open communication.
This is why, I call you
my best friend