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The Girlfriend Game, stories by Nick Antosca



Word Riot Inc.: Kicking Small Press Into High Gear
Novel Excerpts

Rebrand by James Matthews

[Read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2]

Chapter 3: Chivalry

(Noalsy the Bailiff)

It fucking gets my goat when Rebrand calls me that – our good sheriff’s man like some glowering mute with a steel toe-capped brain stood complementing the impressive masonry till an arrow germinates in his chainmail. I don’t work for the courts, I’m free lance. Solo. Ronin. My only master’s my code. And at least it’s fucking real.

Rebrand’s ‘relative ethics’ means just doing whatever he bloody well likes and sucking a justification out of his thumb after. Criticises me for ‘absolutism’ like it’s a one-move checkmate

» Continue reading Rebrand by James Matthews…

Novel Excerpts

Tollbooth by Bud Smith

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Tollbooth is a novel that was published by Piscataway House.

Synopsis: Jimmy Saare collects tolls on the New Jersey Parkway. He’s had a mental snap, as a result, is becoming uncontrollably fixated with the 19 year old Gena who works the copy machine at Officetown. Despite his wife Sarah’s impending pregnancy, Jimmy pursues his desire for Gena, unexpectedly becoming more entangled with the strange manipulations of an anarchistic teenager, Kid with Clownhead, who wants to start his own destructive cult when he grows up.

172

Shrieking tires startled me from my magazine: swimsuit girls kissing deep in tropical water.

» Continue reading Tollbooth by Bud Smith…

Novel Excerpts

Rebrand by James Matthews

The exquisite cadaver will drink the new wine. (Surrealist fragment)

Slab

(Mike Rebrand)

Let me count the ways I fucking hate Noalsy. Could probably sue him on more than one count as well. Defamation, if nothing else. Saying I’ve got no personality! I’ve got more than that workaday knucklefuck in my back pocket. More than most people actually. I collect them.

I mean, take this: I give a master class on how to better yourself in the blink of an eye, and he goes and seals me up in a bloody mausoleum for my trouble. And posts a pissed

» Continue reading Rebrand by James Matthews…

Novel Excerpts

Rebrand by Jim Matthews

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He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster Let him in constancy follow the Master…

Claridge’s

(Noalsy the Bailiff)

Like a lot of paranoid kids I invented my own superstitions, so as to be bound by them. Mostly quite arbitrary and to do with things like holding your breath while crossing between two Belisha beacons and not blinking till the white dot on the telly disappeared. Get ready press the off switch and stare the bleeder right out. If anyone disrupted those customs I’d feel off-key all day.

I never had any time for things like broken

» Continue reading Rebrand by Jim Matthews…

Novel Excerpts

Understudies by Ravi Mangla

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Whenever I passed a parked car with a scrawled price in the window, I invariably pulled over for a closer look. For a long time I devoted myself to the conspiracy that some ruffian was siphoning gas from my tank, before conceding to the chilling truth: my truck was a guzzler. In a modern world, ten miles to a gallon was the rough equivalent of highway robbery.      I parked at the end of the driveway. A man was sitting on the front steps, can in koozie. The closer he came, the larger he loomed, with biceps as wide as

» Continue reading Understudies by Ravi Mangla…

Novel Excerpts

The Revenant by George Saitoh

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Listen to a reading of “The Revenant” by George Saitoh.

SYNOPSIS: After over a decade of exile in France, from a Yugoslavia since dissolved into independent states, Zinc embarks on a reluctant homecoming aboard his small cargo vessel, the Baceuse. From the moment of departure across a winter Mediterranean he is tormented by what he has left behind and what might lie ahead. En route he passes the beautiful island of Corsica where he spent a forgettable but not forgotten year of training with the French Foreign Legion to become the man he wished he had been when his hometown

» Continue reading The Revenant by George Saitoh…

Novel Excerpts

The Cristiania Pushers’ Dog Show by Per Šmidl

An except from the novel Wagon 537 Christiania

Per Šmidl lived in a wagon in Copenhagen’s Christinia for two years. His autobiographical novel describes living there among people with an individual and original approach to life, curious tourists, anarchists and whatever category you can think of.

Christiania’s birthday opened the yellowed photo album of my mind exactly to the page where the pictures from Christiania’s ten years anniversary celebration are forever inserted. On that day, one of the items on the agenda was a dog show. This epic event took place in the open area in front of The

» Continue reading The Cristiania Pushers’ Dog Show by Per Šmidl…

Novel Excerpts

CAT-STEALER by Simon Jacobs

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Listen to a reading of “CAT-STEALER” by Simon Jacobs.

When he whirls around in the doorway to face me, that’s when I see what he’s taken: tucked under his arm, limp and nonplussed as all get out, it’s our beloved cat, held like a hostage. This is what people are doing now, just walking into other peoples’ houses and seizing pets like there’s no such thing as ownership. But I cannot accept this.      “PUT SMOKY DOWN.”      This was in the days before we left for good, while we were deciding what to leave behind to the elements and

» Continue reading CAT-STEALER by Simon Jacobs…

Novel Excerpts

Bullshit Rodeo by Misti Rainwater-Lites

Bullshit Rodeo is a nonlinear narrative written from the perspective of a woman stuck at the poverty level in rural Texas who is struggling with depression, anxiety, a sexless marriage, motherhood and unrequited love. It is a bitter love letter to Texas and a starry eyed love letter to California and Dan Zero, the anti-hero of the small press.

Last night my friend from Los Angeles called to check on me. She was drinking a six dollar bottle of wine she had purchased at Trader Joe’s. She told me there are three vortices on her property and she can hear

» Continue reading Bullshit Rodeo by Misti Rainwater-Lites…

Novel Excerpts

Getting Lucky by Thomas E. Kennedy

Photograph by Mark Hillringhouse

Excerpt from novella “Getting Lucky,” from GETTING LUCKY: NEW & SELECTED STORIES, 1982-2012.

(Part I of V)

I. The Award      Lucas “Lucky” Bohannon lays the tux out on the ratty bedspread alongside his leopard-skin pillbox hat, black designer T-shirt, and white suspenders. He wishes Lotte-Mia was with him – he could tell her this hotel is the one where Joe Buck spent his first nights in Manhattan in Midnight Cowboy. You have to be quick to see it in the movie — it’s only on screen for a second or two – a long, vertical, neon sign hugging the

» Continue reading Getting Lucky by Thomas E. Kennedy…