short story collection zg watkins Every Home Needs a Cat Dust Logic Storybookland The Kingdom of Steves A Resurrection of Sorts Keep Off the Grass"
short story collection zg watkins Every Home Needs a Cat Dust Logic Storybookland The Kingdom of Steves A Resurrection of Sorts Keep Off the Grass"
short story collection zg watkins Every Home Needs a Cat Dust Logic Storybookland The Kingdom of Steves A Resurrection of Sorts Keep Off the Grass"
short story collection zg watkins Every Home Needs a Cat Dust Logic Storybookland The Kingdom of Steves A Resurrection of Sorts Keep Off the Grass"

Designed by Gareth W. Rice,
a New Zealand-based art director & creative

Dust Logic contains
six short stories:

- Every Home Needs a Cat
- Dust Logic
- Storybookland
- The Kingdom of Steves
- A Resurrection of Sorts
- Keep Off the Grass

E-Book Free Until 10/25

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Short Stories

"Every Home Needs a Cat”

chicago literati, demimonde: third annual halloween issue

The Big Bang ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👂 Audio Available ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“So… let me get this straight. You think my homework is not up to scratch?” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Ronald, the assignment was to describe where frogs come from.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“I am a second grader, mam! Not an infant! I’m fully aware of where frogs come from!” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Okay, well… again, the answer I was looking for—” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“The answer is self-evident! If not for the Big Bang, Ms. Parson— there would be no frog. There would… there would be no tadpole. There would be no pond. There would be no you asking the question! And there would be no me forthcoming with the solution. I have told you where frogs come from! I have told you where everything comes from! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Technically… yes.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Huzzah!” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#shortfiction #flashfiction #read #fiction #words #readeveryday #shortstory #shortstories  #storyteller #climatechange #globalwarming #audio #audiostory #listen #bigbang #humor
The Divemaster

I used to love the fish tacos at this joint. That was decades ago, and the owner Miguel has passed since then. But there was a time when he would soak the tilapia in tequila and habanero butter. And then batter the filets in masa harina before dropping them in a sizzling pan. The tortillas were made from scratch by his grandmother each morning. The fresh cilantro was plucked from a small garden on the roof of the restaurant. 
I can still see the planters, but now they’re covered in barnacles. The tide washes over and under them with the passing of the moon. As to the remainder of the restaurant, it’s underwater. So is most of the town. 
Even so, the tourists still visit San Pancho. Only now they do it with a regulator clamped between their teeth and an air tank strapped to their backs. I lead divers underneath the rotting bandstand at the Zócalo. Schools of Cape Wrasse, shimmering pink and blue, replace the fruit and vegetable stands that once echoed with bickering and gossip. We swim right down the middle of Tercer Mundo. The happy stray dogs are gone. Now the Avenida teems with Jackfish. They dart past rusted golf carts and café tables and beneath the papel picado flags strung from one side of the submerged street to the other. Sometimes we duck into the cerveceria, and grab for ancient beer bottles still drifting in the murk. My favorite bar— El Mezcalito— it’s now tangled in kelp, but the big old piano is still there. The keys are warped. Divers like me to take their picture as they pretend to play. 
I charge $200 a head. I give guided tours of this crime scene. Mine is a story as old as man. Disaster and opportunity walking hand in hand.

#shortfiction #flashfiction #read #fiction #words #readeveryday #shortstory #shortstories  #storyteller #climatechange #globalwarming
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“Will you marry me?” The woman asked. Her hands were slippery. She rubbed them up and down the coarse fabric of her shirt. “What?” Beth groaned. She sat on a stool across from the woman. Tears smeared her makeup. Snot leaked from her nose. She wiped the mess off her face. She tried and failed to smile. “I’ve got a ring,” the woman said. She dug into her shirt pocket and pulled out a small white band. “Made it myself. Toilet paper and spit. I dried it over the vent,” the woman explained. Her hand shook as she held it up for Beth to see. 
#DoYouTakeThisWoman #read #listen #fiction #audio #words #audiostory #shortfiction #readeveryday #shortstory #shortstories 
Narration by @leighhigginbotham 
Audio Production by @stantonyhill
Beth fell from the stool. Her knees hit concrete. She knew the cameras were watching, but she didn’t care. She crawled to the steel cage and stuck her left hand through the bars. She said “yes.” The sound shuddered out of her. A dying noise, like she was an animal that had been shot in the woods. 
The woman slipped the paper ring on Beth’s finger. The clock in the hallway ticked. 
They remained married for a little while longer. And then Beth escorted her prisoner to a small room with a black bed that looked like a comfortable crucifix. 
The Good Lord and the state of Mississippi were done waiting. 
#DoYouTakeThisWoman #read #listen #fiction #audio #words #audiostory #shortfiction #readeveryday #shortstory #shortstories 
Narration by @leighhigginbotham 
Audio Production by @stantonyhill
I’m neighbors with a nice family. They just had a boy. Their first child. His name is Edgar. He’s a good baby, doesn’t cry too much. At least not at night. Sleeps most the way through. His mother breastfeeds, I think. No, I don’t think. I’m positive, actually. .
The gas line runs right along the wall, just a few feet from where I lay my head each night. The baby cries, Edgar I mean, he cries and the footsteps drub-drub-drub softly— you can tell she’s trying not to wake him even though he’s already crying, isn’t that just like a mother? Then there’s the groan from the crib when she picks him up and then a few more wet squeals and then... almost nothing. Just a soft gurgling sound from somewhere below. And a whispering voice. She sounds tired but kind. Sometimes I can hear her patting his back. But I never hear the gas spit to life and whistle through the pipe, so I know there’s no milk warming on the stove. That’s why I’m positive it’s a she taking care of the baby. She is breastfeeding. How else do you explain the quiet soothing of that child? Or the smell of her milk? [1/5]. #read #fiction #shortfiction #shortstory #horrorstories #horror #words #shortstorycollection
Yes, they are a nice family. The father has a guitar and he plays it well and sings in a low voice, sings lullabies to the child.  He sings— .
keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life… .
I remember the sun. I once stood under it as a child, long long ago. Now the sun hurts my eyes. Very much. .
And the father sings— .
our house, our house is a very, very, very fine house… .
And it is a fine house. It was built sturdy and strong. I recall the day it was built, watched the foreman whip the horses, force the creatures to pull at their yokes and strain against the hemp, pull the rafters high... stout rafters, stout house. Always has been. Always will be. [2/5]. #read #fiction #shortfiction #shortstory #horrorstories #horror #words #shortstorycollection
The father sings almost every night. I listen to him. I listen to them all. Everything. Their cabinets opening and closing, hands searching for important things... probably food. Probably food they push into their mouths. Do they lick their fingers? I don’t know. But I wonder. I listen for that. I listen hard. Mostly I hear them speak to each other, kindly, in a sing-song sort of way... .
We need milk .
Oh I can get it .
Thanks sweetie .
Of course .
Honey? .
Yes .
Nothing .
What is it? .
Nothing .
No, something is wrong, just say it .
Nothing really .  Honey, please .
I don’t feel pretty anymore .
You’re beautiful, you’re so beautiful and I love you .
Don’t lie .
I never lie .
But what about… .
I don’t lie anymore, you know that now please STOP WITH THAT BULLSHIT! .
Don’t shout, don’t shout in front of Edgar... .
And then the baby will cry. But that’s what babies do, that’s what they do when they’re not sleeping or feeding. They cry. And that’s understandable. It doesn’t bother me. Nor the father’s yelling. Nor the mother’s weeping. These things happen. Life is hard. I just wish they had a cat. I really, really wish they had a cat. [3/5]. #read #fiction #shortfiction #shortstory #horrorstories #horror #words #shortstorycollection
The world is hard and cats make life easier. The woman who used to live here (many, many years ago, long before Edgar and his nice parents)— she was all alone and the home was always silent, but she had a cat. I could hear its tiny paws slinking across the floor. You could tell it was trying to keep quiet, that it was hunting things. Mice and roaches and sometimes even a rat. People think rodents and insects have little brains and that they can’t think, that their brains are too small, but they do know how to think. They know to run and hide when they smell or hear a cat coming. And the only place they have to run and hide? It’s the tiny spaces between the big rooms. Into the walls. That’s where I live. It’s a tight squeeze, but that’s okay. I don’t need much room. I’m skinny and good at crawling. And when the little animals run from the cat and try to hide in here, I catch them. I like people with cats because then I never go hungry. .
It’s a shame the nice family doesn’t have a cat. Their little home is full of rodents. I hear them, all down below me, nibbling in the breadbox, licking crumbs from the gaps in the hardwood floor. I hear their pink little tails slapping on the linoleum. I hear them eating. 
ALL NIGHT LONG. [4/5]. #read #fiction #shortfiction #shortstory #horrorstories #horror #words #shortstorycollection
The apartment above me has been empty for so long now. Ever since... ever since the bad thing happened. I’m free to wander around it at night, but there’s nothing much to do there, nothing much to see, nothing at all to eat. No furniture. No people. No people, so there’s no food. And no food, well, that keeps the mice away. It keeps everything away. Nothing can live without food. Without food there is no hope at all, is there? 
But yesterday, yesterday I started to feel hopeful again. I heard people upstairs. They knocked and jimmied and scuffed their way across the wooden floor, sometimes right above my head, big heavy feet and a few tiny ones as well. A man was speaking. He had a big drum of a voice and it thump-thump-thumped from one side of the home to the other— .
Would you look at those views of the church, are you religious people, no, well that’s still some old world charm, can’t put a price tag on antiquity. .
Working fireplace, great around the holiday, a perfect place to hang a little stocking for junior here and I hope I’m not being too presumptuous, but maybe for the one on the way? Ha, ha, ha, yeah kids are great and look over here, master bedroom with a nursery right off the bathroom. And on and on he went. .
Uptown living on a downtown salary! Long and storied history. .
Yes, I can attest to that. .
Clawfoot tub, original fixture, turn of the century, came with the place! .
I don’t know about that particular detail, but I must say— he sure did make the place sound good. Softer voices finally interrupted, thanked him, said they’d be in touch. Then the door closed and all was silent again. .
Oh, I hope the family takes the place. I hope they have a cat. Temperatures are dropping and I need more food. Egg shells and stems and fruit pits all through the winter— no, that will not do. I’ve been forced to take pets before. Pets and worse. And I don’t want to take the little one. .
Sweet. Little. Edgar. .
I really hope it doesn’t come to that again. But I will if I have to. Life is precious. Yes. .
And it’s oh so hard. One does what one must to get by. [5/5]. #read #shortstory #horror
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