A Novelette

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1.

Shane Zino left the slammer even with the man but owing a crime boss his ass. And the first stop was a social club to pay his respects or else. After all, Leo Toretta was the reason Shane walked out of this jungle alive.

Shane launched from the prison grounds in a dark sedan driven by a corrections officer. The destination was a train station, and once Shane boarded, he’d be headed for Hudson City and his sit-down with the Mafia chieftain.

When Shane arrived in Hudson City, he spotted Leo’s goons anchored at the terminal exit. A…


Is there thievery and a cover-up behind the classic rock masterpiece?

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Markus Spiske/Pexels

The collaboration between Bon Scott and AC/DC on their epic album, Back In Black, remains an intriguing riddle. Still unclear and unsolved to this day. How much did Bon Scott inspire this iconic, heavy metal monster? Not from the grave, but before it — as a rock and roll songwriter.

Is there thievery and a cover-up surrounding one of classic rock’s greatest albums? 40 years later, Back In Black still enjoys hefty sales and generous radio time, with no indication of slowing down.

Outside of its enormous impact and…


Soldier Hill — Requiem For a Fallen Soldier
Soldier Hill — Requiem For a Fallen Soldier
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

As a kid, the Vietnam War remained a taboo subject. The personal wounds too fresh and painful for people to talk about. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, you couldn’t find a hamlet unaffected by the Vietnam War and the conflict’s fallout.

While a high school student in the ’80s, I wondered if anyone from our town had fought and died in Vietnam.

A teacher mentioned a guy who graduated, joined the Army, and never made it back. My teacher wasn’t sure of his name since it happened before he began his tenure at our high school.

My teacher…


Flash Fiction

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Daniel Murtas

Adam fell from the stars and descended on Dora, tilting the ship towards the hostile terrain of the planet’s outback. Space travel had become a booming industry, as Adam jumped in with his own tour business and a cabin full of passengers.

Recently added to the League of Planets, Dora was a playground for the uber-rich, providing resort vacations, aerial tours, and safaris. Big game hunts remained off-limits in the League, earning stiff prison terms for guides and hunters bold enough to break galactic law.

These commands failed to faze Nelson, the ringleader of this black market charter…


Our politicians don’t get it

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Joshua Sukoff/Unsplash

“I’m convinced that American politics are about politicians and not about the country and the people they were sworn to serve.” — Stephen Gardner

Amen Stephen. Welcome to Politics 2020, American Style. Capitol Hill doesn’t get it. Millions of American citizens are hurting. Meanwhile, our politicians can’t get a larger stimulus bill drafted and signed.

In our partisan-charged climate, each party treats negotiations as a win-at-all-costs slugfest. There’s no need for this. It’s not the politics and stewardship the American people want.

We expect the process to play out. We could live with occasional gridlock…


Flash Fiction

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Maxim Hopman/Unsplash

Pete picked a subway car with the highest body count. Robbed and beaten by thugs sometime between last call and dawn, Pete had the daylights knocked out of him. The gang members left scars and divots from the stab wounds. Now, he thought safety in numbers.

Since the bad luck, Pete plunked down a cashed paycheck in exchange for a snub nose. A black-market .38 to keep him company on the trains. Pete wasn’t there to cause trouble or seek revenge. The gun offered protection between the night shift and his walkup studio.

At each platform, the nameless…


Our systems do work — they’re playing a player

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Dalton Caraway/Unsplash

Anybody could act like a winner. It’s when you lose a person’s character is tested and comes to fruition.

We figured out that Trump is a con man. He also knows what he’s doing. Gaming the system to his political and economic advantage. Crying foul and fraud while playing the victim.

He’s also playing the MAGA movement as well as right-wing and conservative media. Newsmax has admitted their support of Trump’s conspiracy theories and election fraud. Not that they believe the president. It’s all for ratings and financial returns. Go figure.


Flash Fiction

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SpaceX/Unsplash

Once his spaceship aced inspection, Lyndon joined The Race To Space Rocket Festival, the most elite derby on the circuit. Lyndon was determined to win the grand prize and achieve his life-long fantasy: a career in the National Space Program as an engineer and designer.

The mission still called for an astronaut, and those cry babies from the flight schools always demanded more money than they’re worth. Not a pilot himself and afraid of heights, Lyndon stuck to the blueprints and physics of the dream. That’s when Martina breezed into the foundry.

“I wanna be your test pilot…


Trumpism and MAGA are here to stay

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Lacie Slezak/Unsplash

For every clown car waving flags, praising Trump, and crying election fraud, there are multitudes and a majority of Trump voters grounded in reality. They know the 2020 Presidential Election wasn’t rigged. Disappointed Trump lost, but remain grateful that our institutions held up.

Why? These are normal, decent, and honest Americans. Hard-working who play by the rules. They believe in our constitution, rule of law, and process.

Grateful, for the sake of our country. Grateful that Republican-appointed judges followed the law. Board-appointed and elected Republicans who practiced integrity instead of partisanship.

We all…

Phil Rossi

Fiction and nonfiction: http://www.phil-rossi.com/home.html Background actor and day player: https://www.backstage.com/u/phil-rossi/

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