The Devil Be Here in a Minute

by Tamika Thompson | The Matador Review

Quinlan showed up to Shiloh’s Twelfth Annual Smokin’ Barbecue Fest because his big sister Fawna had promised him two things. First, that he’d find out what she did on Saturday afternoons after her shift at Doddie’s Diner. He figured her free time had something to do with her hickey, which Ma had grounded her for the previous week, but, when he had a question, he liked cold hard facts and not speculation, so his “figuring” would never suffice. Second, he’d been promised a Shiloh Cone with two scoops of butter pecan ice cream. The dessert he could almost taste on his tongue.

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Man of Text

by Tamika Thompson | Black Heart Magazine

The hospital’s outer walls crumble. Outside the window, red flecks of brick float past the glass. His ragged breath escapes his body with a whistle. In the leather chair, he shifts his skinny frame. His end is near, he suspects, but he waits for the good doctor to come and tell him how long.

A knock at the door. He turns his head and the needles of bad circulation prick his neck. The knob twists, and in walks the doctor, wearing her stethoscope over a pale blue collared shirt and carrying a stack of papers against her bosom. The doctor mostly keeps her eyes on the cracked tile floor. More bad news is coming.

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Dumpster Diver
by Tamika Thompson | HUIZACHE 

The “Odessa-Goes-Missing” day begins like every Monday. I awake, slump down the seventeen stairs of my childhood home, and arrive in the den to check on Ma, who is sitting in her recliner laughing at the blank television screen. She has lined the walls with aluminum foil.

I peel a scrap of the foil down and see that she has used something green for paste. Beside the wooden elephant sculptures she made in art therapy, twelve open jars of pesto line the curio as if she has placed them on display as well.

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Eight Minutes
by Tamika Thompson | Flash Fiction Magazine

Her phone rests atop the bluff. Her left hand conceals the item she found in the attic three days ago. Her naked foot toes the edge. Her regrets are legion.

She’s in the same pencil skirt that she wore to her appointment that Friday. There are no pasta sauce smudges or ketchup stains near the buttons on her blouse because she hasn’t eaten.

Her pulse slows.

Life’s a round-trip ticket, she tells herself. This is just her return flight.

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