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American Dream Serialization (Early Chapters)
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Maurice Stoker
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Tom Bradley
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: American Dream Title Page by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 1 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 2 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 3 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 4 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 5 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 6 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 7 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 8 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 9 by Jim Chaffee
01-01-2015
Modern Tragedy, or Parodies of Ourselves by Robert Castle
01-11-2014
Totally Enchanté, Dahling by Thor Garcia
01-04-2014
Hastini by Rudy Ravindra
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 5 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2014
Unexpected Pastures by Kim Farleigh
10-01-2013
Nonviolence by Jim Courter
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 4 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
07-01-2013
The Poet Laureate of Greenville by Al Po
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part VI by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 3 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
04-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part V by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part IV by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 2 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part I by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part II by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part III by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 1 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
10-01-2012
DADDY KNOWS WORST: Clown Cowers as Father Flounders! by Thor Garcia
RESURRECTON: Excerpt from Breakfast at Midnight by Louis Armand
Review of The Volcker Virus (Donald Strauss) by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-07-2012
Little Red Light by Suvi Mahonen and Luke Waldrip
TEXECUTION: Klown Konfab as Killer Kroaked! by Thor Garcia
Miranda's Poop by Jimmy Grist
Paul Fabulan by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-04-2012
Operation Scumbag by Thor Garcia
Take-Out Dick by Holly Day
Patience by Ward Webb
The Moon Hides Behind a Cloud by Barrie Darke
The Golden Limo of Slipback City by Ken Valenti
01-01-2012
Chapter from The Infinite Atrocity by Kane X. Faucher
Support the Troops By Giving Them Posthumous Boners by Tom Bradley
01-10-2011
When Good Pistols Do Bad Things by Kurt Mueller
Corporate Strategies by Bruce Douglas Reeves
The Dead Sea by Kim Farleigh
The Perfect Knot by Ernest Alanki
Girlish by Bob Bartholomew
01-07-2011
The Little Ganges by Joshua Willey
The Invisible World: René Magritte by Nick Bertelson
Honk for Jesus by Mitchell Waldman
01-04-2011
Red's Dead by Eli Richardson
The Memphis Showdown by Gabriel Ricard
Someday Man by John Grochalski
01-01-2011
I Was a Teenage Rent-a-Frankenstein by Tom Bradley
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Fred Bubbers
10-01-2010
Believe in These Men by Adam Greenfield
The Magnus Effect by Robert Edward Sullivan
Performance Piece by Jim Chaffee
07-01-2010
Injustice for All by D. E. Fredd
The Polysyllogistic Curse by Gary J. Shipley
How It's Done by Anjoli Roy
Ghost Dance by Connor Caddigan
Two in a Van by Pavlo Kravchenko
04-01-2010
Uncreated Creatures by Connor Caddigan
Invisible by Anjoli Roy
One of Us by Sonia Ramos Rossi
Storyteller by Alan McCormick
01-01-2010
Idolatry by Robert Smith
P H I L E M A T O P H I L I A by Traci Chee
They Do! by Al Po
Full TEX Archive
Side Photo for The Big Stupid Review

Penitente - Part 1

By Jane Hammons

wasp on mint

Dunway raced along the narrow back streets cursing the freakish purple sky. July. New Mexico. It ought to be hotter than hell, but here he was shivering from the cold that blew down off the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Blood of Christ. A cold hearted motherfucker. Christ. He almost, just for a moment, wished he were back in the pen. New Mexico State Penitentiary. Hell. He was free, but the cold was ruining it for him. He hated the weather.

Even more he hated the fat idiot who puffed along behind him. Dunway had just finished braining the plumber who was fixing the stinking, backed-up sewer when he turned around to see the fat man, Chapman, leering over his shoulder. Dunway had no time to mess with the moron. He took off through the tangled section of torn up fence, hoping to either make it out or be shot dead. Dunway figured he’d lose the fat man along the way, but Chapman hauled his big butt through the fence, keeping up with Dunway all the way to town.

The fat man puffed and muttered something about a woman and a kid in Santa Fe. That’s where they were headed. To find the woman, get some money, a car, get the hell out of New Mexico, a sorry excuse for a state. Dunway hadn’t really had a plan, just opportunity, when he smashed the plumber’s head and split. He’d figured to go into town, get some pussy, make some trouble, maybe get in a fight, and probably end up doing his usual rounds through the city jails, county cells, then back to the pen once the jerk-off administrators figured out who he was. But now he found himself hoping the fat man could really set him free. A car. That was what he wanted from the pig. Pussy and fights he could get on his own.

He’d kill the fat man whether he got the car or not, but he’d rather kill him up in those cold goddamned mountains. Not in the street, the shitty barrio that called itself Santa Fe. What a dump. Dunway didn’t understand why movie stars flocked down out of their heavens to this grease spot. Mexicans everywhere. Their stupid dogs sniffing at everything that moved and most of what didn’t. He wondered what kind of white woman, even if she was an idiot whore like all women, would choose to live in a barrio. He gritted his perfectly straight white teeth against the dirt that blew in his face. The kind of woman who would hook up with a hog like Chapman, he supposed.

Dunway wiped the dirt out of his eyes and looked through a kitchen window where he saw a woman fixing dinner. Just looking at women, especially señoritas, filled Dunway with hate. And hate made him long for sex. He was going to get some while he was out. If it had to be a greaser, an oily taco, then that’s what he’d have. No hairy asshole for him. Not while he was free. He glared at Chapman whose flabby girlish face looked sad and perplexed.

"On up the street," Chapman said. He wasn’t quite sure where he was going. And he was worried about Dunway. Dunway was mean. Really mean. His evil glowed like a hot coal back in the pen where the competition was fierce. Chapman had never seen so much bad as was back there. And he’d been in a lot of jails and prisons. But back at the pen, they’d eat the devil for lunch and gripe about the old man’s skinny carcass. Chapman almost laughed out loud at his own joke. But he didn’t even titter. He was afraid Dunway might kill him if he did. Dunway was packed a little tight, and he was beginning to look squeezed.

A pack of dogs eyed Dunway and Chapman suspiciously, then stepped backwards slowly, easing down low on their skinny haunches, curling their lips up over their jagged teeth, over their pink and black gums. They growled from way down in their throats, accompanying the low cold wind. Showing his own menacing teeth, Dunway growled back at a dingy white dog that retreated between the skinny legs of an old woman who appeared from around the corner, carrying a bundle of laundry wrapped in crisp blue paper.

"Diablo," she cursed at Dunway. She freed a hand and crossed herself with quick expert movements. "Diablo," she muttered, dismissing Dunway as the pack of dogs broke up and crept down the alleys to hunt for supper.

"You shit!" he screamed after the old woman who did not look back. Dunway shivered. He listened to his own voice die in the wind. The cold bore like nails through his thin cotton work shirt. The weather was really pissing him off. It was cold. Cold as that old woman’s shit. If they didn’t find the house soon, he was going to kill Chapman. Right here. In this street. With just his hands. He curled his short stubby fingers into fists. He checked out the neighborhood. Just a lot of old people. Nothing to be afraid of. He loved to beat up old people. They were always so outraged. And stupid. They just gave in. Like they weren’t even human beings blessed with teeth and fingernails and fists and feet to fight with. Nobody in this old spick neighborhood was going to care if he killed a fat gringo in their street. He didn’t need Chappy. He could make it on his own. Get some food. Steal some money. A car. The dumb ass probably didn’t know where his bitch lived anyway.

"There," Chapman recognizing the white Tornado he had bought with the money from a bank robbery in Texas. He saw it just as he felt the anger, the icy heat of Dunway’s desire to kill, wrap around him. He was relieved and a little surprised that VeraMae still lived there. He hadn’t heard from her in years.

Not that she was under any obligation to write. They weren’t really married. Reverend Sunny had joined their spirits in a peyote ceremony before they left the commune together, but it wasn’t a real wedding, not the kind that made people legally married.

Chapman didn’t look forward to seeing VeraMae. He didn’t much care for her. Never had really. He’d just been fascinated by her skinny body, especially when he laid his enormous fat one on top of it. He could make her disappear. At first the idea that a woman, any woman, wanted to be with him was exciting. But he got tired of robbing to keep up with her spending. And he got tired of having her around all the time, though he liked her kid, the little girl Starr. She’d be about thirteen now, he figured. She was seven in 1965, the year he got popped for killing that redskin. In a fight no less. It had practically been self defense. He’d thought nobody would care about a dead Indian, especially in New Mexico. Nobody would have cared if he’d killed a dog. Shit, he’d done six years already and had nine more to go. He’d rather die. He figured he probably would

wasp on mint

Through the window he saw Starr, still a small girl. She was going to be tiny like her mother, but tougher, he bet. She had always been on his side when he fought with VeraMae. He’d even let Starr slap her mother a few times when he was knocking her around. Anyone as small as VeraMae was just asking to be knocked around. She had never weighed more than 90 pounds. What did she expect? What a runt. He almost laughed.

"I’m going around back," Dunway said. "I’ll check the windows and see if anyone but that kid is home. You keep her at the door until you see me."

"In the house?" Chapman asked, worried about Starr. "You’re going in the house?"

"Yeah. Just go on up to the door. We got to make this quick. If they haven’t missed us yet, they’re going to soon. Go on." Dunway figured he’d do the little girl, kill Chapman and head out on his own. Or maybe he’d take the kid for a ride. He hated being alone.

Chapman walked slowly up the steps, hoping Dunway wasn’t going to hurt Starr. He could kill VeraMae if he wanted to, but not Starr. He remembered taking her to Disney movies and the State Fair in Albuquerque. They’d ridden the Ferris wheel together, counting the stars as the giant wheel decorated with colored lights took them high into the sky. He knocked shyly at the door.

When she opened it, Starr shrieked and slammed it shut. Chapman heard the bolt slide locked.

"It’s just me, Starr. It’s Chappy," he said, waving gaily at her as she peered out the living room window.

"I know who you are," she screeched. "Jesus. Who else is as fat as you? What do you want? Mama’ll kill you for coming around here."

Damned shame. That belligerent whiney voice. Just like her mother’s. Chapman began to kick the door. "Damned shame," he bellowed. "Damned shame."

Starr disappeared from the window.

"Are you crazy," hissed Dunway, jerking open the front door as he dragged Starr along behind him, one arm locked around her throat.