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๐—ง๐˜„๐—ผ ๐——๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€: ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐——๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต & ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜† ๐—ฉ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜“๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ ๐˜—๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Ž๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ

Wages of Death

Gerald was boss of Local 142. Long retired, he was still a take-charge guy. When Deathโ€™s Minion came calling, Gerald was no easy cull.

โ€œYoung man, where do you see yourself in 10 years?โ€ he demanded of the black-hooded figure by his bed.

โ€œUh, doing this. My work is central to the Cosmos.โ€

โ€œNonsense. Thatโ€™s what they tell teachers and plumbers to make them feel better. Are you unionized?โ€

โ€œUm, no sir . . . โ€œ

โ€œWell, hereโ€™s the deal. Find someone who makes twice your pay. Iโ€™ll go with them.โ€

Deathโ€™s Minion returned and started asking questions.

Thatโ€™s how Gerald unionized the Hereafter.


Stoney Virgin

Maryโ€™s statue stood in Torney Square for 148 years, all-seeing. The McLeans robbed the milk depotโ€“and Mary saw. Kara stabbed Colum Feeny on the docks and Mary saw. Mary always forgave.

One morning Maryโ€™s toes showed beneath her stony robe. The Virgin had moved! A heavenly miracle! Villagers bedecked Mary with flower wreaths. But soon Maryโ€™s distended robe and swollen belly told the truth. The Virgin was with child.

With horses the villagers yanked Mary from her pedestal. They dragged the sinful thing to Torney Cliff and tossed it in the sea. Tattered flowers floated on the foamy waves for weeks.


Laurel Poe Gallagher is a writer, poet, and storyteller who has presented her work at many Chicago-area venues, including This Much is True, Greenman Theater, and the Illinois Poetry Society. Laurelโ€™s latest obsession is bicycle repair.


Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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