Central City

Peter DiVittorio

Nothing and nobody favor the weak. Petey V’s bones ached. He’d been hustling almost forty years, and most criminals his age washed cars, washed dishes, or plastered sheet rock. You knew them by the vacant, defeated look in their eyes and the faded prison ink emerging from beneath a sleeve or marking the crease between […]

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Seth Gromski

Violence smolders beneath an amiable appearance. Seth wiped the sweat from his forehead and sipped his beer before leaning back on the inclined bench and pumping through a final set of twelve. His living room consisted of a secondhand couch, a television sitting on a board balanced between cinder blocks, a power rack, a bench,

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Karla Buchelli

Few beasts can match the ferocity of a mother protecting her young. As Karla Buchelli wiped down the bar on a slow night at The Side Saddle, she counted six patrons sitting at low tops near the stage. Four of her girls chatted near the end of the bar, one danced on stage, and one

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Bruno Pantagglia

A cell provides the only rest for the wicked. “Welcome back, Mr. Pantagglia. It’s our pleasure to have you staying with us.” Undersheriff Reese, the superintendent of Shattuck County Jail, had known Bruno Pantagglia for years. Bruno had been the county’s guest Reese’s first year as superintendent, and Reese’s predecessor had made a point to

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Tran Van Kahn

At the gateway to desire stands the arbiter of taste. Tran sat a table in the corner of The Dragon’s Mane and watched the flow of bodies beneath the strobe light. The beautiful, the important, the famous, and the powerful moved as a single mass, marionettes dancing to music he’d composed. He recognized, scattered throughout

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Kane Kulpa

Some things must end before anything new begins. In the midst of a peaceful night in a violent city, Kane Kulpa smoked a cigarette on the rooftop of a building he owned in St. Patrick’s Diocese. He didn’t own the building outright, of course. According to the state, Kane Kulpa made minimum wage plus tips

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