by Joseph S. Pete   After the scavenger hunt in the woods, Carl drove into the ditch without even realizing he was veering off the road. He hadn’t had much experience driving, especially on backroads, and could not process the curve up ahead in the pitch black in time. Suddenly, the car was inverted, sunken … Continue reading Vigil

Coffee Shop

by Joseph S. Pete Ben realized he was old when he no longer felt like lingering in the hipster coffee shop, despite the dulcet indie rock being pumped in. The song slapped. He’d be humming it for hours, playing it on loop in his head for even longer. But he felt uncomfortable and asked for his whiskey … Continue reading Coffee Shop


by Joseph S. Pete   Marty heard you could make a million dollars in 10 days. He heard you sold pallets of fireworks, not the cheap sparklers but the high-end aerials, the week and a half leading up to the Fourth of July. They lined up outside the door nearly round the clock and snapped up so … Continue reading Green


by Joseph S. Pete   Fireworks erupted across the sepulchral night sky, boom, boom, boom, boom. McColin’s girlfriend drew him close, drew her fingers through his hair. He was once Pvt. McColin, but no longer. “You’ll be okay,” she cooed. “You’ll be fine.” “I know. I know.” Her kindness, though misplaced, was too much for him. Tears trickled down his cheeks … Continue reading Weeper


by Joseph S. Pete   “Let me show you,” Amos said, plopping down on the grass and whipping out his smartphone. “Here,” he said, handing Jim the phone. “Scope this schematic.” It was a map of last year’s Bumblebuzz Music Festival, which was two weeks away from returning. “Sometimes they change around the stage locations, but it’s generally laid … Continue reading Contraband


by Joseph S. Pete    The astronauts roamed around the barren but brightly hued Martian landscape with a stratospheric sense of purpose and historical import. The atmosphere was thin, the iron oxide-heavy soil as reddish as a ginger’s beard and the gravity weaker than a beach resort cocktail. They still couldn’t jump as unbounded and … Continue reading Mars