By Aeronwy Dafies
Detective for hire
Demands cash, does what’s needed
Solves case and gets dame
By Harris Coverley
hit swigged from a flask
all fedoras crisp and clean
guns held at hip height
“forget it Mack—it’s cliches!”
the dame walks into shadows
The Bootlegger And The Skunk
By K. A. Williams
I drove down the winding mountain roads as fast as I dared. My brother was waiting, he ran a speakeasy.
Soon, the lights of the big city were visible. I parked in the bar’s back alley and got out. What was that smell?
I turned to see a huge man in a black mask coming my way. The mask covered the upper part of his face, except for his eyes, and had a vertical white stripe down the center. “I’m The Skunk,” he said, “and I’m putting you mobsters out of business.” He clenched his fists.
“Do I look like a mobster to you?”
He came closer.
I put down the box I’d been holding and grabbed the crowbar.
The back door opened and my brother, George, walked out. “Who’s that with you Dennis? And what’s that smell?”
“It’s The Skunk. He thinks we’re mobsters.”
George said, “I’m the manager here. We’re not mobsters. We’re just selling our customers some moonshine. Our cousins have a still in the mountains and make the stuff. It’s good quality.”
The Skunk just stood there and reeked of cheap cologne.
“We don’t want any trouble, Skunk, but I’ve got to have it before my customers come.” George went inside, then came back out immediately followed by Bill.
Bill was as big as The Skunk and moved toward the vigilante. I still held the crowbar. The Skunk looked at both of us and changed his mind about causing trouble.
“Okay, I believe you’re not mobsters because you haven’t tried to shoot me,” he said.
I saw George quickly hide his pistol in a coat pocket.
I dropped the crowbar back into the car and grabbed up a box. The Skunk was still standing there.
“Why don’t you help us unload the car and we’ll give you a drink.”
He hesitated, then picked up a box.
By Aeronwy Dafies
Hard man without heart
Fedora, suit, tommy gun
Greets with charming smile
The Pitiful Island of Doktor Moron
By Harris Coverley
So: it was “Big” Steve Steele and Shah-Na the Jungle Lady all tied up on tilted operating tables in Doktor Moron’s laboratory that he had on his Island of Likely Misfortune.
“Wah-ha-ha-ha-har!” chortled the good (by which one means bad) doktor. “You’ll never interfere in my schemes again you meddling archetypes!”
“You won’t get away with your crazy scheme Moron!” shouted Steele. “Whatever it is! I have my sources!”
“BWAH!” exclaimed the doktor. “You’ll never escape this island alive!”
“This ain’t an island,” said Shah-Na in her solid Boston accent. “It’s a peninsula.”
“Shut up!” screamed the doktor, very sensitive to this fact. “You’ll get yours you leopard-printed tart!”
Doktor Moron turned around, approached a lab table, and picked up a crude scale model of an aeroplane.
“Within days, I will become unstoppable,” he announced, holding the model into the air. “I will conquer the world by becoming the first man…to achieve heavier-than-air flight!”
Steele and Shah-Na looked at each other. It was going to one of those again…
“Erm, Moron,” Steele ventured.
“Yeeeesss?” replied the doktor with an odd sweetness.
“Heavier-than-air flight has already been achieved…more than two decades ago now.”
“What?! YOU LIE STEELE!”
“It’s true,” Shah-Na said. “We learned about the Wright Brothers in school…and then dogfights between biplanes in the Great War…and that Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic from New York to Paris was all over the papers last year…”
The doktor looked dejected: “But…I have…plans…”
“We flew here ourselves,” continued Steele.
“But not directly to this place,” added Shah-Na. “We walked here, because, y’know, it’s a peninsula.”
The doktor smashed his model to the floor and pointed at her: “You’re going to get it woman, seriously now!”
Doktor Moron closed his eyes, let out a big sigh, and tried to compose himself. He pointed to the ceiling and hollered, “No mind! Doktor Ingregius Percival Moron always has something else up his sleeve!”
He walked over to another lab table and took a Petri dish off it, holding it in the air as he had done the model plane.
“Peoples of the world fear me!” the doktor screamed, “for I have developed an insidious form of mould which destroys harmful bacteria!”
Steele and Shah-Na looked at each other again.
“Can I see that?” asked Steele.
The doktor came over, held it to Steele’s face leeringly. Steele, with the smoothness he had developed through years of fighting various overly-powerful idiots, quickly grabbed the dish with one free muscular hand and punched the doktor square in the face with the other.
The doktor squealed more with shock than with pain (although there was certainly a lot of the latter), and fell flat on his back with a moist slap.
Steele shook off his wire binds and stepped onto the floor, rubbing the knuckles of his punching hand against his chest—the doktor’s prescription goggles had left their mark.
“How did—?” began to ask Shah-Na, but Steele intercepted her: “He forgot to lock my binds…he was too, I guess, infatuated with tying you up.”
“Well, that’s what the furkini’s for,” she smiled cheekily, ample breastage weighing against her restraints.
“I decided to wait until I had him just where I wanted him.”
Steele released Shah-Na, searched around the lab for anything genuinely nefarious, and, finding nothing, threw a raggedy blanket over the doktor.
“I’ll conquer you all…” he achingly mumbled, several of his green teeth liberated at the side of his head.
Shah-Na shushed him: “There, there now…you just rest…”
“There’s a man in London I know who would be very interested in something like this,” said Steele, eyeing the grey contents of the dish before pocketing it.
“Should I make him a flask of cocoa or something?” Shah-Na asked.
“No, he’ll be up soon…let’s just leave. Shall we take one of the boats?”
“Naw, let’s walk off the way we came on…I mean, it is a peninsula.”
“You know Shah-Na, Moron was right: that can get very annoying.”
“But come on Steve, it’s true!”
By DS Davidson
Hidden cells like cancer
Infecting every state
Vigilante pulls on a mask
Sets out to smash
Two fists flying
Fights till the threat is gone
By Mark Hudson
John Lorenzo Hubble met a prospector,
he told of the White Cliffs in the Utah sector.
White quart stalactites with hidden gold,
but he wouldn’t go there, he was getting old.
In 1870, John Hubble set out alone,
going to Utah, to find gold he thought he’d own.
He had to squeeze into the cave on the edge,
but there was no gold within the ledge.
He got a job in Utah, miles north of Karab,
but got into a gunfight with an angry mob.
So he went back to New Mexico, built a post,
and he was relished for his tales the most.
Then Warren Peters, a seasoned explorer,
heard his story, and wished to go forward,
Hubble gave Peters the maps of the caves,
and farewell to Hubble Peters gave.
Peters found the spot Hubble had not,
he crushed the icicles for the gold he got.
He got paid for the gold, and did he learn?
To get more, he decided to return.
The next time he went, he ended up lost,
he couldn’t find the same cave where he crossed.
He thought he’d return to the same course,
with two Navajos, Little Chanter and Black Horse.
Also joined by Henry “Wild Hank” Sharp,
they were armed, and camping in the dark.
They had their mules, and camp at the base,
when from the dark emerged an unfriendly face.
Some cowboys told them to leave their territory,
their belongings searched, the men took inventory.
Their guns were damaged, they couldn’t shoot,
the cowboys ruined their chances to get the loot
By DJ Tyrer
Treks through mountains to hidden valley
Following old map reference
‘Here be dragons’
Discovers dinosaurs still exist
Untouched by time
Allosaur devours half of team
Rope a brontosaur
Take it back as evidence
Escapes trashes half of city
Shot, extinct in his world again