The Witch of the Narrows

The Witch of the Narrows by Phillip McCollum You wouldn’t believe me if I told you it was all hearsay and legend. But I know you, Pat, and you’re gonna be stuck in one of your funks, unable to let it go, completely useless to me as a client and a friend. So, I may as well tell you what …

Hello, Nice to Destroy You

Hello, Nice to Destroy You by Phillip McCollum December 23, 1964 Pamban Island, India It was eleven p.m. on the last train to Dhanushkodi. For the past twenty hours, I had done everything but sleep during the long ride, despite spending most of what was left of my money on a compartment of my own. My mind refused the luxury …

Your Punching Privileges Have Been Revoked

Your Punching Privileges Have Been Revoked by Phillip McCollum Yeah, the vaseline helps a little, though that’s mainly so the skin don’t break when the guy gets in a lucky scrape, with his red leather glove rubbing against my almost equally leathered face. It seems to be happening more and more lately. The sweat always manages to get in the …

A Tomb in Every Tree

A Tomb in Every Tree by Phillip McCollum “How much should we leave Marnie?” “Zero.” “Come on,” Harold said. Fluffy shifted her head and rested it back on her owner’s foot. The gray and white Shih Tzu hardly ever left Harold’s side these days. “Zilch.” Harold’s rubbed at the sunspots covering the back of his hands. Whatever ‘rejuvenation’ cream Linda …

Cold Heat

Cold Heat by Phillip McCollum “You really think this is a smart idea?” There was nothing left to do but ask questions. Holed up in an unfurnished Manhattan apartment, tied to an uncomfortable folding chair, sitting in front of some sort of jerry-rigged track-and-rail system wasn’t exactly a position Marquis expected to be in when he’d opened the Bureau’s trouble …

The Missing Poem

The Missing Poem by Phillip McCollum I had forgotten about the book. After digging through my email history, I located my original query. The bookseller offered an automatic notification service for any book which may show up in its inventory, and 642 days ago, I requested a copy of The Twelve Poems of al-Saher. I racked my brain trying to …

The Monster in the Door

The Monster in the Door by Phillip McCollum Mom’s dark curly hair came first, then her round, large-frame eyeglasses, followed by the rest of her plump face. As she peeked through the doorway adjacent to my bed, I got a whiff of the perm she had gotten earlier that day. “Is everything alright?” She sounded slightly concerned. I hesitated for …