New Short Fiction in JOYLAND!

Joyland Magazine
5 May 2016

I have a new short story in Joyland! It contains the best sentence I ever wrote:

“Dudes are always fucking with other dudes in Shakespeare.”

Read it!

The Nightmare Ballad of the Drunken Brand Identity with a Cameo by Shakespeare and a Title that Cannot Get Worse

(Thanks to Kathryn Mockler, William Neil Scott, and Natalee Caple for their feedback on its drafts. And thanks to Jessie Taylor for her poem about King Lear, which inspired me to write this story in the first place.)

Here’s an excerpt for you:

“Gimme a gun, I need to kill myself quick.”

The clerk blinks and squints. “You can’t just walk into a gun store and say something like that and expect to get a gun quick.”

“Why the hell not?”

The man spits. “Permits.”

“Goddamn.”

“You don’t need to tell me, buddy.”

“Look, I gotta end this thing. Drinking yourself to death is too slow and requires too much storytelling. A gun would be nice and quick, you just need a motivation, and I’m the kind of character that pops his own head off with a gun so I don’t even really need much in the way of that.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, which is another reason I can’t sell you a gun today.”

“Shit. Well, I gotta go then.”

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