Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Short Story Month

“Pot Luck” by Lisa Allen-Agostini (from Trinidiad Noir)

She always left him, wandering off like a cat without provocation or explanation, returning just as suddenly and without comment after a day or a week or a month. He loved her, but it was hard to keep track of where he stood in her life. He kept her clothes neatly stacked in a chest of drawers and hoped for the best . . .

“Plowed” by Stephen D. Rogers

The wipers groaned as the snow fell wet and heavy, slushballs exploding on the windshield like multiple exit wounds.

The day couldn’t be more perfect.

Hunched over the wheel, Michael squinted through the chaos to the road ahead, adjusting his course to follow the trenches dug by larger vehicles.

He would finally see his father. His father would finally see him . . .

“Lido Winter” by Maxim Jakubowski (from Venice Noir)

The vaporetto turns the bend.

You’ve seen it in countless paintings by Canaletto, Turner, and others, a thousand and one photographs and movies and TV documentaries, but still the eternal view unfolds like a slow-motion epiphany.

The Grand Canal in all its majesty. Canal Grande . . .

“Tomcat Beretta” by Patricia Powell (from Kingston Noir)

Mita landed in Kingston at three and instructed the cabby to take her to the Courtleigh . . . Knutsford Boulevard . . . New Kingston.

A slip of paper with the addresses and names was getting damp in her bra. She gazed out the window at the glittering sea, trying hard to relax, but it was impossible. The sea hugged the side of the flat smooth road for miles until it cut away from the sea altogether and became narrow and rutted and cars swerved dangerously past the meager little houses leaning shoulder to shoulder. Soon they were in the heart of midtown in slow-moving traffic, the sidewalks overflowing with people, and floors and floors of office windows climbing to the sky . . .

“Live for Today” by S.A. Solomon (from New Jersey Noir)

En route to her job at the morgue, Jinx walked on JFK Boulevard to the PATH station at Journal Square. It was hot for June, the evening cloud cover an airless ceiling pressing on the street. A grimy storefront diorama displayed mannequins behind plate glass, girls with bald heads and painted-on lashes, clad in cheap, thin dresses. They stood frail against the hard gray light. Commuters hustled by, indifferent to the girls’ orphaned gazes . . .

“Blood Suckers” by Laurie Loewenstein

Tami didn’t even count her night’s tips before she shoved the wad of coins and damp bills into her purse and went out the back door of Chevy’s Pub just minutes after closing. She gunned the Fiesta past her apartment, past the Sidney city limits, heading straight for the used RV she kept down by the river. She knew she’d find Dale with that slut who had been hanging on him all night . . .

“Gateway to the Stars” by Matthew McGevna (from Long Island Noir)

Gateway to the Stars by Matthew McGevna Mastic Beach, Long Island (from Long Island Noir) Great with fear, Nick was deliberate about getting out of his car just as the policeman had told him. The order came after Nick was ordered to cut the engine because the noise from his broken muffler was “waking up […]


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