KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


In New Jersey Last Night: Charlie Byrne


I sat on my friend Stevie Maguire's worn out couch and switched off the television.

"Hey!" Stevie cried foul, Froot Loops and green-stained soy milk dribbling down his pointy beard,"I was watchin' that, man. Turn that back on."

I looked at him. I tossed the TV remote in the wicker basket on the coffee table in front of us and crossed the living room to the hall. I opened the hall closet's accordion doors and searched the top shelf. Stevie kept his board games there.

"You want to play dominoes?" I asked over my shoulder, "Mexican Train? How about a nickle a point?"

Stevie blinked, "Mexican Train ? Freakin' dominoes? Dude, I was watching that election coverage."

I waved a hand. " doesn't matter."

He was adamant. "Doesn't matter? Doesn't matter? The exit polls don't mean squat, yo."

I shrugged and pulled down the metal, oblong bin. I gave the dominoes a good shake. Sounded like a tiny coffin full of bones.

"Exit polls...listen to yourself, Stevie. Nothing's going to get better. The beard looses, we get that fat fuck. Believe me, jowly frat boy's knees will get tired too, there'll just be different people in line."


"Nobody likes taxes, man, but God help us we want good roads, crackerjack schools, and all our expensive waterfront real estate beefed up from erosion. Who's going to pay?"

"Come on, it's not that bad."

"Politics in Jersey-- it has always been corrupt, doesn't matter what side you're on. The last great politician from this state of any real promise was eaten alive when he ran for president."

"Who? Bradley?"

"Give the boy a star."

I came back into the living room, "Face it. It's out of our hands. Servants and masters, masters and servants...false hope and rumors of false hope...mankind will never see an end of trouble and blah, blah, blah."

Stevie probed his Tupperware bowl of Foot Loops with a spoon, "Dig the bitter philosopher."

I shook the domino bin again. "Dime a point?"

Stevie set down his cereal and ran a hand through his crazy mane of hair.

"Gonna clean you out, my man."


Lots of elections yesterday, ballot all those who feel triumphant or disappointed, everyone's day will come. Take heart.