Excerpt from “Street Side Cinema”

A high-faced Jack-O-Lantern smiled vapidly at the hapless jerk to its left, mouth brimming with whiskey, drunk on its own brief existence. The jerk, equally intoxicated on blood red Bordeaux, hoarded the bottle selfishly like a squirrel to nuts in diminishing Autumn days — so fixed on personal pity that he failed to notice the attention he drew from human eyes.

“What’s up with Riddle? Looks like someone gave his goldfish a swirly.”

“She left him.”

“False. I just saw that broad in the kitchen.”

“She came with Abel.”

“Abel? The frog prince?”

“One and the same. How you could not know your best friend broke up with his girl amazes me.”

“Best friend. Huh. Well shouldn’t someone go cheer him up?”

“What do you mean, someone?”

“C’mon Dee, you’ve been in love with the kid since Ed Wood. What was that, like two years ago?”

“Screw you Marshall.”

“No Deandra, screw Riddle. That’s the idea.”

Marshall Bratta left his sister Deandra with a light punch to the shoulder and a smile as he turned his attention toward the bustling kitchen where his fans congregated. “My dear people, please beer me,” he exclaimed.

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