Fiction
Incendiary
Grimley Bogue
Butter Pat Babies
Steve Rasnic Tem
Preamble
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Stockholm Syndrome
Lucy Mihajlich
Painting
Sayuri Yamada
Konfessin Mouser K.
AE Reiff

Excerpts
Hellbender
Jason Jack Miller
The Blood Poetry
Leland Pitts-Gonzalez
My Hands Were Clean
Tom Bradley
The Tumors
Matthew Revert

Stockholm Syndrome
Lucy Mihajlich


“My name’s Rudolfo.”

“What?”

“My name’s Rudolfo.”

“Um, Clinton,” I said.

“Why am I blindfolded, Clinton?” The man asked me. He was facing a little to my left, which was disconcerting.

“What?”

“I asked you why I’m blindfolded. It doesn’t make sense. I know where I am. It’s my store.”

“It seemed like the thing to do. There was box of blindfolds on the counter. Also, if you can’t see anything, it’s harder for you to escape. I read that online. That’s why I took your shoes, too,” I said.

“I thought it was just because they were Dolce and Gabbana.”

“They are nice shoes. I wouldn’t have thought that a small business owner could afford shoes like that.”

“Everybody has sex. You still would have been better off hitting a bank.”

I frowned. “I already told you, I thought this was a bank! The store is called Community Trust! That sounds like a bank! It has ‘trust’ in the name!”

“Well yeah, you need to trust someone to let them use that thing in the window on you.”

“What … Oh my god. How does it even work?”

“If you turn it on, the pink part vi—"

“Nevermind,” I said quickly.

“You asked, Clinton.”

“What about the community?”

“What?”

“Your store is called Community Trust. Why is ‘community’ in the name?”

“I’m a small business owner,” said Rudolfo. “I care about stimulating the local economy.”

“Pun intended?”

“Of course.”

“Is that your cellphone?”

“No, it’s the store’s landline. Behind the cash register.”

“Hello? Speak up, we have a bad connection. No, I won’t release a hostage as a sign of good faith. Because I only have one hostage! Of course I have demands. Um, I want a hundred thousand in non-sequential, unmarked bills and a van. And Lobster Thermidor. You have one hour.”

“Lobster Thermidor?”

“I’ve always wanted to try it.”

“I don’t think I’m worth a hundred thousand dollars, Clinton. And a van, and Lobster Thermidor.”

“Don’t sell yourself short.”

“You know, Clinton, you might not want to stand so close to the window.”

“Why?” I asked. “Jesus, you think they’d shoot me?”

“You have taken a hostage.”

“In a sex toy store!”

“You’re right. They’ll probably miss because they’re laughing too hard.”

“Alright, Rudolfo. That’s your name, right? Rudolfo?”

“That’s my name.”

“It’s a weird name.”

“I know,” he said.

“Alright, we’re going to go into the storeroom. Stand up slowly and put your hands in the air.”

“I don’t want to. I forgot to put on deodorant today.”

“Keep your hands where I can see them, then.”

“Okay.”

A moment later, I said, “You stepped on my foot, Rudolfo.”

“Sorry, I can’t see. At least I wasn’t wearing shoes.”

“God damn it!”

“I said I was sorry.”

“It’s not that. I’ve had the safety catch on my gun this whole time! You could have escaped!”

“Probably not. I’m blindfolded, remember? And barefoot.”

“I can’t even take a hostage right! It’s my first time, you know. I’ve never done this before.”

“Look, just take the safety catch off now,” he said. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

“Thanks, Rudolfo. You know, you’re a ... Oh my god! Rudolfo, are you okay? It just went off in my hand! It was an accident! I’m so sorry!”

“…”

“Rudolfo?”


Lucy Mihajlich has been published in RAIN Magazine and Pathos Literary Magazine, and she's due to be published this summer in The Present Tense Writer's Journal. She was the first place winner of the 2012 Ooligan Write to Publish Flash Fiction Contest.