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  Cover Issue 4 FILM NOIR


The beating of a drum wrangles her eyes away


from the vase of roses on the vanity.


Slipping down her cheek,


her intention finds nowhere to hide


and in sudden panic


wraps itself in a bullet-proof smile.


How simply wonderful it is,


her perfectly-stitched imitation of a greeting,


her exquisite choreography of


glad to see…


 so happy you could…


 won’t you please..?


The well-honed manicure, the black silk stockings,


The razor-sharp points on her stiletto-heeled pumps


Just part of the dance leading up to the divine ballet


of one hand caressing another hand


while another hand


makes whoopee in the wings with an ivory-handled dagger


and waits for its chance to bring the curtain down.




when all that remains of the party


is a smear of crimson lipstick on a tissue in the wastebasket,


a bit of fois gras going hard on the rug under the table,


a spot of blood drying on the starched white collar


of someone-or-other’s tailored shirt,


her hunger waits until she’s not looking,


the apartment silent and dark,


her duplicity hushed with the weight of sleep.


And then


it makes its waxen way on spider feet


into her bitter bed


slithers up between the satin sheets


breathes itself into her darkest dreams


whispers a stolen secret into her ear


and settles soundlessly into place


on her face


like a chenille moth.




Kerry Hartjen is a former magician/clown/actor who has recently returned to pursuing a writing career. He is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, a former member of the Dramatists Guild of America, West, and a graduate of The Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute.. Kerry currently lives on a small island midway between Seattle, WA, Vancouver, B.C., and Victoria, B.C. with his wife and their cat, Max. His blog can be found at: www.raviolithewriter.com. Kerry’s poem Homecoming appears in the August, 2013 issue of HelloHorror.

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