PULP of the WEEK 


.....I'll walk in
just like I have, the past
300 nights

And I'll ask for a pack
Of cigarettes:

"marlboro lights, box"

and you'll ring me up,
swipe the box under
the red laser scanner

and you'll whistle
at the digital display

"$6.86....damn, I think it's
time to quit, don't you?"

I'll smile pretty
     (or as pretty as I can with
my gritty brown teeth)
and pull the gun.

I'll press the .38
to your

And say:

"empty the fucking register"
     (normally you'd frown and tsk tsk over
language, I've seen you do it
       To the neighborhood kids)

And you'll shiver,
your hands will tremble
you'll stink up

your kiosk

with piss


I slam the trunk shut
And listen to him struggle,
Legs and feet
Fists and arms

I listen to him scramble
I listen to him curse
Screaming that he didn't
Want to die


digging a hole
would be much easier
with an extra
set of hands

helping me

desert soil is
a lot harder
to cut through then
You'd think.

hard clay topsoil

tangled roots.

I pop the trunk

he's not in
such great shape.

can't tell if he's
blood's soaked
through his

He's a corpse,
so much
For that

Copyright © 2010, 2014 Keith Rawson. "Cigarettes" and "Vocation" first appeared in Horror, Sleaze, Trash.

Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print. He is the author of the short story collection The Chaos We Know (SnubNose Press) and co-editor of the anthology Crime Factory: The First Shift. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter.

About the Author

Keith Rawson

Three Poems