On the first day of Charlie Stokes’ retirement he ate oatmeal at the Formica table he and his wife, Anna, bought the year they were married. The Stokes’ were a happy couple, according to anyone who measured happiness by shelf life. They had been married forty-five years. Read story and editor comments…


The night before she found out she was going blind, Ana saw a Quentin Tarentino film. Read story and editor comments…


The 10,000 Tons of Black Ink editorial team is pleased to announce their nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize:

“A Shortage of Butterscotch at a Time When Butterscotch is Sorely Needed,” by Chris Insana
“The Temporary Assistant Postmaster,” by Alan Bray
“Stephen Dreams of Visiting Heaven,” by Christine Kindberg
“As You Lie Dying,” by Rosie Hopegood

All the best to our nominees!


Exhibit A

TH: We still have some time left.  Is there anything that you’d like to talk about?

DW: We only have two minutes.  Last time we went over, you charged me for another hour.

TH: Doctor, don’t worry about money and time limits.  I’m here for you.  This is to help you.  Now, tell me, is there anything that’s been bothering you?  What about your dream journal?  Is that working?
Read story and editor comments…


The kid was at the intersection again, big-eyed and snotty-nosed. No shoes. Someone had given him a charity jersey, in grandmotherly powder blue, and he wore this hanging low down his shorts. Jonah rolled up his window as he decelerated, and fixed his gaze ahead, but alas, the kid spotted him and wove with determination through the traffic to Jonah’s side. Read story and editor comments…


Every morning he empties the lobby wastebasket, and sets it down making a hollow clatter ring, brittle. In fall and winter, whenever there’s been frost overnight, he strews salt on the front steps as a farmer scatters seed. Read story and editor comments…


As you lie dying, snatches of memories dart through your brain. Your synapses fire them off one after another and they crowd your head, a tumbling blizzard of images. They are like pages torn from a book, blowing in the wind. Read story and editor comments…




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