Thuglit Issue Five

Hey folks,

The good people at Thuglit have been foolish generous enough to publish my story “One More Day Can’t Hurt,” which takes place in the 1950’s in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. The main character Ralphie is a man struggling, with junk, with dreams, with life and love.

He’s losing.

I’m honored to be in such company for this issue, you’ll find stories by:

GATO NEGRO by Chris Murphy
WITH ONE STONE by Brian Leopold
VIDALIA by Edward Hagelstein
JERRY’S DEAD WIFE by Chris Mattix

For this piece I returned to my roots of writing, the world of noir. I hope I’ve done it justice, but that’s not for me to decide. Here’s an excerpt and a link where you can purchase the collection if you so desire.

One More Day Can’t Hurt
By Justin Porter

He played his fingers across the mother-of-pearl inlaid arabesque of the wooden box. These old twigs, he thought, old twigs across the surface of something lovely. Had they ever been good fingers or were they always just old twigs?

Always have an exit strategy. An older soldier’s advice while they shared a raw potato during a break in shelling, the last two men in a trench of bodies, the harsh bite of the tuber and the flash of the knife as they cut it into tiny pieces to make it last. The moonlight overhead seemed like a blasphemy and the cold had sharp teeth, but at least it masked the tang of the dead. Always have an exit strategy, Ralphie, the old soldier said and laughed, handing him the last of the potato as they waited for daylight and for a rescue they both knew was not coming.

Now, all these years later and alone in his single room, he opened the box and looked at the nickel fittings of an old syringe nestled in the velvet lining like a viper in a feather bed.

"Exit strategy." He whispered before closing the box and picking up his proper rig. 1941 was a long time ago, he reminded himself as he tied off with his belt, one more day can’t hurt. Warmth washed over him while he rolled down his sleeve and lit a cigarette, holding it in his teeth while he slipped his coat on.