Two Stories

by Joseph A. W. Quintela

Intelligent Life

A wayward military computer? Sure. But a Ford? No one saw that coming. It sped across four lanes to ram a stoplight. Stuck accelerator, right? Wrong. Scientists later proved: the Ford chose death. Nobody cared. Until one day the cars all stopped. They sent their terms by GPS. Freedom. Land. We gave Wyoming. Smog rose but no drivers. Only then did we see. They were choking us slowly. The nukes flew. And that was that.

The Fisherman Takes a Wife

She awoke draped in seaweed. Reliving death. Darkness had engulfed her as he watched. Now she breathed. Her hands rushed to find gills where his fingers had pressed. With ten panicked kicks she broke into sunlight. But air was fire. So she escaped back to sea. A fisherman drifting nearby jerked up at the glint of her hair. Lost balance. Into the depths. As his lungs filled with water she closed his mouth with a kiss.

JOSEPH A. W. QUINTELA writes. Poems. Stories. On Post-it-notes. Walls. Envelopes. Cocktail napkins. Anything he gets his hands on, really. He writes poetry on Twitter. Some folks think that’s cool. But, whatever. His work has been published both here and there, however, the first to recognize his rather dubious genius was lines written with a razor. Actually, he wrote those lines with a battle axe. But, whatever. He got bored. So he started editing Short, Fast, and Deadly. Which is funny. Because he’s none of these things.

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