Issue 5 cover

Birthday Licks

by Kevin Brown

Issue 5 :: Winter 2009 (stories)

"Ask anyone," I tell Officer Throckmorten. "My girlfriend's got a Jessica-Alba ass, but her teeth look like she's been chewing on rocks."

Standing straight against the wall, with his buffed shoes and hand-pressed-to-a-pleat uniform, Officer Throckmorten dips his chin and grins. I rattle the handcuffs chaining my good arm to the table bar. As I pull and twist my wrist inside the steel loop, it constricts and turns my hand red, then blue, and so on.

I say, "For real, though. You wouldn't happen to have an extra set of keys?"

My prosthetic arm is unsnapped and lying on the table in front of me. The three big fingers are busted off at the knuckles, and the wrist is cracked into what look like veins running up the forearm.

That, and now my father's dead.


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"Birthday Licks" is roughly 3458 words.

Kevin Brown won the Permafrost literary journal's Midnight Sun Fiction Contest and the Touchstone fiction competition and placed third in the Cadenza Open Short Story Competition. He has had work published in Alligator Juniper, New Delta Review, subTerrain, Rosebud, Space and Time, UNDERGROUND voices, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, and Morpheus Tales, among others. He was recently the recipient of a Walton Family Foundation Fellowship in fiction. Visit him at his website: