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**PRINT: No. 34.2: Part dictionary of the outrageous, part chronicle of the manic twists and turns of American life, Atlanta writer Jamie Iredell's BOOK OF FREAKS (due fall 2010 from Future Tense) is A+ material, the best of its bits spawning raucous laughter and righteous anger read after read after. Check out several of the "freaks" in this issue, part of our mini-broadsheets series, along with Nashville-based Gabe Durham's similarly structured selections from "Fun Camp," a work in progress, on the back side. Durham is Keyhole Magazine's new editor.

**PRINT: COLD WAS THE GROUND, by Chicago's Scott Stealey, is No. 34 in our broadsheet series. Gina, protagonist, a rather lonely condo dweller/office manager, strikes up a fleeting friendship with one Porgo, an Eastern European construction worker who is burying on her property what Gina takes for a time capsule. But the metaphorical fix is in -- Porgo, an ESL student, may be leading Gina in directions she canít exactly get her head all the way around. Enjoy. Chicago writer Stealey is editor of the Please Donít online mag.

**WEB: MY ALIBI Kevin O'Cuinn
SKI AERIALS aka Peer
TESTIMONIAL aka Peer
WING & FLY: AN EXPERIMENT IN MIND CONTROL w/ MKULTRA and...Doug Milam | Todd Dills
RACING STRIPES Paul Lask
AT THE HILTON GARDEN INN NASHVILLE AIRPORT Spencer Dew
NARCOLEPTIC Foust
HIDEOUS BOUNTY: ONE WITH WOLF | Andrew Davis
JUST SAY NO Ben Tanzer


MY ALIBI
---
Kevin O'Cuinn

I am on my way to the cabin, my mind freeing, undoing as the world zips by. Beside me, my alibi. Everyone got one. I cuffed mine to the passenger door and when they stopped us, back at the roadblock, I kept my eyes ahead and the engine running. They asked about the cuffs. "What's with the cuffs, fellas?" As it happens, there's no law against driving around with a cuffed passenger. "The cuffs? They're just cuffs," said my alibi, knowing better than to risk my ire. "You know, consenting adults." They weren't overly happy, convinced, but there you go. Free country. "Right, so," said one of them, then waved us on. We drove. He was teared up, my alibi, and said something about his mother and an ailment I'd never heard of. "Lighten up," I told him, and the snivelling stopped.

I'd decided to head to the cabin till everything had gone down and something else had captured the newspeople's attention. I figured on three days but was keeping an open mind. They get a lead, anything can happen.

Columbia College Fiction Writing Department

I uncuffed him outside Westport, after that song came over the radio about there being nowhere to run to, baby. Big message from Universe. He didn't sing along but I noticed how he shuffled his shoulders. I don't miss stuff like that.

We left the car in Leenane, outside the pub that's the only structure for miles and quadruples as post office, petrol station and convenience store. The owner, Tony, looked up from the Racing Times as we passed the window. He waved us in. "The man," he said, a generic term in these parts for Sorry, I don't remember your name. This is not something my alibi would know. "Stopping for a pint?" said Tony, pint glass in place under the tap. Things were pretty slow. "Not today, Tony, need to hit the cabin before dark."

"Fine," he said in a way that suggested anything but. "We'll take some provisions, though. Eggs, bread, bacon."

"Fine," he said again.

We took the steep side of Ben Creggan, into the fog. Couldn't see shit, not even the nose on my face. "Stay close," I told my alibi, and stay close he did, like we were doing the vertical spoon. The fog thickened with our tandems steps. "And left," I'd say, and we'd move forward, pause, "And right." Stuff memories are made of. The descent into the forest around Delphi was slow. "How much fucking further?" said my alibi, after visibility had grown to a couple of feet. "Just far enough so as you can't find your way back," I told him. "We could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble," he answered.

We arrived at the cabin. It had been a while; the fuchsia had taken over half the deck. Inside, I cranked up the generator and it turned over first time. "Make yourself at home," I said. "We'll be sticking around for a couple of days." My alibi kind of scoffed but I let it go. He would have been tired from the hike. I laid out the food on the table and checked the cupboard. It was full of tins and, jackpot, an unopened bottle of the old man's Jameson's. My alibi eyed the bottle. "Go on," I said, smiled, "You deserve it." He cracked the seal and chugged. "Whoa!" I said. Had to laugh. When he wouldn't stop, I cracked him over the head with the Lee & Perrins; down he went. I got us a couple of glasses, poured. Certain occasions call for certain etiquette. "To us," I said. He got up, rubbed his head and took the glass. I didn't foresee any further problems. "Go ahead, take a look around." "You don't mind?" "No. I'll get the fire going." He stepped out onto the deck, looked into the trees and took off. I watched from the door, sipped my whiskey. He was soon out of view, what with the bush. I got the fire going then got myself a refill and went outside, pulled up a chair. He came back into view ten or so minutes later, stopped dead, took off left. Back again after twenty, then ten, five. He panted up to the cabin, hands on knees, scratched face. "Good workout?" I asked. He walked past me without a word, fell back onto the bed. When I got up again he was snoring. I threw a rug over him, put a log on the fire.

I woke him when the food was ready, bacon and beans. "Grub up," I said. I joined him on the bed and we ate.

After supper we smoked the last of my Drum and watched logs burn. I could see the flames dancing in his eyes; shadows licked his face. We were both tired, I guess, after the day we'd had. We finished off the whiskey and I made a mental note to remind the old man to pick up some more. I wondered how he was doing, if everything had gone down OK. I'd fire up the short wave in the morning. Think about my next move. If the weather held up we could go on a hike. Or even head to the pub for the afternoon.

The chopper woke us, approaching. My alibi lifted his head from my lap, returned it there and sighed. I ran my fingers through his hair, thick and strong. "And now?" he said. He said something else but I couldn't hear over the noise. The cabin was full of wind and light and the voice saying how we should come out with our hands on our heads.






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