The screen door was ajar and the front door open. Peeking in I saw a rough hewn square coffee table set on cedar stumps, the bark still mostly on. There was a large glass plate overflowing with smoked cigarettes, some filters, some plain with an abundance of roaches mixed in. I yelled “Hello” and walked in, stood still, scoping out the room. The couch used to be velour but was now mostly shiny and worn cloth, the cushions uneven and sunken. The windows spray painted and the only light coming from the front door. On one wall was a large print of “The Scream” and next to it a print of kittens and yarn—the yarn balls all different colors. I figured the kittens went up first and the response followed. Off to the left was a stairway going up with a half dozen balusters missing, lying askew on the floor. There was a large yellow bean bag chair that had seen better days and like the couch it faced what was left of a giant flat screen TV. Glass littered the worn oak floor. I walked through the living room and saw the dining room had been cordoned off with yellow police tape. The dining table and chairs flipped over in the rear of the room. There were the chalk outlines where the two bodies had been and the stain of red blood now turned brown. The first body was large; perhaps a German Sheppard and the other smaller but compact and I figured Cockapoo. The dining room walls had mounted plates with portraits of all the First Ladies but they were untouched. I didn’t need to go into any other rooms; I saw what I came for and left but not before grabbing a baluster and flinging it into the dining room cracking Abigail Adams
Bio: Paul Beckman’s stories are published worldwide in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His work has been included in numerous anthologies. Paul earned his MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. His latest collection of flash stories, "Peek" weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. Paul is also one of the winners in The Best Small Fictions 2016! published by Queen’s Ferry Press. Stories forthcoming in the Journal of Compressed Art, Yellow Mama, Journal of Microfiction, Pure Slush, No Extra Words, Ink Sweat and Tears, F(r)iction and others.