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Last updateTue, 06 Aug 2013 2am

Back You are here: Home Themed Collections The Collective Speaks Browse All Collections Issue Zero: Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves
Issue Zero: Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

Issue Zero: Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

Welcome to the first collection from Thunderdome!

Our first theme is based on a familiar line from the movie that gave us our name, but these stories venture far afield from two warriors fighting in a cage.

I'll skip the preamble and fanfare and get right to it: This is a collection of short stories telling tales of sadness, madness, pain, the grotesque, alternate realities, love and bullets. Click the links below to check out stories from our first collection.

Two Guys Walk Into a Bar - Doc O'Donnell explores the lonliest seat in the bar and what one man does to keep it.

The Smelting Room - Bob Pastorella weaves a tale of mergers and acquisitions unlike any you've ever seen.

Fashionably Late -  Stephen Conley brings us a story of devotion...or is it obsession?

Gray Davis vs. Agent Orange - Nicholas Merlin Karpuk looks at both sides of the coin simultaneously, giving us a debate between what is and what could have been.

Fulgurate - Chris Deal takes you to a dark place in a tale of devotion and sacrifice.

Vainglory - Danielle Tobias goes inside the mind of an artist. His choice of medium will leave you astounded, or horrified, or maybe both.

Thanks for taking the leap with us!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 04:30

Gray Davis vs. Agent Orange

Written by

Her moaning brought me out of a lazy-Sunday sleep, flinching hard enough to unsettle the obese, pear-shaped tabby in the crook of my legs. Agent Orange waddled off the bed, stopping every few steps to glare. His feet sounded like four hammers hitting the floor.

Her cries continue. Every Sunday morning, a familiar sound filtering through the laundry room when it used to ring out in stereo.

I know I should have put on the headphones my other self bought me as a feel-better gift, but the ugly curiosity overwhelmed. Some people can’t leave a scab alone.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 04:29


Written by

'Slate does not exist.'

The darkness was tangible around the holy light pouring down from the single, naked bulb hiding above them. In the spotlight: the spartan table, a chair on each side. The two men were distorted reflections, four hands palm down and shoulder-width apart on the smooth surface of the table; one pair smooth and pale as the North Star, the other the shade of a life's twilight, a continuous circle of simple gold around a finger, a curl of scar tissue across its rear.

Between the elder's hands is a hammer, the gleaming iron like a thunderstone, specks of imperfection lucent, a firefly dying under the bulb.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 04:28

The Smelting Room

Written by

Larson bounced on his toes, loosening up. Cracking his knuckles, he adjusted his neck- tie then grabbed the ends of his shirt cuffs, pulling them down.

“You look fine.” Grouse said. “Quit bouncing or you’ll start sweating.”

He bounced once more, then rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet, wingtips creaking.

“Nervous?” Grouse asked.

“No. Just ready to get it over with.”

“As soon as Harris gets off the phone with his wife in there, you’re up.” Grouse reached out and straightened Larson’s lapels. “Harris is going to try and stall. You know this.” Grouse grabbed Larson’s chin, made him look right at him. “You know this. It’s all a game. Do not screw this up.”

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 04:27

Two Guys Walk Into a Bar

Written by

I searched for movement through the smudged window. The only thing I knew for sure was it was Thursday because I had money in my pocket. My face burned with anticipation and the misty rain was refreshing.

Nothing moved inside the unlit bar.

The reflection in the window was my old man’s, down to the cracking skin in the corner of my eyes. Head against the glass, I studied myself: Three-day growth, thicker than the hair on my head. Sagging swollen eyes, glazed. A Bulbous nose, shined red, a stop light against sunset skin the colour of a week-old bruise. The last time I saw myself was a distorted bulge coming from the bottom of an empty glass.

The barman walked through my face, stealing my attention. Morning, he said.

I will be if I don't get a beer in the next five.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 04:26

Fashionably Late

Written by

Keep focus. All she has to do is look back and she’ll see him, even though it’s dark. She’s bad about that, not checking her rear-view. This is good for him because he’s a bit of an amateur. He’s been way too close a number of times and he’s only been tailing her for two or three miles. Maybe he doesn’t care if she sees him, that would explain him being so brazen. Maybe she sees him but doesn’t care, that would explain her being so unaware.

The roads are glittery wet with rain and the hiss from the tires is quite lulling. Coupled with the hazy streetlamps, a collision is much more probable. He doesn’t care; he briskly tails her Nissan Fairlady Z. It’s a nice sports car, not quite the car to drive in these conditions though. If she needed a quick getaway, however, it’s the one to drive. She’s a clever one, this girl. He’s lumbering around in a bland, dented Impala, probably used to belong to the police. Not a bad machine but not half the machine a 300zx is.