Teasing, Gladden is back!!!

Frank A Gladden, fiction writer/poet, Silver Spring, Maryland

2011 Pushcart Prize nominee and contributor to last year's premier issue, Frank A. Gladden returns with another poignant story titled, "Needs" that will ignite your imagination.  Here is a brief excerpt: 
The police officer glanced around again, pulled his sunglasses down his nose, and slid out the car. He adjusted his cap and pushed his glasses up with his finger, tossed his Playboy magazine on the seat of his cruiser and walked in my direction.
            "Hey slick!" he yelled.

            I turned around to face the tall, imposing, ruddy-faced man with what appeared to be burn scars covering the left side of his face—striding toward me. Several cars on the narrow street slowed to a stop.

            “Me?" I asked, touching my chest—backing away.

            "Yeah, I'm talking to you. You stay here?"

            "Yeah, I do."

            He paused a moment as if he didn't like my answer, or the way I addressed him. He wrinkled his brow, placed his hand on his gun, and asked, "what's your name … boy?"

           "Willie Jenkins."

           "Willie Jenkins, huh," he repeated, "can you prove it?"

            "Yeah," I said reaching for my driver's permit.

             He pulled his glasses down his nose; glared at me for a few seconds, and asked, “You know a boy named Duke?"

            "I have a tenant named Duke.”


            “Yeah, a guy who rents a room—but he’s older than you.”

            "Don’t be a smart-ass. Where is he?"

            “I don’t know.”

            “You don’t know!”

            “No, I don’t.”

            “How come you don’t know—his mama says he stays over here.”

            "I haven't seen him lately."

            "You sure?" he asked, moving closer, squinting down at me.

            "I haven't seen him in three days or more." I said, handing him my driver's permit, looking at the image of my face in his shiny sunglasses.

Check out the full story in a few weeks.  Gladden is back!