Giving Away The Needle

I have a new story in the latest issue of Needle. Don't believe me? Here's the full table of contents:

  • Control by Matthew C. Funk
  • White Haze by Doc O’Donnell
  • Nine Hole Caddy by Scott Morse
  • Finn’s Missing Sister by Jen Conley
  • She Don’t Eat No Meat by Kent Gowran
  • Smothered and Covered by Tom Barlow
  • Haymaker by Nik Korpon
  • Empty Hours by Loren Eaton
  • Smiles by Jeffery Hess
  • The Spin Out by William Dylan Powell
  • Mistake by A.A. Garrison
  • Bad for Business by Carlos Orsi
  • Mr. Mockingbird Drive by Robert Swartwood
  • Push Comes to Shove by BV Lawson
  • Ordo ad Chao by Benoit Lelièvre
  • Right Where She Wants Him by Meriah L Crawford
  • A Dog Named Buddy by Chris La Tray
  • Paying It Off by Kieran Shea

My story "Mr. Mockingbird Drive" is straight-up crime. Here's the opening:

They wait until he finishes with his transaction before they make their move.

Taking his card back from the machine, putting it in his wallet along with the twenty-dollar bills, he turns around with his head down and starts to take a step forward and doesn’t even hear them when they walk right up to him, Tyshawn already with his gun out and pointed at the man’s head.

“Freeze, motherfucker.”

The man freezes. Doesn’t even look up at them, just keeps staring down at his wallet.

Julio glances around the bank parking lot, sees no trouble, knows they have to hurry anyway. “We goin for a ride, mi amigo.”

The man still hasn’t looked up. His black leather wallet shakes in his hands.

Tyshawn steps forward, presses the barrel of his gun against the man’s head. “Yo, he’s talkin to you.”

The man raises his head, but in a slow, cautious way, Julio happy to see the fear in the man’s eyes.

“Your keys,” Julio says, motioning to the man’s BMW behind them.

The man’s lips tremble. “My—my—my keys?”

“To your fuckin car, dickhead,” Tyshawn says, pressing the barrel against the man’s head once again.

The man’s hands are shaking so bad now that he drops the wallet. It hits the ground with a dry thud. The man looks down, looks back up, raises his hands slowly.

“I have to reach into my pocket,” he says.

Julio says, “Keys better be what comes out, or else my boy here will blow your face off.”

The man reaches into his pocket. He brings out a set of keys.

Tyshawn grabs them from the man’s hands, tosses them back to Julio. Julio catches them, smiles, says, “Now get in the car.”

“What? But I thought—I thought you just wanted my car!”

“No way, Mr. Mockingbird Drive. We want a whole lot fucking more.”

Wanna read the rest of this story, and all the other stories in this issue? Of course you do! You can order your copy here, or you can enter to win a signed copy that I'm giving away (or, if you're adventurous, you can do both). Every time I do a giveaway I try something different, so here's what we're going to do this time. To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize social media. Either you can tweet the following (I've made it easy for you to copy and paste because I'm just that swell of a guy):

Look! @RobertSwartwood is giving away a copy of @needlemagnoir!

Or you can share the link to this post on Facebook, saying the same thing (again, copy and paste):

Look! Robert Swartwood is giving away a copy of Needle Magazine!

Or you can share the link to this post on your blog, Tumblr, etc. Whatever it is, let me know then in the comments section. This giveaway goes until the end of the month, when a random name will be selected. Ready? Go!