Bridgeport Connecticut does not have the right side of the tracks—both sides are the wrong ones. South of the tracks is the Connecticut Turnpike, storage areas both outdoors and a cinderblock building with a row of stores which houses the Lucky the Clown shop where we got our orange wigs, spring-loaded books with a pop-up penis’, and next to that is the gefilte fish wholesaler, He’ll sell retail also but, the owner, Flash Horowitz, doesn’t get much local business. He’s got two refrigerated trucks, Flashes Fish, with a water scene and two baited hooks painted on one side and a man in cement shoes with his fedora floating above him on the other.
The north end of the tracks has the Marina Village projects with broken glass filled parking lots and another cinderblock building housing a liquor store, Liquors in a Flash “the city’s largest selection of pints and half pints” and it’s owned by the gefilte fish guy’s father—also called Flash.
There a cigarette store that sells girly mags, makes book, and posts the pink sheets with the Daily Number in the window as soon as they’re delivered—usually around 3 PM after the third race for the day is run. At the end of the building is Dr. Horwitz, the Tooth Doctor—Flash’s brother who’s semi-retired. There are two empty stores that are being held for Flash’s son, Sparky, for when he graduates from the University of Bridgeport’s law school which may be a while depending on how his trial for arson goes. The sign had been made as a bar mitzvah present from Zeyde Flash. It reads, Horowitz, Horowitz, & Horowitz attorney at law. It’s made from red oak and the letters, filigree, and flames are real gold flake.
Rumor has it that Sparky’s going to need a lawyer most of his life rather than be one.
Paul Beckman’s a Connecticut writer whose latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, WINK, Jellyfish Review, and The Lost Balloon.