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Calvin and the What Guy?

Jason Marinko


*Included in Jason Marinko's Starry Nightmares.

Calvin better finish community service before it finishes him first.

The courts fined Calvin for drinking in public and sentenced him to community service. He's spent his summer cleaning trash in a local park and has almost completed the required hours. Today while making his rounds, he will encounter human garbage and will be fortunate to escape with his life.


There was still a lot to look forward to Calvin thought, retrieving the beige scooper and half broom for his final lap around. While sweeping up some broken glass Calvin debated whether he was going to have pork roll egg and cheese or a juicy cheeseburger. The internal menu debate in his mind was disturbed by a hacking cough coming closer from the side of the restrooms.

The gurgling grew louder and if Calvin thought not seeing the pretty girl was a disappointment nothing could prepare him for what followed. For the past twenty-seven mornings he had the park to himself. The joggers and people that walked for exercise stayed on the pavement and moved along the borders, never in the grass. The restrooms were in the grass and the sight of the bow-legged drifter limping towards him sent a shiver up his back in the sweltering July heat.


“STARRY NIGHTMARES is a highly original, spine-chilling collection of short stories and poems tailor-made for readers who like the violence graphic. Bad karma stalks many of the characters, often delivering grisly comeuppances, although surprise ending make it impossible to reliably predict who will survive. The stories and poems are adeptly crafted with gripping plots.” Susan, Editor at Palmetto Publishing