Vincent Panella

The Deluxe

2018 Nominee for a Pushcart Prize

From Vol. 2, Issue 2: Ovunque Siamo: New Italian-American Writing

Horses – The MacGuffin, Winter 2016

“But those ditches will freeze,” said McCabe. “Cattle need water to stay alive.”

Wagner considered this in the sun-flooded kitchen as he puffed the cigar back to life, then tapped it on the ashtray. “Not if a fella’ had horses,” he said, and McCabe got the picture then, Wagner’s horses and his cattle. He waited for Wagner to continue.

“Horses break through the ice with their feet. Horses is different than cattle.”

A Joke But Not a Joke – The Long Story #34

Jason parked at the brook and started his last beer of the day. He thought of all the needy people in the world, then of the the lucky ones like himself, who had beer to drink and a truck to sleep in and friends to work for. Moonlight rippled on the brook. Saint Francis would have received the stigmata on a night like this. Jason shut his eyes and saw the saint in his humble cassock, the back of his head shaved, hands raised to a hologram of the crucifix. Surely he’d been praying for the downtrodden and hadn’t sought his own glory. Jason finished the beer and slid down from the truck. He knelt on the ground. He whispered, Let me be like you, Saint Francis. This wasn’t funny. 

Wheel Man – Voices in Italian Americana, Volume 25, Spring 2016, Number 1

“And what’s this? What kind of eggs are these, poached or hard boiled? Or poached until they’re hard boiled.”

Hank moves to pick up the plate, saying, “She’ll take it back,” but Marie pushes his hand away and gives him a burst of Italian which she doesn’t think I understand.

“It’s not worth the trouble. These people don’t know any better.” To emphasize the point she holds up her thumb and index finger in a pistol shape and swivels her hand. Forget it, there’s nothing there.

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Canada – WIPS JOURNAL, December 2016

Jason parked at the brook and started his last beer of the day. He thought of all the needy people in the world, then of the the lucky ones like himself, who had beer to drink and a truck to sleep in and friends to work for. Moonlight rippled on the brook. Saint Francis would have received the stigmata on a night like this. Jason shut his eyes and saw the saint in his humble cassock, the back of his head shaved, hands raised to a hologram of the crucifix. Surely he’d been praying for the downtrodden and hadn’t sought his own glory. Jason finished the beer and slid down from the truck. He knelt on the ground. He whispered, Let me be like you, Saint Francis. This wasn’t funny. 

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War and Peace – Paterson Literary Review, Issue 42, 2016-2016

“I threw a picture card, Mom.  Do you remember when I told you that any picture card is higher than a number card?  Now I’ve got my finger on my picture card, and you’ve got your finger on a number card. It’s a ten.  So who wins?”

“This is terrible.”

The Father of Titanium, The Carbon Culture Review, February 2016

This near boasting, as well as an incident from his past, had nicknamed Hurlock The Father of Titanium. He wondered if those who whispered the name behind his back, or who placed dim-witted notes in the leaves of his desk calendar were aware of the irony: there was room for the title. If his latest project bore fruit, he would introduce the sleeping metal to the aerospace industry and not only staunch the flow of company money, but earn himself a permanent niche in the world of metals.

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vpaul@sover.net