Fireworks at Out of the Gutter

29 Oct

I have to get better at this whole posting on my blog thing. 

I legit have things to promote, but am just bad about the blog end of things.  Hoping to get my act together at some point…

Anyway, I had a piece appear in Out of the Gutter waaaaay way back in August (on what would have been my Dad’s 59th birthday), about (coincidentally enough) family bonds and losing loved ones too soon.  Oh, and there’s a whole revenge rampage thing in there too…

Check out “Fireworks” below, and let me know what you think in the comments section.

Tonight, I’ll be hosting my first-ever Noir at the Bar eveningNoir at the Bar AP Poster of crime fiction in Asbury Park, and I’m super-psyched (and way nervous) about that.  You can check out the poster from the evening’s festivities by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.

And I should (hopefully) have a Halloween story to share on Tuesday, for our once-and-future Halloween tradition in these parts.  Make sure you stop back and check out the blog for a new offering soon.

Thanks for reading!



By: Jason Butkowski


Awesome Fireworks in Action Photo by Reggie Dizon, ganked with permission from Facebook

The moment the plan entered Frank’s brain, he was certain of one thing: It had to happen on the Fourth of July. The rest of his convictions may have wavered like the giant flag that he and his granddaughter used to hang over the garage door to celebrate Independence Day. But the date was an absolute certainty.

It had to be the Fourth.

Frank spotted two in the living room as he approached up the walk. No need for “covert intelligence” – the grimy bay window was bare, and the assholes were visible from the street, glued to the flickering light of the TV, probably already tripping balls. The drug-dulled response time definitely worked in his favor. Continue reading

So, what have we been up to?

5 Jul

Hey gang,

I know it’s been a long period of radio silence, but silence doesn’t necessarily mean inactivity (or at least, complete inactivity) at the Manor.

In the time since our last dispatch, Jay has been branching out his writing in some new and interesting areas — most notably, crime fiction and grindhouse noir.

And some of his stuff has been picked up by some of the most well-regarded crime flash fiction sites operating on the World Wide Web!

To catch you up, we’re offering a double shot of short fiction that you may have missed.  Check out “Bar Food,” which was first run in Shotgun Honey back in 2015, and “Snowmen,” which recently appeared in Out of the Gutter Online.

Bar Food

By: Jason Butkowski


Just another asshole in a sweat-stained trucker cap: the kind with a faux-vintage beer company logo plastered across the crown.

Just another foul-mouthed, flannel-clad, B.O.-stinking asshole, same as all the rest. Drunk, mean bastard, cussing up a storm and bragging to his buddies in the townie bar about his latest sexual conquest with the nuance of a fucking caveman. Tits this, pussy that, lewd hand gestures, obnoxiously loud laugh. I hated him from the moment I first saw him.

I ordered him a Pabst tallboy and had it sent over from the other end of the bar. Continue reading


1 Nov

So, each year, as part of our annual Episodes from the Zero Hour! Halloween entry, I write an original short story related to monsters, Halloween, etc… This year, I sort of down-played the tradition a bit.  Things in the personal life have been rough, and when you can’t spend as much time as you used to with your kids, particularly on your favorite day of the year, it kind of dulls the creative spark.  But traditions are traditions, and we have to keep up traditions.

This year, I’ve started playing around with my gritty, hard-boiled crime voice (which I will share on here with you, I promise!), and as a result, my Halloween story this year is a bit of a genre mash-up.  Hope you enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

The Fix

By: Jason Butkowski


The moment the needle pierced the soft skin on the inside of a junkie’s elbow was always the hardest part for Dmitry.

Keep it together. Stay cool, bro. Don’t let him know… Continue reading

Noir at the Bar: New Brunswick

24 May

Noir at the Bar poster, 5-24-15I’ll be reading tonight as part of the Noir at the Bar: New Brunswick event at Tumulty’s Pub in New Brunswick, NJ. If you’re a fan of twisted, hard-boiled crime fiction and live in and around the Hub City, this is an event not to be missed. Some great writers are on the bill, and I believe there will be some give-aways as well.

I’ll be reading one of my original short stories, once I decide which one I actually want to read (harder than it looks). Hope to see many friendly faces out there!



HALLOWEEN STORY 2 — The Emperess Cicada

3 Nov

And here’s my second story from Episodes from the Zero Hour!‘s Halloween 2014 short story collection.  And yes, I know that’s now how you spell “Empress.”  I was using an archaic spelling for effect.  So it’s not just a typo.  So quit harassin’ me…



The Emperess Cicada


My dear friend,

I know that it has been far too long since our last communication. My work, unfortunately, leaves little time for idle correspondence; as does your own. However, I have recently come across a matter of interest, and given our shared affection for stories of the strange and unusual, I thought you would enjoy hearing this one.

In many of the native traditions of the indigenous peoples of the American colonies, there exists a peculiar legend about the end of the world. As most aboriginal legends tend to be associated with the natural order of things, this one is no exception. Continue reading