The Ball Turret Gunner

The Ball Turret Gunner

A Story by Tom Cook

Proofread and criticize. The story is brutal and cruel, so enjoy the violence and the character's slip from reality. Any comments or criticism's would be greatly appreciated.


The Ball Turret Gunner

Tom Cook


                The grim sphere, the deadly orb. I was lost, or stuck, in a ball turret twenty thousand feet about the Rhineland. Puffs of bursting flak clouded the daytime sky, shrapnel pinging off my Plexiglas bulb and the underbelly of the B-17. The bomber would jump, as if frightened, with each flak explosion and toss around her children with each movement. My head between my legs, I peered down to the shades of green, brown, and auburn of German farmland as we crept closer to the epicenter of the anti-air guns.

                The city doesn't matter so much as what we are bombing. I flew over fifteen of these raids, all in the day, from late 1942 to now. In five minutes we would bomb the city and with each minute the flak would progress from small billows of black to nearly blotting out the sky. Daytime bombing, in other words, would become nighttime soon enough.

                If we were lucky we would trail away from the city and fly back across the Channel. We would break box formation and land on the runway like the wounded warriors we were. Fire trucks and mechanics would rush by and douse flames, wheel away battered bombers to hangers where they would stay up through the night repairing wings, landing gear, nose turrets. In some cases a mission can go sour for a squadron. Body parts and guts would be cleaned out from the waist. A tail gunner one time took a direct hit from a 20 mm cannon that opened up his torso like a medical cadaver. A waist gunner lost his head, a navigator became pink paste. On occasion I would catch a glimpse of another bomber being cut open with machine gun fire, and I would watch little body silhouettes tumble toward the ground until their figures were buried in the whiteness of the clouds.

                I saw everything from the belly of the bomber. I saw the bombs strike factories, tenements, stores, banks, schools, shipyards, harbors, drydocks, and farms and when I saw the little orange glows burst vibrantly and then die out in a cloud of grey and black. I would watch the flak 88s thunder like an orchestra of war. Me 109s and Fw 190s would zip by like sparrows, but at times I felt like was in the cockpits staring at the pilots who flew them.

                The bomber seemed to churn as another explosion rocked the skies. I knew another ball gunner who was struck with flak. He didn't die instantly, but his canopy was blown away and he was left hanging onto one of the .50s. He lost his grip and fell 15,000 feet where I'm sure his impact was less startling then one of the incendiaries we drop.

                I latch my safety harness together and watch the flak build up, as if it were greeting our squadron.

* * *

                When I volunteered I wanted to kill Nazis or Japs. The Italians not so much, I wanted to kill something that was a challenge. I wanted to be the pilot of a Corsair or Mustang, and glide through the battlefield strafing platoons of steelheads. Or carry a 50 pound bomb and drop it on a Tiger tank. Watch the explosion of streaming sparks and tank parts. Tank buster. But I never made it that far. I was five foot six and maybe a hundred thirty pounds wet. The United States Army Air Force saw me different. They took me to a field where they gave me a 12 gauge shotgun and asked me to shoot skeet. Then, after a few rounds, they asked me to shoot skeet from a mounted .50. They shipped me to gunnery school where I shot towed bed sheets from a C-47 Douglass. I scored the highest marks, and after that their decision became more obvious.

                They stuffed me in that goddamn turret like clothes in a suitcase. They fed me belts of ammo from the top and watered me down with the vapors of dying men and claustrophobia. My first mission was over France and I wished I was down there more than the turret. The oxygen mask would suck at my face when we climbed to 20,000 feet, and my feet would begin to tremble after the first hour. I pissed myself the first mission, and the stank clogged the turret and choked me for hours. The humidity and warmth rolling through my trousers into my flak jacket. When the fighters came and shot up our bomber, I thought I was going to die in that circular coffin like a squealing animal, covered in its own blood and feces.

                It made me miss the ground more, but after the first mission I miss the ground less and less. When my first one ended, I sprung from the ball turret's hatch like Lazarus. I sprinted from the plane and dove on the ground and rolled in the mud. I gripped tuffs of grass between my fingers and kissed them. I cried and laughed.

                But now I don't kiss the earth, instead I weep and mourn for it. I destroy parks and tree lines, gardens and fruit patches. When our bombing runs end I pray for the earth and beg its forgiveness for all the misery and pain we had gave her. I pray for the German children, mothers, husbands, and grandparents. I pray that their deaths are quick and painless, and that our firebombs cook them quickly.

* * *

                A ball turret gunner was the safest part on the plane and the same time the most dangerous. I was a small target, and there was only one way for a Nazi fighter to get me, but I was cramped into the fetal position surrounded by belts of ammo and above me were boxes of heavy rounds. I wore my parachute inside the turret where I used it as a headrest and when the flak came I would punch open the hatch and point the barrels down to the earth. I would open the turret and sit with my head inside the plane because I knew it was safer in there than out there, in the world.

                Now I'm over three miles in the air wrapped in a warm A-2 jacket and a heavy flak vest. I wear a composite helmet and leather pants strapped over my shoulder. Warm leather gloves and heated boots, and my beloved Mae West life preserver that gave me an ample bosom just like hers. My oxygen mask clings to my face, gripping me by the side of my head and kissing life into me with each breath I take.

                Coulson and Miller are the waist gunners and they're both from New England. Kemmerich the radio operator, was a chain smoker who wrote letters to his girlfriend back home who didn't love him. Jackson, a tall Mississippian, sat as the tail gunner. Right now he had his gloves off and was picking the dirt and grime from underneath his fingernails. Priestly, the flight engineer and dorsal gunner, was the only one who openly wanted to leave the war through pits of insanity. Carter, the navigator, had curly red hair that poked out from under his leather helmet. They looked like little red fingers grabbing at his head. Beside him was the bombardier Dennis, who smoked fancy cigars and drank scotch when we were grounded. Both men were locked in the chin turret, protected by two .50 machine guns on both sides and Plexiglas. Above them were Captain Daly, the pilot, and 2nd Lieutenant Weiss, the co-pilot. Daly taught English back in Glendale, Illinois, and Weiss sold cars in Pennsylvania.

                Kemmerich starts laughing from his radio desk.

                "What's so funny?" Coulson, shouting over the roar of the flak, turns nearly slamming his machine gun against the side of the plane.

                "This poor dumb b*****d in The Big Apple just pissed himself."

                Coulson and Miller's laughs are muffled by their oxygen masks.

                "Yeah, the poor rookie. His piss is frozen to him!"

                In most cases, taken from experience of course, water and other bodily liquids would freeze to the body or clothing if released. The sad thing being that once the plane descended the liquid would no longer be frozen.

                Coulson checks his ammo and Miller runs his fingers on an amulet his Catholic girlfriend sent him. After a large flak burst rocks the plane, Kemmerich rushes to his desk to rub his rabbit foot. Jackson would be stroking his pocket Bible, Carter and Dennis each had a lucky bootlace wrapped around their wrists. Priestly had a gold coin he kept in his pocket that he kissed.

                "Boy oh boy we won't be coming out of this one clean, fellas," Priestly whistles.

                "Ack ack is heavy." Miller says.

                "Damn right, we lost a quarter of a squadron a week ago." Coulson's voice grows soft, as if he was part of that raid. He was not, he was in the infirmary recovering after a hunk of metal got lodged in his a*s.

                God Bless America, Daisy Duke, Southern Belle, Georgia Peach, Seattle Streamer, and Pennsylvania Penny all went down over Germany that day. I didn't see the impact of the flak or the fighter's bullets, but I saw each bomber go down with white or black smoke spewing from the wings. I saw little hats with parachutes popping above them, and how their bodies floated through the clouds to Germany. I felt like I was a witness to each man's escape and their deaths. I saw bodies fall past the parachutes, I saw Southern Belle spiral into a nose dive and shoot flames in the sky. Best seat in the house, they would say when we bombed German cities, but it also applied to when we lost friends.

                I wanted to hate the men in the fighter planes, or those on the flak 88s. I wanted to spit from my turret and fire my bullets on their streets. I cannot though. We burn their cities and level their homes, an eye for an eye. At times we come close to crying for the carnage we bring and how we put our lives in harm's way for a war. We never get upset if our bombs miss, or if a fellow plane is too badly damaged to carry on the mission and has to return to base. We feel for each other and only want to go home alive.

                The bomber jumps. Coulson rushes to his gun and peers out into the blue.

                "Jesus Christ."

                "What happened?"

                "F*****g flak just blew Mile High in half."

                Silence falls over the plane.

                "Any chutes?"


                "Poor b******s."

* * *

                I danced with a girl named Triss, she was Welsh and had dark red hair. She was my first and I met her at a dance on base. She worked as a secretary for the colonel and always wanted to meet a man in uniform. We bumped into each other and started drinking. I was taller than her by an inch, and when she wore her heels that night she stood over me like most of the NCOs. She laughed and took her heels off, then she wrapped her hand in mine and tugged me onto the floor.

                We had sex in the chin turret of Mile High where she asked me if I was her first. I told her yes and she giggled and cleaned herself up. She kissed me on the cheek and lead me from the bomber to a low-cut pasture where we laid down and counted the blinking lights of British Lancasters as they flew to Berlin for nighttime bombing.

                Triss would squeeze my hand for each Lancaster that flew overhead. I wondered if she were married or had a boyfriend, but she would tell me two weeks later that she had a brother who was a tail-gunner. She was my first and I wanted her to be the last. The buzzing of the bombers mixed with the chirping of the crickets in the field. The sex in the B-17, the dancing, and the drinking. Everything in my life seemed to be around an airfield or a bomber. Though I loved Triss, I loved the B-17 more. It bored witness to my faults. I shared my emotions with her, my fear and passion, my sex life, my diseases. Triss was not my first, the B-17 was.

                Triss rolled over, her breasts squeezing together in her dress, round and perky. She analyzed me for a minute.

                "Are you scared?" She asked.

                "Of what?"

                "Ya know," she rolls her head toward the sky, "Of dying."

                "I'm," I pause. Of course I was scared, but not after tonight. I was afraid of dying, but I felt like my death would be secure. I imagined my belly being torn open by flak, and Coulson and Miller laying me out in the bomber. I imagined their faces around mine my comrades, the faces of my mother and father and sister, my third grade English teacher, my wife and children I would never have, and Triss. But if it came to that I would let death's warm waves wash over me.

                "You're what?"

                "I'm terrified."

                She goes to say something, but stops. She wanted to say it's okay to be scared, but knew it wouldn't help or change anything. Pointless.

                "But it's alright," I say, "I'm fine with it."

                Triss would ask me a similar question a few weeks later. But not about dying, but about the dead. I knew she had been working up the courage to ask me.

                "What's the worse you've seen?"

                "Pretty bad."

                "How bad?"

                "Real bad."

                She wanted to know about the dangers of flak and machine gun rounds. Before Coulson and Miller there was Everett and Spalding. They were killed by a strafing Me109. They hit the floor of the bomber like cement. Boom, and dead, just like that. Blood spilled from their swollen bellies and chests. Everett caught a round in the chin and left a mess. When we were over England I climbed from the ball and stood above their bodies. Kemmerich kept asking me if I was okay. I'm fine, I kept telling him. No really, he would say. And Jackson was wounded on our third mission when flak caught him in the back. However he didn't know it was there until we were on base and a nasty infection had formed on his back. It was a blister, full of blood and puss. He missed a couple of missions, but while he was gone we went through three other gunners who ended up like pork chops.

                We went into the B-17 and made love in the bomb bay. Afterwards I rolled over and held Triss' hand, and then with my other hand began stroking the side of the B-17.

                "I love her." I said.

                "What do you mean?"

                "She's like a mother to me," I say, "She keeps me safe and warm. She protects me. She carries me in her belly like a child."

                Triss giggles, but ends abrupt as if she was forcing the laugh.

                "That's a peculiar way to look at a plane."

                "It's more than a plane, Triss."

                "My brother says the same thing. Are you in love with the plane then?"

                I couldn't answer the question. Instead I rolled her over and kissed her neck and breasts until the dark English sky began to rain.

* * *

                I knew a man named Roger who was the only ball turret gunner I knew that died. He was in the turret when a piece of flak lodged itself in the B-17 and knocked out the hydraulics in his turret. That wasn't the worse part. For five hours he sat in the fetal position frantically kicking his feet to make the turret move left or right or up and down. His guns couldn't point down, he was trapped. The hydraulics also meant the B-17 couldn't put down its landing gear.

                I always asked Roger how he would want to go, and he always said with a bang. In this case it was the cracking of the Plexiglas and the smearing of his body as his pilot made a belly landing in England. He was the only casualty, his remains were washed out with a steam powered hose.

                I remember going to the barracks Roger used to be stationed in, and sitting beside his bunk for twenty minutes. His captain came in and sat beside me.

                "Hell of a way to go." He said.

                I pause, staring at what he had left. A photo of his mother and father, a high school sweetheart. Beside his photos was a rosary the chaplain had given him, and a Joe Dimaggio baseball card. Joltin' Joe, 1941 MVP. Roger lived in Brooklyn and carried with it the pale skin of living in a cramped neighborhood with Irish punks who chased him from Catholic school. He carried his mailing address, a lucky pebble that he plucked from Coney Island, a copy of Emerson, a picture of his father when he served at Belleau Wood. He had so much history but now it was such a waste. Roger couldn't take it where he was going, and I knew that's what his captain was thinking.

                "Damn shame," he paused, "Somebody has to pick all this up."

* * *

                "Two minutes to target," Captain Daly spoke over the radio, "You're flying us now, Dennis."

                "Roger that."

                Dennis' masked face, protected by a thick helmet, would be glued to the bombsight where he would fly the plane on course. He would find our target, pull down a red little latch and flick a switch that would end a thousand little lives. I would sit in my ball turret, and watch each bomb leave the womb of the bomber and fall to Germany.

                Coulson and Miller stay quiet.

                "Keep your jackets on, boys." Captain Daly says.

                Another flak round bursts punching quarter sized holes in the waist of the bomber. Shraps of metal ping against bomber's ribs and her ammunition boxes. Coulson trembles at the gun. Hands shaking, mind racing I'm sure. Miller the same way as he rubs his girlfriend's amulet. Another round rocks the bomber. I place my hand against the top of my bulb.

                "Shh, it's alright." I assure the bomber. I pop the hatch and climb back down into my nest, where the bulb welcomes me with cold round hands.

* * *

                I saw a 4,000 pounder drop by our bomber one time. I thought that it was a close call, only to see a flash a second later as the bomb clip the tail wing of the bomber below us. The wing snapped clear off and the B-17 fell like a rock. No parachutes, the plane dove so fast that no one could get out.

                I shouldn't recall the barbarity of the air raids, there was plenty of good times to go around. There was ten men a plane and with enough time we would form baseball teams. Others would form bands and play Glenn Miller covers. Jackson would go out to all the neighboring farms and repair their tractors, or pick turnips with them. Coulson would sleep under our bomber, Miller would write letters to his girlfriend. Priestly played piano as a way to keep his mind off dying. Captain Daly and Lt. Weiss would drink scotch and take women back to their quarters. Dennis and Kemmerich played poker, and often cheated other bombing crews out of their cigarettes. When Everett was alive, he would play pranks on all of us. One time, during training, he waited for me to crawl into my turret. When I climbed in he tossed a skunk into my lap and sealed the hatch. He pressed his weight against the door for a minute before he opened the door and released me as well as a foul odor.

                My free time was torn between books and writing. And then when I met Triss it was torn between her. We sat outside the mess hall one day as she picked poinsettias and flashed her rump to me each time she bent over. I counted each blade of grass between her toes. She rushed over to me and handed me a flower.

                "For you." She said and I kissed her. I wrapped up a poinsettia placed it with a letter to her brother. I asked him if Americans and Welsh marriages last long. He wrote back something funny, but not so nice, he sounded like a brother. It was the last letter he wrote.

                Two weeks and a day. It was a nighttime bombing operation, one of those nasty ones where the British carpet bomb a district block into smithereens and the Germans light up the sky with spotlights and flak rounds. Triss ran to me during a morning drizzle while I was sitting outside nursing a hangover. The previous night featured rain that made the ground soupy, and when Triss ran to me on this morning and fell into a puddle that splashed her nightgown. Her eyes were pink and swollen and before she could say it I knew what everything was about. She sat in the puddle gripping the sides of her muddy gown. I walked over to her and collected her in my arms.

                "Don't say it," I told her, "Don't say it."

                Her brother, as fate would have it, did not die, but I haven't heard from him since. Three of his comrades made it back to island a couple weeks later and said he had bailed out with them over France at some point. They didn't find him when they landed, they said the wind blew too far east. When the Nazi's were on the scene the men had to survive. They found a French resistance group who patched them up and sent them home to England. They said if anything her brother was captured or dead at best.

                Triss fell apart starting first in  my arms. She broke away from my hands and collapse in the floor where she seeped through the cracks into the mud. The war had gotten to her at last.

* * *

                I haven't heard from Triss since, and nor do I think I ever will. Even as I slowly count down the seconds to when the bombs are released over our target, I wish she was wrapped around me like a scarf in this turret. I'm so alone up here. The ball sticking out of the plane, no one can hear me scream or see me die. I'm so used to the roar of the engines that for hours I sit in silence until we're buzzed by Fw 190s. I want Triss to be the bomber and for me to climb out of this ball into her. I want to lay in her blood and have her cradle me in her body. Keep me warm from the high altitude. Safe from the nightmare fighters. Triss was never a woman I loved, but more of a woman I suppressed the trauma against. The B-17 the same way, though I actually loved her more than Triss.

                "Bombs away," Dennis says, "Say hello to Fritz for me."

                "Any hits?" Captain Daly calls over the radio.

                I witness the bombs exploding. I feel like the death we dropped on them were like little raindrops in a small puddle. The ripple effects of exploding dust and grime. I can see the people running for cover as they're torn apart and tossed around.

                "Copy, right on target." I say, and there's a solemn congratulatory silence of a job well done. Better them than us.

                "Flak still heavy." Jackson buzzes.

                "I know," Coulson says, "The Luftwaffe's going to be waiting for us lock, stock, and barrel."

                "Captain, do we have any fighter escorts?" Carter pipes in.

                "Negative on that."

                "You shitting me?" Priestly says.

                "That's right, Priest, no fighter escort."

                "We're going to be in box the entire way home," Lt. Weiss says, "So everybody stay awake back there and call out fighters when you see them. The Germans aren't going let us walk right out."

                "Yeah no s**t, we might as well plan to go home in a box."

                "Cut the chatter. We're on our way home and keep an eye out."

                A few seconds drowned out by the pitter patter of the flak clouds.

                "Jesus they got one."

                I wheel the turret around with my feet in time to see a bomber dip low with white smoke pouring from its wing. My heart breaks for the bomber and her children. Two chutes pop around it.

                "Any chutes?" Captain Daly asks.

                "Yes," I say, "I count two."

                We fall silent except for the occasional flak's drum beat before we mutter under our breaths.

                "Poor b******s."

* * *

                And with life comes death. The same way I came home from my first mission and kissed the ground, the same way Everett and Spalding and Roger and three tail-gunners and the others in the past and those to come, the same way they all laughed, joked, fucked, and died. Death got them suddenly but with no surprise. We all had prepared for it in different ways. Miller and Jackson prayed for it, Weiss and Daly wrote their wives and hid their infidelity, Dennis drank it away. Kemmerich pretended his girlfriend loved him and got so drunk one night that he planned his funeral before his wedding. Coulson had angry sex with random dames, Carter meditated by reading. Priestly played piano, but often alone or in the company of other soldiers who were afraid of dying. Each of us had our own way of preparing for the end.

                Sometimes the end never came. For Priestly it couldn't come soon enough. He was a man torn by what he thought was imminent but in the end was a mixture of luck and chance. Sure there was skill for what he was trained to do, or all of us for that matter, but all the skill the army taught us doesn't amount to s**t when the flak guns and fighters are in the air. Weiss and Daly understood that, and from what they told me in their drunken stupors, if they did their jobs right then luck and chance would often coincide and reward them.

                But never is such the case. Everett and Roger were great at doing their job. Rookies would come back alive and veterans would die, that's the roll of the dice, the cost of playing the war game. Even as the salvos burst around me I'm amazed at my luck. I wonder why it hasn't run out and if I have been made this way to bear witness to the suffering to the men I fly with or the woman I sleep with.

                I'm worse off than Priestly. He wants to the end to approach so it can ease his suffering of the fear. I want the end to approach so I can stop seeing the faces.

* * *

                The flak rounds stop star bursting and there's a calm before the storm we know is coming. My fingers drum around the triggers. Deep and calm breaths, they'll pass through in waves coming and going as they please and then they'll be gone. The wolves stalking their prey.

                They come as little black blips, sometimes confused with far away flak or smudges on the Plexiglas. At times I have to shake my head and trace the dark dots. But when I see them move I call them out. I'm afraid of falling. I even tucked my parachute into my chest before the fighters came.

                "Fighter on our six, he's climbing. You got him Jackson?"

                "Yeap, I count four moving on our nine."

                "Keep an eye out." Daly says.

                The Me 109s and Fw 190s look like little black crows in the distance as they creep closer and closer to the bombers. They set their angles, they come in from the belly and the top and will sweep around spraying cannon fire everywhere. They'll each fire hundreds or thousands of shots, with a small percentage hitting home, but when they do it has horrific results.

                They're close. They break off and begin their attack spraying their rounds throughout the first line of bombers. Miller and Coulson rattle of machine gun fire, Jackson fires short bursts. The radio becomes a orchestra of frantic chatter, calling out fighter locations and hits and misses. A plane sweeps below and I trace him with my guns.

                The guns thunder, the canopy fills with the roar of war. Shells kick around in the belly of the bomber as I spray hot metal death toward the German pilot. He sprays the bottom of the bomber, punching a few holes in the B-17's gut before turning to swoop around. I call him out, the waist gunners return fire. The bullets kick around in my head more than the plane, I want it to end. Each fighter that strafes a brother, each brother that downs a fighter, each bomb that levels a city. The killing, the madness, it all has to stop sometime. Everett, Roger, all of them. Triss, The civvies, the fighters, Mile High--all of them--I have been cursed to live through this insanity only to watch the war reach them. And yet, I feel unscathed.

                Another fighter enters my line of sight. I think of his German wife and children, his clerk shop or maybe his job at a mill or factory. Maybe he was the son of a lawyer and wanted to fly, or the son of a farmer who got tired of wallowing in pig s**t. I know he's thinking the same of me. The dumb American, trapped outside of the world to watch everyone suffer, and he's thinking of my father and mother, my Welsh girlfriend, my witness to this war.

                He rattles off a few rounds. I fire back. Quick and sustained bursts. We're moving at over 250 mph but we're suspended in time and air. We don't move, we shoot. His 20 mm rounds ping into the bomber, and then they start to crack my bulb. Sparks fly from my controls. My ball hardly moves an inch but he's still in my line of sight. I rattle off more fire and white smoke puffs in small  clouds. He's hit. I could finish maybe.

                My finger on the trigger, I peer down at this German son and father, and I freeze. I won't shoot another man and I don't care if I die for it.

                He peppers my turret and dips away. There's a loud cracking and explosion. My machine guns tumble from my nest along with my controls and most of the Plexiglas. I drop and at the last minute get snagged by the strap of my safety harness. My feet dangle over the land. I'm bleeding and warm from the shitting myself. Blood seeps through my side from a piece of shrapnel that lodged its way into my body. Of all the rounds that guy fired none scored a direct hit.

                There's chatter on the radio. They're saying I'm hit. I can't respond, my body sore and wounded, each breath is a struggle in itself from the altitude and wound.

                "I'm sorry." I don't know who I'm saying it to. Am I saying it to Triss or dead guys? The dead civilians? Or even myself for that matter. Coulson is banging on my hatch but can only pry open halfway. The rest is blocked from the remaining bulb of my turret. I can see him through the cracks, he can only get his hand and he reaches for me. They scream to pry the door open, to move the turret. They ask if I'm okay and I smile at them.

                We're close to the Channel, I can smell maritime air seeping through the clouds. My hand trembles on the safety harness, I'm losing consciousness. My hand trying to find the wound, wondering if my parachute was penetrated or if its snowy white cloth was stained in my blood. I wondered what Germany would look like when I fell from this beast. My thumb clicks the latch and the bomber crews yells for me. I fall to the earth, waving goodbye at the belly of the B-17 that I longed called my home. 

© 2012 Tom Cook

Author's Note

Tom Cook
Proofread the shit out of this. I just finished writing, there are some holes and grammar issues I'm sure, tackle it head on and let me know what you think.

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Added on June 27, 2012
Last Updated on June 27, 2012
Tags: B-17, bomber, World War II, WWII, blood, guts, machine guns, reality, insanity


Tom Cook
Tom Cook

Cape Girardeau, MO

My fiction has been published in the World of Myth, my body in Play-girl. I'm an editor for Wednesday Night Writes, please send me your stories, flash fiction, and poetry, I want you to know the wa.. more..

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