Sal Buttaci’s maskuline entry into our contest

Good Morning, Literati!

Ahh!  The scent of a woman!

Sal Buttaci rose to the occasion to enter our contest “A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn” and has given us filtered scentences to describe the aroma of his own true love!

Entries are beginning to pile up, but look for the damn to break this weekend when those of us behind the curtain will have more time for romance.

Here is


by Sal Buttaci

He imagined the black-robed, gas-masked Dr.Yaroz, scratching a claw at the blackboard and droning on like some giant insect. It was a game Armando played –– a war game that sometimes helped him blot out the stench of oppression gripping a once free America. Daydreaming served as an all too temporary respite.

Chalk in hand, Yaroz was facing them again. His dark wings, thick waving antennae, scaly crust, claws –– all gray vapors fading away. The class sat in their own black gas masks, a colony of attentive ants.

“History teaches us lessons we best heed,” Yaroz began, tossing a glance at the blackboard where he had written next to each presidential administration one, two, or more historical fiascos that impacted the nation and repeated themselves, precisely, he said, because New America refused to learn from them.

What lessons did Armando learn? He thought of Janelle. When he gazed at her sitting across the row from him, he wondered what her hidden face revealed. All that was visible were ringlets of blue-black hair drooping from her tight mask. Could she sense his sideward glances? Hear the pounding of his love-sick heart? No way of telling if she did. Her note-taking fingertips tapped away at the keyboard on her wrist.

Yaroz waved his bony arms and wildly ranted over the misdeeds of a presidential line that stretched from George W. Bush to Findlay Taft and all the traitors in between, particularly Taft whose downright audacity to scrap the Constitution, declare it null and void, led to his execution on the White House lawn. Crowds of attendees rivaled that of his inauguration when Americans in their red-white-and-blue respirators stood shivering in the chemically poisoned Washington winter air .

“A damn traitor!” screamed Yaroz. “This the man who tried to claim divine right to office because another Taft once ruled –– a fat man whose abominable girth could not manage to fit itself in a tub, let alone afford him the right to rule a nation!”

Armando blinked away the old professor, morphing him into the love of his eighteen-year life. Janelle. He loved the song of her name, the way it fluttered like the hummingbirds  that nibbled at the nectar of Old America’s trumpet honeysuckle vines. If he believed in angels, she would be one.

Yaroz smiled, corn-yellow teeth flashing dully. “With Taft’s demise, General Brewster and the New Army will set things right.”

Armando wanted to believe the ban on physical love would be lifted. Babies would be born again the old-fashioned way. He could approach Janelle with a convincing kiss, an embrace, then let human nature run its course. This was his dream, but it was only a rumor. Governments rose and fell; they never righted wrongs. Yaroz said it best. “History teaches us lessons we never learn.”

Now Yaroz was affirming it at the board. “All current laws remain in effect.” Then he said, “End of lesson. Single-file out of here until Wednesday, promptly at nine.”





Salvatore Buttaci was the 2007 recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award. His poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U. S. A. Today, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Cats Magazine, The National Enquirer, Christian Science Monitor, A Word with You Press, Pen 10, and Six Sentences.


His latest collection of short-short fiction, 200 Shorts, is available at


His first collection of 164 flash stories, Flashing My Shorts, also published by All things That Matter Press, is available at