In which we discover the truth about family ghosts
Life for a Life
Barbara Jane Mackie
You are staring into the eyes of a Murderer and that Murderer is
staring back at you.
"Run!" yelled my little sister.
I couldn't move. I was petrified. Rooted to the spot. My skinny
legs felt as heavy as the grey, graffiti covered concrete tunnels
An Act of God
It all began that evening when Papa knocked on the door, fully
dressed in his police uniform save for his beret. The squeaky sound
of the opening door is still vivid in my mind even after seven years.
The probability is, despite a lack of foresight, I have lost my
way. Not just metaphorically, mind you, but literally. Ive
always started out with bad directions, whether it be in life or
love, and now I was paying the price.
The Lottery Ticket
It began as a simple scheme by two clerks who worked in the
State Lottery Oversight Bureau (SLOB).
Happy Birthday Hermann
Pierrino & Sandy Mascarino
Sarah, a dark haired woman in her 20s, was running down
a Hollywood back street near a major movie studio that was in a
subdued and reserved corner of the movie making community
It wasnt like someone drawing the words on your back with
a finger while you tried to spell it out in your head. I was definitely
trying to spell out the words in my head, "Seek Happiness"
An English Setter in
Robert Scott Leyse takes Zuke for a walk
Zuke's an English Setter the wildest, most spirited,
bouncing-off-the-walls-with-energy breed of dog on earth; and, at
eleven months, is in the prime of exuberant disregardful-of-authority
My Fathers Tallis
Smells can stir up old memories. Long forgotten and sometimes
wistful memories that we wish would remain buried. It was like that
one Yom Kippur.
Events of the Day
The alarm rang. 6:45. Arnold Gray reached over and turned it
off. His wife Mary stirred slightly but remained asleep. How many
days since theyd done it now? 23 and counting.
J. Malcolm Garcia
It begins raining while the boy runs. His arms pump back and
forth and his legs stretch in long strides as he bounces lightly
off his feet.
A Story about Jack
There was a man whos first name starts with J but it was
not Jack and he did not live in New York. A lot of people live in
New York City but he was not one of them.
"I would do anything to protect my job," Paige could
remember her co-worker Andy muttering upon one occasion
the Silent - Episode
Tonight, he would make it home. She would be waiting for him
in the safe little cabin of logs and bricks
Coffee and Sex
Wanted to know if you fancied going for a coffee and
then maybe have sex after
The bed's huge and white, very very white. The whole bedroom's
My name is Sister Carmel. I understand that you are investigating
the death of Monsegnieur Dwyer?
The Effect of Blue
Light on the Human Endocrine System -
Prone and alone, I luxuriated in the sun. Unaccustomed to
the heat, I dozed.
"Hear the gunshots last night?"
Paulito's Last Christmas
Daniela I. Norris
He rang my doorbell on a warm summer evening, as the heat
of the day evaporated from the cracks in the dusty pavement like
an omen rising from the cracked lips of an oracle
Naga in the Negev
Michael Chacko Daniels
After repeatedly dreaming that centuries ago he was a famous
Bedouin healer in the Negev, Abdoul, son of Cochin Cohn, saw himself
living in the Negev and nowhere else, if he were to remain in
the land of Israel
If You Want Peace, Prepare for War
The Hero is one of the people in the filling stations
convenience store. He wears snug black jeans that disappear into
tall black riding boots like cavalrymen wore when tilting towards
each other in green fields, heroes all
Begins at Home
there's this guy and he's walking to class. His walk to class
from his apartment is typically a half-mile, maybe more but probably
Polly Card on Primrose Hill
She had been looking forward to their walk. It was the last
time she would see him before he went away and she had a question
A Morning Wave
So there I was in the middle of the pavement, soaked in my
own urine with a butter knife in my hand.
Be Careful what you wish for
6, 12, 40, 36, 10 & 22. The numbers that ruined my life.
Dilys was a small woman with a helmet of black hair and pasty
skin. She worked shifts, enabling her to be at home when my mother
The evening brought a cold that even this part of town couldn't
handle. A strange cold that turned cheeks pink and brought mittens
and scarves out of cupboards
How much have you spent? Bobby asked.
Not as much as youd think, said Jack. Most
of it is staples.
I discovered my younger sibling had beaten me to the last pair
of clean socks. Now I would have to suffer the indignity of sweat-stiff
socks as well as the outsize uniform inherited from my elder sister.
I threw the car keys on the table. We need to get out
of here. Clear and simple no time for misunderstandings.
It was bright enough to give you a headache on that Sunday
morning. We were off to spend the day with my least favourite
The Noise -
"Oh, what great fiction I will mold from such terrible misery..."--
What was that noise? Who did it come from -- who was it looking
for? Why did it stop?
Gobble Village Chic
Michael Chacko Daniels
Not your beloved Bell Avenue in Chicago,
I say, as billboards beckon through fog to far planetary corners.
to Karma Koffee, home of the $450 dollar coffee, how can I help
Shiny Summer Super Time Ra-Ra-Ra
summer has been the best summer ever
Its half past twelve at night, exactly thirty minutes
into 2008 and I am stood in my small back yard, looking up into
the cold fresh New Year rain, completely naked
belonged to him. Only the dry mouth from the shots at The Sky
Bar on York last night, but that was changed with his toothbrush
and a coffee with milk within the hour of swinging his legs around
and stepping onto the pre-fabricated oak floor.
Gomez was not the kind of woman anyone noticed. She was someone
who, had you seen her in a bookstore, or a supermarket, you would
just look on and past her,
Albert Rouzie hitches a ride
Im gonna die. Jesus. Gonna die. Oh, lord
The Forbidden Town
can no longer go it, through it, or even near it.
am IN life. I am in the stream of it, in the middle of it, I swallow
it and eat it
the skies above the City bleed down upon the earth its overcast
need your help. My wife; shes cheating on me. There,
it was out. Open.
Laura Anne Styles
the middle of the Vatican Museum standing before me is the biggest
globe I have ever seen and try as I might I couldnt stop
myself from laughing
Fall of Me
did care for them. You learn to care for anyone you work with
every sunlit hour God sends. I watched the children grow like
weeds in Spring. I would be lying if I said it didn't touch my
icy, red heart
all women have killed themselves. They grew tired of the world,
this world, our world
was thirty four years old when I died. Id never thought
about dying before
me Mr. Stead. How did you, such a respectable man, come to witness
boy who never had a good day
was once a boy who looked in the mirror, and all he saw were pimples.
He thought he was the ugliest boy on earth
Change. Thats what they called him on the street ... because
he would do just about anything for a hand full of next to nothing
Good evening, Sir.
Im calling from Happy Ending. Youve been selected
to win a prize.
The sound came once more. He stiffened. It was closer.
His whole body knew it was closer. It was not just in the hearing.
Life is defined by light and shadow
voice boomed, filling the large empty echo of the front of the
Juan Muytado cursed them; they, who had left him here in this
wasteland, alone in hell.
We decided to run away after Bettys parents found out she
James C. Clar
"Liam, Im not much of one when it comes to pets"
The year is 1744.
A big fat harvest moon shone that night upon the forests of the
village of Moon Steere as Tom Carter ran for his life
France, July, 1944, near Caen
Hello my little snowflake. Do you remember when I first called
you that? My little snowflake. That terrible winter when we were
Ghost in the Machine
There was once a computer named Daniel. All day long he'd
sit and wait for someone, anyone to help him out of his misery.
Bryan Sutton walked down the steps into the basement club
and felt awkward. If truth be told Bryan Sutton felt awkward pretty
much everyday of his 24 years of life
When did the devil enter me? How did he get inside? Ive
no idea. He started meddling with my life.
World of Hunter Killer Robots
No one knew young Jorb3. He was one of the sole sane human
beings left on the planet. He didn't want to adapt to the new
order of systematic incorporation into the new Humanlike Borgian
Riders of Dragon Number
Michael Chacko Daniels
Grays blue eyes disconnect from the mists flirting with
Alcatraz, the former prison island in San Francisco Bay, during
Chinese New Year week
I'm all over the place. Too much is happening in my head.
I need to slow down for a bit. I've told them that - shouted them
that - but they just won't listen to me. They think I'm okay.
Ok what's going on? Why are you here son?
Sound of Death
Helen covered her ears, desperately trying to block out the
incessant, thudding sound of Death. How did it choose its victims?
What quirk of fate decided who would be alive when the planes
finally returned to Israel, their bellies empty?
The Hardest Part
Joe dropped his wedding band off to have it polished at the
jewelry store; without the wedding band, Joe was a free man.
He stepped inside the candy store and saw Amy alone in a sleeveless
dress. He stared at her thick bare arms and wanted to rub
He was glad to see that Anne Lewis was there.
Paul had introduced Anne, a widow, to a friend of his, Gary Palmer,
a while ago in the hope that something would develop
Wave and the Thing
David Russell (For Kids)
We looked up and saw it. The biggest, most gigantic wave anyone
of us had ever seen. And it was coming right at us
In the Grand Tradition
of Grand Traditions
Charles E Accetta
In a neatly trimmed fenced-in Southern California backyard,
an older gentlemanly type person stood facing the back of the property
with his arms raised to the sky.
Freud in the Fridge
It was the morning after the house warming party in my new flat
that I found a book on the interpretation of dreams by Sigmund Freud
on a shelf in the fridge. That was the same party that I met the
Marxist chemist, wearing an oversized dark blue beret, who had argued
convincingly that Marx had stolen his ideas on communism from organic
The Literal Day
G David Schwartz
September 7th, 1948 began typically and promised to be non-eventful.
The fact that I was an eyewitness to the startling events I am about
to relate is one of those accidents of history
The Mystery of the
No one could quite pinpoint exactly when Mother vanished although
they spent some time trying to figure it out.
The Blue Plastic Bag
It was on one such rainy and windy day that a blue plastic bag
found out its outreach. The story of its trajectory goes like this.
That Old Black Magic
James C. Clar
Tom and Karen had come to Hawaii in a last ditch effort to "save"
their marriage but it just wasnt working.
among road-weary part-time professors, adjuncts, Stu Hanagan, for
more than a decade, rode public transportation from school to school,
college and university, teaching composition and literature courses
Adjunct Detective: The Case of Well-dressed Gentlemen - Michael
Temporarily distracted from his work, Stu Hanagan peered out
the window of the Albany Park branch of the Chicago Public Library,
watching the winter weather worsen until the intersection of Foster
and Kimball slowly disappeared into a swirling mess of white.
Positive of Negative
Karen Murray Gow
Bang, bang, thud, "hurry up," a deep satanic voice
bellows from the other side of the toilet door. Squatting over the
stench, of the well soiled bowl, pigeon toed around an incontinent
puddle; I manage to un-wrap the stick.
It was a muggy day on this, the 40th wedding anniversary of
Edwin and Frances Durrant. If they were being honest with one another,
they would both have preferred to be elsewhere
of a New York City Street Peddler
Dr. Howard Karlitz
It's February, 1980, and David Gordon is standing in front of
a class of delinquent kids in a South Brooklyn juvenile detention
center trying to teach reading a short story called 'Young Pablo
the Shadows of the Past
He remembered the very first time he saw her, when he told himself
that she was the one. But he had been wrong about her
It was Sunday; he did not have to be anywhere and most important
he did not have to be at Brown Harris Stevens Brokerage where he
worked as a real estate broker
Maiden Chapter One here
Maiden Chapter Two
The Purple Maiden
- - Chapter Three - Wrong Wreck
MV Franconia, off the Cies Islands, Galicia. June 1999.
He couldnt research further into the actual U-boat without
going back to the Navy and that would mean going above his boss
head. Whos really behind this anyway? he thought.
Other Side of the River
Willie James wasn't a big guy in the way that some guys are scary
big, he was just big. Caldwell was scary big. An altercation in
the locker room after football practice touched the flash point
when Willie said, "Cal'wel, watch yo sef, dynamite come in
Out at Conner's Arcade
Anne S. Armand
"Stop or Ill Shoot." It was in all of the papers.
Made the headlines in the SHORE TIMES. Even saw it on the news channel
Pringle & the Scam Artist
Life is good, thought Sidney Rothenberg, sitting in a lounge chair
at poolside of the most luxurious hotel ...
divorced and staring down the barrel at alimony and child support.
The awkwardness of his sons visits the inevitable moment
when his son would look up at him and say, "Why did you have
to leave Mom?"
Right at Souldrop
Jeremy slammed on his breaks as he approached the disused petrol
station that stood by the side of the road on the left, narrowly
avoiding the crawling car in front.
Castle: August 1957
It was a cold day in Hell. The crack as her head hit the rocks 20
feet below seemed uncannily loud to the boy
My Carbonated head fizzes and spits, giving a nauseating effect. It has begun.
The Sad Bauble
Christmas Day came late to the Timmins household that year. Mr Timmins was working away overseas until Christmas Eve and nobody felt “Christmassy” until they were all together
Nubility by Piotr Wesolowski
Morelos watches as Boeing 747, a delayed charter flight from Budapest, touches the ground. Rubber burns on hot tarmac raising clouds of thin smoke; wheels squeak like dying lobsters.
The Dream by EN Heim
Why am I having these bizarre dreams? This vacation we’re on is weird.
The Last Child
Fistfights, car wrecks, and frequent arrests told the story of Jim’s twisted life
The ticket came in on Monday; it indicated the stadium, the row and the seat. It was delivered by registered mail.
Time to go. Time to die. All about my mother
Tonight, again, he was humiliated.
‘Go! Go! Don’t waste my time!’ Sirelis said.
Prelude to Everything
A serene shadow key stroked its light to dark patterns amidst a lonely ember light
Everytime they had an argument she used it against him; it was like a slug in the gut. He hated his job
The Hoopster and The Hopster
He told his mom he needed to shoot some baskets
Bring Me the Head of Padraic
Frank’s life allows little silliness, filled as it is with job, school, his art, and above all, the family. Sometimes after a few pops with his best friend, Ligos, the pair get silly, parodying the Irish types they both know so well:
Premonitions of angels
Just keeping on
Flecked with dizzying introspection, difficult, monstrous yet inspiring new things that bring you joy
Next morning a stunning girl who was in my lit class stopped me on the way out and asked, “Are you the one who hit somebody at a party yesterday?”
Dreamscapes 1: 2000 - 2006
Dreamscapes 2: 2007 - 2009
Dreamscapes 5: 2010 - 2011
Dreamscapes 4: 2012 - 2015
Dangers of Daydreaming
The day I chopped my sisters finger off, I learned the harsh
consequence of not paying attention
Mourning for Moaning
Look, I’ve no time for banter. Is there anyone else in the house besides you?
I'm Not Dead
Barbara Jane Mackie
Did some bloke once say ‘Dying ain’t easy?’
I was 23 years old when I came out from New York to San Francisco in the 1960’s and, looking back, was even younger as regards experience of life.
Off the Lights of Pokrovka
The lights from the cafe, behind the shimmering, humming glass,
dazzled his eyes. It was 6 p.m. on a slushy Moscow Tuesday in March
and Sveta was looking through the front door.
Tragedy of the Spring-Breeze King
"All I wanted was to make people happy, to add an element of
luxury to hygeine, and this is the thanks I get?"
A Natural Selection
"What now?" Matt griped. Theyd barely moved at all
in the last hour. All he wanted to do was go down and watch Sponge
Carrie Anne Riddle
It's strange going back. Stranger still, that it happens to be exactly
twenty five years to the day since I left. I always swore I'd never
Ameera couldnt wait to get home. It was getting dark and
the warm Shamal winds made it difficult for her to remain on the
streets any longer. Besides, it would soon be six and she was expecting
Salim any moment now.
Amy and the Waitress
Hmm. Thinking about lilies and funerals at seven am. Not
a good sign. But then shed been whoo-hooed already so maybe
it was the day for it.
of the Gods
Stan watched fascinated as the woman squeezed between tables,
a plate of sandwiches balanced precariously on a tea cup.
Wild About Harry
I asked Dad what his father did for a living. He answered,
"Well, son, your grandpa was a salesman who just went from
titty to titty."
An African Bride
She sat, legs crossed, staring at the menu. With the corner
of her eyes, she watched Felix sip his glass of water as he looked
through the menu too.
"Youre last day today?" she said. She looked
down to her sandwich, looked back up.
"Yeah. Bit part dies then its back to the stars I guess."
First, ask Mummy to turn on the oven to 170. You might have
to wait for her to do this because shes always busy.
Joe the Bear
Joe, a 500-pound Brown Bear, worked for Pine Tech Incorporated.
He plodded away from the time clock, down the hallway and slumped
down into the chair in his cubicle.
T.S. Eliot Goes to
Sitting in a room when in comes some guy brandishing a syringe
and shouting, yum yum yum. everyone gets up and screams
but Im thinking hang on a minute this is silly
Nicks going to ask you for that loan.
I knew it when they announced those furloughs.
6 December 1987
For most of my childhood I didnt live in fear. You dont
when you are small. But you become aware of it later, as you grow
up and the world begins to show its teeth
the Journal of Chas. Templeton, Esq.
what a rude awakening, before dawn and before my people were
abroad, with the banging of a phantom fist upon my shutters
Sensitive, Thin Man
on my father's dirty living room couch made from raw white silk,
I see through the drawn bamboo blinds my friend's short frame
rapidly advancing across the front lawn towards the front door.
James C. Clar
Apana sat at a window table in the Honolulu Coffee Company café.
The window was open, the trades were blowing
was on the skip. Steve was cycling home from work, just another
long day in the factory, when he saw the skip sitting in the street
just around the corner.
came with the singing of insects, every little voice chirping
and wanting to be heard. Kelly was at home with a bottle of wine
and dragging his feet past cracked, edgeless steps, he followed
a dark narrow staircase that led to the exit downstairs
Inspector growled, I am from the state department. What
is the meaning of charging $20 a gallon for gasoline?
was designed for traffic and adults: It was a soulless place for
a child. You couldnt walk anywhere in a straight line;-
had to flow down concrete rivers across the contours of cultural
was getting old, and it had been too long since my last visit.
I couldnt help feeling sorry for him - living alone way
out in the country like that
been hoarding the chocolate bars again because granddads
crazy and he thinks his Vietnamese girlfriend is still alive.
flashing red light torments me. Ive waiting been thirty
seven years for this. What do I do?
Ranvier was intently contemplating Ana Lucia Beltráns
eyes as he stared out of the window of an airbus bound for Paris.
Those rapturous and dark eyes, like burnished amber, yet profoundly
sad as if they had been taken hold by some hidden, unspeakable
Boys and Fret Boards
soon as I saw the acoustic guitar I knew it was going to be your
dresses. I had party dresses when I was little. With sashes, rainbow
sashes. And party shoes. Shiny red t-bar shoes that winked at
me as I danced
Laura Anne Styles
I was twenty five my boyfriend Harry had his drink spiked. To
this day I have never seen someone so sick.
An unusal Sunday
are unusually hot days! Nature has her ways for perfect orderliness.
Or maybe, its the Sun god at work, who has chosen that day
for itself alone. The god comes out in full armour, with bristling
rays poured on all the earth without discrimination.
Up On The Shelf
My path to recovery has taken a detour, and I dont
know if Ill ever find my way again.
A Leg to Die For
Sidi Cherkawi Benzahra
My grandfather took his leg to Lalla Fatima and she invoked
the spirit and did all she could do to heal his leg
Connie, I found the solution to our problems.
Darwin reached into his front pocket and removed a Powerball lottery
morning, nine a.m., I tremble as I pass through the long, cold
corridors, the acrid smell clinging to the inside of my nostrils
I am suddenly reluctant to pick up the phone because
I know that I am not going to like what I hear.
Banana Falls on Ant
Fishing for time in Cuba
Didnt I say I wanted that report
today, asked Blair, his deep voice soft but menacing.
Pringle and the Bookmaker
Bobs story was familiar but had a singular twist.
Hed become a gambler
James C Clar
It was one of those nights that the word balmy
was simply born to describe. The palm trees shrugged their shoulders
and rustled overhead in the light trades as I walked my dog east
along Ala Wai Boulevard.
Sunset hit the parking lot outside Globe-Mart, splashing
neon light across the acres of SUVs and minivans packed into tight
felt the tower walls edge closer, imagined the spiders creeping
from their damp beds to crawl over her skin. Outside the fields
stretched for miles, laughing with silent scorn at her weakness.
Man in the Orange Suit
The driveway winded and twisted through hills and pine.
A mile up the driveway stood a shack surrounded by hundreds of
The car had been a wedding present for him and his young bride
from his new in-laws. It made him uneasy to drive such an expensive
To Disappear Completely
"You have reached the How to Disappear Completely automated
helpline; you will shortly hear a list of options; please consider
these carefully before selecting the corresponding number on your
Jennifer was excited walking down the street in her tight
red jeans. In the new jeans, the birds seemed to be singing just
for her. It was a bright and fresh spring day, and Jennifer was
bright and fresh
all started to kick off when the Shepherd of the church which
was located at the far side of the compound behind the house,
pronounced that the Nestbury tree in the yard was a haven for
witches and had to come down
Samaritans of Terror
Let the good guys win for a change
Turkey and Chicken
was eight, going on nine when my family lived in a small house
in the suburbs of Rabat, Morocco. The suburbs back then were dusty,
hot, and poor.
His name is Nathan
saw it from when he got to being a teenager, but it was coming
from before that. He was at school most times, didn't miss a day
unless it was for something important. Not like some of them other
I have never waited this long. My situation is my secret. Until
She was the jewel in the crown of Liquorices
dancers: as delicious, elegant and alluring as any vintage wine;
the most requested dancer; the most fascinating treasure.
G David Schwartz
dream was about to be fulfilled. The good Lord willing,
and a little bit of luck, Merton would have what he had been nagging
me about for the last twelve hours. Merton was about to be satisfied.
the Moroccan Bath
When I was six, or probably seven years old, my mom
always took me and my sisters to the public bath. Whenever we
built up a good thick layer of dirt on our skin, or had gone two
weeks without washing for some reason or another, she would take
La Creta Returns
Like Satan, she was known by many names, all of which related
to that most alluring and reviled aspect of the female physiognomy.
San Juan Bagels Parking Lot
La Creta dwelt in perpetual fear
of the parking lot, separated from the factory by the Taliban
shish-kebob garage where resided the The Forty Thieves of the
spicy halal chicken and rice wagons
The Texas Long-Haired Rifle
It took me a minute or two before I realized that Harry wasn't
trying to pretend he didn't know me
Little Toy Pocketknife
Gary Horton used to have a Swiss Army knife that I enjoyed ridiculing
I was pretty excited about getting the job on my first interview
until I discovered that my salary would be $75 a week,
of Age in San Francisco
The new campaign stinks, interrupted Fiegelman.
College in America:
I found Flyn in our dorm, smoking a joint. There was a kid with
him. I asked what his name was and he said his name was Zack.
It seemed incredible but I let it go.
With-Stood Them All
When clouds cover the face of the heavens,
it may just be for a little time; when it will yet be dark as
if the night will never be stolen by the crafty hands of the dawn.
James C Clar
Dayton Apana got up early and
went for his usual run from his condo on Ala Wai Boulevard down
to where Kapahulu intersected Paki Avenue.
You Never Knew You Never Knew
I am going to tell you the truth.
I have lied for so long and I am tired of living a double life.
You know how it was when we first starting seeing each other
Bobby: A Survivors Story
Showing up wasted at the bar you work
at on a day off can be quite disconcerting, yet quite comical.
Ah, yes. I said it. Drinking off of the clock: For those of us
in the bar industry, weve all done it, weve all seen
someone do it, and well all do it again.
The air around the soldiers was filled
with a frequent and incessant distant clapping sound and an equally
incessant but much nearer metallic pattering sound, almost as
if a demonic and somewhat industrial thunderous rain was falling
down upon them
The fire pit was equal distance between
the hundred year old cabin and the shallow lake. It was laid there
by his great grandfather and it was still the perfect place for
it. How many fires, conversations, songs, laughs and tears took
place around that venerable pit over the countless years, Cory
could only imagine.
Apparently if you stand by the thing
for a while, and wait and wait and wait for loads of people to
use it, and loads of people dont get any prizes, you can
go in and get the prize, because the machine has more money than
the actual toy is worth. I saw it on a show about how to wins
things from people. Great show.
Thea Zimmer in Italy
Celestial in the semi-dark, the
ruins loomed outside her window in the early morning glowthe
arches of the basilica, like stone carcasses, full of more holy
ghosts than she had ever known.
at the Feet of Giants
Thank you kindly, good Sir, I call after the man
walking past me, with his suit neatly pressed and eyes firmly
With one last look in Sade's face, he shook his head and someway,
somehow, the words came out loud and clear. "I'm sorry, but
I can't do this anymore. I still love Titi."
There is a number of little things in my life that make me
remember my mother
One More For the
Gordon Ray Bourgon
They agreed: one more, thats it. The killings were getting
The Cruel War
They stood face to face, tears falling down their faces. The
war had finally come to them
of the Birds
I vaguely remember the day I saw the article in the newspaper
mentioning rather matter-of-factly that Rene Elias had vanished.
Date with Britney Spears
I stood in the entryway of the Dennys Restaurant waiting
for my blind date Marcy to arrive. She told me on the telephone
that she looked like Britney Spears
Carol stood up, doing up the buttons on her coat, and got
off the bus at her usual stop. She walked hastily along the street,
without a glance to either side, her stiletto heels tap-tapping
on the shiny paving slabs.
Was Just Another Manic Monday
Randall W. Pretzer
It was just another day at work she thought. A typical Monday.
No customers. She had four more hours before her shift ended. It
was days like these that she begged for a customer
A Junk Story
The man who opened the buildings front door for us looked
to be in his late eighties. Grizzled whiskers sprouted from a lined
face beneath a black old-fashioned cap. Bill and I stepped up to
shake his hand
Taxicabs and Burger Vans
I still wake up with a start whenever I hear a door slam in
the dead of night. I listen without breathing for as long as I can,
hoping I wont detect the diesel throb of a taxi drawing up,
or hear a familiar deep voice asking to go to the Central Rail Station
Thanksgiving: Kinds of Love
It rained the day before Thanksgiving. This worried us because
our youngest son, Gene, who was 21, was driving from Berkeley to
spend the holiday weekend with us in Sacramento
Returning to consciousness, Dave became aware of a dull, throbbing
pain at the base of his skull.
"I love dust," she said to herself as she sat back
in the comfortable reclining chair. "Dust, you can count on
it always being there."
With Me Tonight
I told her to come with me tonight. I told her I know the roads
were always bright but if she gave me a chance I could show her
the light. She wasnt buying.
Gordon Ray Bourgon
Q hid behind a fat willow, its bark scarred with ancient declarations
of love and obedience. She watched Them arrive out of a smoky western
sky. She ran a hand over her swollen belly.
Mom did her best to patch us up; but my hurt was too deep, I couldnt
hack it anymore. The bastard never said a word in defense; I wish
Eyes Together, Eyes Apart
I am supposed to be seeing this as a celebration. Why does it
feel so much like a betrayal?
'A few more steps and Im in, he thought. Cautiously,
he dragged his feet along a cement ledge three stories above a busy
street in Havana.
Bathroom Tried To Swallow Me Whole
Fifteen Coventry Road, Ilford is a large detached Victorian
town house about half a mile from Valentines Park and was for many
years my paternal grandparents home
It was with great reluctance that I accepted the role of the Archangel
Gabriel in the school play all those years ago.
Cheeky, dimpled smile, chubby cheeks, head slanted in a lovable
and affectionate pose. It looks faded and grainy; but its
my favorite photo of her
Eli always rang at nine o’clock on the dot. He would ring once and then hang up the phone. That way Rose knew everything was okay
Death of a Snowflake
“What a fitting life it is.” Those words were produced from an individual admiring the freshly fallen snow upon the unemployed tree branches.
Karma in a parking lot
Help will come soon. It has to.
The Fine Line Home
I could flag a cab, stop a half block from my parents’ door, take off through the neighbor’s yard, dodge the steep fare, save the tip
Cymbaline on the CCTV
She played the plan over in her head until she fell asleep and found it even then, lodged inside of each of her dreams.
Swimming Towards Marriage
You’re hiding something. Don’t forget, you’re not getting any younger.
I put down the magazine. I have to think, the kind of thinking which needs solitude.
‘Rob’, I say, ‘I’d like a bath. Can you manage?’
It’s the Vernal Equinox in Manhattan. Purple shadows stick to everything in sight as the sun sinks at the far edge of West 42nd Street. “Shorty” Walker wobbles forward and back trying to escape from his shadow, but sinks right back into it, like an animal trapped in a tar pit.
The Wounded Swallow
John Wayne Marshall had been dead four weeks before his neighbors had reported him missing.