From short fiction

Flight

The varied strands of his complicated existence had surely been woven only to strangle him in the end. But not quite yet, he promised himself, at least to the extent that this could be said to lie within his own power. Arguably the game was a somewhat pointless one at this stage, but he would…

The Rivals

Their rivalry had been afoot for a few years now. Both were well-regarded young writers of novels and short stories, and both men’s work appealed to much the same sophisticated readership. Some reviewers had even ventured to opine that the two were like two peas in a pod, and that their names might almost be…

Just Come Along with Me

“If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me, by the light, by the light, by the light of the moon. If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me, by the bright shining light of the moon.” ~ The Badger Ballad, Professor Julian Olson, 1919   Isaac Moses…

Slow Good Gas

Good Jim would be listening to country music if his dang radio hadn’t got slammed against the east wall of his gas station during that last little tornado. His poor old back is totally buggered too. Well, almost. He sure can’t fix tires anymore. Jim’s the kind of guy if he’s got extra coffee and…

Sky Watching

The only light to pierce the worn concrete wall comes through a window that’s situated, bafflingly, at waist level. It’s likely the depression-era architects who designed this building thought no criminal should have the luxury of gazing at rolling clouds in comfort. But inmate 80008-135 doesn’t mind kneeling next to a steel toilet for his…

Nothing Much to Lose

Perhaps, he thinks, the closer one gets to the end, the more one remembers the beginning. He hasn’t thought of Petra in over sixty years, but now he sits in the darkening park and the memories come unbidden, so sudden, so unexpected, so clear. He remembers the sweet smell of the stable, the soft touch…

Images of You

I was in some semblance of participation at the writer’s group, attempting to divert any conscious construction of stilted prose specifically by imagining myself in a favorite setting. Picture the place in your mind. The monotone of the instructor was not as hypnotically conducive as intended. My attempt at self-transport felt briefly like big surging…

It’s All Over

Whenever anyone at McDonald’s or any other place in his hometown of Lamesa, Texas, sixty miles south of Lubbock, would ask Sonny Echols Jr., “What’s it like over there?” he wouldn’t tell them about Royce Humphrey who burned alive in the Humvee in Rustamiyah, Iraq, October six, 2009, at 0800 hours in front of police…

The Reply

As they were bumping north on Madison for the day’s last meeting, Allyn drew Reeves’s attention to a young woman standing in front of an office building entryway flanked by an art gallery on one side and a ladies and girls shop on the other. Allyn said she was a former tenant in an apartment…

Your Rapunzel I Have Heard

They sat on the beach, the girl with the crinkly hair and the girl with the secrets. The air, the light, the season were chocolate cherry liqueurs, heat bursting but outside, the chill. The girls had their hands in their pockets and the girl with the secrets felt her heart, when it beat, press inside…