From short fiction

Mr. Peregrine

The team of dermatologists stand at the end of her bed, peering at her ravaged skin with benign expressions on their faces. They are leaning forward at an alarming angle. Maybe their shoes are filled with lead, Louise thinks. They are grounded and seem to move in unison. She definitely can’t see them flying anywhere.…

Miller Island

On this summer morning, when I was perhaps ten years old, my mother drove our old Ford rattledy-clank over the loose boards of the connecting bridge to the island. It made me think of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” But our passage would not be challenged by a troll, just a wizened security guard. “Probably…

The Bullring

It was exciting to be in Spain and traveling with Ava. In truth, it was exciting to be anywhere with Ava. We walked arm and arm, wandered into charming cafes, and took in all the main sights. We were at that stage in a relationship where it was new enough to be filled with wonder…

Last Day of FatAssery

Doug’s Food/Mood Journal AKA: LAST DAY OF FATASSERY Day 1 – 12/31/12 7:30 a.m.: 1) Half package of Mallowmars, three weeks expired. Verdict: White spots on chocolate, cookie plate dry and chewy, outer layer of marshmallow filling hardened into fibrous, crust-type thing. Definitely expired, but still very tasty. Maybe even better than normal. Should think…

Miracle

It was a pale day. Our bedroom curtains flung wide; still, the furniture looked half-hearted. I sat up in bed, stretched, and tried to get out of my nightdress. But I got tangled. I stood. Walked through to the kitchen, and the tiles were like ice against my soles. I thought: I hate the floor.…

Pink Christmas

I catch my grandmother looking at me in the reflection of the overhead mirror. We’ve been driving in the golf cart for fifteen minutes or so, making small talk, remarking on the muggy heat and sublime turquoise waters surrounding us. Not thinking. Attempting to not think. She’s adorned in a dizzying array of pink: pink…

Falling to Bits

I masturbated mindlessly to the violence on the screen. It was a report of some tragic bombings somewhere far away from here. My wife was depressed upstairs while I pumped to the reporter’s emotionless voice reporting factual deaths, in a factual reality. My wife hadn’t fucked me since she went on the tablets the doctors…

In the Absence of Your Father

I – Scratch & Whip Your father taught you how to overcome boredom by taking you to the racetrack. On those long Sunday afternoons you and your younger brother yelled at each other in the backseat of your father’s brown Hyundai. The car parked in the shadiest spot on the lot with the windows cracked…

Caretaker

She fed it gum wrappers and used tampons. Sure, this was odd, but it was an amicable arrangement. The tampons, obviously, were for the blood, and Claire was glad it settled for this sludge rather than the fresh-moving blood she or her miniature Schnauzer could have provided. The gum wrappers she supposed were for the…

Her Favorite Colors

You can probably picture the little nowhere town of Westfield, New Hampshire, with its trailer parks, abandoned factories and half-empty apartment buildings, thrown down like a doormat in a valley just northeast of the White Mountains. When I got to town, pear-shaped Jenny with the criss-cross eyes, Westfield was cold, hushed and January empty, and…