Several of these stories are also available as chapbooks.
The Devil’s Radio
Carol Kaczmarek was a screamer. Back when we all played War in the connected backyards behind the houses that lined School Street and Willow Street, we made forts in the lilac bushes and used sticks like swords and flung mud balls and dog turds at our enemies from the basket of Dad’s old lacrosse stick…
◾ This story has been accepted for publication in the 2020 edition of Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine.
The Hawks Are in Love
One man stood apart from the other three who were hanging around in front of the Labor Exchange. He was smaller than the others, but he was the only one smiling. He was also the only one without a hat. His blue-black hair was parted and neatly combed, thick with pomade. He wore a white button-down shirt with dress slacks. And wingtips. Wingtips!
◾ The story appeared in the The Writer’s Workshop Review, Volume 14, January 2020.
Charlie was just a boy, maybe nine years old, when it happened. It was a school holiday, and Charlie begged to go along with his dad on his morning deliveries.
◾ The story appeared in The Macguffin, Volume 35, Number 1, 2019.
The Unspoken Language of Spouses
You are standing with the porch light behind you, casting a shadow on the steps. I can see you’re holding the letter. I left it out on the kitchen table in plain sight, and yet I’m still surprised you noticed it, let alone cared to read it.
◾ The story appeared in Hawaii Pacific Review, February 1, 2019.
No One Is Fat in Taiwan
The saleswoman came out of nowhere. At that moment, and for the last several minutes, Tommy had been standing near the back wall of the Nordstrom’s nearly deserted lingerie department, fondling the empty cups of the largest bra in the display.
◾ The story appeared in Umbrella Factory, Number 36, April 15, 2019.
The Meteor Crater
She drove west, deep into the afternoon. As the Arizona sun began to angle into the windshield, she lowered her sun visor. The tripometer turned 2,525. And the jukebox in her head clicked on. How did that old song go? In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive…
◾ The story appeared in Lowestoft Chronicle, Issue 27, September 2016.
Mrs. Larson’s Expression
The Elm Ridge Funeral Home is the grandest building in the county. It looks like a miniature plantation house, dazzling white with a shallow colonnade across the front, strategically positioned at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Main Street — dead center of the tiny eastern Indiana town where the deLaughter family has presided over the prosperous dead for three generations.
◾ The story appeared in Serving House Journal, Issue 15, Fall 2016.
When she heard the loud thump and saw a dark thing hit her picture window, Faith thought someone had thrown a rock at her house. She put down her pen and the crossword puzzle, took off her reading glasses, and rose from her chair, ready to give the damned kids a piece of her mind.
◾ The story appeared in Paterson Literary Review, Issue 43, 2015.
My feet are so cold. I am stuck in this hospital bed, enduring the dull interval between what they call “lunch” and what they call “dinner.”
◾ The story appeared in Switchback, Volume 11, Issue 21, Spring 2015; it was presented at the 2014 New Short Fiction Series in Los Angeles, where the author was selected as an Emerging Voice.
Today, you will find my body, wedged between an uprooted tree and a boulder half-buried in the mud of the wash. It is evidence of His grace the Lord that has kept my limbs intact—that I am not battered and unrecognizable like the rest of the flood’s flotsam tangled in the rushes. That I am still wearing my glasses, my gloves, my Sunday best will be oddly comforting for you.
◾ The story appeared in Stickman Review, Volume 13, Number 1, 2014.
You rarely see a corpse in the woods, but it happens now and then. One evening, a couple of months after I’d come to live in the canyon, I was hurrying along an unfamiliar path at dusk. As I rounded a bend in the trail, my eyes on my shoes, a voice in my head said, “look up,” and when I did, I was just one step short of plummeting headfirst into a steep, rocky ravine.
◾ The story appeared in The Alembic, Spring 2014 and was featured during the 2016 Los Angeles Lit Crawl.
Out in the Ranchitos
“That secretary of yours is a real pistol! Sharp. Sassy. And that walk of hers has stopped more than one board meeting dead in its tracks,” said Frederick Ramsey, the senior partner of Ramsey, Sandman & Meyer.
◾ The story appeared in Bluestem Magazine, Spring 2014.
Watching Guy and Lady
I’m no expert on canine behavior, but I do know a few things about dogs. I make it a point to catch the Westminster Kennel Club finals each February on Animal Planet. I know my breeds and have my favorites: the spaniels, the poodles, the beagles, and the terriers.
◾ The story appeared in Poetic Diversity, April 2014.
Things might have worked out between us if I didn’t like you. Or better yet, if I were indifferent. In either of those happier conditions, my heart would not be aflutter. I would not be primping in my car, nervously waiting for the rain to stop.
◾ The story appeared in Sandhill Review, Volume XIV, 2013. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
All She Wanted
Maizie stood at the vanity in the women’s lounge at the Downtown Marriott staring at, but not really seeing, her reflection. She was thinking about how Bob was nothing like her soon-to-be-ex boyfriend, Sid.
◾ The story appeared in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Volume 4, Issue 16, 2013. Nominated for the “Best of the Web” award.
Never wear white shoes or carry a straw purse after Labor Day. Moisturize daily. Find a face cream you like and stay with it no matter what. And whatever you do, don’t neglect your throat. Two-dollar bills are lucky and silver dollars are magical. Keep them in the false floor of your jewelry box.
◾ The story appeared in Tulane Review, Fall 2012.
Early in the Mornin’
The kitchen is cold this January morning, but that doesn’t matter: Kay sits there in her chair bundled up in an ancient housecoat, layered over yesterday’s sweat suit, just like she would if it were the hottest morning in August. This is her uniform. Don calls it her ‘mantle,’ a kind of cloak of security.
◾ The story appeared “The story appeared as part of the “Coyotes Howl in Fallbrook” series on K-B Gressitt’s Excuse Me, I’m Writing blog, January 2011.