Category Archives: Fiction

They Brought Me My Schooldays

They brought me my schooldays, all jumbled up in a box. I opened the box cautiously. I don’t think they usually bring me boxes, and fear peering into it might draw a rebuke from the man. Or disapproval from the … Continue reading

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A Culinary Row

A body was thrown from the 26th floor of a mid-sized kitchen balcony. The body was clutching a turnip in its right hand as it fell. The turnip was peeled, perfectly. With love. As the pair fell, someone in a … Continue reading

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The Bone River

The dead are watching Hitchcock flicks at a drive-thru theater beside what was once a river but is now a bone pit. See, every year the dead shed a single bone of their choosing to discard into the pit. Bodies … Continue reading

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The Altitude of the Moon

Sarah opted for the moderate hike and climbed into the curved ear of the moon. She slept until her face was swollen from the altitude. She wanted to be sure that she wasn’t allergic to the sky. Took two Benadryl … Continue reading

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The Women Caught on Fire

The man’s loneliness was so great, Fate remembered, that he wanted to look away and cling to his mother.             – Roberto Bolaño, 2666 The woman is sitting at her desk and chain-smoking Marlboros. Her eyes burn from the smoke packed … Continue reading

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Grit

The girl was wet-nosed and unkempt, blinking against the cruel light of my cellphone’s high glare. She turned her head back into the scarred nylon of her sleeping bag and lay still, as though I might disappear if she could … Continue reading

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The Ambassador

They recalled the ambassador last night. By the time it hit the news, he was gone. It’s still always a ‘he’ when it comes to ambassadors here. They don’t trust ‘shes’ yet. They don’t trust him either, now. The ambassador … Continue reading

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Skeletons Walk South

He comes undone when an old woman on the street in Tucson snatches a loose thread on his suit jacket and jerks it loose. He shouts at her to let go, but she laughs and disappears around the corner, pulling … Continue reading

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Letter Never Sent

ONE Two packs of Marlboros a day. Did I write that I tried to cut down my smoking three months ago? Well, at least I am getting that raise at my job. It should pay for the additional two bucks … Continue reading

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Heroics

The thing about this town without you in it is that it quickly becomes a cliché. It’s a big empty space full of big empty people and I am looking out on all of it from this balcony, trying to … Continue reading

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Bones

She’s down by the lake with her friend. It’s February, so the rocks that were submerged in summer are now well above the water. She remembers being grazed by them on her shins, thighs and torso when she went swimming, … Continue reading

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The Bullfighter

He was an adult and he was dying. He had not had a physical since he left his parents’ home two decades before. Cancer knows where it can live undisturbed; it moved into his esophagus. He moved back in with … Continue reading

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The Shepherd’s Crook

The folk around us thought that living with him was easy, so they came with their requests, never knowing the truth. Once he had finished carving one masterpiece, word got out, and someone else would come. They never gave a … Continue reading

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Soul Food

24 January I’ve been told that it’s my turn to continue these records. Perhaps I’ll be promoted? No point speculating, I suppose. Hopefully these records will help you settle in when you finally arrive. I’ve been feeling tired recently. It … Continue reading

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A Small Price to Pay For Yo-Yo Ma

Stan McGreevy was a legend in Santa Pulmo. For over forty years, he had been one of the most popular teachers at Santa Pulmo High, where he taught music and directed the school band. Twenty-three of his students went on … Continue reading

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The Nest of Abandoned Sparrows

I am immortal. As the old joke goes, I read the obituaries in the newspaper every morning and, if my name isn’t there, I get out of bed and start my day. Well, it wasn’t my name, but the name … Continue reading

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Russell Learns To Skate

“Look, Russell’s balancing on one leg!” Pinky exclaims. Indeed, the schoolboy is concentrating hard on a new skill that his skating coach, Lloyd, is teaching him. When the boy lifts one foot off the ground, the balance on the other … Continue reading

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Room of Catfish

The room was filled with catfish. Swimming in the air, I guess you could say, all pink gills and grey lips, mouths opening and closing and going, “MOP! MOP! MOP!” There was also a TV and a lamp and an … Continue reading

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Glass

The apartment is filled with glass and all I see are distortions of everything. The half-gallon handles of Hennessy, the various fifths of Jack Daniel’s, the countless bottles of forty-ounce Miller High Life, fill the apartment and all of it … Continue reading

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Under the Lights

At 16, the mother I love, sends me to the frizzy-haired psychologist. My thoughts are everywhere. They’ve always been everywhere, at my feet, in the sky, on strangers’ faces. She prescribes bright pills, forcing my mind to roll over and … Continue reading

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Not Eating Jellyfish

In the market yesterday I picked up some cod cheeks and octopus and forgot to put them in the fridge. That’s what I thought when I woke. Could I smell it? The fan was still whirring in the corner. I … Continue reading

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Cracks in the Night Clouds

Sitting in July’s darkness, on her weather-beaten porch, staring straight ahead at the orchard’s shadows, she half-listens to the wind-struck warning of the garden bells—tongues tumbling into sounds of longing. The shock of fireworks that crackles overhead, like the terror … Continue reading

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Your Fading Buddy: Some Dos and Don’ts

Do take a cautious, measured approach. Above all, remain focused on what is and is not your business. Maybe you’ll be at some ad hoc house party on the east side, trying to look cool while you sip from a … Continue reading

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A New Adventure

“I’m afraid I might be turning into a tree.” The assistant chiropractor looks away from the computer he’s typing his notes into. He half-smiles. “I’m nearly done, then we’ll start making you feel like a human again, Kit.” He resumes … Continue reading

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Shed

My father, Vincent, was a confusing alien to me. He was always smiling, never tired, even sang his cuss words. “Motherrrr-fuckerrrr” he would croon in a passable tenor to the tune of “Volare” if he burned his finger on the … Continue reading

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