Most recent stories

September Morning

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Helen’s mind is not on business. It’s on a pinpoint, a potential, a something so microscopic it’s more a nothing. In her center, it hums.

Blueberries

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Cold water shocked Ernest's face. The evening with Gracie had his nerves hot and popping. She was his fifth date and the closest to his memory of Sadie in college so far. He looked up at himself in the bathroom mirror with his mouth agape. Redness flooded…

We Talk in a Roundabout Way

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You are a boy with a birthday bike smiling like our son, standing in a photograph surrounded by other sons, who turn rocks over and over, who keep snakes in plastic bread bags, who find the bones of something wild in the woods. You smile that way still.

Unattended (novel excerpt)

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A sticky glass. An open copy of Outside magazine. A flat part of the meadow that reeked of blood and cologne. A dog (my dog) hidden in the closet, shivering so hard the hangers jangled.

Hello and Thank You!

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She didn’t think of herself as an undesirable, no, she didn’t, but did find herself cowering in face of the presumed judgment of those around her. They had more money, more clout, more everything.

Officer Friendly

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The last time Ray and I broke up, I flew my flag at half-mast. It was the kind of thing that pissed him off. He was very big on flag etiquette: how the flag should be folded, the fact that it should never touch the ground, when to fly it at half-mast, the rules regarding…

Breach of Faith

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You love your wife and would never do anything to hurt her. In thirteen years of marriage you’ve never been unfaithful, never done more than glance at another woman. Until tonight. Tonight you got lucky. Oh God, how you got lucky!

I know a moustache

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“Hey there!/ Here I am, a fucking moustache!/ I’m the biggest damn moustache/ you’ll ever see

Hitler's Mustache

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“Where do you want your mustache?” Melanie asked. “You can have it on the side, you know, or, if you prefer, across your labia, in which case it will also look like a cross?”

Universal

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For the sake of convenience, we must assume that everything ugly is evil. Lightning rejuvenates. Sulfur preserves. The obvious solution is dismemberment. The ghost appears to Ludwig; “How can you destroy my creation?”

Animals, Animals, Animals

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  Crea grew up above a pet store and now she dreams of cats. There are too many of them to name, a slinking mess of calico, tabby, tortoise-shell, black and white. There are more each night. They whisper to her, words made of hissing mewls. During the…

On Our Way

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  They met on a bus. The bus got lost. He had corn chips. She had a tuna sandwich. They shared. “This is good,” he said. “Did you make this?” …

Robert Kennedy Remembered by Jean Baudrillard

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K is eating a banana. He says to me, "There is no end in the sense that God is dead, or history is dead. I would prefer not to play the role of a thoroughly useless prophet. I leave that to others, like Gene McCarthy."

Kurosawa's Rain

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The rain fell from the roof. It fell from my voice and and my eyes. Toshiro's Kukichiro stomped gutshot through the mud with his katana. Young and beautiful, Mifumi died there on the screen though he doesn't really die for fifty or more years, they think from something…

My Most Humble Request

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Do not shake the baby. Shake the martini. That’s what martinis are for.

I'm Still Here

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During the night and in the fog of halfsleep Ben shifted and felt the weight of Miranda gone from him, the bed empty. In the quiet of the house he thought he heard a footstep and the soft shutting of a door, and as his eyes searched the dark he…

AFTER

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Two lovers — their genders / faces / social identities / etc. up to the viewer’s imagination (though I caution you, dear reader, not to imagine yourself in this role due to the psychic intensity of the following passages) — writhe against each other

Arroyo Vista

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In some parts of town, people are not allowed to grow vegetables because of the plutonium used in the Lab. Three local parks were recently found to be contaminated.

The Shadow People

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Two summers later, the ritual began. Carol left her house at midnight, having served her husband and daughter a heavy dinner that left them caged in their sleep. She was like a thief working in reverse: she rose from bed with her husband’s first snore,

Sweet Treat

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Recently turned fifty, taut and fit, a retired athlete, with breasts that fit in the palms of my hands, my new date is eight years older than me. Next to her muscle, I am soft tissue, pale, undamaged by the sun. She thinks she is too old for me, but, nonetheless,…

Criminals

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What about the goons? Those criminals thwarted and left for dead in every action movie for the past thirty years. I'm sure at least a dozen survived the slaughters. I'm sure at least one or two came out if it reformed. This one who quit working for Columbian drug smugglers…

Everything is Fine

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        The first one was dark and angular, coiled-looking inside an expensive suit.  Over her food at a small table in the hotel bar, Francesca had been unable to look at anything else but him.  Out of the suit, unsprung on a king-sized hotel bed, his skin…

Of Soulful Cheese and Melted Needs

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Two fine-young-things scan the menu board of In-N-Out Burger off Interstate 101. Dressed like twins -- hoop earrings, tank-tops and mini-skirts, ballet pumps — you could hardly tell them apart, except for their Cleopatra and Marilyn Manson hairstyles. As they…

Shit May Come And Shit May Go, But A Good Tarpaulin Can Last Forever

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It happens. Someone blows something off, someone else forgives it, then tat for tit and verse visa, and you’re missing someone’s wedding because you thought it was Thursday and they didn’t mention it to you anywy, but you’re still BFF and don’t

Four Days before Thanksgiving, Boston to Colorado

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The daughter's trip, a travail, cross country; the painkillers were not the finisher mom needed—and the white sheets of the institution were too thin to provide her any comfort as she dreamt of swimming; a backstroke suspended over a waterless pool.Her father…

The Love Story of Me (non-fiction and should be disqualified)

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To find myself in a straight relationship which challenges my communications skills and tries my patience while improving my status among my peers and family.

Big C and Lil Puppet

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At that time I was meeting Jacob at 3:30 each afternoon in Joan of Arc Park so we could walk dogs together. This was our job.

Ramblers and Spinners

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IT SNOWED all day the Monday after Thanksgiving. After supper and homework, my brother, Will, and I sat in the narrowly opened window of the second floor apartment where we lived and watched the older kids run their bicycles down Sweet's Hill and hit their brakes at…

A Death by the Sea: excerpt

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I began to imagine the shadows, so rectilinear, were arcing and flowing. I saw shoulders moving, the sinewy upper shoulders of wolves running in a pack. . .

Topsy the Elephant

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The handler found Topsy as docile as a woman being fitted for a shoe.  Each time he tapped his cane against her ankle, she lifted her foot and held the pose, allowing him to dip his sponge into a bucket and pull it wet across the thick ridges of her skin. It was…