Short Stories

New York Fall

Clapboard House

The flight had been a noisy, arid cross-country red-eye. I brushed my teeth and hair in the dim bathroom while Marcus waited in line for the rental car. Then we joined the slog out of the city. The first leg heading upstate was a tedious crawl. Marcus closed his eyes each time he braked, drowsing for a brief moment whenever the car wasn’t moving. This made me nervous, and I was already anxious, just a few hours from meeting his children for the first time.

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Pines

The Sand Canyon Review

The air around us was still, the very earth holding its breath. A buzz of an insect, then silence. The creak of a massive pine swaying in a breeze, the sound falling on us from forty feet up, then nothing. Mike’s nervous hand brushed mine, nails dirty from helping his father, skin tan from hours spent working outdoors, and ended up back on his lap.

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Stripped Clean

Every Writer’s Resource

The bed is the biggest problem. It smells like him. Even after stripping it to wash the sheets, as I lay down on the bare mattress waiting for the dryer to finish working its magic, cleansing me of him, I can smell him. It’s a slightly sweet, powdery smell, laced with a hint of something masculine, maybe just pheromones.

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Karma

Rougarou, An Online Journal

I recognized him on sight. Not that I’d ever seen him before. I knew him in a past-life sort of way, like we’d been in some great battle together, or had died of the plague in neighboring beds. Or maybe we’d been married, had lived on our farm with our eight kids and I’d made fresh bread over a fire every morning while he milked the cows.

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The Diplomacy of Marriage

Clapboard House

Theresa lay awake and listened. The drip of a faucet, maybe the one in the guest bathroom. The bark of a dog in the distance, possibly Misty chasing off raccoons. Abby fussing, then settling, next door, the poor thing still struggling with her cold. Theresa struggled to sleep, counting the minutes that ticked past on the grandfather clock in the hallway.

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Now available as an audio book.

Samuel

Fix It Broken

She named him Samuel. It wasn’t the name he was supposed to have, not the one they’d carefully chosen after weeks of lobbing names back and forth, but she wanted to save that name, the other one, for a baby that lived. Mitch thought it was silly, naming a baby that wasn’t even a baby anymore, but Ellie needed it, a name to call him, something real, permanent.

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The Minx

Read Short Fiction

Like me, the minx was a ten o’clock regular at Lily’s Cafe. She wasn’t friendly, although she wasn’t rude, she just never returned my smiles or made any effort to exchange greetings. She always hid behind her oversized sunglasses, feigning absorption in the man beside her, a magenta smile on her face, a girlish giggle squeaking out of her throat.

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The Baker

322 Review

Evan had a photographic memory, knew how to count cards, never forgot a person’s name. These things made people consider him smart, but he knew different. He could stare at a book for hours, the words sliding off the page each time he tried to reach
the end of a sentence, the meanings running across the desk, dropping to the floor, scurrying into mouse holes. Dyslexia.

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Light Sleeper

The MacGuffin

I am a light sleeper. It’s not something anyone wants to be, except maybe a night guard or a soldier in a foxhole. I wish there was some way to train myself to sleep harder, the way my mother does, so dead to the world that even a queasy child shaking her in the night, looking for comfort, can’t wake her.

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The Rocking Horse

Bearing North

The party, like most of my friends’ parties, wasn’t kid-friendly. I spent much of it chasing Dylan around, blocking him from ascending or descending stairs, pulling discarded napkins and half-full cups of alcoholic beverages from his grasp. After nearly an hour of this, Sam, gracious host and husband of my best friend, saw the trouble he was causing and stepped in.

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The Universe at Work

Literary House Review

“How about you?” he asked, pale brown eyes looking me over, a blank canvas.“Nah, I’m good,” I said, half-turning, pausing in my escape. I knew he’d have a comment.“You mean, you don’t have any?” “Nope.” This time I pointed my feet toward the parking lot, slid my keys out of the outside pocket of my shoulder bag.“I’ll get you my info next time I see you,” he said to my back.“Yeah,” I said over my shoulder. “Thanks.”

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