Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lady and Wolfman

This story first appeared in Elbow Pads Literary Magazine, Volume IV, Issue II.

Wolfman bayed to the sky whenever someone passed by wearing a suit and tie—like he did a lifetime ago, before the downsizing—and watched Lady amble toward him pushing her possessions in a rusted grocery cart, one wheel drunkenly spinning. No one knew her real name. He wasn’t certain she did after years on the street. But she’d always wanted to be called a lady, so that was the name the street people knew her by.

Most folks wouldn’t find her beautiful, with oily, salt and pepper hair stuck to her cheeks, a faded blue coat, and a face permanently etched with a scowl. Wolfman saw beyond all that. She was the one who came to his aid after another binge with a bottle of Jack could have put him in the hospital. The one who sat with him in his box, helped him sober up, convinced him alcohol was the enemy. The one who hosted their personal AA meetings.

He stood as she approached, reached out to her, kissed her on the cheek. She hrumphed him away with a sweep of her hand. Her face remained the same, but Wolfman noticed a sparkle in her eyes. She was almost alive again. And so was he.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Family

First published at Postcard Poems and Prose.

Daddy wore latex under his robe while delivering his rhapsodic sermons to unsuspecting congregants. He preferred Spandex when he and Momma participated in the local circus’ coed mud wrestling league. They were both daft, tromping to their own piper, but we loved them anyway. Wasn’t that how God wanted it?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Regardless

We waited. Two brothers. Unrelated. He the elder.

The crash brought us together. His older brother and mine drag racing on a residential street. My mother and his parents had to be separated, faces red, fingers wagging, shouts filling the small waiting room, surging into the hallways.

He and I—I didn’t know his name, we hadn’t talked—stayed out of the way, quiet, almost like we were meditating. He laid his hand on the floor palm up. I put mine on top of his. Sweaty, nervous fingers entwined.

When the doctors came, we listened. Our parents began another verbal assault amidst their sobs. We squeezed our fingers tighter and cried. I didn’t know if my tears were because my brother lived or his didn’t.

Connor and I formed a bond that day. Our parents didn’t know. They wouldn’t have approved. At least, we didn’t think they would. We met after school at the mall, or at a movie, or sometimes at friends’ houses. 

He goes away to college next year. We know we’re there for each other, regardless.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Woven Tale Press Publishes Five Stories

I’m thrilled that five of my 55 word stories appear in the current issue of The Woven Tale Press. Here’s a blurb from the zine. "The Woven Tale Press is a monthly culling of the creative Web, exhibiting the artful and innovative." What makes this special is that the editors approached me asking permission to include my pieces. Thanks to Editor-in-Chief Sandra Tyler.





Sunday, June 28, 2015

Two Stories Inspired by One Prompt



This week's prompt words inspired two pieces. One is 55 words, the other isn't. :)

***
Miscellaneous cuss words escaped Mary’s mouth as we drove by Chick’s Roadhouse, with its neon girly sign. She took a bite of cucumber, said they were all going to Hell. Sweaty hands on the steering wheel, I watched her take another bite, got excited, briefly, wondered when she’d find out I was a sinner, too. (55 words)

***

Mary’s face lit up like the neon sign over at Chick’s Roadhouse, the one with the pasties flashing in red, white and blue.

“You remembered!”

I waited, hands sweaty.

“It’s shaped like a cucumber but . . .” Mary stared at me, eyes wide. “My sister put you up to this, didn’t she?”

“If you turn the end, it vibrates.”

A mixture of miscellaneous cuss words and giggles spewed from Mary’s mouth. “You know, Frank, I may not need you anymore,” she said, smiling and waving the pink toy in a circle.


Prompt words: roadhouse, cucumber, sweaty, miscellaneous, neon.