Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day, 2018

Karen blew warm air into her hands and looked up at the turret windows. According to survivor accounts, one of them was supposedly the hiding spot of the German sniper who had killed her great grandfather in the “war to end all wars.” She’d planned the trip for over a year, expected it to be overwhelming. It wasn’t. Instead, she felt pride. Her grandfather, in full military regalia, like the picture on her living room mantle, appeared before her. She smiled, put a hand over her heart, stood taller, and whispered, “I’ll never forget, grandpa. I’ll never forget.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Mind Games

First appeared at Fewer Than 500.

Eve wonders if she has a secondhand brain, one transplanted in her head while she slept. That’s the only explanation for her forgetfulness. Either that or the doorways of her house have rays of some kind that wipe pertinent information as she passes through them.

Like now. She’s in the master bath but has no idea why. She walks back to the kitchen and retraces her steps. Still nothing.

She enters the bedroom and stares at the bed—a queen size covered by a winter blanket with green and blue swirlies. She stares at the left side, the side George sleeps on, and wonders if her brain is playing tricks on her. Like George is still alive and simply on an extended trip.

“You silly fool,” she says, with a wave to her reflection in the matching bureau mirrors. Eve remembers the funeral—the honor guard, the rifle volleys, taps played on a fake bugle, the stoic faces. Her thoughts revert to the present. She exhales a sad laugh, returns to the kitchen, and  dries the remaining dishes.

She stares out the window and relives certain times in their past—their elopement two days before George reported to the Army, something her mother never forgave her for. The day they planted a sapling in the backyard of their first, and current, home. The night they almost got caught being naughty in the last row of the movie theater to the soundtrack of the original Star Wars. She feels the tension evaporate from her shoulders and face as she replays other events, only for the tightness to return when she can’t remember what she ate for lunch yesterday.

Eve jumps at the sound of the doorbell. Puts a hand over her heart. She looks at her watch. 3:00. Her brain processes what’s happening. Her daughter. Evelyn. Their weekly together time.

Eve hangs the dish towel on the stove handle, spreads it to dry, smooths her dress, and  totters to the door, the sciatica in her left hip slowing her progress. She opens it with a smile and a hug and stares at the face in front of her, hoping she’ll never forget who it belongs to.

Friday, October 5, 2018

She Must Be Crazy--a 100-word story

He sat on the fence post every Sunday, preaching even when no one was nearby.

She watched him through a rear window. A grimace embraced her face followed by a somber head-shake.

He swiveled his head from side to side, stared at the window, thought he saw a face, tilted his head back, as if his words might carry farther with an upward arch.

She approached, her face menacing, vicious.

He wagged his finger, spewed more vitriol.

She offered her own finger, told him to not return or else.

He slithered off his perch never to be seen again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


This first appeared in A Story in 100 Words.

Zach’s eyes followed the dirt path as it blended into the trees. Three couples, the latest newlyweds, disappeared in the last month while strolling the serpentine lane. The townspeople wanted something done, and they expected Zach to do it. He was the sheriff, after all.

Zach glanced from side to side, saw faces—some showing fear, others glaring—waiting less patiently with ever second that passed.

He rocked from side to side, his palms sweaty, hoping those standing with him would get bored or hungry and leave. The one thing he knew was he wouldn’t be the first to move.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"You Never Know" at Yellow Mama

My crime story, “You Never Know,” is in the current issue of Yellow Mama. Thanks to editor Cindy Rosmus.

And here’s an interview I did with Cindy at Six Questions For. . . to find out what she looks for in a submission.