Short Fiction

Though I write a lot of short stories, I don’t pursue their publication to the degree I should. Some of the stories below have been published, most have not … yet. I am collecting my short stories into a single volume which may, if I get around to the hassle of formatting it, be available soon.

Quiet
Originally published in Static Movement, June, 2006.

The steady rise and fall of the canoe paddle was finding muscles in her back she’d forgotten were there. It was quiet on the river now, the ultraviolet streaming down, eating its way through the 50 sun block she had smeared on her exposed skin. She watched the swirling eddies the paddles made as they slid alongside the canoe, the water spiders that skittered across the slick surface in search of food. Up ahead, the water undulated in hypnotic waves as it passed over submerged rocks and logs.


Impulse Control
Originally published in Static Movement, February, 2007.

Mickey didn’t approve of zoos, but that day she had a hankering to visit the wolves. It had been months since she’d snuck Harlan in there, an act she felt the tiniest bit guilty about, but what else could you do with a wolf in the city? And, if she were honest with herself, which she was trying really hard to do now that she’d reached her twenty-first birthday, she felt a little guilty over the events that led to her having to sneak Harlan there. After all, it wasn’t really Harlan’s fault, was it? Well, maybe some of it was, but still, a wolf is a wolf and it’s in their nature to act in wolfish ways.


The Dance
Originally published in The Battered Suitcase, December, 2008.

The strains of something vaguely Garth Brooks drifted through the half-open door of the patio. Tinny. Flat. The hum of traffic rising from the street ten floors below possessed more rhythm.

Rose glanced at her watch. The vermilion digits ticked off the seconds. The shadows of dancing couples slid across her table. She wondered if he’d show? He hadn’t been at the conference earlier in the day. But then, he’d written to say he wouldn’t be. Other commitments, he’d said, not commenting further. So like him, of course. Outside his poetry, he divulged little of his personal life.


The Karaoke Singer
Originally published in The SOMA Literary Review, February, 2009.

Winston Church tightened the thin jacket about his shoulders, turned up the collar and stepped out the alley door of his office building. A sharp, cold wind, the kind that blows in off the Pacific and turns the streets of the financial district into arctic wind tunnels, slammed into him. “Frickin July in San Francisco,” he said under his breath and began the long walk home.


Hit
Originally published in Hand-Held Crime, a great little eZine that, sadly, is no longer around.

I met Anne on my 50th birthday and put her in the ground a week past my 56th. Six years. The only six years of my life I wish I could relive. She was a kind and loving woman and the cancer took her down hard. Her final breaths were ragged and coarse. I could feel her dry lips brush my cheek as I strained to hear her last words but her ravaged throat couldn’t form them. In the end she left me in silence without even her breathing to pass the time.


Final Target
Unpublished, a rewrite of Hit, looking for a home

Sweat. It soaks his hair, his skin, the clothes he wears, drips thirty feet to the jungle floor at the base of the tree he’s tied himself to. There’s a crackle in his earphone, a whispered voice.

“Target in sight. Range … 660 yards.”


Flying
Unpublished, looking for a home

It was nothing, Jeremiah Sherman thought, maybe a rat.

His Sterno fire was smothered and smoking lightly on the floor at his feet. Quietly he sat with his arms clenched against his knees, his head cocked and listening. He strained for the noise that had alerted his senses but the only sound that came to him was the soft breeze that rustled the torn shade, rubbing one weighted edge against the worn wooden sill like the ticking of a muffled clock.


Fire And Slush
Unpublished, looking for a home

“I served a purpose, you know.”

The Lord of Light sighed deeply. This woman with her grating voice was like a blister that never healed. His chief minion Ba’al was growing furious, hinting that defection could well become an option if she wasn’t taken from his hands. If only the package would arrive so he could get her started at her task and be free of her. Why was it taking Theo so long to deliver? A vengeful god? Ha! Unreliable was more like it.


Viridity
Unpublished, looking for a home

“They hate me, I’m telling you, they do.”

The two moved along the path beside the pond, one well formed and whole, the other a violent explosion of activity.


Thief
Unpublished, looking for a home. This is a prequel to my novel Stealing The Marbles

Hot town, summer in the city. The old Lovin’ Spoonful song kept looping through his mind, just that one line, over and over. Hot town. Summer in the city. John Sebastian. A rockin’ song. Cities and summer heat.

It was dark now, past midnight. The hours without sun hadn’t cut the temperature by more than a degree or two. He was sweating a torrent beneath the black cotton clothes he wore. He could smell the mixture of sweat and fear rising from him in an malodorous cloud. It was a good thing his destination didn’t have BO alarms. He’d be busted for sure.

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