Short Stories

La Petite

Won an honorable mention in “Writer’s Digest Short Story Contest”

A favorite paragraph:

My five-year-old daughter, Kelly, tells me in the morning that she loves me all the seconds and all the minutes and all the days even up into heaven. We’re playing the game, I love you too, I love you three. When she replies, the words nest one into the next as she toys with my heart. If I think about what she says too hard, it scares me. Isn’t “to have” the beginning of “to lose”?

Another favorite paragraph:

“Why, yes,” Grammee says, the last time Mom and I go see her, “I do remember you,” only to ask who we are after a few more minutes. She remembers Mom for a second at a time, she doesn’t remember me at all. Not by name or by association. Mom has brought an old photo album, captioned years ago by my father, written in pencil on black paper. Some of the pictures have fallen out—silvery words frame empty spaces like whispered secrets from the past. Her fingers brush the paper, snag against the triangular corners still stuck to the page. She recognizes herself but can’t make any of the other connections.

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Whale Song

Published in the anthology “The Year of the Blue Jay”

A story of lost memory from a young caretaker.

I imagine if she could remember from day-to-day this song really might be a whale song. Sent out across the empty horizon searching for a connection. Modified and expanded from summer’s beginning to summer’s end forming a complex communication with only the person who hears it. Like the whales’, each day’s creation melds into the next, with Grace playing and, finally, me humming, the two of us growing closer and closer until we’re both creating the same sounds right up to the day we stop singing.

But of course we won’t create a whale song at all. Grace doesn’t ever remember what she’s played the day before. And I’m not about to slide into this life along with her.

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Like Betty Boop Would if She Could

Published in the Wazee Journal

A favorite paragraph:

And something in the way she says it, in the way she looks toward her imaginary friend, something makes the back of your neck prickle. Scenes from any Saturday night horror movie flash in your mind— Poltergeist, Exorcist, Amityville. Why is the way into the house always through the little girl?

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Blood Knots

Opening paragraph:

I catch the most fish because I can be stillest, longest. That’s an event I can win, hands down. But then my husband, Paul, says: “If you catch the fish you have to clean them. And if you can’t clean them, you shouldn’t be fishing.” It’s day three of a four-day weekend. Everyone’s a little bored.

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


A Green Light Over Tucson

Opening paragraph:

I was driving my mother’s car, so perhaps they misstook me for someone who would normally drive a four-door white Ford Fairlane in southern Arizona in the early fall.

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Back Road to Libby

Opening paragraph:

It used to be the men who’d wander off towards Montana, never to be heard from again. Years ago, an uncle, maybe a grandpa, or a daddy would disappear into the trees. The mama would cry—or rejoice—then tighten the circle and move on. Girl children learned to cling; boy children grew up expecting to leave.

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Dirtcake and Weeping Willows

Opening paragraph:

We sit at a cafe, you in your black shirt, me in my hat and we sip wine.  I tell you what I’m thinking.  After we arrive and order you are quiet so long I have to speak.  Of all things, I tell you about dirt cake and weeping willows.

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Rebound

Opening:

Morgan swerves, says: “What the hell—”

Ella sits up, “What was that?”

He doesn’t answer—keeps driving.

Ella looks around the headrest and out the back window.  Something white is sprawled all across the road under the streetlight at the top of the curve.

“What was that Morgan?”

“Never mind, Ella, you go back to sleep now.”

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


White Girl

Opening:

Robert Fox, white man, white hair, indignation splotching an indiscriminate red against your neck. It creeps past a day-old beard to colorless lips asking, where are the pimps? Where are the parents? Where are the teachers?

Robert Fox, white man, teacher in East LA, surrounded by thirteen, fourteen, twelve-year-old girls doing face time for prostitution, for knife fights, for murder or drugs. Betrayal, Robert, is the least of it. But still he asks: Where are the pimps? Where are the parents? Where are the white girls?

Coming soon to Amazon’s Kindle Store


Written in Stone

Winner Tattered Cover/Denver Post Short Story Contest

Opening:

The woman’s name is Leeza DiFiore.  She has kept her name instead of taking her husband’s.  It suits her she thinks, Lisa of the Fire.  What she doesn’t know is that DiFiore doesn’t mean fire.


Strays


Improv