Killing With Kindness

Carrie realized as she walked in that she was forty-five minutes early, but she knew if she went back out to her car she might not go through with it, might let things continue as they had, avoid the confrontation altogether. Her mother had always said that Carrie took politeness too far. Actually, what she said was that […]

A Thousand and One Reasons

“Laos. I was born in Laos,” said Phil for what seemed the millionth time in his life. “But I’m  American.” “Yeah? How’d you manage that?” asked the man in the window seat, the seat Phil had paid twenty five extra dollars to reserve. He had filed onto the plane with the crowd of passengers to find this man asleep […]

Santa Cruz Santa Claus

We squinted in the bright sunshine. The morning had been cold enough to warrant light jackets, but even with the sea breeze it was warming up nicely. I felt Olivia’s hand, warm and small in my own. Our first Christmas without Mommy. Grandee had paid for the airline tickets to California, just the two of us. […]

Sibling Rivalry

“Whenever I came home, she was usually standing right here.” “Almost always.”  He sat smoking at the kitchen table. The cartons he had brought were stacked against the wall, still folded up. He had neglected to buy packing tape. “It made it hard to sneak past if I’d been in a fight at school.” “You used to […]

Waiting For Sunday to Start

I waited for Sunday to roll over me, crash its waves into my chest and tumble me to the shore. A hard laugh catches in my throat, comes out as a mangled rattle. I forget what was funny, what I was even thinking. I walk to the window. The Korean neighbor pulls out of his driveway. He takes the corner too […]


Last thing I remember was being angry that Janie was late. I decided to make it a double. After that, nothing. You probably heard the stories about me. Somebody like me. The guy who gets tossed from the bar by a pair of bouncers, the guy who is 2AM drunk at 8:30. Hilarious, legendary. But for me, […]

Horns of a Dilemma

I suppose I knew about it for some weeks before I saw what I saw. At first I wasn’t sure. See something like that, you don’t want to believe it,  though it’s right in front of your eyes. Then all the pieces fall together in your head, like the tumblers in a safe when you […]

Our Place

Impressed and unafraid, she walked right to the edge and looked over, returned to me smiling. “How long have you known about this place?” I shrugged. My brother used to take me up here, but I didn’t want to say that because the next thing she’d ask those questions: You have a brother? Are you […]