“I assure you, sir. The hotel will do everything in its power to insure that this matter stays private.” “I certainly hope so.” “It’s just that the reporters are already in the lobby. And down in the parking garage. There’s no way we can get you past them unseen.” “Don’t you people have a service […]

Willing Participants

“This here is what I got,” the man said. “Old London Underground double-decker.” “What’s it run on?” asked the other. “Petrol,” said the man. “It ain’t been converted.” “No good to me that way,” answered the other. “There hasn’t been any petrol for months.” The man looked wise. “Oh, it’s to be had– for a price.” “Not […]

Cleaved Together

How do you remove every trace? he thought, carrying another box of her junk to the truck and dumping it in. When they had gotten married, the preacher made a big deal of using the word cleave. He said that married people cleaved to each other, that if they broke apart it was like ripping a piece of wood that […]

Make ‘Em Believe You

“He’s making a bomb in there.” “No way.” “Then why all the chemicals? Why the bags of fertilizer? He’s like whatshisface. Timothy McVeigh.” “Yeah? Prove it then, Mr. Smarty.” “I can’t prove it yet. All’s I’m saying is we need to watch the place for a while.” “How long is a while?” “I don’t know. Couple days, […]


At first, I didn’t even know about it. I don’t have a TV or listen to the radio. I guess I knew when I saw the first cars going past, roofs piled high with bundles and boxes. Sure, I knew the river was up, but it’s been up before. No need to panic. Sheriff came by […]

Eighty Days

None of the survivors was a sailor, so the compass and sextant were  useless to them. The featureless horizon of winking sea, the unremitting glare, the boredom. They were talked out after the second day, aware that further conversation might lead to severe disagreement, or worse. Despite the makeshift awning, their skin burned purple in […]

Same Old Same Old

Last thing I remember it was somebody’s birthday. I woke up at five AM to the sound of church bells somewhere close by, opened my eyes against the familiar pain and was unable to recognize a single thing about the living room in which I lay. I heaved myself up off the couch, grateful that […]

The Articles of War

Captain Fitts gripped the makeshift lectern and stared grimly down at the boards on which were inscribed the Articles of War. In a terrible voice he boomed “Article Twelve: Every person in the fleet, who through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, shall in time of action withdraw or keep back, or not come into the fight or engagement, […]

Her House

The entrance hall hasn’t been used since Doug was killed in Vietnam, the boxes that crowd the narrow space crammed with paper and old clothes and God knows what else. In the kitchen, four refrigerators, two so overstuffed that the doors are bungeed closed, cereal boxes, rotten fruit, stale Walmart muffins in the 30-pack, gallons of milk […]