Any Saturday

May closed the cash drawer. It would not close. “I thought Henry fixed this,” she called to the back of the shop. “He did,” answered Joy. “Which means it’s broke in a new way. I call it Henry fixed.” She came behind the counter, bumped May out of the way with a friendly hip. “You got […]

I’m From The County

The old man scratched his privates as he made his way across beshitted carpet to his trash-strewn kitchen, the charnel reek of feral urine and rotting meat, the dozens of nameless cats crying and howling and winding about his legs. He picked among the heap of cans piled atop the grease-crusted counter seeking those yet unopened. He was amazed by the knocking at the front […]

The Corporal and the Corporal’s Mother

“And how is the life of my camp guard?” Trudi asked, ladling his plate full of spätzel in thick gravy. “Have they seen fit to promote you?” He grimaced, touched the unadorned shoulder tab of his tunic. “Do you see any pips, Mother? Any gold braid? No, you don’t. I am a gefreiter still and always. There is […]

The Old World

I never could stand the daylight. The harsh glare, the endless vista. The exposure. Being outside in the sun underscores the insect-like nature of human existence, these pathetically insignificant creatures crawling around on the skin of a stone ball  hurdling through space on a pointless trajectory. Daytime is so unspeakably depressing that I can’t bear to be out in […]

Liber Somnium

“Use this with caution,” the bookseller warned. He did not like this woman, but business was business. “I’ll use it however I like. I bought the damn thing. It’s mine now.” She reached for the door handle. The bookseller shrugged and turned back to his work. “Wait a minute,” she said. “Where are the words?” […]

The Son of the Sea and the Sky

Lord Henry scowled. “Don’t tell me you believe all that rot about his being the Son of the Sea and Sky, Darius.” Darius stared across the battlements at the gathering clouds. Had he ever seen that sort of blackness before, that much weight of water? It was as though the sea floated above itself. “That […]

Miss Meyers

She wasn’t a particularly good nanny, but my parents could afford her.  We made do with other kinds of hand-me-downs, so why not a nanny too? I heard she had worked for the Oscars and had taken care of all five boys after Mrs. Oscar died. It never occurred to me that  Miss Meyers might […]