Hard, Cold

Old John was safe buried by the time winter fell full, thank God. The bone-break cold came first, terrible weeks of it, the ground iron hard before the first snows came. At first we thought to conserve our coal and built niggardly fires you could snuff with one hand, but Maisie said we would run […]

An Episcopal Tour of English Architecture

The boy let out a wail of dismay loud enough to be heard by the bus driver, who naturally assumed it was an emergency and braked so hard he threw the passengers sharply forward and spilled all manner of travel cups and canisters, drenching many a sweater and lap. It was just after they’d had stopped for tea, […]

John Lost Returns

When he first left England he was a young man with no particular destination. He found himself months later in the hills of Cambodia, squatting by a cook fire and sharing millet from a single bowl with three strangers, the act of eating their only common language. His name was acquired perhaps in Tibet or Nepal. By this time, […]

Él No Se Pierda Este Día

Father Estrella was drunk, but not too drunk to hear confession. Marco used to joke  it was better to have a drunk priest hear your litany of recent sins, since any righteousness on his part would be offset by the hypocrisy of his own weak soul– not that Father Estrella was ever especially righteous, even when sober. “Say three Hail […]

I Still Haven’t Told Her

I hadn’t yet gotten around to telling her when Janie melted down and had to be taken home. I figured the Saturday Market would be a safe place to break the news, being a public place and all. Bringing Janie along made it a real family affair. Right. We walked around the stalls drinking coffee from paper cups. […]

Chet’s Bright Idea

When Chet regained consciousness he had no idea of the time. They had taken his watch. They had taken everything, even the emergency fifty he kept beneath his insole. His mouth was swollen and it felt like they’d broken some ribs. He raised his head and looked around at the alley. A short cut had […]

A Hundred Fathoms

  A hundred fathoms down, the sun looks like a ten-watt porch light. The suit, which felt so heavy on the surface, is now a second skin–except the boots, which seem even heavier. You move slowly on the bottom,  breath loud in your ears as you clomp through the ooze like the giant in The Brave Little Tailor. […]

Der Obersoldat

Horst checks everything for the third time in an hour. The machine gun is loaded and pointing down the valley.  Ammunition cases are stacked where the loader can get them, the satchel of grenades open at his feet with the handles facing upward, as specified in the regulations. He checks his belt to make sure his knife and […]

Hermit’s Rest

NORFOLK– MARCH 17 Authorities arrested a man today they believe is the “Forest Skinner,”  suspected of committing a series of unsolved murders around Norfolk County during the 1970s and 80s. The suspect, who was wearing what appeared to be a handmade suit of unidentified animal hide, was severely malnourished and offered no resistance. The arrest was the result of a CrimeLine […]