Heads Will Roll

“Stephens,” said Mr. Wentworth. “When you’ve finished your lunch I need to see you in my office.” Stephens took his time, made his thermos of tea last the full half hour. Screwing the top back on, he placed the container into his messenger bag and brought it with him. He knew what was coming. The office […]

Four Damn Days

Raymie was with me until he saw a run-boat set adrift in the crest, jumped out and fetched it in. He offered me a spot, but I trusted him less than the cops who told me to evacuate. He took most of my water and all of my food, piled it into that boat until it was almost under. I couldn’t […]

Bad Bargain

It was the sort of thing you might see in a comedy: the husband, slightly daft, is taken advantage of by a sharper who sells him a bit of beachfront property in a prime location for what seems to be an impossibly low price, especially for more than three thousand square feet with an ocean […]

Three Novels

In the late spring of of 2013, my father was stricken with a swift and sudden illness that took him from a reasonably healthy 76-year-old to a bottled oxygen-dependent invalid in a matter of a few hours. In a few weeks, he was dead. In his final days, he was unable even to speak. My father, a […]

Third Class Passage

Perhaps it was the long despair of seasickness that kept him to his bunk as the Carpathia opened New York Harbor. Perhaps it was fear. He never spoke of it, the long nights of silently crying into his blanket as remorse overtook him, the longer days when he could not sleep and was left to wander the vast, anonymous […]

A Pyrenean Idyll

Aitor shook his stick at  the BMW crawling its way up the steep road to Bayonne. “Fucking Germans,” he spat. “In a hurry to get to their hotel,  no doubt. Probably called ahead to have whores waiting for them.” “Daddy!”  said Eguzkiñe, pretending to be shocked. “It’s true, darling girl. All Germans are horny as goats. That’s why we […]

American Express

The boy had disappeared now, his promised bargain an obvious sham. How could I be so stupid?  she thought. Then, that should be my mantra. She tightened the strap on her purse and tugged it around so it lay flat on her belly. She imagined this would be how a mother might protect a newborn. Or perhaps […]