Beannachd Dia Dhuit

Thomas. Aye, Thomas, never Tommy or Tom. Thomas would take insult from anything. A raised eyebrow, a sloshed pint that wet his sleeve, an ill-timed cough. Once he started to fight, there was naught anyone could do. Thomas would not stop, no matter how many times he was knocked down, and that was many. Though wiry, he was […]

The Men of the Night City

The night city is not the day city, though they share the same streets, the same alleys. Light becomes a commodity. The men of the night city, free from the day of park-sleep and bench-sleep, daylight indignities of filth, of squalor, the sordid shame of open begging in the face of bottomless scorn. They come into their own […]


Every light in the house was on when I arrived. The three men sitting in the bright kitchen at the long  table that had once been in my grandfather’s service station, clear pine darkened by age, pocked and burned by my grandfather’s cigarettes, the cracks in the grain blacked from my grandfathers oil-covered hands. They faced one […]

That Creepy Guy

Countless disappointments had battered me down until I’d pretty much given up. Surrendered.  I stood in my empty apartment and cried out to a God I didn’t believe in I give up! And like magic, the despair and loneliness were lifted from me. I felt as though I’d set down a heavy suitcase. No longer was […]

Get Off The Highway

By slouching  over the broken steering wheel like an octogenarian, I could just see through a spot of clear glass in the shattered windshield. My breath came in gasps. My left leg felt numb, far away. I could feel blood running down my face and neck. My ruined car was making hideous sounds– the fender scraping the ground, the clatter […]

Sunshine Star

Fifty thousand dollars. After that, I quit listening.   It was a lot of money for us, especially considering what we already spent. Mary Ann had been having troubles for more than a year before she disappeared. Her grades had slipped from As and Bs to Ds and Fs. After a couple months, we got a […]

Never Apologize, Never Explain.

In his 1970 Travis McGee novel The Long Lavender Look, John D. MacDonald wrote about taking a single object from childhood and fitting it into the context of its use. “You take an object. Roller skate. The kind from way back, that fastened to the shoes instead of coming with the shoes attached. Look and feel and […]

A Man’s Work

It was Pa broke down when the government man left. Ma was steel-eyed and cold. She gave me that look of hers, looked quick to Pa, slumped useless head in hands, then back over to me. She didn’t need to say anything more. I’d heard the what the government man said same as she had. If we didn’t take […]

Tomorrow’s Monster

  Gran stops him on his way out the door. “Just a minute. What’s that you have there?” He holds out the magnifying glass. It is a splendid thing, solid bronze, the lens hand ground to perfect clarity. It had been her grandfather’s. “And what are you going to do with this, may I ask?” “I […]