Spring broke late and none too soon for Old Chuck. Winter, always hard, almost killed him. He’d lie sighing by the fire, trying to warm those old bones that had carried him over field and furrow, always by my side. When morning slanted through the shutters he came and laid his grizzled muzzle in my lap […]

I Am Not A Ghost

He is like the landscape, ancient, fissured, desiccated. He is the last one left who saw it with his own eyes. His voice scrapes like wind through dry branches as he tells the story he repeated all his life. “When the Turks came, all of us ran to the mountain. We rolled stones down the […]

Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String

A measure of knot complexity is the number of minimum crossings that must occur when a knot is viewed as a two-dimensional projection According to calculation (yours, or anyone’s) there are more tangled states than untangled states. Thousands at least, when you shove your headphones into your pocket ready at last to listen It took […]

Defining Moment

The little boy is inconsolable, his face twisted and red and sweaty, hot tears staining his shirt. He’s perhaps three and has just learned the awful truth. When the other children get taken to see the Disney movie at the Rialto, he will be left behind. The earth has crumbled away beneath his feet. Oh, […]

Dance Fools Dance

Arnaldo, grasping at everything, gaining nothing. Random as a moth, and every bit as compelled. The wicked flee where none pursue. (perhaps this badness was always within him, a cancerous rot awaiting only a few drops of rain to bring it forth. A few drops of blood.) Below her window he sang dulcet sonnets in […]

Keeping Him On

“Why do you keep him on, Mother? The man’s the merest sot.” “Now now, Katharine. Monsieur Jaques has never been drunk in my presence.” “He’s never been sober! Look at him out there. See? He’s looking for the shears he just put in his pocket.” “He has been with the house since I was a […]

The Changeling

Blydig Gryyfth had black hair and eyes dark as rotting plums.  As he grew older, his limbs bunched with muscle though he did not grow taller. He hated the forest, hated the trees and the sky itself.  His chief amusement was staring, which could do forever. He never smiled, never laughed. In fact, he barely spoke […]

The World Is Made of Money

Know your history:   Thomas Jefferson invented the modern plow along with the United States   A social man, a friend to Freedom. He kept his slaves   secreted behind doors designed, by him, to pivot with barely a whisper:   empty walnut shelves suddenly filled with wine, sweetmeats, cheeses   as though by magic. […]

Life After Uber

I heard Jazad come in around 4:30, a full hour before usual. I got out of bed and found him sitting in our tiny kitchen, head in his hands. In the stark glare of the hanging lamp his hair was almost pure white. “I can’t do it, Fatima.” His voice was almost a whisper. “Three of us […]


Stephens set down his cup and squinted at his pocket watch. He sighed and went out of the tent. Insects droned around his face and neck despite his upturned collar. The jungle birds had begun their dusk cacophony. He walked across the new clearing toward the massive pyramid. There sat Catherwood at his easel, madly […]