Guests of the Shah

“You’re limping, Houshang.” Hamid smiles up from the chessboard. “Stubbed your toe again, I suppose?” “A blister from my long walk around the city yesterday.” I chuckle. We both know why I limp. I am a lifelong communist. My boiled cynicism often serves as much to poison as shield me. Hamid is a Muslim cleric […]

Plan B

He got out of the car and decided to leave his box of office belongings in the back seat until he told her.  He hadn’t discussed it with her. This hadn’t been planned. One day, maybe, but not yet. Working for Dynacom had been a soul-sucking experience he had come to loathe more with every […]

Times Is Changing

Malmsey stormed into the inn and flung down his bundle. “I’ll not stand for this!” he shouted. “A German? I’ll sooner die!” “Calm yourself, mate,” said the keeper, drawing off a tankard and pushing across the bar. “We’ve heard.” “Times is changing,” said Old Grumps from his corner table. “Rumor is the Queen herself is […]

The Vacation is Ruined

Mark’s checked off just two items on his list before Marci commences meltdown. As always, he pretends to sympathize while secretly resenting Meg. She takes after you, his sullen mantra. Meg is busy running through her own list. They’d slept the night before with the lights on. They’d FedExed Marci’s special food box directly to the hotel. […]

A Prince Enchanted

In an ancient Turkish legend that goes back to the time of Gilgamesh, the Shahmaran is a creature whose head is a beautiful woman and whose body is a snake. She lives in the land of the snakes under the earth and lures unsuspecting lovers into her cave of honey. 

The Crossing

When Dwayne retired from Motorola we sold the house and spent a year driving the Caravan across the USA looking for the place we loved best. When we saw the ranch in Sasabe on the Sonoran border, we knew we’d found it. That was twenty years ago. It was a year-round thing. They’d come through […]

Afoot on the Staked Plains

The man cut a Comanche arrow out of the mule’s flank after the fight at the tanks, but the festering wound would not knit. Crossing the rain-swollen Nueces, the mule died under him and dumped his possibles into the churning red water. He’d felt the animal falter as he spurred it down the bank, so he wasn’t […]


She should have known at the casting call, should have taken her son and walked out. Instead, she’d signed the contract. The lure of money was too powerful, and she’d been desperate. A prank show, they said, like Candid Camera. Her son would be among other children at the museum, all in uniform. On cue they would begin […]

Breaking The Triangle

The East India Company Director sighed. He took off his glasses and set them on the dossier. “Is it really as bad as all that?” “I’m afraid so, sir,” said Briggs. “In fact, it’s actually worse. The Chinese are well aware of our vulnerability, especially regarding tea. The tonne price is increasing almost daily.” “What of […]