It took Mama a while to notice, becuase that’s how Mama was. She mostly noticed how she felt about things, and was quick to tell you. The house is too cold. The stew is too salty.  It was always something else wrong, not her.  She paid attention to the world around like it was a movie […]

Far North

Dimwitty knew right away that he wasn’t cut out for the military, but he wasn’t cut out for much else either. His Uncle James was a rear admiral and pulled some strings to get him in to the Coast Guard. Basic was a cakewalk and next thing he knew he was on the USCGC Burton […]


Derrick was down in the gulch below Twenty-Mile when he saw it, a wall of flames cresting the draw. He cursed the lack of a radio, but they never worked that well up here anyway. The wind roared up the gorge, the inferno drawing air like a well-built fireplace. No way to fight it now that […]


I met Gregor in 1989, when the Sun assigned me to Ukraine to cover the dissolution of the Soviet Union. I’d arrived at Donetsk at two in the morning. A gaping hole in the airport roof resulted in six inches of brown slush on the floor as we sorted through the pile of luggage the […]

Losing Tuesday

I wait at Jack’s for my client, glad he’s late because I can have one or two more doubles before we get to business. The shakes were bad this morning, so it took more than usual for me to feel like myself. I see him come in, shake his hand.  I suggest a drink before […]

Quedar El Rabo Por Desollar

“Introduce yourself, please.” The man stood up. He was younger than many attending the meeting. “My name is Serafin Martinez. I am a mechanic.” “And how many do you represent?” “Myself and nine others at our shop.” “And your affiliation?” “We are anarchosyndicatists.” “And your foundational ideology?” “We believe that any hierarchy that cannot be […]

Before The Coroner Was Called

I take my coffee out onto the front porch to watch the neighborhood go about its morning. I don’t know my neighbors’ names, but I know their weekday routine. The red Volvo full of kids, the bike commuter with the metal clips on his trouser-legs, the old woman across the street feeding the swarm of […]

Damn The Canons

He’d lost a lot of jobs, especially at first. When he bucked at what he considered a shit assignment, the editor told him an abrasive manner did not suit a cub reporter and fired him on the spot. After that he’d drifted around freelance for some years until he’d finally had enough. He moved to […]


The blackberries had overgrown Wayne’s entire yard, twining their malevolent thorns between fences and over trees, consuming the patio furniture and even reaching into the house. Weed killer did nothing, and his pallid attempts to trim it only resulted in broken clippers and a severe rash. He found a Craigslist ad for yard clearing and […]