Ära Hõiska Enne Õhtut

Paavo hurried, knowing his uncle Hillar was a stickler for punctuality. Uncle Hillar stood beneath the flag, the thermos tucked beneath his arm as always.  And as always, he tapped his watch with his finger. “Oh, come on,” said Paavo. “I bet it’s not even two minutes.” Hillar shook his head.  “On time is on time, and anything after […]

Probable Cause

Darius squinted against the glare of headlights bouncing off the rear-view. The man tapped a heavy flashlight against the driver-side window. Darius rolled it down. “Officer?” he said, trying to keep the fear from his voice. “Hell boy,” said the man behind the flashlight. “I’m the sheriff. You blind?” “My apologies, Sheriff.” “This sure is […]

Used To Be Skywater

Saturdays we got up even earlier so as to get the chores done before setting out. If Carl’d stayed sober Friday night, then the delivery would be ready. That hadn’t been the case for months. It was just getting light when I got to the still. Jody was already there, wrapping the mason jars in […]

Immediate and Long-Term Effects

Disbelief at first. Then anger, outrage. How could somebody do this? What kind of person? Then fear. What if I’d been home? What if they come back? A sense of violation. I didn’t know this person. They left traces, like an opened can of Coke that I didn’t know I had. Maybe it was from […]

8:08 Churchgate Slow Train

Every weekday I take the 8:08 Churchgate slow train from platform number two in Borivali. At 8:40 I get off the train at Mahalaxmi. At 8:45,  bus number 154 arrives and I arrive at my office between 8:56 and 9:04. There have been four occasions in the past twenty years when I was late because […]

Pictures

When her children were young she had taken scores Instamatic snapshots. In these photographs, they seemed to have been frozen by the flesh-bleaching flashbulb, stunned faces and red glowing eyes making them look like newly spawned demons. She’d kept these photos in a box in her closet. One day she carried the box to the […]

Exile

Longwood House, the only residence on the island large enough to accommodate the Imperial Retinue, has proved unsuitable. Rats scuttle along the hallways with impunity, the acrid tang of their urine and copious droppings in every room. Ever the soldier, he seems oblivious to such discomforts, instead nursing a private resentment because Governor Lowe refuses […]

The End Of Something

He stood in the sun listening to the train as it pulled away, its busy huffing inconsequential and even ludicrous when considered against all this landscape. It stretched for miles, dusty under an immense sky, the wrinkled hills seeming to waver in the hot air. He stared at the platform, where, moments before, her suitcases […]