Swimming Upstream

As Mahala walked into the interview, she ran her tongue over her unbrushed teeth and thought shit. Everything had gone wrong from the start. The midnight power outage that reset the clocks and caused her to oversleep, the Google directions to the wrong building, the newly-discovered fact she was wearing mismatched shoes. Close but no […]

Let’s Get Out Of Here

Crouching, she tried to look out the grime-encrusted window. “You think he saw us?” “Doubtful. Besides, people come here all the time.” “So you keep saying.” “Let’s walk around.” Their feet crunched the rubble that littered the floor, motes of dust hanging in the still air as they moved through the vast room. Long tables […]

Hands Around The Circle

The tea was laid out, the sandwiches made with Arnold’s Brick Oven crustless  bread. Salmon spread from Klein’s, Cracker Barrel cheese and pimento.  Gladys had mentioned Girl Scout cookies, so Ethel had not laid out dessert, though she had plenty of reserves. Hydrox, marshmallow creams, Chips Ahoy. The cars began to arrive around 2, the […]

Pomp

In essence, it was a royal journey through the Carniolan estates so His Majesty might receive the hereditary homage in person. Simple enough, but Emperor Leopold placed great value in pomp. Nothing less than three brigades of horse guards in full turn-out, fifteen gilt carriages to carry what amounted to his entire court, dozens of […]

Exodus

Tante Sarah was having none of it. To the Via Dolorosa she said “it looks like Spain.” To the Wailing Wall she said “I’ve seen it on the television. I think George Bush kissed it. Feh.” “Was it a bad idea to being her here?” Rachel asked her husband. Moishe shrugged. “She’ll get used to […]

Five to Four

George stood at his mother’s door and composed his expression. For years now the mere mention of Arlington was apt to send her into fits, and her health had not been good. She could read his face like a headline. Still, this was good news––of a sort. He tapped and entered. She sat upright in […]

The Lost

“This store like one of those charm bracelets,” she said, “only the chain is broken.” “Uh huh.” He was inspecting a framed set of trout flies, each with its  name neatly inked below it. Yellow Stone Fly. Beetle Bug Fly. She plucked a photograph from a basket marked 2 for 50 cent. A man and a […]

Sükhbaatar Well Met

“Have you ever seen such a horseman?” Yanjmaa had not. Certainly she had seen great riders, even a Mongol cavalryman famous for throwing a dagger and skewering a running rabbit as he galloped past,  reigning in and bending in the saddle to retrieve both weapon and quarry in one quick motion. But she had never […]

Principles

“I’m a pacifist,” he’d told Eddie Arnold, a foot taller and two grades ahead of him. “So that means you won’t fight back if I hit you?” “Violence doesn’t solve anything,” he’d said. “It’s barbaric.” “What did you call me?” said Eddie, who immediately whipped him two hard blows in the face that knocked him […]