The Winter Father

Her mittened hand felt small and cold in his.  Even though the wool hat hid her face he knew she was crying. “Two more times around, honey,” he said, voice almost obscenely cheerful. “Then we can go get some cocoa.” Twice more they made their laborious way around, her ankles splaying birdlike despite the heavy […]

Captains All

The Host stood at the entrance and surveyed his guests with a mixture of amusement and satisfaction. Aside from their gender, the men seated around the long cherrywood table had certain things in common. Each was one of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in the world, and each was an American. They might well […]

Legacy of Ash

She folded the funeral shawl and set it between sheets of peeled cedar to protect the peerless black cashmere from moths, She thought how the smell of cedar had come to mingle in her mind with the tastes of loss and grief. Her brother, her mother, her husband, and now David. From the freezer she […]

Bloody Hell

Corporal Cobbs rode into the camp, his mare lathered by the hard going. Sergeant Collinsworth stood to unlatch the gate. He nodded as Cobbs led in the long column of prisoners, the other men of the platoon riding alongside the ragged group like drovers, calling out to keep them moving. Cobbs dismounted and limped over. […]

Still More Utopia

The arboretum was his gift to her, a sanctuary from the life-crushing city beneath. “You deserve Utopia,” knowing full well she had not read, in fact would never read, the book for which such impossible places are named. So it was not surprising she took it for granted, as she had the fox cubs, the […]

Remember

The night of Solstice, when the sky comes down to the ground and turns the world to snow, the old man gathers his grandchildren around the coal stove as the wind whistles and moans outside. “The branches around us are hung with ghosts,” he croaks, the shadow of his hands sliding over the stone walls […]

The New Economy

We’d bought the Caravan two years before Clark was supposed to retire. “We’ll finally get to see this great country of ours,” we told each other. Three months before the big day, Clark was summoned to an office where sat his new supervisor, a Harvard MBA who’d been part of the team that had come […]

Lad

We had what they called a hook stop like you don’t see these days. That’s where a freight slows down just enough  so the brakeman can toss out a mail sack, then  lean way out to hook the outgoing sack off a  pole. Sometimes it’d be weeks before we had enough mail to justify an […]

The Adversary

The Lord said to the Adversary, “Where have you been?” The Adversary answered the Lord, “I have been roaming all over the earth.” -Job 1:7 Sol got up from his desk and walked to the chessboard in the corner of his cluttered office. He enjoyed playing chess by mail, having the time to consider all […]