Carry On

Luz stood in the foyer with her eyes closed, breathing the old smells, corn and beans and singed chiles, beer and smoke and sweat. She smiled, remembering how Oscar had kept it a secret while he lined up the loans, how he’d led her in blindfolded. It had been an empty room then, not much…

The Swimmer

Jammy Doggs stepped into sea and waded out, the pull of the waves sweet against his legs. He bent to feel the water between his fingers, test the temperature against the eighty years of sea wisdom he held in his heart. The gentle fog rolled across the waves, cool and lovely. The white sand shone…

God’s Will Be

And just as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. Dwight raised his head and looked around. Everything was broken and splintered as far as the eye could see. Tufts of insulation hung in the still air like so much snow. The church had vanished, the bare foundation and its few reaching fingers of twisted…

That’s It

Some kind of Buick, left in a stream. It used to be somebody’s dream. -Adrian Belew Chandury walked from the office to the his aged Honda and propped the broken hatch with his shoulder while he set the box beside the others. He let the hatch drop and stretched his sore back. The motel looked…

Cash Only

The woman smiled up from the table, her mouth a wonder of dentistry. “Welcome,” she said. “Remember, cash only.” The house was modest, yet overfull. Every item bore a small yellow tag with its price. I stood in the living room in front of an empty china cabinet, its contents arrayed on the table behind…

Hart’s Cove

The drone of the airplane seeped into my dream. I bolted awake and smacked my head on the branches of my makeshift lean-to. The pain in my leg roared through me, a blinding streak of red that fogged my vision for a second. But the plane was real. I gritted my teeth and started to…

Shangri-La

“You’ve had an accident.” The voice was soft, with an accent Lloyds couln’t place.  He tried to open his eyes and saw nothing. “We bandaged your head,” the voice said. “I’m afraid it leaves your eyes covered. It’s temporary.” Lloyds opened his mouth to speak, but this too proved impossible. “Oh, so sorry,” said the…

Lifeblood

When my family came to the river country there were almost no whites, and damned few Abbos. First it was the smallpox, killing eight out of ten, then the long dry which turned the Murray into a road of of puddles with grain skiffs sunk to the scuppers in the deep red mud. My great-granddad…