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…

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…

Today It Ends

I smoke a cigarette as I walk along the Quai Saint-André, cupping it in my hand. I have always smoked this way.  Done everything this way, really. Concealment. I watch a grain barge chugging up the St. Lawrence churning brown froth as it passes. I flick the butt into the river and turn back toward…

Kiss Me, Hardy

Two seamen carried Lord Nelson down through the smoke to the cockpit with infinite care, Captain Hardy following close behind. The buckle of Hardy’s shoe clattered against the deck as he walked, severed by a splinter blasted from the taffrail by the Redoutable’s broadside. In the muffled din of the cockpit, Nelson offered a thin smile.…