Take Out

Her hands shook as she fumbled out her keys, the pizza box wedged between her arm and the doorframe. Once inside, she set down the box, and locked the deadbolt and chain,  checked the windows. She grabbed the leftover wine she’d brought home from Saturday’s disastrous blind date and drank straight from the bottle. She opened the […]


He had one of them names with Zs and Ys that sound different than it’s spelled. Folks called him Malarky.  Mama said he run that store since she was a girl, and probably before that. She never went in there except in greatest emergency. Said his prices was too high. Said he looked at her funny, told […]

The Cure

Any regular reader of the tabloid press will tell you that it’s not a matter of money. It’s not a matter of success. Last year I was paid three million an episode, plus residuals. I had a loft in Tribeca, a stilt-house on Maui and a recently-acquired chateau in the Basque Pyrenees. I had a stack of scripts […]

Serpiente Oculta

The only reason he agreed to meet me, he said, was that his life was over. Estoy muerto pero no me acuesto, was how he put it. I am dead but I won’t lie down. I sat on a  bench in the Bosque de Chapultepec, just outside the castle, the location  texted to my phone an hour […]

A Breezer’s Yarn

Me and Red tramped all over. The Apple Butter Route to the big G, the BN down south to the Bitter Biscuit line. Couple of boxcar Willies such as you’d see about anywheres. I met him when I was just sixteen, run away from the Oklahoma dirt farm where Pap would take out his meanness on whatever was […]

Beannachd Dia Dhuit

Thomas. Aye, Thomas, never Tommy or Tom. Thomas would take insult from anything. A raised eyebrow, a sloshed pint that wet his sleeve, an ill-timed cough. Once he started to fight, there was naught anyone could do. Thomas would not stop, no matter how many times he was knocked down, and that was many. Though wiry, he was […]


I’m sure you saw the newsreels. The whole damn country watched ’em. Hundred-foot tall ape climbs the Empire State clutching a dame in his sweaty mitt, swatting down the Army’s planes like they was flies. Oh, they got him all right, and then come the intellectuals from the college wanting to study him, the reporters looking for a […]

Ano Domini

When Uncle Forbes came to dinner, his invariable subject was death. Death, in its infinite varieties. Death by misfortune was a favorite, as was death by misadventure, death from disease, death most foul, death expected, and death unexpected. With Uncle Forbes, the topic was inexhaustible. When other conversation would spring up about something other than death– how a certain function was […]


Max always came in around three, a folded New York Times  in his pocket. I’d have his drink ready before he sat down at the bar. Max dressed like a college professor, tweed jacket and sweater vest. He always sat on the same stool. Midway through his second drink he’d ask for the dictionary. We’d spend the afternoon working together  through the crossword puzzle. […]

Bad Bargain

It was the sort of thing you might see in a comedy: the husband, slightly daft, is taken advantage of by a sharper who sells him a bit of beachfront property in a prime location for what seems to be an impossibly low price, especially for more than three thousand square feet with an ocean […]