About Salvation

“Should be a good turnout, Father. With the snow.” Father Loris squinted up through the window at the swirling flakes. A gust of wind rattled the glass. “Better add more water to the soup, then.” Sister Claire placed the bucket in the sink and turned the tap. “What I mean,” she shouted over the thundering…

The Fortunate

“Explain it again,” she said, looking up at me with those pale green eyes unique to our family. “Please.” “The physician and the surgeon will make me comfortable first.” “How will they do that?” I smiled. “They have special physic. After this, they will take me into the operating theater where they will take out…

The Vigil Over

The vigil over, I stood beneath the streetlight and thought of what I’d witnessed inside. Each of us weaves a net of our experience and gleaned information, of our opinions, our likes and dislikes. We cast this net throughout our world, trapping only that which the net will hold. Everything else slips through, and we,…

Ned Ludd’s Invisible Army

Quite a crowd of us had gathered by the massive front door when it was swung open by a grinning James Mulroy. Though just fifteen, he had a mind as spry and quick as a young fox and thus was our leader “Remember, only the stocking frames,” he said. “It’s symbolic, like.” We jumbled into…

Afterlife

October 28, 1906 Remanded into custody, State Facility at Cedar Grove: one Johann Blück, clockmaker of Paterson, New Jersey. Johann’s mania became unbearable to his wife. He would stay in his workshop day and night, neither eating nor sleeping. When asked why he was working so hard, Johann would jabber hysterically or mutter incoherently, his…

Blaze

I went outside and built a bonfire in the yard. We passed a bottle of bourbon around. Soon all the wood was used up. I got the chairs off the porch and threw them in. When they were gone, I grabbed anything that would burn––my daughter’s wagon, rakes and shovels, a bag of bark dust.…

Crux

Gulder waded through the muck and swatted at the spit of flies hovering around his face. New Netherland. Such a grandiose name for this shabby place, but that was Stuyvesant all over. Pompous and self-important, quick to take insult, and––above all––immensely ambitious, Stuyvesant’s first action upon landing was to read the proclamation declaring himself Director-General…

Pictures

When her children were young she had taken scores Instamatic snapshots. In these photographs, they seemed to have been frozen by the flesh-bleaching flashbulb, stunned faces and red glowing eyes making them look like newly spawned demons. She’d kept these photos in a box in her closet. One day she carried the box to the…