Dear Kid,

I couldn’t help but look at the calendar as the day approached. Three more days. Two more days.  Though only  ten, she felt it too. Only once did she ask me why she had to go, why she couldn’t live with me. The question floated over my sea of bitter resentment me like a scrap […]


I says to him, heck Bill, why not stay right here?  I mean it ain’t like you can open regular, not with these national guards and all. And we can’t go home. He says, where do we all sleep? That ain’t a problem, I says. I got about nine thousand square feet of foam panels […]

Ruse Astray

“Only a couple days, Chinhua. It’s just play-acting.” She bit her lip, sorry she’d answered the ad in the South China Morning Post. “Wouldn’t it be easier to just tell them?” He paled. “My parents are very traditional. Gay is not a thing they would ever understand.” She sighed, then took the notepad he held out. It […]


Abdulla studies himself in the mirror, turns this way and that, smooths his coat. The mirror was his mother’s pride, said to come from a famous Tel Aviv department store, a seven-foot slab of silvered glass in a gilded frame. Abdulla remembers that it took four men to bring it up the stairs to her […]

Ironic, or Apt

Fifty-seven years of stagecraft. Miller, Albee, Mamet, Moliere. And Shakespeare. Troilus, Henry IV, Oberon,  Macbeth. Stunned at his pale face hanging in the mirror as he wiped the Ben Nye from his eyes with cold cream. This he could still do without thought. Ironic, or maybe apt. He closed his eyes again, tried to summon […]

Terrors Shall Drive Him

Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.  -Job 18:11 When it gets dark I begin to worry in earnest. A quick trip to the shopping center usually takes all of two hours, but it’s now closer to six. For the tenth time I check to see my […]

Led to the Noose in Diapers

I was in town and arranged to meet him for tea. He looked older. We all did. He rose to shake my hand. “Haven’t seen you since Toyko,” he said with a trace of a smile. I’d been one of those tasked with the delivery system. His job was the chemistry, Others in the group […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]