What Happened to Your Face?

I’d looked forward to the outdoor yoga class in the park through the entire winter, so I didn’t feel bad about taking the second donut, saying “why not?” to the dessert tray. I was at my heaviest weight, but  kept myself from usual despondency  by visualizing  a midsummer me, lithe and fit from yoga classes and sensible […]

The Second Body

A bunch of us came out. Heck, practically the whole town. We didn’t have no particular business there. Just something to do. Sheriff’s men were there, along with some state troopers. They had got the whole marsh cordoned off with that crime scene tape you see on TV. By the time we got there, they […]


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. […]

Four Damn Days

Raymie was with me until he saw a run-boat set adrift in the crest, jumped out and fetched it in. He offered me a spot, but I trusted him less than the cops who told me to evacuate. He took most of my water and all of my food, piled it into that boat until it was almost under. I couldn’t […]

Third Class Passage

Perhaps it was the long despair of seasickness that kept him to his bunk as the Carpathia opened New York Harbor. Perhaps it was fear. He never spoke of it, the long nights of silently crying into his blanket as remorse overtook him, the longer days when he could not sleep and was left to wander the vast, anonymous […]

A Pyrenean Idyll

Aitor shook his stick at  the BMW crawling its way up the steep road to Bayonne. “Fucking Germans,” he spat. “In a hurry to get to their hotel,  no doubt. Probably called ahead to have whores waiting for them.” “Daddy!”  said Eguzkiñe, pretending to be shocked. “It’s true, darling girl. All Germans are horny as goats. That’s why we […]

American Express

The boy had disappeared now, his promised bargain an obvious sham. How could I be so stupid?  she thought. Then, that should be my mantra. She tightened the strap on her purse and tugged it around so it lay flat on her belly. She imagined this would be how a mother might protect a newborn. Or perhaps […]

Hard, Cold

Old John was safe buried by the time winter fell full, thank God. The bone-break cold came first, terrible weeks of it, the ground iron hard before the first snows came. At first we thought to conserve our coal and built niggardly fires you could snuff with one hand, but Maisie said we would run […]

John Lost Returns

When he first left England he was a young man with no particular destination. He found himself months later in the hills of Cambodia, squatting by a cook fire and sharing millet from a single bowl with three strangers, the act of eating their only common language. His name was acquired perhaps in Tibet or Nepal. By this time, […]

I Still Haven’t Told Her

I hadn’t yet gotten around to telling her when Janie melted down and had to be taken home. I figured the Saturday Market would be a safe place to break the news, being a public place and all. Bringing Janie along made it a real family affair. Right. We walked around the stalls drinking coffee from paper cups. […]