Last Respects

Gino walks through the dining room, smoothing tablecloths, straightening chairs, lining up silverware. He picks up a wineglass and holds it to the light. Spotless. In fact, the entire place is spotless, the staff having stayed late to make sure their restaurant will be at its best for this, its last day. Gino walks to…

Guys Like Him

“I wasn’t sure you’d come.” “You kidding? My curiosity is killing me.” “I just thought that after what he did. To you, I mean.” “And a whole lot of other women. Yeah, well. I’m over it. Getting over it, anyway. Maybe this will help.” “The detective told me that nobody’s been in here since he…

Before the Storm

After the emergency broadcast, he got busy, talking the whole time. “My great-grandfather was a whaler,” he said as he slid a heavy-duty cable over the bollard, cranking the capstan to draw the hull tight against the fenders. “He wrote about rounding the horn down by the roaring forties.” He tightened down the hatch battens. …

The Grim Journal

Saturday, September 26 The first of the leaves falling. It’s a month now since they took Molly to the hospital.  I often catch myself unconsciously weeping.   Wednesday, November 4 Frost came early this year. When the electricity is on I try to warm myself. There’s the gas range, but the ration box is late…

Hunkering

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…

Reflections

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…