Non-Custodial

Have you ever sat in one place and watched it get dark? By that I mean have you sat alone in one place without moving or speaking, staring at a boat or a building or a stadium across the water while the shadows deepen and swell up into the sky until everything turns blue-black? A chill breeze across the […]

No Longer a Child

“I wish they could come in, Mommy. Can you please open it?  Just this once?” He used his most persuasive tones, dulcet and utterly innocent. For the hundredth time she told him why the window must stay locked, pointed out what had happened last time. “But I was so young then, Mommy. A child. I’m all grown up now.” […]

The Corporal and the Corporal’s Mother

“And how is the life of my camp guard?” Trudi asked, ladling his plate full of spätzel in thick gravy. “Have they seen fit to promote you?” He grimaced, touched the unadorned shoulder tab of his tunic. “Do you see any pips, Mother? Any gold braid? No, you don’t. I am a gefreiter still and always. There is […]

Liber Somnium

“Use this with caution,” the bookseller warned. He did not like this woman, but business was business. “I’ll use it however I like. I bought the damn thing. It’s mine now.” She reached for the door handle. The bookseller shrugged and turned back to his work. “Wait a minute,” she said. “Where are the words?” […]

Aftermath

“I assure you, sir. The hotel will do everything in its power to insure that this matter stays private.” “I certainly hope so.” “It’s just that the reporters are already in the lobby. And down in the parking garage. There’s no way we can get you past them unseen.” “Don’t you people have a service […]

Cleaved Together

How do you remove every trace? he thought, carrying another box of her junk to the truck and dumping it in. When they had gotten married, the preacher made a big deal of using the word cleave. He said that married people cleaved to each other, that if they broke apart it was like ripping a piece of wood that […]

Holdout

At first, I didn’t even know about it. I don’t have a TV or listen to the radio. I guess I knew when I saw the first cars going past, roofs piled high with bundles and boxes. Sure, I knew the river was up, but it’s been up before. No need to panic. Sheriff came by […]

Same Old Same Old

Last thing I remember it was somebody’s birthday. I woke up at five AM to the sound of church bells somewhere close by, opened my eyes against the familiar pain and was unable to recognize a single thing about the living room in which I lay. I heaved myself up off the couch, grateful that […]

Her House

The entrance hall hasn’t been used since Doug was killed in Vietnam, the boxes that crowd the narrow space crammed with paper and old clothes and God knows what else. In the kitchen, four refrigerators, two so overstuffed that the doors are bungeed closed, cereal boxes, rotten fruit, stale Walmart muffins in the 30-pack, gallons of milk […]