How’d Those Cars Get There, Daddy?

  “Mr. Marsh will see you now,” said the pink-haired secretary. I stood first. Hudson took his time, looking particularly hippie-ish amidst all the Texas décor, his tie-dye shirt loose over his belt, long hair over his shoulders. Chip looked ok—a little spaced out from the joint we’d blown in the parking lot, but about…

Lost in the Mall

Stranger Danger was all he could remember. What was the rest of it? It was like some kind of secret code, something about when it was okay to ask a stranger for help. He wasn’t about to start crying again like some little kid. He would be brave this time. He stood on a bench,…

Namesake, Hell

“Enzo!” The boy would not look up from his game. Carbone felt his gorge rising. The guide went on, oblivious. “Craftsmen from Naples and Sicily were brought in special to do the plaster carving. They would fight, so the foreman had to have them work on different floors.” “Enzo’s great grandfather was one of those…

Cha Là Nhà

  When she opened the door of the apartment, Linh did not recognize him, though she did see something familiar in his face. A nice face, she thought. At first she she thought he was another American salesman who had business with her mother. The smells of the restaurant downstairs mixed together with the usual odors…

After the Storm

When I woke, the windows were  translucent  from the dried salt spray. I went downstairs to make coffee. The power was out, but the gas range was working. I was searching for the  kettle when I heard the door. She came in, hair splendidly tousled across her tan, lovely face. “You won’t recognize the beach,”…

The Meaning of Everything

He spoke of tremendous mysteries buried in numbers. “Right under your nose,” he would say. He’d spend an hour on the symbolism etched into the dollar, fill a notepad with calculations of its hidden meanings. He counted everything. Once I found him in the yard counting the needles on a pine tree, convinced the numbers…

It Had to Happen Sometime

She kept right on sweeping, just like it was nothing. Me, I had a harder time. I looked out over where the barn had been, at the orange surveyors’ stakes in the ground. Without meaning to, I let out a long sigh. “People got to live somewhere, Walt,” she said. “Had to happen sometime. Besides,…

Tell Us Again

  Tell us again about the voices. Nothing. I mean, you heard what I said about them. Yes, but we didn’t understand. Perhaps you can clarify? For example, how many are there? Four, five. I don’t know. Male? Female? I don’t know. It’s hard to say. They’re always talking. They never stop talking. Are they…

What To Forgive

This beauty. Her beauty, the beauty of the night, of Barcelona in May. He ran his finger along the rim of the wine glass until it began to chime. “My father will not be moved. I am sorry.” Her eyes glistened, but he saw no tears. Another time he would have said this was because…