Carry On

Luz stood in the foyer with her eyes closed, breathing the old smells, corn and beans and singed chiles, beer and smoke and sweat. She smiled, remembering how Oscar had kept it a secret while he lined up the loans, how he’d led her in blindfolded. It had been an empty room then, not much […]

God’s Will Be

And just as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. Dwight raised his head and looked around. Everything was broken and splintered as far as the eye could see. Tufts of insulation hung in the still air like so much snow. The church had vanished, the bare foundation and its few reaching fingers of twisted […]

That’s It

Some kind of Buick, left in a stream. It used to be somebody’s dream. -Adrian Belew Chandury walked from the office to the his aged Honda and propped the broken hatch with his shoulder while he set the box beside the others. He let the hatch drop and stretched his sore back. The motel looked […]

Hart’s Cove

The drone of the airplane seeped into my dream. I bolted awake and smacked my head on the branches of my makeshift lean-to. The pain in my leg roared through me, a blinding streak of red that fogged my vision for a second. But the plane was real. I gritted my teeth and started to […]

Euston Station, September 1940

“It will only be for a few weeks,” she told them, raising her voice over the wails of the other children. “Be brave for Mummy.” “And Daddy too,” said Christiana. Maude looked at her daughter as though for the first time, the blue coat buttoned up as though it was already winter, the way she […]

The New King Shango

Ndugu studies his watch, the first he has ever owned. Real gold, the man told him, holding up a magnifier so Ndugu could verify the truth of his statement. A Rolex, no less, and only thirty dollars. A day’s wages, but Ndugu’s room and meals were provided by his cousin, so he reached into his […]

Today It Ends

I smoke a cigarette as I walk along the Quai Saint-André, cupping it in my hand. I have always smoked this way.  Done everything this way, really. Concealment. I watch a grain barge chugging up the St. Lawrence churning brown froth as it passes. I flick the butt into the river and turn back toward […]


Dominick pushed himself back from the table, sighing like a leaky tire. Eating was no longer the comfort it once was, the solace gone. He’d grown up lean and hungry, fifth of seven children, hand-me-downs and half-empty bowls. He had gone to war and shot at the enemy and maybe even killed them, seen friends […]

Las Vegas Airport 3AM

New York is the “city that never sleeps,” but for genuine insomnia you can’t top Las Vegas. I stroll though the airport at 3AM after eighteen hours of hell in O’Hare. The place is sprawling, with garish islands of slot machines strategically placed to shake out the nickels of passersby. It’s there I see her, […]

Kitchen Vignette

Dick and Mike sit at the kitchen table playing two-handed rummy. Dick is drinking whiskey. Mike is drinking beer. He grunts every so often when he lays down his cards, but other than that they aren’t talking. The phone rings, making all of us jump. Margaret goes to the wall and picks up the receiver. […]