An American God

Every fifteen February we come down to Tanna for John Frum’s Day. Chief Isaac, he give us the GIs we all wear, each one with a flag. My woman Wanda at the time, she embroider the flags on here, as you see. These rifle we make ourself from the bamboo, except for Chief Isaac. Chief […]

Bloody Hell

Corporal Cobbs rode into the camp, his mare lathered by the hard going. Sergeant Collinsworth stood to unlatch the gate. He nodded as Cobbs led in the long column of prisoners, the other men of the platoon riding alongside the ragged group like drovers, calling out to keep them moving. Cobbs dismounted and limped over. […]

They’re All Just Boys

McRoy rapped the bedstead with his cosh. “Rouse up, Jens. New lot’s arrived.” Jens, never a sprightly waker, emerged from his sleep like a man wading ashore. He rubbed his eyes. “What o’clock?” McRoy tugged out his watch and flipped it open. “Half six. Royal Navy starts early.” They walked to the quay where a […]

The Other Cheek

Lannie told me a story that happened some weeks after the tragedy. That’s what Lannie called it. The tragedy, as though it was some kind of sad movie instead of a mob of white people killing Negroes in the streets, burning down our homes and businesses. Anyway, Lannie and his momma were shopping for groceries […]

Finalmente Azarado

Nicote sat with his back against the dank stone, arms and legs weighed down by the immense chains bolted to his ankles and wrists. Ribeiro sat across fom him, similarly bound, his head drooping. Nicote cleared his throat grinned, feeling the gap where the guard’s spear-butt had knocked out his front tooth. “Another tight spot, […]

Father Cares

It was just after eleven when the bell began tolling. The loudspeakers played a recording from the San Francisco Temple days, the whole church singing Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land Tell ole Pharoah to let my people go while Father’s voice, urgent yet  calm, said the words I’d come to dread these […]

Pomp

In essence, it was a royal journey through the Carniolan estates so His Majesty might receive the hereditary homage in person. Simple enough, but Emperor Leopold placed great value in pomp. Nothing less than three brigades of horse guards in full turn-out, fifteen gilt carriages to carry what amounted to his entire court, dozens of […]

Meet the New Boss

Marshal Gororov  sat behind the vast desk. He stirred his tea with vigor.  The cup was a Russian one, clear glass in an elegant silver holder. Gororov  held up the glass, pointing at the swirling sugar cube with his teaspoon. “You see how it it does not dissolve?” he said. Bergmanis was unused to the […]

Dog of a Mutineer

Pricket sat in his cabin and stared again at his chart. Clearly there was no Northwest Passage and never had been. They’d been embayed in ice these last six months, starving and riddled with scurvy and flux. With the slow coming of spring they had a chance to take leave of this damnable wasteland, sail […]

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 […]