Waitangi at the Craic

The bar at the Craic is busy most Friday evenings, but when  Waitangi Day falls on the weekend it borders on insane, twenty-four hours of partying. We haul cases of the extra glassware out from the cellar and triple the liquor order. I’d been working straight up since seven AM and was desperate to have a piss.…

The Necessary Permits

The waiting room was much more grand than it had been five years ago. The mayor seemed to take decorating tips from our show. We’d been waiting forty-five minutes before the secretary reappeared. “I am so sorry,” she said, her smile thin below eyes that did not smile at all. “His excellency has had an…

Two Weeks’ Vacation

“Something wrong with the proto-cakes, Michael?” asked June. “You’ve barely touched them.” “I guess I’m too excited, Mommy.” “Well,” she said, smiling. “Even Uninauts need to eat.” She pressed the button for housekeeping. An electric door snicked open and a slim silver android glided out. “See that Michael finishes his breakfast,” she told the robot. “Compliance,” it…

Some Vacation

I lay on face down the cracked tile, near the toilet. Its base was ringed with grime, and I could see what looked like a tuft of pubic hair wadded in the corner. My right eye was swollen shut, but the left one seemed unharmed. I wondered how long before someone found me. The hotel had seemed…

The Monster’s Daughter

The Egypt Air  flight  from LaGuardia was delayed six hours for mechanical trouble, but the real trouble came at customs. The official scanned her passport, held it up against a clipboard. “Excuse me, Miss,” he said, and disappeared through a door. He returned with two soldiers carrying  machine guns. Amaka was led back to a small room…

An Affair of Honor

The grass was heavy with dew as we walked across Phoenix Park, the sky pale with the false dawn. What it would have been like for them? The two black carriages parked beneath the trees, their seconds pacing the grounds as they loaded the pistols and checked the flints. Fitzgerald would have preferred they use small swords. Two…

Malarky’s

He had one of them names with Zs and Ys that sound different than it’s spelled. Folks called him Malarky.  Mama said he run that store since she was a girl, and probably before that. She never went in there except in greatest emergency. Said his prices was too high. Said he looked at her funny, told…

God’s Newest Country

The boy stares into the wake as the keelboat churns slowly up the river, the twin motors groaning in the current. An endless green canopy stretches away on every side, clouds of birds erupting from the trees as the boat passes. He watches the Captain’s broad back as he turns the wheel against the water. Mama…

暴力団

The itching was almost unbearable. The starched Arrow shirt chafed against the  new irizumi tattoos that covered Takahashi from waist to collarbone, the final stage of a five year initiation into the Sumiyoshi-Kai family of Yakuza. The thought of his four thousand years of Samurai lineage did little to relieve his discomfort, and he longed for his uncle…

Serpiente Oculta

The only reason he agreed to meet me, he said, was that his life was over. Estoy muerto pero no me acuesto, was how he put it. I am dead but I won’t lie down. I sat on a  bench in the Bosque de Chapultepec, just outside the castle, the location  texted to my phone an hour…