Rite of Passage

Estéban loafed in the entryway, clearly nervous. “You’ll do great,” I said. “Besides, what’s the worst that can happen?” He gave a wry smile. We both knew the worst all too well. Olivér came out of the back carrying two of the loose jackets he favored for working. “You ready?” he said, handing one to […]

A Call to the Stasi

“This is Hauptmann Shulz.” “Guten Tag, Hauptmann. I would like to make a report.” “Go ahead.” “It is about Herr Nordmeyer of Bänschstraße 33, apartment 12.” “Yes? What about him?” “Well, he is constantly receiving visitors in his apartment. Usually women. Many of them are from the west.” “And?” “I believe he is planning to […]

The Descendants

Everyone named Christian on this island descended from the same two bastard boys, Charles and Thursday. There are hundreds of us now, spread as far as Australia and the States. When we recount the history, we agree Fletcher Christian seized the Bounty from Bligh and sailed it to Pitcairn, that he brought along the two […]

إن شاء الله‎‎

Abu bin Dasha sat cross-legged in the center of the gorgeous carpet. The fabric walls of his tent were affixed in such a way as to catch the slightest waft of breeze, should one appear. The desert was capricious with breezes and everything else. He opened a carved sandalwood box and took out a pinch […]

Estos Días Van Despacio

Hector wipes his hands on his shirt before turning his newspaper page so as not to stain it with sweat. He is used to the heat. Not so his nephew Martín, softened by the air conditioning in his mother’s apartment.  “Doesn’t this place have any customers, Uncle?” he complains. “Some,” says Hector, not looking up. “Not […]

Arena

Windi leaned against the bar, sipped her ginger ale with a straw so as not to smear her fantastic lipstick. Her eyes coasted over the empty black vinyl booths, the vacant luminous disco floor blinking its random pattern, the polished brass pole.  Under the music she could hear the the throb of jackhammers shattering the […]

Privilege

I walked past the War Cemetery every day on my way to work, but it was years before I noticed him. A tiny old man dressed in khaki, kneeling on hands and knees. Always khaki, always kneeling, every day. Some days I didn’t see him at first, but he was there, kneeling among the gravestones, perhaps hidden […]

Lottery

Our moms had been best friends since kindergarten. They got married on the same day, a double wedding. Both got pregnant on their wedding night. Ralph’s  birthday was August fifth, mine August eleventh. Next door neighbors, closer than any brothers. As kids, we loved the war movies, especially the John Wayne ones. The Flying Tigers. They Were Expendable, Sands […]

Two Worlds

“You entirely create your reality. It is only by complicit agreement that the world  as you understand it exists, your shared human beliefs giving it shape and substance. It is not that the tree falling in the forest makes no noise if nobody is there to hear it; it is that without a hearer, the tree itself cannot be.” […]

Hael Waters

Algar worked his shoulder. The wound was painful, but the bleeding had slowed.  With some difficulty  he shucked off his woolen jerkin. He took a deep breath, uttered a prayer and waded into the haelwaters. The cold was stunning, but he braced himself and went to the center of the pool.  The boil of the falls fell fierce […]