She lived at the end of the row of squat stone houses. There were seven of them all told, hulking and sullen, tough as old wood. Dorothy was somewhere in the middle, but the largest of any of them, with a soft woman’s body that belied her tremendous physical strength. She was fond of teasing […]

The Vanished World

Young Nor is not listening. He stares into his phone,  rubbing it with an index finger, the old man notes, the way one might stroke a parrot’s head. Old Nor tips his wicker chair to take advantage of the shade cast by the broad-leaf elephant ear plant that has been next to the doorway for […]

New Record

A small blue Ford stood with all its doors open. A little man in a white shirt and sunglasses stood by with crossed arms, smiling as we approached.  We got in. He stomped on the gas, caroming into the flow of traffic with utter disregard. Joe covered his face with his hands and groaned. The […]

Vigil Part Nine

Germaine opened the door and shook his head. “Really?” I said. “Do you know how long my flight was?” “Sorry, Stephen. Even the doctors thought this was the real thing.” “This makes nine false alarms, Gerry. Nine.” “You didn’t have to come.” “Bullshit. I have to be here. We all do. Who does this? What […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Swimmer

Jammy Doggs stepped into sea and waded out, the pull of the waves sweet against his legs. He bent to feel the water between his fingers, test the temperature against the eighty years of sea wisdom he held in his heart. The gentle fog rolled across the waves, cool and lovely. The white sand shone […]

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 […]

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 […]