Short Stories

(Some stories have been submitted for publication and may not be presently available.)

Sprawl

(Courtesy of Cloves Literary Journal) Every night before the sun goes down, we emerge Zombie-eyed with limp-wristed waves, never making eye contact as we stroll the painstakingly prepackaged and preplanned neatly stacked beige stucco cottages that from space surely look like a field of tombstones thrusting out of swamplands and the remains of alligators and … Continue reading Sprawl

You’ve Got Mail

(Courtesy of Gut Slut Press) You’ve Got Mail We are born preconditioned to embrace the catastrophic. To eagerly crane our heads towards highway wrecks. Pavlovian frothing at the breathless coverage of every plane crash and capsized ferry. Voyeuristic egos encourage guileless eyes to devour the horrific splendor. As a masochist to the marrow, I have … Continue reading You’ve Got Mail

Baptism in Black

(Courtesy of The Adirondack Review) Despite almost dropping him into the water as I carried him on board, the Chief was in good spirits. It was the first time I recalled feeling the Chief in ages. His once formidable frame which was at times my protector or tormentor, was now frail. Bony as a supermarket … Continue reading Baptism in Black

Mother’s Milk

(Longlisted by Reflex Fiction Magazine) ‘Does it hurt much?’ It was like getting stung by a bee; a swarm of bees, over and over, angrily pricking at your skin, stingers darting in and out like tiny daggers until you no longer cared. Eventually you wanted the feeling to linger as you slid along the razor’s … Continue reading Mother’s Milk

Golden Years

(Courtesy of Moss Puppy Magazine) I see the same old man dressed as a sea captain on the side of the road every time Idrive down to the docks. He’s 70 or 80 or 90 but definitely ancient and always spinning spinning spinning asign advertising a local marina that offered guided charters of the wetlands.Impervious … Continue reading Golden Years

Death by Chocolate

(Courtesy of Vocal Media) Bennigan’s arrived in Jake’s hometown with tremendous fanfare during his senior year in high school. For a lower-middle-class family like his, it was a place of wonder. His family rarely went out for dinner; if they did, it was to Roy Roger’s for burgers. (His father was a huge fan of … Continue reading Death by Chocolate

A Brief Note on Carnations

(Winner of the Purple Wall Stories Flash Fiction Contest) I don’t believe carnations are real flowers. I say this as I stare at the melamine-wrapped bouquet slumbering on top of the pile of garbage in the trashcan outside the bar. The reflecting moonlight bathes the flowers in a gaudy opalescent hue further adding to the … Continue reading A Brief Note on Carnations

Maple

(Courtesy of Vocal media) The origin of the Spring Rite of Dropping was unknown. Young Cassandra Ashley listened intently as grandparents spoke with hushed reverence about the tradition which stemmed back to their grandparent’s time, and grandparents before them. What little history that had been recorded, detailed the shire’s fortunes in times of the Rite. … Continue reading Maple

Passing the Torch

(Courtesy of Vocal Media) Every family needs the tie that binds. That event or hobby which brings generations together. For my family, it had always been fishing. We fished for fluke in the bays off the coast of Sandy Hook, New Jersey on a tiny boat with an engine more suited for a moped. The … Continue reading Passing the Torch

Summer Lovin’

(Courtesy of Waterways Magazine) I was 11 years old when Grease came out in 1978. My crush on Olivia Newton-John was immediate and all-consuming. I didn’t know which version of Sandy I loved more; the charming doe-eyed cheerleader who I longed to date, or the leather-clad, bad girl that stirred up feelings I didn’t quite … Continue reading Summer Lovin’

Clementine

(Courtesy of Black Cat Literary Magazine) The patron behind me stood slack-jawed. It was her fault, but I shouldn’t have been triggered so easily.Her words reverberated in my head.“Well now I know what solitary confinement feels like. I’ve had ENOUGH of this lockdown,” shesniffed.“Have you ever taken a shit in front of somebody,” I menaced.I … Continue reading Clementine

Harlan

(Courtesy of Mythic Picnic Magazine/ 3rd Place Micro Fiction Contest Winner) The week before I was remanded to prison, I put my dog Harlan, down. It was as if he knew I was going to be gone longer than the time he had left, and in the noblest act of sacrifice, he forced his organs … Continue reading Harlan

The Boss

(Courtesy of Skyway Journal) Buying a pack of Marlboros for my dad, fifty cents. The dead eyed, pimple-ridden clerk behind the counter doesn’t question me. Nobody cares if I’m 13. Rushing back to the running car, freedom awaited two hours down the blackened asphalt of the Jersey Turnpike. Plink, Plink, Plink, Dimes tossed into toll … Continue reading The Boss

Goodbye Bowie

(Courtesy of Flash Fiction Magazine) Jake lay with his head in my lap as we sat in the back seat. His mom had been driving for nearly four hours. Nobody had slept; we existed in the cobwebby Neverland between slumber and consciousness. “The Man Who Sold the World” played as we took the long drive … Continue reading Goodbye Bowie

Boys of Summer

(Courtesy of Skyways Journal) Shirts of fuchsia and daisy yellow meant to emasculate us Instead becoming our new gang colors worn with pride Old allegiances were forgotten while New beefs were created We wore borrowed equipment Gloves worn with the sweat of ten inmates prior Bats, rationed under the ever wrathful eyes Of guards taking … Continue reading Boys of Summer

Bowling With Lebowski

(Published courtesy of DailyDrunkMagazine) It had absolutely nothing to do with doing something obligatory with my son. It was my weekend for custody, and I truly loved hanging out with him. I missed him every moment of the day he wasn’t around. I recognized I wasn’t going to win any father of the year awards; … Continue reading Bowling With Lebowski

Missed Connections

(Courtesy of Waterways Magazine) Jenny wondered if anyone still bothered to read the Craigslist “Missed Connections” section. It seemed antiquated to her, but it was worth a shot. There had to be better technological options to determine how to connect with someone who she met briefly at the William Chris Vineyard last Saturday. Unfortunately, Jenny … Continue reading Missed Connections

Kings and Pawns

(Courtesy of Secret Attic; winner of Secret Attic Short Fiction Contest) Nobody goes into a pawnshop of their own volition. Massage parlors, check cashing stores, and pawnshops are bastard stepchildren of urban sprawl. Each was a necessary evil, providing unique services against the grain of suburban enlightenment. Seeking them out was akin to lighting a … Continue reading Kings and Pawns

No Day at the Beach

Sharks. A simple answer that spoke volumes. When asked why he didn’t go to the beach, Brody answered, “Sharks.” He watched “Jaws” at an impressionable age. That did it. He could barely swim. He looked like a spider in a blender; arms and legs frantically flailing. It didn’t matter. He wouldn’t go into the water. … Continue reading No Day at the Beach

Danielle’s Balloons

(Courtesy of Bacopa Literary Journal) Passing the bio bags didn’t bother me. Bio bags were used to collect human remains and given to coroners tasked with getting DNA samples to identify the dead. We had dozens of body bags that were of no use; the largest identifiable piece I found was part of a foot … Continue reading Danielle’s Balloons

Release

(Featured in Purplewallstories.com; nominated for Pushcart Prize) (WARNING: Contains adult content and themes) Same visceral reaction, regardless of the city. Pavlovian response to the jarring neon “Open” sign flashing against blacked-out windows. “Heavenly Delight Spa.” “Eastern Happiness Massage.”   New York had whole districts competing to jerk you off. The thrill was in the hunt in … Continue reading Release

“Papa’s” Typewriter

(Courtesy of the South 85 Journal; 2020 Julia Peterkin Flash Fiction Award Finalist) Beggars can’t be choosers. It’s not like they are throwing jobs at ex-cons. Excuse me. A justice impaired individual. I didn’t give a shit what they called me. I just knew I needed a job to keep my probation officer off my … Continue reading “Papa’s” Typewriter