Stories

Scattered like Desert Sand

Here in this hot-as-hell Humvee, middle of a convoy traversing a warren of nameless Iraqi streets dissolving into sand behind a hard wind-driven wall of desert dust.

We May Be Lost, but We’re Making Good Time

Bonnie Beth never got up early enough to scramble eggs, fry a pancake, or pour Wheaties, so Kindred lifted a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee from the jar into the maw beneath his mustache and washed it down with a Red Bull.

The World We Know

Once I imagined you might build a life from durable and lasting materials.

The Sitters

Lena had named her girls Fluffy, Mittens, Boots, and Mopsy, but when baby number five turned out to be a boy, she didn’t—as we all expected—call him Rocky, Rusty, Spike, or Snuggles.

The Things We Love

Prior to her mother moving in with her, Jen told Eileen, “I have everything I need so bring the minimum.” It was Jen’s way of telling her elderly mother, when you move into my home you will be a guest. This hadn’t stopped Eileen from renting a moving truck, which backed onto Jen’s driveway on...

The Night-Heron

It’s a little before six in Denver on a Thursday morning in April. People are starting their cars, including a diesel truck Disability Dave next door has to let idle for twenty minutes.

A Simple Life

My wife and I moved upstate when we retired from our former jobs: I from newspaper reporting on poor people’s crimes, and she from event planning for rich people’s weddings.

Snake River Story

In the shade of a tall locust in Pioneer Park, sharing a blanket, Deena Lee was on her feet performing a stretch and Montgomery Bolt was on his back, in plaid Bermuda shorts, reading a book.

Arctic Fox

Imagine you were born in a box. A big box, you can walk around in it, you have food and whatever. That’s not the point. You grow up in this box.

The Case against Allen Creech (Exhibits A – F)

The bathroom window opposite his slammed shut. Allen glanced up just in time to see the whiteness of her flesh before the curtains closed. He resumed his work on the sill, scraping up layers of toxic paint.

Houses

When her father died, the house was like a crystal in the hillside. Its windows gleamed against the sun rising out of the clouds, off the sea, and there were other houses, larger, more austere, with furnishings and carpets looking into the depth of that round furnace coming up as though it had wings, out...

Citizens of the Real World

The woods spat Thomas into a clearing, and there they were: four men, one standing on the frozen lake, the others huddled around a smoking grill. Muffled reggaeton sounded from a portable radio buried halfway in the snow, antenna gamely perked.