Stories & Snippets I've Written

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An old Japanese man dressed in a wool sweater and baggy trousers sits on the porch of a small studio apartment, a gray striped tabby cat seated behind him. Nakata: Do you want a bite of my egg sandwich? Cat: … Continue reading

Glimmer

Sunlight filters through the bedroom window, raining down like soft God kisses, tracing a golden outline along the edge of his russet-coffee curls, slipping over the contours of a sharp-angled jaw line, spreading like lover’s fingers over tanned, broad, shoulders … Continue reading

Where the Wild Pines Grow {A Bigger Picture Moment}

They come up twisted and gnarled, with boles of many-fingered fibers roping in braids revolving around center and asserting themselves upward in splayed strokes, and embed flinders in the hands that dare caress. Needle leaves of unfolded desperation shoot out … Continue reading

Written In The Margin

This short piece of fiction comes from a Writing Circle session. Due to popular demand, the group wrote in the genre of horror/thriller/suspense. Totally out of all of our comfort zones! What follows is what I wrote for the session, … Continue reading

Embrace

“’Member that time we went swimming with them girls up from the North Shore? You and me stripped down to our bare ass and that one girl – Mary Ann, Mary Lynn something – almost did too, except ol’ Mr. Wickman saw us and chased us on up out of the lake with that fucking…fucking blowtorch.”

“Mmph.” Snap grunted with a grimace. If he remembered correctly, Mary Lynn was wearing a particularly enticing lace top he’d been real interested to see her get out of. He wanted to catch Joe’s eye with a wink, but he couldn’t open his own just yet. Continue reading

The Gelaterie

The bell twinkled like a dance of faerie lights as she pushed open the door to the gelaterie, the cool shop interior a striking contrast against the warm night air. Like the display of white doves hanging outside the door, and the hand-written menu, the bell imparted an inviting welcome. Mrs. Shu, the gelaterie’s owner, had a keen eye for such details. Elizabeth supposed that was why she preferred this little shop to the larger market down the street.

Mrs. Shu grinned in greeting and shuffled in padded slippers toward the front. “Hello, Miss Keane,” she said. She had been speaking English for more years than Elizabeth had lived, but she had never been able to pronounce ‘Mrs.’ properly. “How are you today? Is Charlie feeling better?”

“Oh. Yes, Mrs. Shu. He got over that nasty flu and was back in school this morning.”

The old woman nodded, warming a metal ice cream scoop in an ancient painted bowl – cobalt blue, with a delicate gold trim and rust red roses – full of heated water.

“How is Mr. Shu?” asked Elizabeth, hitching her mustard yellow bag up her shoulder. It was perpetually slipping off.

“Oh, same-same. His back, you know. It ails him.” She said this every day, as if to complain, but Elizabeth knew the comfort of the predictable. Mrs. Shu could not be unhappy or overly worried; her wrinkles were all in the right places, her silver-gray bun always loose, yet neat.

She pulled out three paper cups, lined them up on the counter, and opened the gelato case. “Let me see. Coconut lime, hazelnut, and Oreo again?”

Elizabeth laughed as she always did. Mrs. Shu knew her family’s preferences: sweet-tart for her husband, John, rich chocolate decadence for herself, and the sweet crunchy chocolate for their son, Charlie. She smiled; they had always shared a fondness for chocolate, she and him. Only John preferred fruit flavors.

But as she watched Mrs. Shu scoop a small round ball of each flavor into each of the three cups, her smile faded and the lump in her throat got heavier, hotter, harder. She shifted to the pastry case, staring hard at the custard berry tarts and samples of mousse.

“Here you go, sweetie.” Mrs. Shu held up the bag to indicate her order was ready.

She stood rooted to the spot. She could not make herself pay and leave as always.

“You okay, Miss Keane?”
Continue reading

Bus Ride to Bucharest

Chapter One: One the Road Again

Divorce. The word stuck and burned in her craw like a bad shot of whiskey. Ginny sat on the hard bench of the bus stop, and with a snap of the rubber band, she brushed up her russet red hair into a severe knot. Two weeks ago to the day, Michael had come to her asking for a divorce. Blaming her for their inability to conceive children, he explained ever so matter-of-factly that he had found his true soulmate in Trixie. Trixie, the blond tart, who was barely old enough to buy her own alcohol. My husband left me for a younger woman. Oh, it was so cliché. It was so cliché she could make a t-shirt out of it.

The worst part was she wasn’t even heart-broken. She was mad, oh hell yes, she was infuriated. Continue reading

my brother, soweto

Soweto. June 15, 1976.

“Don’t do it, Bhekithemba.” I stared into the face of my brother. His bright eyes shone back at me through the darkness as we lay opposite each other on our mattresses of cardboard and tattered sheets.

“I must,” he said, his voice thick with determination. “Don’t you see? This is something I must do.” We spoke in a whispered hush, so as to not … Continue reading

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