Friend of the Bottle

She sits at the oak desk with eyeliner and gin, with lipstick and eyeshadow. The silk stocking she’s not yet donned sits next to the plate of lime wedges she had the foresight to slice after reading the letter and before unstoppering the bottle.  She sits at the oak desk and ignores all that’s on… Continue reading Friend of the Bottle

Four Thousand Kilometers Above Jupiter

I named the spider Billy. I was supposed to kill him—sacrifice is the term in the experimental protocol—after the experiment was complete, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t even finish the experiment. Why bother? Whatever electromagnetic event wiped out comms with the transport ship took out my exterior cams too, so I’ve been flying blind… Continue reading Four Thousand Kilometers Above Jupiter

Teddy the Tortoise

Teddy the tortoise had been roaming the ward longer than anybody else. Not even Audrey the elderly orderly knew who named him—or why he wandered the garden paths at night. Ann never admitted, not even years later, that she was behind it, but someone—let’s just say it was Ann—started sticking candles on Teddy’s back on… Continue reading Teddy the Tortoise

The Underside of the Fern

It wasn’t seeing the fern that had Liz worried. She knew the fern well. She knew every plant, every fallen log, every crossing of the creek that wound through the birch forest near the old farmhouse she shared with her grandmother. Had been watching it grow for years. But she wondered why she was looking… Continue reading The Underside of the Fern

Special Delivery

The mailboxes were Cliff’s brainwave. He called ‘em antioxidants because he read in some newsletter that clutter was a cancer that killed co-living spaces deader than doornails, so after downing his morning kombucha he zipped down to the free store and scooped up four used ones.  Used mailboxes purchased for zero dollars are liable to… Continue reading Special Delivery

Thigh Highs

Short Story Ellie pulled her hip waders up over her jeans and ran the straps through her belt. “There you go, Baby,” she said to Nathan, “You wanted to see me in thigh highs.” She mock-posed and laughed, the sun reflecting off her aviator sunglasses and her thick, black braids lying on her shoulder. Behind… Continue reading Thigh Highs

Dad 2.0

My daughter says my stories seem fake because my characters don’t use cell phones.  There’s no email either, I tell her. Nor Insta, TikTok, or Twitter. She rolls her eyes and says, Cell phones are mandatory, Dad. Man-da-tory. Maybe she’s right. She’s 17 after all.  I tell her, I think technology peaked with the invention… Continue reading Dad 2.0