Two Answered Prayers

Clinging to the piece of driftwood, she prayed for daylight.  When the sun rose, it illuminated an endless sea and an empty sky.  By noon, she was sunburnt and praying for deliverance from the heat and thirst.  The first indication that this prayer would be answered was a dorsal fin. © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading Two Answered Prayers

After That, We Were Just Playing Out the String

“I’m telling you this now,” my wife said, “since you’ll find out eventually.” It was still dark outside. I set my coffee down. “I used your Gmail,” she said, “to contact a vasectomy-reversal surgeon.” “Why?” “I thought it’d be weird to use mine,” she said. “I didn’t mean that part.” “Oh,” she said. Then she… Continue reading After That, We Were Just Playing Out the String

Broken Heart Shaped Box

Max noodles on his guitar. He plays slowly, in a minor key. Both are unusual for him. I sit down and give him a look. “What’s goin’ on?” He says, “Pandora left hope in the box, right?” “Far as I know, yeah. Why?” “Was that kindness or a cruel joke?” © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading Broken Heart Shaped Box

Silence Speaks

Mary frowns when her kids and mine run outside to bang pots and pans on New Year’s Eve. I’ve had a couple drinks, so I go ahead and run my mouth.  “It’s okay, Mary,” I say, “let the kids have their fun.” My neighbor shakes her head. “They better not lose that cast iron,” she… Continue reading Silence Speaks

Church and State

It’s happy hour and the TV’s yakking about separating church and state.  “It’s a con,” Eamon says. “They’re both screwing us.” “You think it’s that bad?” I say. “Good cop, bad cop. We might as well be between the devil and the deep blue sea.” “You mean that?” “Open your eyes,” Eamon says and hoists… Continue reading Church and State

No Plan

The pen wasn’t worth stealing. The can of black beans and steak seasoning weren’t either.  He shoulda got a can opener. Then he could eat seasoned beans. Nick asked himself, “Why the pen?”  But Nick never had a plan. Not when shoplifting and not in the rest of his life. © 2020 by Jim Latham… Continue reading No Plan

Birthday Boy

Twenty bucks is all Katie’s got that’s not going to rent, gas, and electricity.  The register flashes $23.19. Katie surveys cake mix, frosting, candles, eggs, ice cream, and balloons, weighing cost against Kody’s smiles.  “Take the ice cream off, please?” Austin presses a button.  $19.70. Katie hands him crumpled bills and scrounged coins. Austin sorts… Continue reading Birthday Boy