A Night in Her Shoes

150-word story Ellie never knew when her mom was going to kick her out. When she was twelve, Ellie started sleeping in her shoes so she could walk to her auntie’s without worrying about broken glass on the sidewalk — or frostbitten toes in winter. When her mom wanted her back, she called the cops… Continue reading A Night in Her Shoes

Fluid Transfer Permit

Working nights. No end in sight.  Walk the lineup, kick the pump on, feel the fluid inside the pipe, watch the numbers on the gauge. Heed cavitation’s gravelly roar, kill the pump, close the valves, walk upstairs, pour and clutch a cup of coffee.  Answer the truck driver’s call. Walk the line, check the hose,… Continue reading Fluid Transfer Permit

The First Time We Tried to Name Our Band

I’m on the bed staring at the ceiling when Blayne says the Cranberries’ Zombie uses the same chords as the Pumpkins’ Disarm. I think he does, anyway. It’s hard to hear after fuck-if-I-know-how-many shots of whatever we’re drinking. “Play it for us, then, Mister Guitar Wizard.” I hear Blayne open his case. I hear him puke. I hear… Continue reading The First Time We Tried to Name Our Band

In the Eye of the Storm

100-word story Maria sees the ambulance. Her driveway. Her front door, open. Marcus. Where’s Marcus? Her foot slips off the clutch. Her Civic jerks and dies. Sprinting to her front door, Maria hears birds chirping, kids shooting hoops, a lawn mower. She smells cut grass and ribs cooking on a barbecue. She sees Marcus’s Hulk… Continue reading In the Eye of the Storm

What the Sisters Saw

50-word story The day the government blinded the boys, their sisters sang them home.Not one girl led her brother by the hand.Looking ahead to decades of caretaking, the sisters saw they would have only one chance to teach the newly sightless boys to listen and keep their hands to themselves. © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading What the Sisters Saw

Playdate

A 100-word story I crack a beer and sink into a chair that’s in the sun and out of the wind to dial my friend Dave. He knew me when I had hair. Dave still lives in the desert where we took road trips guided by one rule: stay on dirt unless low on gas or… Continue reading Playdate

Semantics Goeth Before the Fall

A 50-word story about mistakes James’s status showed a baggie of pills and a handle of Wild Turkey 101. I texted: “Looks like you’re fixin’ to make some bad decisions.”  “I make mistakes,” James replied. “Mistakes are more fun.”  “Til the next day. LOL”  “The next day’s named tomorrow,” James said, “and tomorrow never comes.”… Continue reading Semantics Goeth Before the Fall

One Girl’s Reaction

100 words prompted by “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones “Poor!” Ellie said, stomping the brake. Clorox bottles and mop handles rattled in the back seat. “I can’t catch a light today.” I lit a smoke and handed it over. “Here’s a light.”   Ellie took a drag. The radio coughed up the Stones. “Satisfaction.” “This… Continue reading One Girl’s Reaction

Expectation Management

He was older than she’d thought he would be, but, in fairness, she was older than she had ever thought she would be. Something they already had in common: her erroneous expectations.  Not a bad start, she thought. Mom always said, ‘When you lower your expectations, you raise your average.’ © Copyright 2020 by Jim LathamPhoto… Continue reading Expectation Management

Tuskers, Ping Pong, and Spears

A travel memory from central Kenya, 1997 Three six-foot-plus Samburu warriors sat at the bar, their left hands curled around half-liter bottles of Tusker. Their right hands caressed the shafts of long, lion-killing spears. The bar was in Maralal, Kenya, which is where the pavement ended — about a days drive out of Nairobi. It was August and… Continue reading Tuskers, Ping Pong, and Spears