Fiction

“Correcting President Barnes” (Short Story) – Heavy Feather Review, December 2016 – Science Fiction in their #NotMyPresident Issue

We called him The Editor. He arrived from the sky—black briefcase in hand, suit cinched tightly at the neck with a black tie—and after a flawless landing on the roof, entered the building in a few short, purposeful strides. He looked like a man, and if you touched his skin, he would feel like a man, but you wouldn’t touch his skin, or even look him in the eye, if you wanted to survive his editorial hand. Read more…

“I AM The Tule Tree” (Short Story) – Northern Virginia Review, March 2016 – Winner of the Annual Fiction Contest

“This is the day the Lord has made,” the wall tells Abuela as she slowly turns her head.  Outside, clouds move in slow, undulating steps, like elephants with their great gray bellies swinging between pillar legs. The sky’s only adornment is the green leaves of the Tule tree, which cannot possibly be planted there, yet blocks the light nonetheless. Perhaps the branches are not Tule, but oak or elm—but how to explain the thick trunk almost as wide as it is tall other than to name it a Montezuma Cypress, a Tule tree? Read more…

“Abroon” (Short Story), Swill Magazine, Spring 2016

Mako wakes to the sound of the phone near his side of the bed. When he picks up he hears the whimpers of Abroon, his eldest son, speaking in an intoxicated combination of English and Somali. Before Mako even opens his eyes his feet are already in his sandals.

“Where are you?” he asks his son, though he already knows it will be the name of a NYPD station where one of the nice guards waits by the door after dialing Abroon’s home number from his thick file. Abroon names his location and begins to cry again. When Mako took his first steps in America and imagined the life his first son would have, it did not involve a gambling ring in fifth grade or a drug ring in seventh, the late night after late night when Abroon returns to his bedroom soaked in substances forbidden by his father’s religion. Read more…

“The Floating Feather Café” (Short Story), New Plains Review, January 2015

“Father’s on the Other Line” (Short Story)- Ray’s Road Review – December 2014

When Celia’s half-brother, Liam, called her on a Sunday night, Celia answered on the first ring. Liam rarely called, and Celia, a ghost mystery solver, was often otherwise occupied with skeletons, séances, and murders. Read more…

“Baby Girl, Play Your Drum” (Short Story) – Iron Horse Literary Review – December 2014

Even as a baby, I could hear the drums. My daddy says it began with two slightly skewed heart beats, one smaller set echoing the larger: bum-bum-bum-bum, bum-bum-bum-bum, like eighth notes. I say it began in my crib, when I discovered I could beat my hand on the wood laminate and my mother would come running into the room with her hair half-curled and crazy and would lift me up and hold me to her, because that’s the first and only thing I remember. Read more….

“The Floating Feather Cafe” (Short Story) – New Plains Review – Fall 2014

Theodore Mantis, or “Tent” as his friends at the trailer park named him after he hung an army green tent in front of his house, wakes with his cheek pressed against an antique bar table. A jukebox somewhere past his line of vision plays “Sweet Home Alabama,” and over the speaker song, a young man’s voice calls out, “Be there in a minute!”

Tent struggles to raise his head. A string of spit cobwebs his mouth and the table, until he shoos it away with a drunken hand. That’s funny, he thinks as he takes in the black vinyl booths, dim lights, and highway signs nailed up on the walls, he doesn’t recognize this place at all. Read more…

“Raven in the Grass” (Short Story) – Cleaver Magazine – September 2014

A single blade of grass. Long and thin, streaked like the drag of paint left behind by a brush. A singular shade of green, like the color of nothing except itself. Among others it is just a pinpoint in a larger plane, which we see the way a child draws grass, scribbled shape colored in with the nub of a crayon. But up close. Up close, near the nose so that your eyes draw inward and cross, that blade is one entity. Albeit picked and soon to be sun-withered, it is whole. Read more…

 

“The Whale Moves Forward Into the Storm” (Short Story) – Luna Luna Magazine – August 2014

Next to the speeding car, a smear of paint-brush-streaked stratus clouds follows. The five intersecting strokes form the shape of a large whale, longer and wider than the expanse of farms to her right, and it dips and rises in time to the rush of scenery and the hum of the engine in front of her. She marvels at its beauty like one would admire a real whale from a cruise boat, unable to tear her eyes away from the wave of its long tail as she almost hits a yellow sports car going for some kind of world record. Even the dorsal fin is there, right above the beautiful curve of its back that arches and straightens in an endless flux, pointing up up up into the bright blue sky. Read more…

 

“Three on the Bank” (Novella) – Storylandia! Issue 13 – July 2014

When Sam was a young boy, he used to play in his grandparents’ pool for hours. Because he was an only child, he had little to do but act out situations, and pretending to drown was his favorite. He would sink to the bottom of the large concrete rectangle, cross his legs Indian style, and push his arms upward to keep himself steady on the ground. As his breath began to run out he would look up at the white pinprick of sun in the distance, the rays making their way through the chlorinated liquid like refracted rainbows on oil patches, and wait until the very last second, when his whole body screamed for air and the panic forced him up up up towards the sky. Reborn, gasping for air, he floated like a baby on the surface of the lapping waves and let the sun warm his chilled skin. Read more…

“Carlos and Sylvia” – Prompt & Circumstance – May 2014

The printed photo of his mother was under a pile of shoes in the back of his grandmother’s closet. The paper was worn at the edges, crimped like his wife’s apple pie crusts, and he spent a few minutes rubbing it smooth over his pant leg before he could read his grandmother’s handwriting: “Janine Juarez, 2009.”

Carlos sat down on his grandmother’s bed, which smelled of her brandy nightcaps and the Bengay she used to rub on her neck before they realized the pain was actually cancer lumping its way through her body, and collapsed into its quilted comfort. He couldn’t decide which was more of a shock: that his mother, Janine, had aged into a sixty year old woman with dyed brown hair and a muffin top, or that she had aged at all, considering she was supposed to be dead. Read more…

“Three Ladies” – Union Station Magazine – January 2014

Marge, Judith, and Tibby spent most of their afternoons on the porch of the house they had shared since 1978 – the year their mutual ex-husband, Jimmy, divorced the last of them. When he had turned his back on his third wife, Tibby, he left her only three items: an expensive apartment in her name, a cat named Wilbur who had been a present to Judith the year before Jimmy met Tibby at the office, and one piece of jewelry she had smartly hidden in a shoe. Read more…

“The Dove” – The Writing Disorder – September 20, 2013

Sara is standing in the kitchen paging through her favorite cook book when the phone rings. The book was an early wedding present from her grandmother, Francine, who somehow knew she would not live to see Sara walk down the white-petaled aisle. The last time Sara saw Franny, her grandmother was cocooned in three crochet blankets, patiently waiting for death to bend down and kiss her cracked lips.
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“Aloysius Makes A Friend” – Published in Promptly, Issue 2 Summer 2013  September 2013

Donny’s brother Michael was a geek. Not the kind of geek who is secretly sensitive, like in 80’s movies when a kid gets a makeover and wins over the heart of the head cheerleader, or the kind who does something productive with his smarts, like cure cancer – no, unfortunately Michael was a run-of the-mill, owl-framed, fact-spewing nerd.        Read More…  Page 24

“Grimwell” –  Published in Hogglepot: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Journal  September 2013

HFrom behind a curtain of snow comes an old man carrying a heavy bag on his shoulder. Seven street lamps light the block, all black with silver tops like floating ghosts in the blur of snow, and an extended display of white lights chorus behind the lamps in blinks and spurts. The houses, or what can be seen of them by the glow of lights on their windows, are mammoth structures of stucco, brick, and tan siding scattered like grazing buffalo over the streets. On top of each mailbox sits a sloped bookend of six inches of snow, little caps like the adornment of elves, not yet black from the exhaust of one hundred BMWs.   Read More …

“Microfiction” – August 2012     Outside In Magazine – Online magazine

Her idea: a romantic picnic dinner in Central Park for their last night in New York. The field is already packed by the time they arrive, but after ten minutes of searching they finally find an open spot and unpack her basket like treasure: pre-sliced bread (12 pieces), a whole watermelon (cut into perfect, bite-sized cubes), vegetable tray, both red and white wine with accompanying plastic cups. In such a large crowd they are invisible, one wild flower in a field; she will miss being able to kiss or yell or cry among them without notice when they are transplanted to suburbia. As the Philharmonic players raise their instruments and begin, a reedy old man in a straw hat stands up among the seated crowd and begins to dance. His swanlike hand movements attract a sea of imitating children who follow him around the field, and later with glow sticks in their hands they remind her of individual stars. -Kelly Jacobson

Three Minutes and Twenty Seconds”         May 2013    Published in The Exhibitionist

“Mr. Magnificent and His Disappearing Act, take one!” Adrien yells as Tom, his best friend, steps into the frame in a black cape and top hat. His eyeliner mustache looks like soot, but it gives him an air of mystery essential for his role.     Read More …

“Bradley Dunn”   – August 2012    The Exhibitionist – Online magazine

Bradley Dunn tended to pick up and then collect women the way most men buy new video games but keep the old ones in plastic tubs under their beds. As a well-known playwright and director for a prominent theater company in Washington, DC, he was an anomaly to most women he met yet successful enough to create a following of beautiful women around him.
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