Reprints plucked from beyond

(Third place for Every Writer’s Resource 50-Word Horror Story Contest, 2016)

Father and son weekend
The sun set over the cliff.
The police officer addressed the boys.
“There was an accident. The other bus is at the bottom of the canyon.”

He read names off a clipboard.
“Your father is dead.”
“Your father is dead.”
“Yours too.”

“You’ll call your mothers when we’re in range.”


(Finalist for Opium Magazine Seven-Line Story Contest, judged by Amy Hempel, 2011)

Do this in remembrance of me
The townspeople set out to kill each other. It was that kind of town, those kind of times. The knife shop closed and got looted clean. Unemployment was 99%. A charity fight was scheduled. The mayor called the “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” guy who sometimes did pro bono work. He joked, “I’m pro-boner.” The town preferred him boneless. How quickly a seasoned performer turns rotisserie crispy. They feasted. The air smelled of cooperation and can-do. Banners of thanksgiving were made from his tuxedo. “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” rang to the hills. One girl knitted a new tuxedo. Hunger would come again to town and rituals keep us civilized.


(Originally published in Caffeine Destiny, 2009)

New digs and the power chair
My wheels are literal now. I figure
you figure I wasted time resisting.
Now I file my stirrups sharp for shin splitting.
You’ll need splints if you’re in my way, chicken,

or bandages if I haven’t sharpened
enough. Files are hard to come by. Files files.
Not manila. Metal like my face. Light
a match on the friction. Struck like lovers

striking for benefits. I’m withholding
my breath and tongue for the lady to shave.
You gave me these women. Locking me up
frees my zipper. Her name might be Esther.

Her name might be ether. You are not here.
Maybe she gets moved to another floor.
Maybe she’s a continuous drip drip.