Short Stories

image1

"Her Unwitting Accomplices," Feminine Collective

Oh, Frank. You just blew it for me. And I liked this store.

What he didn’t know was that my oh-so-private mother only gushed with strangers. Her spectacular brand of lonliness required some anonymity. And it demanded she NOT see Frank next week. By then, I knew, we would be food shopping at a less convenient place. Our first trip, endless, due to the combination of my mother’s litany of compliments and us not knowing the layout of the store...

"Nest," Feminine Collective

Even in her sleep, the girl knew the wasps were back. She felt one land on her bare leg. I must wake up, I must wake up, I must wake up...

"Sage/Slut/Phoenix," Feminine Collective

I discover you, in the latter group around 3 AM, occupying the dark-night-of-the-soul space that rests just between deep thought and numbness...

"Minnie Moon," Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, page 8.

  

Five minutes after midnight on her eighty-third birthday, Minnie Moon walks into her local Wal-Mart Supercenter unarmed. There are two items on her shopping list: jalapeño-stuffed olives for her celebratory dirty martini and a buttercream cake with chocolate sprinkles. In the condiment aisle, she thinks about the jalapeños. How they’ll twist and burn in her gut. She smiles. Once a year, she indulges and savors the taste, despite the pain. When she gets home, she’ll drop three olives into her ice-cold Stoli vodka, watch them sink, then skewer each one out with a cocktail party sword, bright pink. Before she takes that first sip, she’ll raise her glass to the aquarium on her TV stand, paying homage to Louis...

"Stephanie's Station," Feminine Collective

Stephanie's right hand was stuck inside the door of a baby blue Lexus. While she was in no pain--that would come later--she couldn't wiggle her fingers. She worried they'd no longer be three-dimensional once the door opened again. In the front seat, the grownups talked with an easy camaraderie about pleasant things. Stephanie was ten, and no one had ever told her what to do in this situation. The beautiful car glided downtown to a special place. Behind its wheel was Mrs. Gwendolyn Conrad, her mother's boss...

"192 Seconds," The Sunlight Press

As the jet began its sickening downward spiral, her final thoughts surprised her. She’d assumed the crash position, the flight attendants’ voices a chorus in her ears: Brace! Brace! Heads down! Grab your ankles!


Following their instructions, she caught sight of her feet in flirty summer sandals. Her toes were unpolished.


She was sorry she hadn’t painted them hot pink. Not once, all summer. It had been a rainy season, and she’d been as glum as the unseasonably gray skies. Cheerful toes would have helped. She saw that now.


In fact, there were many things she was sorry about...

"Scrooge Had It Right," Dear Damsels

Perhaps the only person on the planet who preferred Ebenezer Scrooge before he spent his night with the three ghosts and woke up a changed man was Sloane O’Neill. In her opinion, transformation was overrated. What counted in life was knowing yourself. Making the most of who you were without brooding over your shortcomings. Some folks were born fuzzy, warm, loved by all. Others were leaders. As president of the Jacksonville Consulting Group, Sloane saw the world as her chessboard and moved her pieces accordingly. In order to keep her kingdom running smoothly, she was ready to sacrifice any pawn, rook or knight. If you were good at what you did, she’d protect you with all she had. If not? Well, she’d lose no sleep over firing you.