Below are links to literary magazines that have published my short stories, with excerpts of each story included.


Women's Arts Quarterly Journal

Published in Volumne 5, Issue 1

"Whoa!" the crowd said in unison. Amanda hurried to the steps. Looking up through the slats in the railing, she saw Tim in the center of this group with a man in a suit. A suit in this setting was so incongruous Amanda held still where she was.

"I mean it!" the man screamed and lunged at Tim. He stopped, inches from the Pro’s chin. He was shorter than Tim and somewhat round. His red face seemed likely to explode out of the top of his pink dress shirt. For a second, the only thing that moved was the man’s tie, tick-tocking across his chest. Then, as if recovering his courage, he swung upward at Tim’s face. He connected but lost his balance, and both men fell into a set of metal chairs behind them.

The women in the crowd screamed. High school boys jumped in to separate them. The man was pulled to standing but ripped himself away from the boys who held his arms. "You stay the fuck away from my wife. You hear me? I’ll fucking ruin you," he screamed again and ran down the steps past Amanda.


Kenny Kincaid Is Missing

Published in Lake Effect Volume 1

Phoebe stares at the picture in the paper, trying to construct some persona from the square forehead, the uneven teeth, the hair that sticks in a clump above his right temple. She didn’t know Kenny, he was a fifth grader while she is in first, but it needles her that she can’t put that face to any particular person she remembers from recess. Without any kind of personal recognition his disappearance is left open-ended as a thing that could happen, as opposed to a thing that had happened to him.

Her mother comes into the kitchen with an unruly bouquet of papers and file folders in her arms. "Get your shoes on. We’ve got to go," she says.

Phoebe detects the jagged peaks of a large stain marking Kenny’s shirt just below the camera’s eye. He’s wearing a rugby shirt that she imagines has alternating brown and green stripes, sad colors. She decides Kenny must have been like one of those kids who come onto the morning bus smelling of Aunt Jemima syrup, boys sticky and unwashed, boys whose noses are always running. This comforts her a little, the thought that Kenny was someone she wouldn’t have wanted to sit next to.


The Ride

Published in Passages North

"You going home for Thanksgiving?"

So far, I’d been able to dodge questions about my family by distracting Richard with stories of my travels, like the time we were thrown out of Murfreesborough, Tennessee after a risqué production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. "I don’t know, yet," I said flatly. "My family’s not big on holidays."

Waiting for the light, he tapped his index finger on the steering wheel in time to the turn signal. "You’re an only child, right? Don’t they want to see you’re alive after six months of living in the city?"

I rubbed the sides of my knee while I gently stretched my leg out. "They know I’m alive, Richard. I talk to them every month or so."

"Every month! If you were my kid you’d be checking in every other day." "Well, I’m not your kid," I answered.

He was about to say something, and then stopped, his cheeks flushed. I looked out the window.

"I’m sure they worry about you, especially since you’re still recovering. Do you have any friends to help you? I mean, did you just move here completely on your own?"

It was a message that was all around me, every time I turned on the t.v. or bought a bottle of shampoo: If you were young, your life must be one long inside joke shared by thirty of your closest friends. Nobody my age was supposed to be struggling, afraid, or alone.

"Yes, I’m on my own, and so what? Didn’t you have to start from scratch once?" He was quiet a long time. I thought maybe my temper had taken him aback and he was looking for the next bus stop where he could drop me off. "No," he said finally. "I’ve always had a generation of eyes watching my every move. I’m not sure which is worse."

Only someone who’s never been broke would say something so dumb. His ignorance was making me hungry. I wanted to tear into meat with my bare hands, rip it apart with my teeth, lick blood juice off my cheeks and chin. "My dad always made steak on rainy nights like this," I told him. "’It’s bad out so we gotta make something good,’ he’d say and he’d smother that steak with mushrooms and onions. So okay, that’s one thing I miss."

"Steak, huh? I know a place but it’s back downtown. Are you hungry?"

"I’m a dancer, Richard. We’re always hungry." I looked at him sideways.

"Won’t your wife wonder where you are?"

He stared dully into the oncoming traffic. "No. No, she won’t wonder anything at all."


Inner Landscape

Published in Gargoyle

During the ensuing silence, Wallace had to sit down under the wave of exhaustion. The day was going to be a marathon of nonverbal communication. He knew, for instance, that at this moment Charlie was cataloguing his grievances: how badly he didn’t want to be at this memorial, how his mother, God Forgive Him, had been nothing more to him than a pushy, selfish, arrogant exhibitionist; how he was obligated to be here because of all the ridiculous press; how Wallace was the only one left to answer for his having to think about Picket at all, much less in the pious, forgiving terms of a memorial service. All of this, Wallace knew, made asking for anything—a tie no less, what man didn’t own a tie—absolutely too much.

"I believe we gave you one for Christmas several years ago. Where has it gone?"" Charlie asked, his tone a marvel of thin-lipped efficiency.

Wallace counted the water stains on his ceiling. "Yes, sir, you did. But some paint got on it while I was hanging the fifth-graders' artwork during open house last year. I’m sorry. It was a very nice tie."


Mothers

Published in North Atlantic Review

They opened their hotel room door and had to squint at the unexpected brightness. Last night there had been a storm so fierce it had woken the baby around midnight. Meredith had spent a good half-hour nursing him back to sleep while John had run around the room closing the shutters over the windows, hoping to muffle the sound of the waves pummeling the beach just yards away. Now they could see the sky was an azure blue, with no clouds white or gray, although the beach was littered with seaweed and tree bark and other bits of nature cut loose by the storm. She hoped the management would send its staff down to pick all of it up. She had made the arrangements for this vacation, and it was important to prove she could find a pristine beach.


Saturday at Clive's

Published in The Pisgah Review

It doesn’t take long before Amy realizes she has the better job. Her rubber fingers dive into the suds and pull out utensils decorated with dried-on pickle relish, or bowls with oatmeal caked to the sides, or plates still dripping with syrup. She can’t get at the stuff in a satisfying way until she takes the gloves off, which she does quickly, throwing them next to the drying rack. Plunging into the water again, she feels mysterious bits move between her fingers and up the insides of her tiny arms. It’s a little frightening, like swimming in a cloudy ocean where there’s no telling what’s bumping up against you. She wants to laugh except it would tip Bonnie off that she was missing out on something, so she holds the delight just behind her front teeth.