Ignis Fatuus

A story about ghosts and possums. I saw my nephew, Ricky, in the Amvets parking lot on a freezing Saturday in December with a centimeter of slick ice on the blacktop and a fair amount of booze in my veins.  My three friends, Burt, Leo, and Klaus, came out with me to the car, since... Continue Reading →

Black Ribbon

Then my uncle bought the costume shop.  And, for a while, things got interesting again.  New Years Eve, 1991, he let me borrow a classic notch-lapel tuxedo and some patent leather shoes.  The whole package.  Socks.  A cotton laydown collar shirt.  Onyx links.  And a midnight solid bow tie. “You look like James Bond,” he... Continue Reading →

One Cat at a Time

A story about volunteers. Of all the things I’d hoped to accomplish that fall, digging a six-foot-deep moat around the family house wasn’t one of them.  But the governor decided to end all Covid restrictions in the middle of the pandemic, causing the state’s heavily armed population to take it as a sign and go... Continue Reading →

Lesser Magic

A story about spiral dances.   I threw the beer can.  It was half-full, just like Dorian's head.  So when it hit him, the damage was minimal.  A brain in a half-full head is a self-parking mechanism.  It floats—not in intelligent space, not in some New Age cogito-esque void full of purple smoke and glittery... Continue Reading →

Animal Science

A story from my first collection, Gravity. It was hot. That was foremost in my thoughts. A sheer, raw, violating hotness that wobbled on the cement quad and in the still dry air above it. I focused on getting across without fainting. I fixed it in my mind. I didn’t have to ask why there weren’t... Continue Reading →

Cleveland is Why You Fail

A short short about mistakes by lakes.   Hockel knocked once, softly.  Louis knew it was him, but Louis didn't get up.  He stared at the rain on the window.  It had been raining for eight days.  After six, Louis found that he could almost believe it was going to rain forever, a cold, greasy,... Continue Reading →

October Plums

A story about pain.   When I rolled into Missoula, Jim Donlon was waiting for me in dark glasses and a black cardigan with a white T-shirt underneath.  He looked drunk. "Davis," he said, as if my return was the last in a long line of depressing accidents, "what the hell is this?"  His way... Continue Reading →

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