The loose hall board, if you rocked heel to toe, sounded like someone drowning, that bastard son-in-law he hoped. He tried to silence him with new copper nails along its length. For a while it worked. But one evening the gasp returns, quieter now, pitched high. His weighted heel brings his wife, grasping a breath before sinking under a swirling sea. His toe raises her sea-washed face and she gasps again; help me, John, I have her.Continue reading “The Sea by P O’Connor”
Del Río— Rachel’s new board and care home. ’S where I was this morning till eleven, with Caron, the Russian, although “Caron” sounds Greek to me. Whatever, he’s gonna handle the move. Me, I’m driving home and thinking of Miles Archer and tuned to NPR when—Continue reading “Rachel, Remarque, and The Maltese Falcon by Vince Barry”
The first place I search for Mum is Sainsbury’s. It’s the first shop that pops into my head. Maybe she needs ingredients for a cake or something. Though the last one she baked stirs up images of a smouldering mount Vesuvius. She forgot the eggs. I whip through the supermarket to the beep of the checkouts, panning every aisle, even the frozen food section. But she’s not there.Continue reading “Gone by Robert Steward”
He stood there, at the door, welcoming his guests. Each, he greeted by name, repeating that he was glad to see them and that he hoped they were well and enjoying the holiday season. He had invited everyone he had known over the many years he had lived in the town, as well as some with whom he had only recently become acquainted.Continue reading “The Outsider by E. P. Lande”
He places the cloth bag carefully on the kitchen table; Formica, worn and chipped. She had trained him in in the use of cloth bags. You would have thought the simple act of remembering to take a cloth bag to the shops was a panacea against climate change. More like a superstitious tick, like genuflecting at church or throwing salt over your shoulder. Something to make you feel like you are warding off an even greater calamity when the real damage has already been done. He unpacks the bag carefully: a hammer, a hatchet, some rope, an apple. The apple was impulsive, they looked fresh. Crisp and juicy. He tells himself he must eat it soon. He has his own superstitions and the longer an apple is the house the more he suspects that it is mealy. Many a good apple has gone to waste because he couldn’t shake the feeling it was imperfect in a sickening, unnameable way. Of course, you can never tell with apples, not until you take a bite, but he could never bring himself to take that risk.Continue reading “Summer and Sweet Peas by Oso Jones”
Gram and I used to watch Jeopardy together almost every weeknight. Our little “must see” TV date began at the dawn of my memory and ended with Gram’s death shortly after my twenty-second birthday; it’s already ten years gone by.Continue reading “A True Daily Double by Leila Allison”
Hunger growled in him, clamoring for attention. The old man went into the kitchen and opened the cupboard. There was one can of soup. Chicken noodle. A bowl and a spoon sat in the old man’s dish drain next to a small pot, the perfect size for heating soup. Late afternoon sunlight filtered through the leaves of a shady elm tree and filled the kitchen with dappled light.
Olivia squeezed the handle of her wheelchair so hard the veins stood out on her bony wrists.
Cheryl picks me up at the corner of Queen and Duke on Saturdays at three. It just makes sense, she said not long after we met. I’m going right by there anyway. It was my bus stop to Freeport, only now I lean out of the Plexiglas shelter and give a little wave, so the bus doesn’t stop. Today he pulls in to drop someone off. My face is red. It’s stupid how ashamed I feel about that dismissive wave.
Tony carefully looked over his choices. Should I go with live bait or a lure? The sky is clear today. No cloud cover means the fish will be able to see me casting. A shiny yellow plunker will catch the sunlight and attract them, but a live minnow will attract their smell. All right, I’ll start with the plunker. Continue reading “The Old Fisherman by Jerry Guarino “