Thursday, October 9, 2014

Anything But

Penny had a not-a-dog.  It wasn't exactly invisible, but it was an absence rather than a presence.  You could pet it, but it wasn't warm or solid, and it was not fuzzy at all.  It stared at her without devotion or loyalty as she fed it something that was nothing like kibble.  After dinner, Penny let it outside to excrete unfamiliar substances and make noises that were not barks.  Over red wine, we discussed her new lack of a pet.

“Did you consider a cat?” I asked.

“They tried that,” she said.  “No one was sure which one wasn't it.”

Saturday, October 4, 2014


“They just seem so taken aback by the whole thing,” said Martha, letting the curtain drop.  The mob had sort of organized into an impromptu prayer service, but five different preachers were all trying to take command.  “It even said right in there that none would know the day or the hour.”

“Yeah, well, that’s the unspoken caveat to every religious protestation about the ineffable and inscrutable nature of God,” Laura responded from the couch, not opening her eyes.  “What’s driving them nuts is that they have to confront it head-on now.”

“What caveat?”

“God is unknowable... 'except to us'.”

Friday, October 3, 2014

"Columbidae" at Flash Fiction Online

October is apparently when everything is dropping.  "Columbidae" is up, marking my second appearance at Flash Fiction Online under as many different editors. ;-)

Go read the story that has Anna Yeatts writing in capslock.  I'll guarantee that it's one of the best stories about crazy naked human pigeons you will read for the first time this week.

Morning Eve

The shower always took a while to warm up in the mornings.  Bonnie winced as she stepped in.  Better than wasting water.

“Have you thought about it?” asked the serpent, wrapped around the shower head.

“Yes,” said Bonnie, lathering.

“Is that your answer, then, or...”

“No.  No apples.”

The snake pouted.  “But power overwhelming...”

Bonnie squinted her eyes shut and rinsed.  “You said you’d leave, after.”

The snake rearranged its coils.  “See, the thing with that is-“

“You lied.”

“Technically, I was prevaricating, but-“

Bonnie shut off the tap.  “You could at least pony up for some of the rent.”

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"And All the Tribes of the Earth Shall Mourn" at Mythic Delirium

Mythic Delirium returns with, among many others, my story "And All the Tribes of the Earth Shall Mourn," in which a man fails to understand other people's religious ecstasy, and also McDonald's.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

UFO 3 Out Now!

The grand and hopefully long-standing traditional annual UFO anthology is out early!  My story, "Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes on the Day I Graduated High School," can be read there, along with a lot of other very funny stories by people more famous and better at writing than I am.

You can buy it at Amazon or (eventually, I presume) from the UFO Publishing page.

Smuggling Dragons

The 7-11 parking lot was empty except for the rust-eaten white Buick.  The guy standing beside it looked like low turnout at the casting call for Suspicious Character #5.

“You got the money?” he greeted me.

I stared at him levelly and indicated the junker.

“Money first.”

The roll was all hundreds.  We’re thorough.

“All right.”  He popped the trunk and cracked it.  A gout of flame nearly took his hand off.  I saw a glimpse of a golden, slit-pupiled eye.  “Satisfied?” he asked.

“I’ve seen enough,” I agreed.  I pulled out my badge.  Fish and Wildlife.  “You’re under arrest.”

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bean Sidhe

The banshee’s wail heralds the death of a loved one.  The popular imagination has imbued the shriek itself as ill-omened or deathly, but in truth, it is not so.  It is only sorrow for the death that comes to us all.  Being fae spirits, they sense the death as or even before it happens, and their cries honor the fallen, eerie and upsetting as mortals might find it.

The world is broader, now.  Faster.  More connected.  Moment by moment, now, they fall, and moment by moment the banshee sings them to sleep.

Play them off, Keyboard Cat.  Play them off.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hand-made, Locally Grown, Artisanal

Emily looked over the makeshift table, lips pursed.  The nightmare peddler swayed, ugly face indifferent.

“This one?” Emily asked, pointing to an angular silver one.

“Cut you,” the man grunted.

“And these?”  Two distressed yarn balls.

“Spiders.  Spiders everywhere.”

“Not very creative,” Emily sniffed.

“Scare you,” the man gasped, “to death.”

Emily raised an eyebrow and smirked.  “We’re done here,” she told me.

We’d crunched three steps across the gravel when the nightmare man spoke again.  “No,” he said.

The opening of his tent was dark behind him.  “Please,” he said again, straining to focus his eyes.

We kept walking.