I got detention for walking out of class today. But it wasn’t my fault. It went like this: Mr. Peters was talking about Henry Rathbone, who, if you don’t know was the guy sitting next to President Lincoln in the theater when Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth. Anyway, this Rathbone... Continue Reading →


Jack and Nadia collided into a Tom Waits song within the walls of the Charter Union Tavern in Mingo, Iowa. Jack, having crossed the border near Montreal, had left a trail of jealous husbands and angry bosses in his wake as he worked his way west, down New York to Pennsylvania then to West Virginia,... Continue Reading →


I couldn’t believe she would show up like this, tapping on my door. Like I had nothing to do but sit at home and wait for her. Every night for the past eight months. Waiting. She was drunk, or close, her hair up in a lazy bun, curls dangling, spilling in a way Hollywood could... Continue Reading →

The Call

I was in my tree when the backdoor squeaked open. Mom plucked her cigarette into the yard. “Marcus.” “Yeah?” Her head followed my voice to the tree. Her eyes glistened. “Phone for you. It’s your, um, it’s your father honey.” My mom wasn’t one to get caught with emotions. She was fond of telling me... Continue Reading →

Dave and Devin’s Toxic Adventure

Devin reached for the oh crap handle, hanging on as I swung the Chevette into the Dairy Queen lot. The bald tires screamed, joining the chorus of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” rattling through the cheap door speakers. “This has to be it.” Devin nodded as he figured out the clue. “Ah, right. Bovine Royalty.”... Continue Reading →


Dylan's forehead rests against the backseat window. His lips move in pattern--whispers over the thumps of the road--in chorus to whatever he’s blasting through those silly, two-hundred-dollar headphones that make him look like he should be holding glow sticks, taxiing planes at O’hare. He’d begged Jill to buy the goofy things and I’d laughed when... Continue Reading →

The Jake

It was on our fifth date when I realized I wasn’t original. And by then it was too late for me. Heather was bubbly and fun, with an easy laugh and big brown eyes. She was sweet, too, always squatting down to pat puppies at the park, smiling at little kids, gushing about the kindergarten... Continue Reading →


Harold arrived at the Black Cat Tavern around dusk. He wandered to a quiet corner booth, ordered his customary Bloody Mary, and looked over the menu with a yawn. He’d worked the last three nights at the plasma center and hadn’t slept much since the new neighbors had moved in upstairs and ran what sounded... Continue Reading →

The Dive

The first day of August arrived with a bang. Or, what I first thought was a dream about jackhammers but turned out to be real banging, at my door and getting louder. I was a little ticked because sleep was fitful around here these days. Our new neighbors had a brand new baby, who from... Continue Reading →

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