It’s A Wonderful Life…

“There are two kinds of people in this world,” Kurt slurred, pausing to take another artless swig. “Those who like Wonderful Christmastime, and those who would rather gargle Pop Rocks with Drano.” “Liquid Drano? Or Max Gel,” I said, trying to throw my friend off his game. But hammered as he was, Kurt was right.... Continue Reading →

Any Friday Night – 1987

I read the question again. “Who married Charles Lindbergh?” Melissa, my always cranky sister, grabbed a handful of popcorn and shrugged. “Who cares?” My stepmother took a breath. A small sip of wine. I sat at the table, staring at the orange squares on the board—the sports squares—hoping for something I was capable of answering.... Continue Reading →

Long Ride Home

Just as soon as we got to Nannie’s I rushed into the kitchen and slung open the fridge. There I found a fresh pitcher of her sweet, cheek-sucking Kool-Aid. Nannie used enough sugar to prop a door open, at least a finger or two resting on the bottom, and so I grabbed the pitcher, the... Continue Reading →

Borrowed Time

Alecia gripped my arm, just above the elbow, nails digging. I thought she was going to rip through my shirt. “Mom, Dad. This is Justin.” “Hi Justin.” Her father bolted across the room with a board meeting smile. “I’ve heard a lot about you.” Luckily, I'd been prepped for his vice-grip handshake. I braced myself,... Continue Reading →

The New Guy

I was scarfing down whoppers when death came. Not the burgers--yeck, the candy, wolfing them down, crunching on the chocolate milk balls so that I didn't hear his dainty little knocks. But then the bell rang. I sat up straight, cocked my head like a retriever. No matter much bad news I receive, and I... Continue Reading →

Scars From Climbing

I hadn't been back to Sharp Top Mountain in nearly forty years. And leaving my family, my wife’s pleading eyes followed me out to the car, my two kids watched silently, I hated that they made it such a big deal. That it was such a big deal. We were only a third of the... Continue Reading →

Self-Service

The bathroom inside the PullenGo belonged in a horror movie. From the dangling light bulb that flung Noah’s reflection around a fun house mirror, to the flies buzzing over the mystery liquid on the concrete floor, the smears on the concrete wall, It belonged on a set. But it was the smell, the smell was... Continue Reading →

Jack and Beans Talk

The elevators at Kemper Projects were death traps, always getting stuck, rattling and shuddering on the way up, free falling on the way down. They smelled just barely better than the stairwells, and up until a few weeks ago, I never had much use for them. That was before Beans wanted me to join his... Continue Reading →

Alligator Andy

“Cancelled? How?” Andy asked through a mouthful of donut dust. Lana, his producer, swatted at a mosquito. “Look Andy. I don’t make these decisions. But you had to know...I mean the ratings were dismal.” She took a step back. “And what are you doing? We’re in the Everglades.” Alligator Andy took a look around. At... Continue Reading →

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