"Now, tell me again," said the attractive blond in the black-rimmed glasses, "why do you think you're a super villain?"

Her patient sighed. He was draped across her leather couch, one hand hanging limp over its side, grazing the lush carpet as though it was soft grass.

The therapist chewed on her pencil and waited.

"How many times do I have to tell you?" he said. "I'm a scientist. I come from a long line of super villainy, and it's up to me to keep up the family reputation." He turned on his side to gaze at her. "Have I...

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Locked door. Single occupant, female, age 27. No signs of a struggle. Cause of death was strangulation. Body found face-up on the bed.

Three suspects. One witness.

Cal sighed, his breath cutting a thin passage through the haze of cigarette smoke. He rewound the tape and pressed play once again. In all the surveillance tapes, there was nothing to positively incriminate any of them.

He'd tried isolating them, questioning them individually. Good cop, bad cop. Threats. The works. They were all lying about something, but they wouldn't say what Cal wanted to hear. At least one of them, probably all,...

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Midnight on the Roof. That's where he'll be. I know Santa Claus is real. I know that because he's my Dad.

It was small things at first. I made a list:
1) A wistful smile on Mum's lips each Christmas Eve. 
2) The way she hummed "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" without noticing.
3) The fact we ALWAYS put out cookies and beer for him before Christmas Day. And a carrot for Rudolf.
4) My last real memory of him dressed in his large red gown and hat with white fur trim telling Mum he had to go. His...

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Wine
cat food
Ben & Jerry's
pay the neighbor kid for mowing

TV dinner
AA batteries
new shoes for girl's night out
stop by the oil change place

Lean Cuisine
carrots
new lipstick
haircut @ 3p Wed

Salmon
baby red potatoes
condoms
clean the house

Steak
lettuce
lawn mower
clean out other half of garage

Beer
Doritos
upgrade cable package
mow the lawn

Hydrogen peroxide
ice pack
makeup w/ heavier foundation
dentist appt. Mon @ 1p

Rat poison
Shovel
Tarp
Remove car dome light

Wine
cat food
Ben & Jerry's
Pay the neighbor kid for mowing

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I have writers block.
Urggggg.

Okay, I should probably explain myself. I am a writer.
Well its more like I would like to be a writer.
Unfortunately, my brain does not possess this talent and I am here, stuck in a coffee shop because I heard that's where Joanne Rowling wrote "Harry Potter."

But, now that I look around I can't help but notice the clear boundaries between strangers in a coffee shop, in which only waitresses can cross. Even then, for a short period of time.
Maybe half of us here are on either our laptops or cell phones....

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The drop all went wrong. I told Marsha not to get the police involved but she was too scared to think straight. Joshua had been a special baby after five failed IVF attempts. It wasn't his fault that his parents were so rich or stupid as to allow a nanny to look after him without checking up on her properly. She seemed so nice when they met in the park, soothing the baby during his bouts of excessive screaming. Autism. She seemed to instantly recognise the shrill pitch. Told us it ran in her family. He wasn't really a baby...

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You had me at 'Ox Bow Lake'" I sighed. Temporal Repair 202, the practical. "So we have this rift, right? And you're saying it's like God was dealing out the cards in a Cosmic Bridge Game, when this stupid 21st century chronoterrorist (I hate Chrono's) interrupted his deal."

My instructor nodded, pleased at least one of us had listened and remembered his tortuous analogies. He cleared his throat, "So, how does God carry on dealing so everyone still gets the cards they were 'meant' to get?"

We all looked at one another round the card table. We were stumped. Not...

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It was the fall that surprised me most.

I had never intended to move to the Northeast. Strange set of circumstances. Long story. Really long. Maybe not too long to relate, but longer than I'd like it to have. I just sort of ended up there.

Anyway, I got there in early December. I thought, having come from California, that that was "winter".

That's not winter.

Winter is bleak. Winter is white death. Winter is hell -- not just for Chekhov, mind you. For Vermont, too.

The first week I was there, I was talking about how poorly-equipped Southern California...

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Dear friends:

I am standing in the field. The field where he died. The field where, for a time, I wished I had died. Sometimes still do.

This photo he took of the field was humbling. Ground-level. Weeds blowing. A branch sticking up. Forked. On that day he was forked. And I was blown. Blown flat.

Shit, guys, that sounds so dumb, doesn't it. I meant to write it on a postcard. I meant to get this photo printed -- Snapfish or something -- and have them sent to me glossy. And get one of those fine Sharpies and scribble...

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She opened the envelope and screamed.
"I won! I won!" Curt's ears perked up and he looked over to see Miriam jumping up and down, holding a letter in her hand. He shrugged and went back to reading the daily news.
"Curt! Darling! Did you hear? I won!" Miriam continue to shout. Her wrinkled hands clutched the now crumbled letter. The perm her hairdresser had so fastidiously created fell slightly with each jump.
"I heard." Curt sighed. The Red Sox had lost last night and even though he had watched the entire game, he read through the article.
"Don't you...

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