Tag: Realistic Fiction

Published — “Cuidado”

Forgot to mention this when it came out. Life gets busy sometimes. One of my poems published at the end of August.

Rue Scribe is a magazine devoted to “Small Literature”—to “micro fiction, flash fiction, tiny fiction,” and to, eh, what the hell, “short shorts.” This cigarette drag of story is about the “small but powerful,” about the smoke that lingers. That’s why I’m honored RS chose to publish “Cuidado,” a poem condemning global violence on women through a life-changing encounter that lasts no more than five seconds.

Published — “Saamiya”

I’m proud to announce that “Saamiya” was published in Issue 4 of HeartWood Magazine. Without giving too much away, I’ll say that “Saamiya” is about a depressed Muslim girl who encounters the brave but fatal heroism of Piggy from William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and finds common ground, perhaps inspiration. There are elements in this story I find important, including the guidance we receive from stories and the healing we receive from storytelling.

HeartWood is a digital magazine which publishes biannually in April and October. The editors prefer writing that “pushes into… its own truth” and “that takes emotional risks, that gets to the heart of the matter.” Because the magazine is run by the MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College, its voice has a very strong Appalachian presence. Luckily, they found enough merit in my short story to include it as well.

Fiction — “That Chevy Impala”

I will never forget it. Blue as the Kelley Blue Book, a proud white belt, dual headlights like plates on display and squinting taillights. It made salesmen use the word “aerodynamic” and “chrome” and its interior looked like the cockpit of a rich man’s bush plane.

We (the neighbor’s kids) would touch its windows with our faces when the owner wasn’t looking. I told Nana someday I would own that car, that very car, and she tsked me: “No one wants you driving around in an Impala.” That’s when I noticed the dirty trucks littering the street like beer cans.

Something happened, or maybe he sensed evil thoughts. A For Sale sign appeared in the windshield, and the next day someone keyed the car. I still remember the owner touching the scars as if they were still sore. “You don’t see us driving nice cars,” Nana said, watching the street, and now I knew why. 

Fiction — “Little Omens”

There were millions of diners, but Grandma Dee only cared for three. They were the breakfast buffet at the Country Village Senior Center, a small commissary, and an old Mom & Pop’s which after a lengthy annulment was now just Pop’s. Dee would assemble an exact dish of eggs and sausage and toast, order a side of bacon, then fold the bacon into her napkin for the cats.

It was usually up to me to navigate the conversation unless she had a newspaper, in which she found the poor guy at 7/11 who slit his throat or the latest development in privatizing the lake. Dee blended superstition with the rituals of life. A day without the eggs, without sausage and bacon, without newspapers, was a day that would go poorly.

So we were drinking coffee and sitting by the dusty windows at Pop’s, a lot greasier and sadder now that Mom was gone, on the verge of delivering three cats to an animal shelter to be put down at $25 a piece. Neither of us liked the idea of a cat ceasing to exist on our own initiative, but Dee’s backyard had become a breeding ground for gingery longhairs and they were marking and leaving litters. If they got in, they’d chew through bread bags and piss in discrete places. This hadn’t stopped Dee from tossing them cat feed and giving them the garage and, as mentioned, bringing them leftovers, but now that a county retirement was becoming a reality and Grandpa was gone…

“Grandma, you have any superstitions?” I asked while we paid the check.

“God, maybe.”

“Be serious.”

Fiction — “Plain Boxes”

I dated Miranda (a fake name but not a fake person), the little swashbuckler, respondent to the slightest touch, a child in every conversation except for the one in which she broke it off, when her face froze with a look of sweet pie, her freckles spattered, that Pomeranian hair, those steel-white eyes like a photo in grayscale. “It’s you, not me, really,” she said. And she said it without laughing, without a huge plastic smile, without Barbie. She said it with a storeroom empty of guilt.
“What?” I asked, as sweaty as a basketball player in a Gatorade commercial.
“We’re done and you’ve got to get going,” she said. And just like that.

Fiction — “Tea Maps”

As I write this, she’s waiting for the red eye. I wish I could say that she’s leaving me forever, as Dad used to say about my Uncle in jail, “out of life, out of mind.” But nothing’s definite, definitive, finite on this annoying planet. We might be fucking in a week.
We looked at each others’ hands before we left, mine flat and ready-to-be crinkled, like a new map, hers rough as a shark fin. She called me a new soul. She said she was a teacup that’d been broken over and over again, repaired each time, never truly whole.
We never talked about the old man. Why music made us sad. Sex, about us and sex. Forbidden fruits. I never told her what she meant.