The Shampoo Aisle

In Bob’s twenty-six years of grocery work, a bottle had always been just a bottle. When he became general manager of the Thrifty-Rite supermarket, however, the number of products in inventory finally overwhelmed him. It was now his responsibility to make sure everything in the store was sold and replaced and sold again. The crowded […]

You Get To Work With People

Martin nosed the funeral home’s night-blue service van through narrow surface streets, up over a hill, and towards the stretch of interstate that divided the city like a major thoracic scar. He was on an errand to retrieve a loved one. His first. It was the third Saturday night in July. Above the horizon, black […]

Standard Procedure

Karen sat in the scuffed, white rowboat and guarded the floating platform anchored 30 yards off the park shore. A trio of skinny guys with stringy hair and tattoos splashed cannonballs off the diving board. A handful of younger kids lay on the platform, tanning. She constantly fidgeted and feathered the oars to compensate for […]

Burning Stardust

When Suki climbed into Lewis’s truck, she changed his plans for their first date. “I want to see that plane you showed me the other day,” she said. “It’s usually out at the other airport,” he said. “Okay, let’s go.” He drove north on Highway 2 out of Kalispell, puzzled and a little disappointed, heading […]

Mrs. Macpherson’s Cellular phone

Martin whistled down the halls of Metropolitan Convalescent Center past cardboard reindeer and snowflakes cut from construction paper. The scent of pine swags perfumed the normally medicinal air. This would be his first time speaking directly with one of his cellular customers. He’d worked everyday since Thanksgiving implementing cell phone leasing and other portions of […]


Years of delay left United Nations linguist Flora Szabo frustrated. Earth’s Application for Federation membership was taking years longer than average for a mid-sized world with multiple cultures in the Orion Arm. Federation membership hinged on several requirements such as establishing single monetary, measurement, and calendar systems; taming economic inequality; settling internal conflicts; and preserving […]

Bennett’s Comet

Paul wondered if his father piloted a plane the same way he drove their truck. The only plane he’d seen his father fly was a balsa-wood glider they’d built together years ago while stationed near San Diego. Its wing span was longer than Paul was tall and covered by orange, waxy paper. In broad, green […]

About Those Pigs

I’m a tolerant man, but now this whole peasant thing has gotten out of hand. Like this afternoon. I’m sitting on my balcony, reading the newspaper. It’s my after-work ritual. I turn one of the Adirondack chairs to face west, sip a whiskey, and watch the sun go down. Our balcony looks south over the […]

My Book Report: “The Wind in the Willows”

For my first book report of fifth grade, I picked “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame. Well, not really. I didn’t know what to pick. I asked my mom what book I should read and she showed me “Anne of Green Gables” and said that she loved it when she was a girl. […]