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, … More Borrowed Time

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 … More The New Guy

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 … More Scars From Climbing

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 … More Self-Service

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 … More Jack and Beans Talk

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 … More Alligator Andy

Spent

Papa stood over us, heaving and red-faced, his jowls swinging and his ears smoking. Well, the smoke could’ve have been the from kitchen, as Grandma was standing in the doorway, her mouth clamped and her lips drawn tight, unconcerned with whatever was going on at the oven. My attention snapped back to Papa as he … More Spent