In sociological studies people connect, divide and disappear.
Loud print shirts and thin tank tops became moist against many-hued skins as
people teemed through humidity. On the sidewalks and boardwalks people moved
through neon and harbor lights, some men quiet, some cat-calling. In response
some women preened, corrected their posture, and licked their lips. Others
smiled and giggled and looked down at the sidewalk. Others were more firmly
Physical appearance could be deceptive. Carefully honed perfection manifested
in throngs wearing thongs. Gods and Goddesses cruised for Eros, yearning for
entities with which to collide. Anthology>>
Heat and Ash
A looming Southern California wildfire brings up issues.
The home was Southwest minimalist with Mission furniture pieces. The walls were
painted in deep yellow and red-brown tones. The master bedroom faced Sycamore Canyon
and the San Bernardino foothills to the east.
“Do you think the fires will spread here?” the woman asked the man, as they lay
in bed looking through the sliding glass doors at the distant orange glow.
“No. There’s considerable distance and concrete between us and the fires. I
think we’ll be okay, Janice.”
On the nightstand she lit sandalwood incense. “Would you like to spend the
“Sure. I could use a cigarette.”
“Could you please smoke outside? Please don’t let the cats out.”
He sighed and sat up, threw his legs over the edge of the bed and stood. He
took a Marlboro and lighter from a nightstand, walked across the room, opened
the sliding door and stepped out onto the deck. He closed the
door. Swirling ash dusted his bare body and long hair as he smoked and
paced and coughed. Anthology>>
Bodies of Water
Homicide detectives Strode and Harris investigate a well-known New Orleans
Miles east of Cancer
Alley moist air carried mysterious odors through my window. I sat at my desk.
The sun imposed through open blinds, its light enhancing the wood grain of my
desk. I didn't use coasters. I had a bad 'zine habit. Stacks of paper lay
about. My drawers were disorganized, the small paper clips mixed with the
large. The pens and pencils co-mingled.
I was back. N'awlins seemed another planet after life in LaLa Land. Southern
California had little weather to speak of. The forecasters got big bucks
anyway. It had little humidity; N'awlins had lots. The men there were prettier
than me. They got big bucks too. Me, I was a cop. Anthology>>
Tina and Lucille
In the Thelma and Louise-inspired story, Tina and Lucille hit the road.
"Lucille, don't look now, but there's a police car behind us."
Lucille took a left turn off an I-40 frontage road, cruising the gauntlet of
apartments, duplexes, and ranch-style homes. They viewed a perversion of
nature: harsh desert turned lush by extensive watering systems. Some homeowners
simply rolled out astroturf. Others landscaped with stone. Anthology>>
Cashmeres Must Die
The Metzlers enjoyed hot dog casserole, The Twilight Zone, plastic on the
furniture, and cashmere.
Stuart Metzler sat in
his 1959 Pontiac Chieftain on his Maple Street driveway. Mmm . . . that
new car smell. One day they’ll bottle and sell it. He pulled a small memo
pad and pen from a suit pocket and made a note. ’New car smell — replicate and
market!’ He took in the car’s interior. ‘Dashboard needs more knobs!
Bigger!’ he jotted. As a Strategy Formulation consultant, he had diverse
information and ideas but felt occasionally envious as he watched clients
succeed in their projects. He experienced random, uncontrollable urges to lie,
and enjoyed gauging reaction. Stuart anticipated the day’s work, and wondered
what his secretary Vicky would be wearing. Anthology>>
Monroe experiences her last summer on earth.
absolutely love negative ionization. It makes me high!” Marilyn squealed. She
wore a low-cut black silk dress and black heels. Her skin well took the sun.
The tip of her nose had been shortened and narrowed; concavity below her
cheekbones had been enhanced by the extraction of a few back teeth. Short
platinum blonde locks contrasted with tan skin, like vanilla frosting on a
caramel cake. The mole on the right side of her face seemed an asymmetrical
accent to her physical perfection.
“Marilyn, darling, are you sure it’s not the margaritas?” laughed her small
“Would you believe who’s here tonight? Am I hallucinating, or is that the
president of the United States standing near the buffet table?”
She laughed. “Perhaps you ARE hallucinating."
A couple vacations at a Louisiana bed and breakfast, encountering literary
man in a white linen suit, brown wingtips, and white Panama hat chain-smoked
Pall Malls, downed Wild Turkey and animatedly talked to a small blond man
seated opposite him.
"Just listen to them go at it, would you? Their paroxysms of passion make
me positively dyspeptic. It's always the same, people from the other side
inhabiting our special places and invading our space. And entities
capitalizing on our names. The Southern Gothic. Indeed! How long have
we been here now? I wouldn't have predicted qualities of the afterlife. It
takes a period of adjustment. "
"I suppose. I was here for weeks before I figured it out. I have
difficulty keeping track of things." Anthology>>
The Road Killers
Culinary bikers travel the American West.
The Road Killers had
a growing rep. They'd kicked a bunch of ass at a bar outside Tulsa. They'd been
minding their own business, having a dance together when the local opined on
their motto. " 'Waste not, want not'? What kinda sissy stuff is that?
Y'all one a' them anti-litterin' groups?" Anthology>>
A Southern California screenwriter works and plays.
beautiful she thought: the deep reds of roses and blood and wine; the
tan-to-brown of bread and chocolate and human skins; the dark liquid of brown,
drowning-pool eyes pulling one in. Anthology>>
Collection: Strays and Other Stories
Carroll and Graf,
Carroll and Graf/Robinson, Running Press, Thunders Mouth Press, Cleis
Press, Berkeley Books, starbooks, Renaissance Books ,Fiction, humor, erotica,
anthologies, short stories