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
neon and harbor lights, some men quiet, some cat-calling. In response
women preened, corrected their posture, and licked their lips. Others
and giggled and looked down at the sidewalk. Others were more firmly
Physical appearance could be deceptive. Carefully honed perfection
in throngs wearing thongs. Gods and Goddesses cruised for Eros,
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
painted in deep yellow and red-brown tones. The master bedroom faced
Canyon and the San Bernardino foothills to the east.
“Do you think the fires will spread here?” the woman asked the man, as
in bed looking through the sliding glass doors at the distant orange
“No. There’s considerable distance and concrete between us and the
think we’ll be okay, Janice.”
On the nightstand she lit sandalwood incense. “Would you like to spend
“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
took a Marlboro and lighter from a nightstand, walked across the room,
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
paced and coughed. Anthology>>
Bodies of Water
Homicide detectives Strode and Harris investigate a well-known New
of Cancer Alley moist air carried mysterious odors through my window. I
my desk. The sun imposed through open blinds, its light enhancing the
grain of my desk. I didn't use coasters. I had a bad 'zine habit.
paper lay about. My drawers were disorganized, the small paper clips
the large. The pens and pencils co-mingled.
I was back. N'awlins seemed another planet after life in LaLa Land.
California had little weather to speak of. The forecasters got big
anyway. It had little humidity; N'awlins had lots. The men there were
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
apartments, duplexes, and ranch-style homes. They viewed a perversion
nature: harsh desert turned lush by extensive watering systems. Some
simply rolled out astroturf. Others landscaped with
Cashmeres Must Die
The Metzlers enjoyed hot dog casserole, The Twilight Zone,
plastic on the
furniture, and cashmere.
Metzler sat in his 1959 Pontiac Chieftain on his Maple Street
driveway. Mmm . . . that new car smell. One day they’ll
sell it. He pulled a small memo pad and pen from a suit pocket and made
’New car smell — replicate and market!’ He took in the car’s
interior. ‘Dashboard needs more knobs! Bigger!’ he jotted. As
Strategy Formulation consultant, he had diverse information and ideas
felt occasionally envious as he watched clients succeed in their
experienced random, uncontrollable urges to lie, and enjoyed gauging
Stuart anticipated the day’s work, and wondered what his secretary
be wearing. Anthology>>
Monroe experiences her last summer on earth.
absolutely love negative ionization. It makes me high!” Marilyn
wore a low-cut black silk dress and black heels. Her skin well took the
The tip of her nose had been shortened and narrowed; concavity below
cheekbones had been enhanced by the extraction of a few back teeth.
platinum blonde locks contrasted with tan skin, like vanilla frosting
caramel cake. The mole on the right side of her face seemed an
accent to her physical perfection.
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
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
Pall Malls, downed Wild Turkey and animatedly talked to a small blond
seated opposite him.
"Just listen to them go at it, would you? Their paroxysms of passion
me positively dyspeptic. It's always the same, people from the other
inhabiting our special places and invading our space. And
capitalizing on our names. The Southern Gothic. Indeed! How
we been here now? I wouldn't have predicted qualities of the afterlife.
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>>
Culinary bikers travel the American West.
Killers had a growing rep. They'd kicked a bunch of ass at a bar
They'd been minding their own business, having a dance together when
opined on their motto. " 'Waste not, want not'? What kinda sissy stuff
that? Y'all one a' them anti-litterin' groups?" Anthology>>
A Southern California screenwriter works and plays.
was beautiful she thought: the deep reds of roses and blood and wine;
tan-to-brown of bread and chocolate and human skins; the dark liquid of
drowning-pool eyes pulling one in. Anthology>>
and Graf, Carroll and Graf/Robinson,
Running Press, Thunders Mouth Press, Cleis Press, Berkeley Books,
humor, erotica, anthologies, short stories