It was almost two o’clock in the afternoon, and my stomach was growling so loudly that I was pretty sure that Wendy could hear it. As we cruised down Alma’s business section towards Wendy’s apartment, I thought back to our conversation about Harry Potter. I had only invited Wendy to ride with me to the nature preserve because I had such a good time eating dinner with her that day I got punched in the gut. And, almost everybody had gone home for the summer, so I didn’t have very many other people who I could ask. But, my first impressions of her were thatRead More →

One Inspired by the Reedsy Prompt “Summer Love, the quarantine edition.” View the story prompt here: I entered the main lobby of Sparrow Hospital at a near-sprint, and nearly crashed into a surly looking nurse who was stationed at the front door next to a big metal sign that read “All visitors must be screened  for COVID19.” “Hold still while I take your temperature,” she said through gritted teeth. Displaying a forced smile, she rubbed the tip of a device against my forehead. “Thanks, now don’t forget to pick up a mask.” I followed her gaze to a box of masks which was locatedRead More →

. Luke’s vision narrowed with each lurching thud his heart made, the edges of the tile he gazed at swelling and shrinking as blood flowed in and out of his eyes. The teller shouldn’t have pressed the panic button. A tooth had come to rest directly in the middle of one of the bank’s floor tiles, the edges of the tile framing it like a poster of ideal dental hygiene. The teller shouldn’t have pressed the panic button. They were trained not to be heroes, to just hand the money over and let insurance deal with the fallout. Damaged employees cost more than inflated premiumsRead More →

When Dodgy didn’t come back from his scavenger run, I, as his lieutenant, had assumed command of the Young Troop. At first, I had figured that he had been slowed down by the cops. He had gotten his name for being able to evade the pigs like track runners jump hurdles, but he was cautious when he had close calls. After a few days, the Young Troop started to whisper about how the social workers had tracked him down, or worse, how the shadow people might have gotten him. Once a week had passed, I called an assembly, and the Troop and I pricked ourRead More →

. Frank and I worked together to guide Mary up into the house and onto the couch in the living room. Once she was inside and more comfortable, Mary stripped out of her winter jacket, hats, and gloves, and tossed them onto the floor in front of the fireplace. At first I thought that she had clumsily dropped them on the floor, but it really did seem like she had launched her things onto the floor. Frank had returned to their truck to shut off the engine and get some of Mary’s things. By the time he had returned, Mary had arranged two of ourRead More →

. People once talked about the apocalypse as if it would have a tangible beginning. We remained unaware of its arrival for years, but now that we can look back it is easier to see the signs. After I was born, my parents moved to a single story white house on Clyde Road. My sister Tina was born five years later. I visited her in the hospital with my father, but she never made it home and never saw the nursery my parents had prepared for her. I was told that Tina had died from health problems, and discouraged from discussing her. My parents alsoRead More →