Published Short Stories

Prairie Fire - Red Light 262

RED LIGHT 262 in Prairie Fire

“Moans escaped through the mesh windows—his and hers—but couldn’t be heard by nearby campers above the gurgling and gargling of the waste truck, sucking sludge from of the outhouse up the hill. It was early June, my first-night foray into campground prostitution.”

 A POLITE WOMAN in Cosmonauts Avenue

“Marla was a polite woman. If a man wanted to sleep with her she never refused. With each new man, she adopted a cat—Fluffers McGee for John, Marion for Paul, Tiddlemouse for Richard, and so on. Her planner became full of daily romps, so too her house with felines.”

The Nottingham Review - Walking Past

 WALKING PAST in The Nottingham Review

“She wears the same thing most days—an olive-coloured three-tiered skirt, an over-sized brown leather jacket, and weathered cowboy boots. I see her walking past on my way to the streetcar stop and again after work. Sometimes she stands, staring into space. She doesn’t seem to notice me, or that I notice her—two invisibles.”

 DISCONNECT in Necessary Fiction

“I wake under a spider’s web of wires to the sound of monitors—blip, blip, blipping. I look at a camera hanging from the ceiling and give a half-hearted wave. It must be the middle of the night. I hope it is, but before I can close my eyes again, I hear a knock at the door.”

The Antigonish Review

 SEPARATED in The Antigonish Review

“Dislocations, rotator cuff tears, tendinitis, bursitis . . .  I stop at separated shoulder—the junction of the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (arm bone) is disrupted. It is usually the result of a sudden traumatic event. Pain is severe at the time of injury. Alcohol’s oblivion spared me this.”

Paragon - Between the Pines  BETWEEN THE PINES in Paragon
“Pinky is relieved when the bell rings. She walks five blocks to her retreat, a long narrow park that edges the Ottawa River. It’s quiet contrast to classroom chaos is soothing. She strolls along the stretch of green until she comes upon the two large Austrian pines. She sits between them on a blanket of brown needles.”
The Loose Canon - Derry Daring Rides  DERRY DARING RIDES in The Loose Canon
“That’s right, folks, Evel—that long-forgotten genius of daredevil. A man who wasn’t afraid to face his fears. A man driving a legacy. A man who lingers in the minds of men everywhere. Evel and his awesome stars and stripes motorcycle came with a ramp, launch pad, and fold-out stadium stands. That sucker went a mile!”
PANK - Thank You for Disappearing THANK YOU FOR DISAPPEARING in PANK
“Russian acrobats twirled Darlene and me high above their heads. The silver sequins of their costumes cast a kaleidoscope of dancing lights across the walls of my living room—fireplace blazing behind for full-theatrical effect. They had their routine. We had ours.”
The Dalhousie Review - First Dive FIRST DIVE in The Dalhousie Review
“A field follows our dead-end street, a line of trees after that. Neighbourhood kids, the lot of us, spend most evenings and weekends out there. Boys collect scraps of wood to build with while girls sit hiding in the long grass, spying and eating picnics of jelly sandwiches and stolen Flintstones vitamins.”
Little Fiction - Little Hawk LITTLE HAWK in Little Fiction
“If people would just stop procreating, Gary muses. Disease and war weren’t doing their jobs to keep the population down. We could adopt China’s one-child policy. But no—kids need siblings. The only-children Gary knows are either fucked-up egomaniacs due to spoilage, or unpredictable loners you can’t trust.”
The Lion and the Aardvark - The Rats and the Cockroaches THE RATS AND THE COCKROACHES in The Lion and the Aardvark
“Passing the bathroom, Pegasus heard a gurgling hiss from the toilet’s tank—a sound that made his coat wriggle up and down his spine. Using his tail for balance, he stood and gave a sniff. The creatures’ indescribable stench permeated the cool air. Cockroaches!”
 Echolocation - The Inkling THE INKLING in Echolocation
“The editor had hired Jarls on notoriety but soon saw him as a hippie pacifist, not the hard-nosed journalist he had hoped for. Six months ago his boss called him in and told him his stories were overwrought, asked if he’d been hitting the booze. Jarls wished as much, but the drink never appealed to him, his stomach weak with ulcers.
Joyland - Rivals

RIVALS in Joyland

“At intermissions, we’d make our pilgrimage—out the side door, off the porch, through the backyard, across the funeral home parking lot, down the alley, and into the 7-11 on the corner. They sold O-Pee-Chee and Fleer cards, subpar to us aficionados, but hey, they gave us the fix we needed.”

 Dragnet - The Promise of Puppies THE PROMISE OF PUPPIES in Dragnet
“When I finally saw his apartment I saw the end. He made good money and yet was satisfied living in a high-rise, bachelor shitbox. He bought me a cellphone that I asked him to return. I was a proud latter-day Luddite and knew he was more interested in my whereabouts than expanding my technological world.”
 Broken Pencil - Girl in Dryer  GIRL IN DRYER in Broken Pencil
“Alice  didn’t tell her mom about Paul. She knew her mom would think he was a pervert, but Paul seemed more interested in dirt and animals than her. He isn’t much to look at, Alice thinks. He has strawberry blonde hair, connecting freckles and skin so pale it looks see-through. Not her mother’s type.”
PERMANENT in The Nashwaak Review
“I hear my parents’ door open and run back to my room and jump into bed. Footsteps sound down the stairs. I know who it is. Mom climbs into my bed. Her back touches mine. I lie motionless, pretending to sleep as she sobs and shakes. I bite my lower lip and squeeze my eyes, hoping the tears won’t come. ‘Don’t cry, Mommy.’”
Front & Centre - Orchestrated Disaster  ORCHESTRATED DISASTER in Front & Centre
“This twenty minutes seems like a lot longer than the five hours it took to get here. I sit in a washroom stall, purse on lap, rummaging for lipstick and a a brush. I’ve never felt comfortable trying to look pretty, and others knowing. Trying for men, and other women knowing.”
 Lies with Occasional Truth - Hybrid Love  HYBRID LOVE in Lies with Occasional Truth
“I am a hybrid. My mother was abducted and impregnated twenty-nine years ago. The weakness of all aliens is reproduction. Every time they procreate it is a copy of a copy of a copy. Humans offer their zealous love of breeding. Studies with human hosts began decades ago. I was to stay on earth for a short time and then return home.”
Black Bile Press - Men and the Drink MEN AND THE DRINK in Black Bile Press
“The regulars are all at Le Sportif. It’s a one-room dive without windows, and with its low ceilings it feels like a booze-can basement. Middle-aged men, The Knights, sit at the round table closest to the bar. Seniors sit along the wall in two-seater tables pushed together and the twenty-, thirty-somethings fill the other half.”
Front & Centre - 20 Grit 20 GRIT in Front & Centre
“I read aloud in bed. I’m on safari with Hemingway but feel like Bukowski with a black eye yellowing and a fat lip shrinking. I hold up my grandmother’s ivory mirror—a small cut above my left eyebrow and a bruised chin reflect. I lean for the phone. No messages. Pills put me back to sleep.”
Other Voices - Summer Sublet SUMMER SUBLET in Other Voices
“He owns a gallery and talks crassly to clients on the phone. His voice escapes through his window, bounces off the alley brick wall and into mine. I would usually think what a jerk, but instead I start pulsating between the legs. I’ve never been one to practice self-love, so I have to wonder—what is it about his guy that’s got me going.”