When my sister and I would go the Carnival Circus, we couldn’t tell our Dad, of course. “No jobs,” is what my Uncle Kevin used to say, whenever you’d ask him why we only had a few restaurants in town, and why we had to drive to Olderville to get groceries since the Piggly Wiggly shut down, and why the amusement park that would open just before Lent and close down in time for the Fall semester was lost to rust and vandalism and a sea of litter and weeds. The place was restricted – you couldn’t just waltz in, or you’d get the deputy called on you and get your name in the local paper, which was a big deal in a town of only 2900 people (they stopped lowering the number on the sign so people wouldn’t get depressed, after Molly Ames had jumped off Croger Creek Bridge early one morning). [Read more…] about Eagles’ Wings and Unicorns
A laundromat isn’t supposed to be scary. Sure, you might feel awkward being there alone late at night, if you’re a young woman and it’s in a bad neighborhood. But in general, laundry is a happy thing. It’s suds and bubbles, and clean scents, and warm socks, and washing away all the built up grime that soils your life in layers. You think about things like this, if you’re Maggie. Maggie thinks about what things mean, as much as what they are. [Read more…] about Forgotten Wash
A many headed thing – that’s what Dad had called it. He had to call it a ‘thing’. That’s what you do when there’s no known phyla, even in cryptozoology. People get that a unicorn, if they existed, would be a kind of horse. Bigfoot – that’d be a primate. But what the Hell do you call a 24-headed thing with albino fur and no eyes, with canine teeth, that lives under water? A nightmare, that’s what you’d call it, and that’s what I thought it was. Dad sleeping in the boat again. [Read more…] about Hide Your Hydra
The dog grew larger every day. Sam thought it would stop, once it got to his knees. He thought it would surely stop when it reached his chest, and he had to keep it in the back yard, and feed it a whole bag of food every day. When it reached his shoulders, he began to doubt, and wondered what would happen if the neighbors saw. By then it was eating two bags. His parents left him enough money in the account – they might stay in Europe an extra few weeks if the notion took them, especially if they decided on Italy. When the dog was taller than him, and could look over the fence while still on all fours, he knew it wasn’t going to stop. It would grow and grow until it was bigger than the whole world, and then what would it eat? It would eat Sam maybe, if he didn’t feed it enough. [Read more…] about Personal Growth
Darryl held the cup of coffee over the edge of the fire escape, eying the two taxis below. Whichever one started to move first, that’s whose barista he would become.
Jill was late for work, and the whole call taxi thing was new to her. In New York, you didn’t really call unless you were out in the burbs. Maybe you summoned a cab with a cell phone app – you could do that. But she never heard of anyone calling from lower Manhattan. Chicago would be an adjustment – you could flag a taxi in Chicago, but not this far off the brown line. Damn, there was the horn, and her hair dryer wasn’t working. How are you supposed to operate like that, when everyone in the law office has a suit worth more than your last vacation? Especially if you ever wanted to clerk your way up the ladder without sleeping with it. [Read more…] about F*ck Your Day Job
Racy Feder is the fastest sketch artist in the world. When the second tower fell in New York, she wasn’t taking a photograph, she was standing in the street, pencil in hand, making a sketch. When she was witness to two men making it out of the bank on 42nd Street with automatic weapons and sacks of Chase’s money, no one dared hold up their cell phones for a shot. Racy, sat calmly and efficiently with her knees tucked in, seemingly scribbling on a pad, and her not one but two sketches became the only globally syndicated images of the holdup. During the ice storm two years later, when cars were sliding out of control on I-87, Racy turned in drawings to her grandmother’s insurance company, made on the scene, showing the trajectory and position of each car in her line of sight, even before their own vehicle was struck. [Read more…] about Hands that Listen