This is what Hell is like, my father warns, stirring the embers inside our wood stove. Lined up like dolls before him, my two older sisters and I wait for whatever comes next, afraid to take our eyes from the fire. The rising heat stings my baby-soft skin. I am still a baby, basically; small and wobbly on my feet, my hair is wispy and blonde, my cheeks are round and chubby, my world is the little red house we call home. Somehow, I grow up after all of this, tall and thin just like him. The son he always wanted, or so he thought.
My short story ‘Flecks of Red Paint’ was just published in The Lumiere Review‘s special Advocacy issue. In the story, a young boy fantasizes about how he might kill his father. It’s unclear just how serious he is until the end.
Follow this link to read the story now. Here’s a brief excerpt:
With my right hand, I scratch along the side of the house, scraping away tiny red flecks of paint, some of which get stuck beneath my fingernails. The further I drag my hand, the more it hurts. I stare down at my stained fingertips, thinking back to that day I helped my father paint the house. Even then, I was tempted to shake things up. What if I didn’t hold the ladder so tightly? What if I shook it, making him fall?
To read the full story, click here. And make sure to tell me what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!
My short story “Winking and Blinking” was just published by Stoneboat Literary Journal (Issue 10.2, Summer 2020). It’s a beautiful journal with lots of great prose, poetry, and visual art. Check out their website for a full list of contributors and information on ordering your copy today! Below is a short excerpt from my story:
The woman I lived next door to as a child just shot herself in the head. The news is passed along like the latest bit of juicy small-town gossip. I imagine my mother telling her friends at the beauty parlor, exaggerating her connection to the tragedy. When I hear the woman’s name, I drop the phone, barely managing to catch it before it hits the floor. I pull it back to my ear, to the sound of my mother rambling on. Typical of these Sunday night calls to check in, she’s already moved on to something else, hitting each bullet point of our mostly one-sided conversation. She likes keeping me updated, but not a lot happens back home, especially in the span of just one week. She keeps talking, but I can’t hear anything after that first piece of information. Something finally happened ..
To read the full story, order your copy today! Please enjoy, and let me know what you think of “Winking and Blinking” in the comments below.
My short story “City Filled with Expectant Mothers” was published in the “Crowds” edition of In Parentheses Magazine (v. 5, issue 4, Spring 2020). You can purchase the magazine here (digital download, print copy, or both). Below is an excerpt from my story:
They’re everywhere, they’re all I see, and no matter how far I run I know I’ll never escape. What started on the train continued in the grocery store and followed me on my run along Riverside Drive. This city, suddenly filled with expectant mothers. They’ve sprung up like weeds, their stomachs so swollen I wonder how they keep from falling over.
Purchase the latest issue of In Parentheses here to read the full story. It’s a great magazine filled with poetry, prose, and photography!
Make sure to check out In Parentheses, based here in New York.
As I got the news, a wave crashed into the room, filling it with water. I fell under, looking everywhere for the surface but failing to find it. A pair of lips continued moving across from me, but the words floated away. I left like that, still submerged and stunned, my hand gripping papers with more words I couldn’t understand. This drowning would be long and slow. I had to get used to life underwater.
To read the full story, go here.
Ghost City Review is published by Ghost City Press. Check them out! And let me know what you think about my story!
This can’t be happening. I feel the colors draining from my body, leaving nothing behind but the outline of what might have been. I can’t feel my heart, I can’t find my next breath. I’m lost in a world burning bright. All I can see are the flames eating my house.
Visit Slippery Elm‘s website to buy a copy of the journal now. Let me know what you think!
My short story “Grasshopper” was published back in 2013 in Jonathan Issue 04: A Journal of Gay Fiction. Click on the link if you’re interested in ordering a copy from Sibling Rivalry Press. Here’s an excerpt from the story:
For such a violent act, he did it with the most delicate precision I’d ever seen, snatching a grasshopper up from the ground and flicking it against our electric fence in one swift move, watching its twitchy little legs pop off. A single line of juiced barbed wire enclosed the pasture, keeping the cows and lone bull safely confined. “You got your eyes open?” he’d ask, hunching down near the fence, his left hand balanced on one knee as he searched through the grass. They were everywhere, so it never took him long. Wade liked performing such tricks, all to the morbid delight of my eleven-year-old eyes. I wouldn’t touch the alien insects, no matter how many times he tried to show me how to flick them just right.
I wrote this story a number of years ago .. I really like it and hope you do too! Again, if you want to read the full story, the issue it ran in is still available for purchase. Just follow this link.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Knowing he won’t return for a few hours, I finally let go, abandoning the idea that what I’m about to do is wrong. Left alone with the clues and artifacts of his life, of his essence, I stop resisting and fling the door open to whatever comes next. I’ve never allowed such freedom in his presence, which might be half the problem.
A penis is an ugly thing, especially once it’s been detached from the body. It hangs so limp in your hand, small and soft, flailing around like fat, water-soaked noodle. Despite the terrible thing he’d done, he couldn’t help but note how ridiculous the penis looked rolling towards the hole in the sink, getting caught in the plastic flaps of the garbage disposal. After giving it a nudge and watching it disappear into blackness, he flipped the switch. As the blades pulverized the penis into tiny pieces, he stared at the hole, wishing it was big enough to swallow his head. He tried sticking his thing in there once when he was little, mostly as an experiment. He climbed up on the counter and pulled his shorts down, bending this way and that over the sink, but no matter how much he twisted and turned, jutting his bony hips out or spreading his legs wide, he just couldn’t find the right angle.
To continue reading, click here. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
The past year has been a great one in writing for me. A few of my stories have found homes with some great journals. It’s also the first time my work has been nominated for awards. Below are highlights of things that have been published over the past year. I’ve included links, so make sure to give my stories a read – and check out all the wonderful journals that have published them!
- My short story Be a Good Girl was published by Cold Creek Review (Issue 3). I’m happy to report that they’ve nominated the story for a 2018 Pushcart Prize!
- Sun Star Review published my story Big Cat Head in their Winter issue (vol. 1, issue 3) – they’ve also nominated it for Best of the Net 2017!
This year, I’ve also made significant progress on a novel I’ve been working on. I’m still writing the first draft, but I’m over 300 pages in and nearing the end. I don’t want to say too much, but it’s a dark story set in the South. It centers around a group of high school students during their senior year. The story opens with the mysterious death of two of the characters, who are also twin brothers.
A close friend has been reading over another novel I wrote to offer notes and general feedback. It’s much further along in the drafting process. This story also takes place in the South, but the narrator is much younger. I describe it as my Southern Gothic novel that doubles as a coming-of-age story. No Splashing, the short story mentioned above, is a reworked version of one of the chapters from the book.
I’m always working on various projects, so it’s wonderful to see them reach an audience, big or small. 2017 felt significant in a lot of ways – I hope 2018 is even better!