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.
Follow this link to open the pdf of the issue now. You’ll have to scroll through to find my story. Here’s a brief excerpt:
Last night, as my mother and I cleaned the dishes at the kitchen sink, my father paced back and forth behind us, biding his time. Each time one of his boots hit the floor in the living room, the sound vibrated across the house, warning us.
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 ‘Follow Me’ was just published by The Manifest-Station. I really had fun playing with surreal elements while writing this story, which focuses on a young couple who are haunted by increasingly bizarre episodes of sleepwalking each night.
Click here to read the full story now! Here’s a brief excerpt:
The hot, wet tears falling down her face released the immense pressure that had been building inside her head. She calmed down, pulling herself off the floor to sit on the bed. She stared down at his leg still sticking out and felt a sudden urge to kick him, hard. That small flicker of rage disappeared before it could grow into something dangerous. I love you, she whispered, no matter what you decide.
Follow this link to read the full story. And let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!
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!
An explosion of sound like a gunshot rang out late one night, startling me awake. Unable to tell if the noise had come from the apartment next door or the nightmares in my head, I bolted upright, struggling to catch my breath. In the dream, I’d been watching my father stomp back and forth through our red house, gripping the small gun he always carried in the inside pocket of his faded denim jacket. He still plays games in these dreams, pointing the gun at us without revealing it. We know it’s there, and he knows our fear.
My short story ‘One Eye to Heaven’ was just published by Bird’s Thumb (v.6, issue 1, Feb. 2019). Click here to read the story in full. There’s even an audio link so you can listen to me read it with my twangy southern drawl!
Here’s a brief excerpt from the story:
A stray dog wandered into our yard one day, scaring the chickens into a real tizzy. They clucked and squawked like they were under attack. Daddy ran out to the porch to see what the hell was going on, and we followed close behind, my sister and me. We saw the mutt right away, and it was a strange one, though he wasn’t after the chickens at all. He’d pushed his way through an opening in the fence surrounding our empty doghouse, sniffing around like he’d found his home at last. We’d lost our last litter of pups to parvo, and Daddy said the virus lived in the ground there, all around the doghouse. We tossed everything out that could have been contaminated, like the bowls for food and water, a couple of chew toys, and a tattered old blanket. We took our little terrier and moved her to a new home, out near the shed. Daddy was still trying to decide what to do with the old doghouse.
Rubbing his stubbly chin like he often did when thinking something over, he glanced down at us for a moment before returning his gaze to the dog. “Tell you what,” he said, sensing our excitement, “you two get rid of that dog, or I will. Got it?”
“Yeah,” my sister said, clasping her hands together. “We’ll chase it off.”
“You better,” he warned. “You ain’t gonna like it if I have to take care of it.”
Click here to read the full story. And please let me know what you think in the comments below!
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.
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!