The Rifle-Talker

Ralph was handed the rifle that he’d just bought, and he rubbed it slowly up and down and pressed it against his cheek and held it firmly there, before realizing the gun seller’s clearing of his throat meant he wished he would clear out. Ralph had some iron in his step, the way he walked… Continue reading The Rifle-Talker

The Snort

“Certain times of the year I snort more than others,” I said to my friend Rick. I blew the left side of my nose into some tissues, and then I blew the right side, but nothing was coming out. It was infuriating. I snorted again. “Sometimes it sounds like you’re laughing at me under your… Continue reading The Snort

The Carrot Problem

A young man had run away from school and was smashing windows and punching people downtown. The authorities were on the scene, standing by and thinking carefully about the situation. “What if we offer him a gift card to Starbucks?” one said. “What if we offer to buy him a car?” another said. “A trip… Continue reading The Carrot Problem

The Sunburn

The sun had been falling out of the sky all Sunday afternoon, before I realized I had a sunburn on my forearms that looked like I’d been reaching down into a bathtub filled with acid for a bar of soap. I couldn’t hide it at work without wearing long sleeves so I just let it… Continue reading The Sunburn

The Dead Fish

I was eating my oatmeal. My fish walked up to me and said, “And then there were two.” “And then number two,” I said. I got up from the table and used the bathroom. Four hours later I came out sat down on the couch for a television series binge. My fish sat on the… Continue reading The Dead Fish

The Stiff Neck

I was having difficulty turning my head. The doctor said it was because I pinched a nerve in my neck in the night. I tried massaging it, which helped a little. Then I applied a heating pad to it. Still, I could not turn my head. A couple of weeks went by. My face started… Continue reading The Stiff Neck

The Help

I don’t think it’s helpful to divide one group of workers against another or even try to decide what group is more valuable and how much each should receive for compensation as a result of that decision. Worker groups should be judged upon their own merits, alongside a scale of basic human income and a… Continue reading The Help

The Credit Card Pusher

A man named Mark from the credit card company called me and told me I could get a good deal and save a lot of money if I signed up for one. “No disrespect, but I try to stay away from credit cards and I’ve made it a point to never own one,” I said.… Continue reading The Credit Card Pusher

The Nose Rot

I hacked up mucus all morning. My sinuses kept filling up. I’d gone through two boxes of tissues and four rolls of toilet paper in a day. My nose turned black. I went to the emergency room. “You’re fine. Go on home and put some Vaseline on it,” the doctor said. “It’s black, doesn’t that… Continue reading The Nose Rot

The Wild Boy

The boy had bitten a large chunk out of a neighbor and was heading for downtown. The state police were called and they surrounded him down by Miller’s pizza. First, they tried to talk to him, but that ended when Tommy went after a mother who was strolling her baby. They fired some rubber bullets… Continue reading The Wild Boy

The Nest Destroyer

There was a kid poking at something in a bush in the Connor’s front lawn. A bird flew out of it and landed on a nearby roof, and the kid kept poking at the bush. The horror of what I hoped he wasn’t doing haunted me and something in me switched on. Without thinking I… Continue reading The Nest Destroyer

The Fox Chase

My fox was sipping on her usual cappuccino with one squirt of banana syrup. With her little mitten-like hand she swept her red hair back and it fell down the length of her torso. She saw me looking at her and smiled at me. “How’s it going?” I said. She yipped something in a language… Continue reading The Fox Chase

The Perfect Sunny Day

It was a sunny afternoon. It was the kind you dream about. Which was why when I saw a man urinating on a car in the parking lot after work, I paid no mind to it and continued on my routine walk home. Nothing was going to get in the way of my good time… Continue reading The Perfect Sunny Day

Lord Coconut

I’ve imagined you reading a book, your hand sleepy on your knee, and have gone into the depths of my mind to feel like I was that hand, but last time I did your hand changed into a spider and started playing hard to get. I tried turning on the charm, but every time I… Continue reading Lord Coconut

The Lost Head

I hadn’t slept much the night before, and my brain was having difficulty waking up. I took a shower and went downstairs, but halfway down I lost where the stairs were, and I somersaulted down them, crashing into the back of the front door. I stood up, grabbing the back of my head and checking… Continue reading The Lost Head

Seagull

The sailboats were flying. A little too fast. The wind had just picked up out of the west, and some seemed to be really struggling to keep up with it. Vessels were toppling over. The area was starting to look like a mine site. I’d just gotten my pilot’s license and Randy and I were… Continue reading Seagull