Short Stories

Short Stories

Before novels were invented, people had to read short stories. Of course, then they were just called stories, as longer-format stories had not yet been invented. Some of the short stories below appeared in my first two books, The Sum of Memory and Destination Okinawa. The others, well, who knows where they came from, but they’re here now, so you might as well read them.

Also, it should go without saying that these stories were written a long time ago, before I had learned pretty much anything about pretty much anything. They are included here as a warning to future writers.


Silvan’s Demon
It was the lamp on the corner of the desk, thought Silvan; the lamp was the one casting weird shadows on the stained oak, making each of the little pills look like exclamation points on longer gashes, black scratches on the hardwood.
Hurricane Lori
The thing I’ll remember most about Heather were her eyes. Her vacant, empty eyes. Staring at me like nothing in the world was wrong, like my questions were devoid of meaning and of answers. Hers was a face of impassivity and betrayal…
Once a Convict
They could call it freedom if they wanted to, but the truth of the matter was that they wouldn’t be undoing Pony’s cuffs until he had made his way through the gauntlet of barbed fencing and razor wire to the last guard shack on the perimeter fence.
The Litagent and Professor Kemp
Rain, for some reason, excited him. Perhaps it was the variance, the fact that no two storms were really alike. Sometimes it was a heavy downpour, other times nothing more than a light drizzle. The truth was that it operated randomly—a rarity in a world where control was the norm.
R9 at Baker Lane (2008)
It was closing in on three in the morning and Jerry the Driver along with Billy the Tech were coming to the end of an uneventful but tiring twelve-hour shift.
Well Digger (2008)
Charlie sat on a makeshift chair at the side of the well with his chin in his hands wondering what was going on down there. For several hours, he had not heard a single sound, nor had there been a tug on the rope indicating that a bucket of dirt was ready to be excavated.
The Third Option (2007)
He had shifty eyes, that Dr. Hirsch. Shifty eyes and a smooth way of talking that made Paul see him as more of a salesman than a medicine man. If it weren’t for the one diploma hanging conspicuously behind him, his office would have been indistinguishable from a marketing intern’s cubicle.
No Rewrites (2007)
“Everything is a damn challenge.” I was trying to break the moment of awkward silence in the elevator, but I realized just after saying it that it might not have been appropriate to curse in front of a complete stranger.

From Destination Okinawa (2006)

Ride the Red Bullet
Johnny woke up that morning and on the holy name of his mother, couldn’t find his car keys. He searched the apartment frantically, even going so far as to check behind the filter in the air conditioner. They weren’t there.
Flying Car (2006)
Andrew sat outside the sanitation building in the cold December morning for fifteen minutes, rubbing his hands together and wondering whether it was too early for him to go inside. He didn’t officially start work until six; that’s what it said on his contract. It was his first
  • The Hair Fairy
  • Cassie Three Point Zero
  • All by One
  • Grasshopper
  • In the Hearts of Men
  • Blood Money
  • Scotty Peanut
  • Going Back
  • Where They Cannot Follow
  • Flight
  • Slow Burn
  • Money Tree
  • Holloway
  • Destination Okinawa

From The Sum of Memory (2004)

  • Parlance
  • Mosey General
  • Chelubai
  • Midnight Playground
  • Third Period
  • Moonlight
  • Mateo X
  • Dreamlover
  • Marinero
  • Listen
  • Case 442
  • Reflections
  • Ten Thousand Hits
  • Spark
  • Code
  • Timeless
  • The New Kid
  • Shadow Beach
  • The Sum of Memory