Monthly Archives: October 2016


There had been a mass exodus from the subway train and they were all in the hot dark of the tunnel now, most faces under-lit by cellphones that had no bars. The air smelled like fireworks and garbage. Melt wore his school backpack. He was the only one not lit up by a cell-phone. He was almost invisible in the middle of the crowd.

There was no leader, just a mass of people spreading down the tunnel in the dark, moving slowly away from the flashing emergency lights of the inanimate train. The volume of their conversations started low but a toddler broke out crying and soon the adults had raised their voices and before long everyone was shouting. Continue reading


Tornin was pleased to be in a market with tables piled with green oranges and red pommerac. It was humid and overcast but not raining. So far, the only unusual thing about this morning was that, after being deposited right outside the market by a fellow squash player, he’d dropped his cell phone and it had gotten crushed underfoot. So no calls today. What a relief. Instead, he was free to listen to the vendors shouting with their island accents and hear colorful tropical birds congregating in nearby banana trees.

In truth, it was his own heel that had crushed the phone. Smeared it into the filthy water, splintered the glass screen and defiled its delicate circuits in an oily tropical puddle. Mostly that little appliance had only caused trouble. Continue reading

Live One

There are twenty three of them. The bellies are a pale pink and the faces are slimy and hideous. Most of them are dead already. Put them in the wicker barrow and wheel them up to Mayberry, Maila said, shoving young Frik towards the dock. He stumbled down the hill and then out along the worn planks of the wharf, bending to push the wicker wheelbarrow ahead of him. The wharf went on forever, the far end disappearing into the haze. When he finally found them he saw all were likely dead and he knew Mayberry would not want to pay for them. One by one he threw the oily bodies into the barrow. They were slick and hard to hold. The faces looked human save the tentacles coming out of the cheeks and ears. He had about half piled in when one of them twitched and the little oval eyes blinked up at him. Frik and the live one stared at each other for about a minute. Then Frik placed it on the far side of the pile so he’d remember which one it was. Hey! the thing said. Put me back in the sea! Continue reading