Stupefying Stories, October 3 2023
The locals say it isn’t a moon at all, but a sleeping god. They say if you watch it long enough, you’ll see the god shift and murmur.
“What happens if it wakes?” I ask.
“When he wakes,” they say, but refuse to answer.
Wyngraf, Issue #4
Zackery the catbird was officially fed up with the Phoenix.
Every stinking year, it became a huge production: Immolation. Rebirth. Celebration. And not just on the day itself, because the Phoenix grew old and decrepit toward the end of his cycle. For weeks upon weeks the priests would do nothing but hand-feed him bits of mashed carrion and stroke his balding head. And then after the rebirth, oho, then the Phoenix would be a baby, and the priests would continue to dote on him and give him the choicest meats, premasticated and moistened with mead. By the time the Phoenix was a self-sufficient, adult bird, the countdown to immolation would start once again. Sometimes Zackery thought that the Phoenix progressed directly from just-born to near-death with nothing in between.
Flash Fiction Online, August 2023
The creek starts calling to me as soon as we cross the county line. Gravel crunching under my tires is the sound of water tumbling over rocks; sunlight becomes silver fish glinting off my windshield. My daughter Lacey turns her head toward the open passenger-side window, like she smells something unexpected and delicious.
By the time Lacey was born, I’d long since left this place in my rearview. In the years since, I’d managed to convince myself that the creek was just a creek, and that everything I thought I’d felt was nothing more than an adolescent delusion. I swore up and down I’d never come back, but my mother can no longer manage alone, and she stubbornly refuses to move out of her house.
“You know I can’t,” she said when I asked. “You of all people.”
Flash Point SF, August 25 2023
I’m working at the grocery when the wind blows you into town. I stock the shelves there, arranging the oldest merchandise in front, cleaning up after shoppers who think twice about that bar of chocolate and stuff it between pasta boxes two aisles down. It suits me, this job; I like the orderliness of the rows of boxes and cans, the way I can shuffle things around to fill any gaps. The way that everything has a place.
And then you land in the parking lot, bruised and disheveled.
Spirits & Ghouls: Short Stories
The cat is the only one who can see us.
His name is Jekyll, and he’s half gray and half white. Sometimes he ignores us but sometimes
he stares at us, unblinking, until we give up and melt back into the walls. Jekyll isn’t afraid of
ghosts, but sometimes, when he stares at us like that, we are a little afraid of Jekyll.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2023
When the Sea came to our village, she was an old woman. She arrived when the water crested and draped over the earth, its salty fingers pushing out offerings of sea glass and bladder wrack. Her dress trailed behind her, hair tangled with kelp and tentacles. No one doubted that she was the Sea. Everyone was disappointed.
Not One of Us, Issue #75
When the record player first spoke to Beverly, it used the voice of her old piano. At first, just the whisper of air among strings, like a clearing of the throat. A single tap of the middle C. Then came the scales, forwards and backwards, and the muted thud of felted hammers against metal strings. Beverly took in a sharp breath. She'd learned to play her first notes on that piano, decades ago. She knew its vocabulary intimately: the delicate chuckle of the upper registers, the lisp of its sticky high A, the squeaky press-and-release of the sustain pedal. There was no mistaking it.