Here are some samples of flash fiction, stories and novel excerpts published over the years. Stuart Dybek selected my story "In the Dark" as the winner in the inaugural "One Book, One Chicago" flash fiction contest sponsored by the Chicago Public Library. Other work has been published in print and online, live and dead, including Annalemma, Curbside Splendor, Flashquake, MAKE Magazine, Monkeybicycle, Pindledyboz, Word Riot, and Hair Trigger, the award-winning student anthology out of Columbia College Chicago, where I earned my MFA in creative writing.
"It started as an endearment, her finger in his belly button an intimacy that was uniquely and solely theirs. His navel swallowed not one but two of the knuckles on her index finger.
“It’s just so deep,” she said.
“Fountain of youth,” he said.
She liked textures, how the hair on his chest and belly bunched between her fingers, the slow swirling of her palms and fingertips a steady growing arousal. Afterwards, her cheek on his matted chest, he rested his arm on her back, relaxed but secure. Then she dug in his navel.
One of the few published stories I still enjoy reading. It's a squirm-worthy love story. Read it all online here or in print MAKE #8.
"She hired me to shovel snow but when the waiter from Argentina never showed I was rotated into the waiting staff, two days busing, four days waiting, with Tuesdays off. First one on the lift, I'd ski behind ski patrol to The Lodge, brew the coffee, get the fireplaces going, take a little nap in a rocking chair, then start to shovel as sunlight ripped through the mountains. The solitude was awesome. Life was no bigger than the drip of an icicle, the call of a kingfisher, the shape of a snowflake."
My first big publication in a print lit journal, and the second excerpt published from my first novel, "Home." Another excerpt, "The Tiffany Prospect," got optioned into a short film by a grad student at Columbia College Chicago. Contact me for more info on "Home".
In the Dark
"The hallway light is left on for my wife. It draws pale blocks of geometry down on the far end of the hall. At the edge of a long rectangle, between two doors, stands a child.
The light behind me falls somewhere between us; all I can make out is the fuzzy outline of his monkey-in-moons pajamas and his sleep-strewn hair. “Charlie?”
He remains unmoved, and though his face has dimmed, I feel him staring right through me, his head slightly cocked.
Winner of the One Book, One Chicago flash fiction contest judged by Stuart Dybek and sponsored by the Chicago Public Library, DePaul, and The Chicagoan. My son was catching a frog in a pond when I got the call.
"The Marq was still frozen. The defroster blew open a set of eyes on the bottom of the windshield. Wayne swiped the ice off the dash and peered up the stairs to his apartment. He should've been inside, under his electric blanket watching season three of the M*A*S*H* complete collection, remote in one hand, Hawkeye-tini in the other. But it was first Friday of the month, and first Fridays were pool with Wally. A promise was a promise, and the little jerk would be waiting."
This story was accepted for publication hours after submitting it. That has never happened before or again. Contact me to read more.