Short Stories

The stories here range from 300 to 9,900 words. All have been previously published in various anthologies, magazines, literary journals, websites, and podcasts. If you are interested in publishing one of these stories as a reprint, please contact me.

Make It a Double

“What’s eating you?” the bartender asked. He wiped the bar with a rag, lifting napkin holders and bowls of peanuts so he could clean under them. The neon beer signs hanging overhead cast soft-edged splashes of color down onto the reflective wetness of the bar top. He waved at the last group of patrons as…

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This story is a dark(er) retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Match Girl Night was falling, settling over the city like a veil of black ash. A poor little girl trudged alone down the street, her snow-dusted hair glittering faintly in the lamplight, her cheeks reddened and raw from the blistering cold. She moved…

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One New Follower

“Truth or dare?” Kendra asked, her eyes sparkling mischievously in the glow of the LED light strips outlining the bedroom walls. Emilia chewed her lip. “Dare,” she replied. Kendra whispered in Lacey’s ear. Lacey’s eyes widened. Her mouth made an O. “Should I?” Kendra said. Lacey nodded. “Definitely.” “Should you what?” Emilia’s eyes darted between…

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The amputation was the easy part. It’s incredible the kinds of things you can find online if you know where to look. I didn’t even have to search for very long. I just put the word out through a few discussion boards of questionable repute, and a couple of hours later, I received a private…

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Just What I Want

“Mom!” Amy called. “Package is here!” The delivery drone lowered the package onto the receiving platform, then buzzed back to the mothership hovering overhead. A pleasant tone chimed as the package slid into the apartment. “I didn’t order anything!” Amy’s mother shouted. Her voice was muffled behind her closed bedroom door. Amy examined the shipping…

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The Churchyard Grim

We thought we would be safe in the church. We were wrong. The icy stone floor dug painfully into my side as I cowered under the pew. My father’s calloused hand cradled the back of my head and pressed my face into the folds of his shirt. The strong scent of sweat and fear leeched…

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A Sinking Feeling

“How long before help comes?” Andrei asked. The two of us were sitting on a sodden mattress that was semi-submerged under the water. It wasn’t exactly a life raft, but it was buoyant enough to keep us somewhat dry. Without the mattress, we’d be in the water up to our necks. With it, the water…

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The Being-a-Mama Challenge

I’ve been nominated by Kristi Hodges for The Being-a-Mama Challenge. Here’s how it works:

Each day for 10 days, I will recount one memory of being Rebecca Harper’s Mama, in exactly 10 words, without explanation.

That’s 10 days, 10 memories, 100 words.

Then I’ll nominate someone else to take the challenge.

This should be fun!

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“Ma, maybe you shouldn’t go out,” Yuri warned, his voice serious. “It’s too dangerous.” Elena made a shushing sound and waved her hand dismissively, forgetting that Yuri couldn’t see the gesture over the phone. She switched the handset to her other ear as she opened the refrigerator. It was a vintage metal icebox with rounded…

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Those Who Turn From God

“This is it,” Daniel said. He slowed the rusted pickup truck to a stop near a small clearing in the woods. The headlights cut through the tall pine trees, casting shadows like prison bars along the forest floor. “You sure you want to do this?” Luke asked, as Daniel climbed from the truck. Daniel reached…

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They Say Crows Can Remember Faces

The stone hit Ava in the back of the head. She stumbled and fell, spilling her schoolbooks out of her arms and onto the dirt road in front of her. Gravel dug into her palms as she threw out her hands to break her fall. Her knees skidded painfully across the ground. “Have a nice…

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Missy caught the firefly in mid-air, cupping her hands around it to form a tiny, dark cave. She could feel the insect’s delicate footsteps tickling her skin as it wandered across her palm, searching for a way out. “Got you!” she whispered, victorious. It was almost dark. The sunset was nothing but a burnt orange…

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The Believer

The last man on Earth leaned on his shovel, then wiped the sweat from his face. He was almost finished. He had been digging for hours. He started around noon, when the sun was high overhead, when his shadow was nothing more than a puddle of darkness under his feet. Now his shadow had transformed…

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Everything As It Was

When I first walked into our crooked two-room house, Mama was standing at the sink, staring out the window at the barren fields outside. The wind was blowing steadily, sending great big clouds of dust swirling through the air. It made a shushing sound against the glass, like someone was asking for quiet. There weren’t…

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Pop’s Time Machine

When I was eleven years old, I told my dad I wanted to invent a time machine. He told me he already had one. I asked him where it was. “Right here,” he said. He tapped his forehead and smiled. “All I have to do is close my eyes, and I can travel back in…

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