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.
It was my idea, the camping trip. I had so many great memories of camping over the years: with my family, with the Boy Scouts, with my college buddies. We’d find some remote spot in the woods, then spend a week just doing … nothing. I wanted Liz to experience that, to get her to…Keep reading
“The back door is open,” an automated voice said in a pleasantly informative tone. Carol’s eyelids fluttered. They felt heavy, leaden. She groaned, then lifted her chin from her chest. An angry migraine kicked behind her forehead. The flickering light from the TV stabbed mercilessly at her eyes. Carol glanced at the empty wine goblet…Keep reading
The dust storms were getting worse. People in town called them “black blizzards.” That’s exactly what they were like, too, like snowstorms made of soot and ash. One minute, the sky would be as clear as glass. The next minute, the dust would billow up so high that it blocked out the sun. It would…Keep reading
“Finish up the dressing rooms before you go, okay, hon?” Barb shrugged on her jacket, then flipped her hair out from under the collar. “And don’t forget to lock up.” “Lights and locks. Got it,” Claire nodded. She poked a dress into a rack of identical outfits. “Good luck with Mr. Swipe-Right.” Barb snickered. A bell…Keep reading
Uncle Joe looked at the long procession of stagecoaches stalled ahead of us on the trail. The line of settlers wound up into the mountain pass. He consulted his map, then spat into the dirt. “It’s too far,” he said to Father. “We’ll never make it before sundown.” Father nodded in agreement. He glanced at…Keep reading
The woman’s head lurched forward as her SUV slowed to a jarring stop, its bumper only inches from the police car parked sideways across her lane. Half a dozen emergency vehicles crowded the street ahead of her. There were police cars. Fire trucks. An ambulance. The woman watched with mounting horror as a pair of…Keep reading
“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…Keep reading
Andy loaded the body into the back of the van, then slammed the door. “Last one,” he called out, knocking on the rear door with his knuckles. The van’s engine started up with a roar. Its tailpipe shuddered, enveloping Andy in a swirl of exhaust. He coughed and waved the noxious fumes away from his…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
“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…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
“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…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
“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…Keep reading
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!Keep reading
“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…Keep reading
“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…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
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…Keep reading
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