The kiss was out of character. Thinking about it afterwards, Serett felt as though it was someone else’s moment she was remembering, as though she’d slipped into the body of a woman driven by impulse, and was taking this wild stranger’s mind for a joy ride.
The baby arrived on November 11, conceived Valentine’s Day nine months earlier. This is at least what Jason had assumed, since it was the night he and Lila reconciled their differences again. What he didn’t know, is that it may not have been that particular night but two weeks earlier when Lila had woken up after a “girls’ night out” with a hangover, and a stranger snoring in her bed. But Lila refused to acknowledge the chance that her on-and-off-again boyfriend was not the father, and pushed the one-night-stand so far out of the circumstances she’d almost convinced herself that it hadn’t taken place.
They were driving back from a documentary about farmed salmon, a topic that Janet was vehemently passionate about, sometimes overly so in Gary’s private opinion. Especially when the topic arose, or didn’t arise—at which point she’d force it into small talk—during cocktail parties hosted by his fellow professors. He didn’t always appreciate the zeal with which she sometimes sounded off; it appeared to him an exhibition of self-righteousness. But outwardly, he genially supported her causes. Gary was, after all, a wilting sort of person who avoided confrontation with the same extra sensitive caution one might undertake trying to lay a sleeping baby in a crib.
(First published in SubTerrain Magazine) The second eagle, the one he’d been dreaming about for nearly two decades, graced Walter’s life like a bookend – by falling from the sky and landing in his back yard, several feet away from where he was cutting wood. It was a Sunday morning, late in September. When he cautiously approached the bird, he saw the valentine-shaped stain from a bullet in the chest, just below a thick and regally ruffled neck, which was slightly crooked and unmoving. “I’ll be damned,” said Walter, poking the bird cautiously with a piece of wood to check that it was dead.
(Published in “What She Left Behind”) A group of stragglers crowded through the door and she found herself looking up at the little Flea Market man she’d characterized in a short story. “Damien?” “Rebecca?” She stared at his ageless face, taking in the memorable mess of brown hair. He broke into a smile that spread from ear to ear like a demonic cartoon. She hadn’t seen him in over a year, not since his band Sex Toys had played one of her old house parties with Jeremy, Audrey and Simon. Rebecca met Damien when she and Audrey had stumbled upon a series of after-hours clubs in the X-town area. They’d spent many weekends prowling the über-secretive spots after rock shows.