Sorry Not Sorry

As I parked in front of my aunt’s house, I sighed. This Thanksgiving was gonna suck.

At least, this year, with everybody talking about the election results, maybe I wouldn’t have to hear about how I wasn’t married yet.

Avery was waiting for me at the door, as if she’d been watching through the window. “Heya, sis!” I said loudly. “How’s college?” Then, in a softer voice, I asked her, “So, how bad are they?”

“Medium,” she whispered back. “The uncles aren’t saying much, but Todd is on a rampage.” I rolled my eyes as I shut the door behind me.

As if on cue, my cousin Todd appeared, wearing a “Benton for Governor” baseball cap.

“Hi, cuz!” he shouted, grinning at me. “Where’s your boyfriend José? Oh, wait. Benton deported him!” He cackled with laughter.

My eyes narrowed. “It’s Diego, and we broke up months ago. Don’t you read Facebook?”

“Girl, I blocked you! I don’t need to see you whining to your commie friends about how we have a real governor now.”

I shook my head. “You’re enjoying this…

Evidence (Microfiction)

The floor tasted like blood. Trixie stopped licking when the man appeared, shouting. His mop, thrusting, spread bleach.

Trixie barked as the doorbell rang.

“Good morning, Officer,” stammered the man. “May I help you?”

Microfiction Prompt: Write a complete story incorporating “The floor tasted like…” in exactly 34 words (including those four). 


In uniform, employees
shovel the

Black-coated mourners
embrace one

A woman alone
sits quietly,

Giggling teens whisper
terrible ghostly

A man who
never cries

Two children tremble,
answering a

Crows perch on
tomb stones,

Blind worms perform
salvage and

Poem style: hay(na)ku

Buried Evidence

As I landed in the grassy clearing, I knew I’d better make folks aware I was here in a professional capacity. The little guys tend to freak out when they see my talons.

“Ms. George?” I called. “Detective Corva Kazynski. I’m here from—”

“You’re a cop?” A gopher poked his head out of a hole a few meters away.

“Whaddya want with her?” Another fuzzy brown head popped up out of the earth. Maybe it was his thick black whiskers, but he seemed to be frowning.

“You mean Alina?” Yet another gopher, behind me this time.

“My uncle was named George!” interjected a fourth gopher, peeking up from a hole to my left.

I sighed. I hadn’t been expecting a party. I’d heard these critters lived alone.

I was saved from small talk by a huge Rottweiler. It burst into the clearing, metal tags jangling as it barked maniacally. Gopher heads vanished beneath the soil as quickly as they had sprouted. I flapped rapidly across the clearing to an oak.

Far off, human voices called. The dog’s ears perked up and it sca…

The Amalgamated Ash Heap of Apathy

I learned tonight that my kids are not human.

You’d think: human mother + human father = human kids. You’d be wrong, because they are pigs.

I found this out when I cleaned their rooms. That part was strategic, you see. The kids were away, staying at my mom’s for a week, which they do every summer. I scheduled a carpet cleaning service. Then I went to clear everything off the bedroom carpets.

I could write an entire Shel Silverstein-esque poem detailing the mounds of debris I found lurking under their beds, loitering behind bookshelves, and littering the corners of their closets.

Detritus scattered wall to wall,
Lego pieces, rubber balls,
Bits of popcorn, water cups,
Snack bowls (some still half filled up),
Candy wrappers, burst balloons,
Lite Brite pegs and plastic spoons,
Marbles, Shopkins (lots of those),
Random beads and dirty clothes,
Lollipops (well, just the sticks),
Stethoscopes from doctor kits,
Play-Doh and kinetic sand.
When did this get so out of hand?
LOL Doll accessories…

That Infernal Animal (Microfiction)

Purring, the cat snaked through Jerry’s legs just as he was carrying Edith’s birthday cake to the table. Filling out the incident report for the house fire, Lieutenant Morris shook his head. A feline perpetrator. That was a first.

Prompt: Write a story in exactly 39 words that contain a verb which is also, when used as a noun, the name of an animal.

You Will Survive Being Bested

Think about how many times I have fallen
Spirits are using me, larger voices callin'

And we never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do
You will survive being bested
Somebody fine will come along, make me forget about loving you
-"Southern Cross", Crosby, Stills, & Nash A couple of weeks ago, I was in a mood. An intense, teenage mood: fierce, negative, and hard to get out of (for the record, I'm 20+ years past teenager-hood). It gripped me in its fist. I isolated myself, waiting for the storm to pass, not wanting to rain on my husband and kids.

After some analysis, the cause of my mood became clear to me: an accumulation of recent events in which I felt like a failure. No specific event was devastating, but there sure were a lot of them:
I’d spent too much money on Zulily (my guilty-pleasure shopping website).I’d consumed too much dessert and alcohol, and the bathroom scale displayed the evidence. I missed a chiropractor appointment. I had driven there,…