“The Grechtzoar” Available in Potomac Review Issue 55

woods

My new short story, “The Grechtzoar,” is now available in Potomac Review Issue 55, Fall 2014.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“We’ll need weapons,” Carl said.  They stood in Jimmy’s garage, surrounded by bags of potting soil and gardening tools.  Carl hefted a small shovel.  “Think you can handle this?”

Jimmy nodded and took it, lifting it nervously to see if he could swing it against an attacker.  Though only half his height, it was heavy, with a thick, sharp blade.

“I’ll take these,” Carl said.  He picked up a pair of long garden shears.  “Okay, here’s the plan.”  He opened his backpack to show Jimmy the contents: a folded blue tarp, a package of raw beef, and rope.  “We’ll follow its tracks into the woods.  When we find its lair, we’ll climb a tree nearby.  I’ll toss the beef, and when it’s eating, I’ll throw the tarp down on it.  Then we’ll tie it up.”

Jimmy kept hoping his mom would call them in for lunch, or that his cell phone would ring and he’d have to answer it.

“What if it attacks us?” he asked.

“It it attacks one of us, the other can fight it off.”  Carl pretended to snap his garden shears at a vicious beast.  “Take that!  And that!”  He laughed.

Jimmy imagined what they would look like to a monster sneaking up from behind: two vulnerable backs, laughably armed in the wrong direction.  Short twelve-year-old legs that couldn’t run fast enough, no matter how hard they tried….

You can read the rest of the story by purchasing the issue here.

Thanks to everyone at Potomac Review for creating such a beautiful issue, and thanks for reading!

The Beech Tree

Beech

My story “The Beech Tree” has been published in Literary Orphans Issue 13: Blondie (April 2014).

Read some of the story below:

Until I stood before her casket, Grandma was the only person I could not imagine dead. She’d looked as aged as ever when I saw her days before, a husk of raisin wrinkles, already so wizened it seemed time could do nothing else.  I thought she could live for centuries.  But now she lay still in her woolen dress; her lucent eyes were closed.  Her hands were leathered and grey, like the bark of an ancient beech.

The room was dim, the air thick with the scent of white chrysanthemums.  Mark stood behind me.  He was always watching for signs of slippage.  I leaned back against him, his body warm with concern.  I could feel right through him, through membrane and muscle, to dry, stiff bones beneath.  His skin felt like an apple peel: too soft to stop the flesh from bruising and falling away.

Continue reading at Literary Orphans.