2014 Stories



This was my second story to appear in Red Savina Review. I think it came from a few different dreams, the kind that I will wake up from and write down notes. I think its about the power of desire. I don’t know if I write stuff this dark anymore. I don’t know why. Here is the opener:

I come to, tied up. All tied up. I’m fucking tied to my chair. I’m a short man. I’m a fat man. I’m a dumb man tied to his chair. I’m the thin man staring at himself in a funhouse mirror and realizing I’m so far from the carnival, so far from my weapon. The pretty girl eating ice cream smiles at me like she knows me, like she can deliver me from evil.

Here it is reprinted on my site: Thicker Than Water 




Wyvern Lit was a new magazine and in their first issue they had my heroes: Leesa Cross Smith and Jared Sexton among others. I sent them this story and got accepted! It borrows an actual creepy thing that happened in my house on these stairs as well as a story I had first written mid 2000’s when I finally started writing again. Here is the opener:

The first time I knew that The Lady was there was when I woke to feel her spooning me. On my side, her nestled against my back, I recalled my past and confirmed that I was supposed to be alone rather than in the warmth of an intimate snuggle.

My wife still says this is one of her favorites. And here is the link: Ghosts 





Wrote this one on the last night of my first Iowa Summer Writer’s Fest. We used the Daily Iowan for prompts. I found an article about a guy taking a new University Job and had fun throwing in as many fucks as I could. It got lots of laughs in workshop. It got rejected at quite a few places so I sent it up to the Flash Flood. Here is the opener:

Jared was already tackling the idea that he had accidentally sold his soul when he read in the newspaper that his appointment to Vice President of Strategic Communications at the University was the “high point in his career.” He couldn’t suppress the fear that someone who reached a high point might just be starting a descent to the bottom.

Here is the link: The Great Communicator 



I wrote this one on Wednesday night of my first Iowa Summer Writer’s Fest. It was an incredible experience. I was in a zone that is unique. I think why we do this. I was in this story and I was so close to this character. It was how I found Sydney. I had to do a photo prompt for class and it was a strange butcher standing in front of an immaculate elevator. I combined a woman I had witnessed on an emotional phone call in the Ped Mall of Iowa City with the elevator for a story that got a hushed silence from the workshop that I won’t forget. It was like they came into the zone with me and we all had silent prayer over the story.

Here was the opener:

Sydney walked the pedestrian mall until she couldn’t live with the birds. The pigeons troubled her with their pompous demands. With every shoulder bob, they tried to act innocent and wordless, but they didn’t fool Sydney. They rotated their necks in ways that told biological lies, and their eyes covered her with angles that shouldn’t succeed. Every curve of their sharp beaks was designed with a loudness meant to minimize people like Sydney. If she had stayed in the ped-mall, they would have shouted her secrets until everyone’s ears hurt as much as hers. Sydney would have become smaller every day until she was the exact size of pigeon food.

It ran in Apeiron Review, and I’m very thankful they published it. They are however one of the sites that doesn’t keep their archive online. It’s really a death for the story. You can’t link to the original publication from your site. It’s like it never happened, although other sites would consider it published. I unquestionably will not submit to sites like this ever again.

Here is the story reprinted on my site: Mother Goose 




I wrote this trying to get into Nano Lit. It was rejected and then a former classmate at Iowa Summer Writers Fest queried me for a story for the Daily Iowan as a part of her MFA work there in non-fiction. I was happy to have it run there and it’s still online. It’s part of my “divorce” stories. Here is the opener:

I’m waiting in a lobby with my wife like we did two years ago.  Then, we were an engaged couple anticipating the arrival of our baby.  I was just a kid trying to make the abstract of fatherhood real.  Acting like I was ready without wondering who I had to prove it to.

Here is the link: Counsel







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