Here is a selection of short stories. Most of them are very old, and I don’t even recognize the writer who wrote them. The earliest dates all the way back to high school, in fact. Some of them are from a linked set of stories I did for my undergraduate thesis, called An Extended Family.

I’d like to think I am a much better writer now, but since these have been up on the site for fifteen years, I decided to leave them here.


The Smell of Snow

John Berger and his wife Cathy are visiting her insufferable brother, walking his dog, and making all the right noises at his amazing homemade pasta. But when John meets a strange old man on the street, and learns the secrets of spying through neighbors’ windows, his life changes.


The Fire

All he wanted to was draw — and his sister Ella was his favorite subject. All his dad wanted to do was keep the family together, as he had promised to their late mother Carolyn. And Ella — well, she didn’t know what to do with her life.



In a future where Uptowners and Downtowners rarely meet, and cloned sex workers are discarded when their look becomes unfashionable, a girl named Alisha takes a modeling job unlike any other.



Let’s say you were an introverted kid named Julian, who went walking in the woods. And let’s suppose that you met a large green alien from Mars named Heifetz who became your best friend. Only he was pregant, and his babies were going to drink the world dry. What would you do?


Naming the Boundaries

In the Change Facility, there are conscriptees and there are volunteers. But it doesn’t matter who you are when they call the number glowing on your arm, and you go through the door. Earlier today Jonathan killed a girl in a robbery gone wrong. Now he’s in line… but for what?


The Green of Spring

She had been dead for three months now, and still Howard built her house; it grew by the minute, wall-studs and drywall, enclosed verandah and cornices, bay windows and all-weather latex paint, glossy, non-gloss and primer.

Live storytelling

These next stories aren’t really stories in the traditional sense. They are all stories told around the virtual campfire on LegendMUD on Halloween. That means that they are completely improvised, with no revision, and you see them exactly as they were told on that night. It also means they are meant to be creepy.

That means that these are rough compared to a regular story one might tell. Except for “Deep Wells” (which I have to consider inspired by some Muse who didn’t let me make any missteps during the telling) these are ungainly, awkward, and often rambling stories. But they were a lot of fun to “write” live in front of an audience.

As you can see, I did one a year at Halloweens on Legend for quite a while. I stopped when 2001’s story turned out so well I thought I should turn it into a real writing project.


Mrs. Carstairs (1994)

When she was young, she danced under the chandeliers in her great curved ballroom. But now she is old, and the salesman claims he has something he can sell her to make it better…


Deep Wells (1995)

It was the year that the poet Lorca was shot. A priest in a Spanish village begins to get late night knocks at the door…


Into the Rough (1996)

Most towns have a Rough — that part of town that mothers don’t want their kids going into. But Will’s mother spends all her time mooning over travel brochures. Will’s got a bike, and he’s going in.


Jack (1997)

When Jack quits his job, he wanders into the Devil’s bowling alley.


Breathe (1999)

When Emily married into the Nesbitt family, she knew they were flighty. But her husband worked long hours, and they had a wonderful child… did it really matter that he seemed to be blown about by the wind?


Sugarheart (2000)

They tell stories of Sugarheart, in the swamps of Louisiana. Some say she looks gray and tattered, her skin the gray that skin goes when it’s been out in the mossy mud for weeks. But I remember when she was Stephanie, and she was the toast of New Orleans…