Three LA Stories

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They left. Driving east on Sunset Boulevard. “We get hotel room.” Dimitri waved his cigarette in her face towards the seedy motel on the right hand side of the street. “Oh, do we?” Chloe asked, somewhat amused. read more

U fucking N

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I was still diddling around the World Wide Web when the phone rang. This time I answered it, ready to jump in with both feet if it was another sales call. That’s not a bad way to let some shit go and it’s a lot safer than doing it on the road or with some other shmuck in a bar. So I answered and for a second I was disappointed when I heard Major Magpie’s voice. read more

‘No Kissing, No Fucking’

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A black crow jumps around a paper bark tree, pulling bugs out its flaking grooves in a morning light that has barely picked over the suburban fences. I watch the crow from my kitchen window as I wait. Its elegant, measured movements contrast sharply with the nerves ripping through my stomach. read more

Pride and Prejudice: The Lost Chapter

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As the eminent writer Martin Amis correctly observed, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was written as a romantic comedy. Unfortunately, modern readers often find that it falls short, if only because Miss Austen avoided a subject widely recognized as essential in today’s comedic writing. read more

Locked Down

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You were on the frontline, risking your life to enforce during the lockdown. I was shielding from this terrifying new plague. Your soldier-like resolve calmed my existential dread. You went out every day and faced it as though it were nothing, while I was scared to use the lift in our building, disinfecting the soles of my shoes before coming indoors. read more

The Stranger In Me

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I open a door to an apartment I know well, pretending I don’t know it at all. Her petite frame stands in the middle of the lounge, looking unsure, squeezing a glass of sparkling champagne so hard, she’s at risk of crushing it in her palm. read more

Rose in Bloom

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And one early evening, I think it was just the next week, Mr. Sinclair and his wife, pretty petite wife Eva, picked me up in their little British sports car for the three of us to go up to Kiyoshi Kodama’s place, high in the old gold country hills, by a little river or creek they said, for an evening with no clothes on, and whatever else. It was a nice evening. You could be, I imagined, pretty comfortable with no clothes on, or so I hoped. I looked forward to the no clothes on part. Given a choice I’d have worn no clothes all the time. That appealed. read more