Recent stories in print, in Parcel and in Paper Nautilus:
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Weeks Without Rain
An English drought is two weeks without rain. I read that in a gardening book. But gardening books, like other books that tell you what to do next, often lie.
Two weeks isn’t long. I’ve seen summers when the rain stopped in March and didn’t return until November. I guess that would make all of England one big desert. But drought tolerance can be more widely distributed than people expect. Climate zones shift, transplants take hold. Invasive species become native, and the other way around. People intervene. People you don’t expect to make any kind of difference, they step in when you’re not looking. For better and worse.
The room was full of people, thirty of us, forty. It can’t have been that big, but it felt crowded, like a bus. Every chair the family owned and many they had borrowed ringed the walls. Dining set chairs, high backed, with chrome or metal piping frames, in sets of four or six or eight: red Naugahyde, gold, whitish with sparkles. . . . Atticus Review
Birders are quiet. . . Oblong Magazine
Back when we were rich, my father bought a cabin in the mountains and a big black Mercedes like a tank. He bought ties in every color of the rainbow so he could match his fish. He bought wool suits cut by hand.
Cloud Seeding in the Andes
I wasn’t supposed to go down by the cemetery, but I wasn’t with a boy. I was with Ana Inés and her cousins — we were looking for unguarded guavas — and then I was alone. So I was the only one who saw the plane, weaving and wobbling with a sound like a hive of bees about to explode or a lawnmower pushed way beyond its limits — a sound too small for an aircraft, even a puny little two-seater, but a noise that signaled engine-in-trouble even to me.
My first memory: the Panama airport. Not first in my life, but first that stands out from that trip to Ecuador when I was eleven. We were going to spend a year there; the way it felt, we might have been leaving the country for good. I remember a contraband runner at the departure gate, shiny hair starting to thin, arms stacked with watches, wrist to elbow. By now, the memory has been embellished with the trench coat wings of thieves and perverts from a thousand newspaper cartoons–Hey, lady, wanna buy?–and I wonder, what was he wearing under there besides watches? Boxer shorts, maybe, or a hand-tailored suit. A Superman t-shirt and tights. [Necessary Fiction (featured story, week of October 22, 2014) Contraband.]