Cover Works


Shooting Rabbits


What ticked off Wilson most about his brother was his smile. Not a genuine show of internal glee but a gotcha. Wilson’s prior Whistler should have settled the score, but here was his younger brother Sherman, younger by a mere seven and a half minutes, grinning from behind The Time’s Business Section and lobbing their tit-for-tat back into Wilson’s court. He had barely caught his breath since smashing Sherman with last month’s sweep of Island County Fair's Crop Division. The Record’s article with the accompanying photo of his trophy, shaped as a Golden Delicious, commemorating his decade-long domination in the apple category, should have crushed Sherman. But his pearly whites said otherwise.

Wilson set the red porcelain mug on Road’s End Café’s Formica tabletop, licked his upper lip, and studied his twin’s photo. How could Sherman look so young? Where were the wrinkles, liver spots, and jowls? No doubt erased with a swipe of a mouse, again pandering to society’s notions of success. Wilson rested his beefy hands on his thighs and peered at his brother’s teeth; had to be capped. READ MORE…



It’s 10:17 as I sit behind my desk, ready to begin another day as the Director of the Artifact Intake Department.  Before I check the messages on my computer, I bring a cup of soothing coffee to my lips.  “Nothing new as usual,” I mutter, reclining in my leather swivel chair.  “That always works for me.”  I scan the silent and spacious office decorated with pre-Collapse baubles.  “I wish I didn’t file those Artifact reports so quickly.  That’s always good busy work.”  I pull my PAD from my lab coat and swipe a finger across the glass screen to activate the interface. I scroll through to my contacts page.  “I wonder what Helenima is doing right now.  Maybe she could skip work with me and we could get out of Union Tower for a bit.  We could make a day of--” READ MORE…



“Here’s to the fucking joys of being 50,” Kate says, raising a glass to her husband’s best friend. Everyone, including her husband Andrew, is staring at her—or so it seems to her. Fleeing to the only bathroom in the house, she locks the door. She only means to pee, splash some water on her face and regroup, but once in the bathroom, it is clear that her tampon and pad have overflowed, again. Her skirt is spared but her panties are ruined, her legs bloody. She spots a big jar of lavender salt and a white fluffy towel folded on the side of the claw foot tub, and hardly thinking, turns on the faucet. Stepping into the bath, she murmurs, “Calgon, take me away.” Whenever anyone knocks on the door, and there are many knocks, she just slips her head under the water, her long red hair floating around her. Normally she’d be the one organizing the party, not hiding in the bathtub. Her own thoughts are loud, even under the water: Pull it together. You’re stronger than this. Damn, this bath feels goodREAD MORE…



The burning fire of political resistance can be sparked by witnessing injustice and oppression. A trip in the early 90’s branded indelible images on my conscience that forged me into a political, non-violent activist. In1993 my boyfriend, now husband, and I took advantage of a summer of unemployment and traveled to Indonesia, hiking through emerald green rice patties and leech-filled jungles, savoring exotic cuisines. We drank the intoxicating sounds of gamelan orchestras and imbibed the vivid hues and elaborate designs of dancers’ costumes and artists’ paintings.   But it was Papua, known then as Irian Jaya, that brought home to me the beauty of justice and the ugliness of oppression. READ MORE…



My colleagues who visited the hospice before me reported that Barbara grasped their hands and whispered that she loved them, but she doesn’t do that with me. I stroke her hair as it rises in a blonde-gray nimbus over her forehead. She is my friend, my boss, the CEO of the now 4,000-person company that she generously tells people we co-founded. Thirteen years ago, I was employee #1, she was employee #2. 

Barbara’s left eye is closed but the right is half open, cerulean with a bit of cloud. Her parted lips are dry and her breathing is strained. “Would you like some water?” I ask. I think she nods, so I pour a bit from the bottle into its cap and tip it slowly onto her tongue. She moves her lips and I offer another capful. Her breath rattles in the otherwise quiet room.

Six hours later, Barbara is gone. Her 60th birthday is still six months away. READ MORE…