“Messages” Now available as a Max Avalon short.

“Messages” was published as a Max Avalon short by Zahrmae Publishing Press on Feb. 15, 2014.

Opening Paragraphs:

 It’s not stealing if you take things out of the Goodwill box behind St. Gregory’s in the middle of the night.

It’s especially not stealing when civilization is so far gone even anarchy sounds good, and you’ve just escaped from a hospital where the nurses turned into religious Nazi’s. I pinch the back of my hospital gown so my butt doesn’t stick out when I reach into the bin. Those slutty-sick-girl costumes are terrible for self-esteem.

I find a pair of pretty good jeans and a pair of sneakers that are almost the right size, and a T-shirt with a Jack Daniels bottle on the front and Party Till You Stink written in neon-orange letters on the back.

No socks—who needs them?

No bra—I wish I needed that a little more.

No panties—too bad about the panties.

You can buy “Messages” here.

“Crossing”

“Crossing” was published by Deepwood Publishing in the Ruined Cities anthology on Thanksgiving Day, 11/27/13.

 Opening Paragraphs:

Who’d have thought there’d be so many wrecked cars on the Oklahoma River Bridge? Rusted out hulks, left over from the riots when people didn’t know which way to run. Mary makes the sign of the cross; the way old time Catholics did when things might go terribly wrong.

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.” She synchronizes the words with the motion of her hand—exactly like Raj showed her before he went away.

It feels good to be in control of something, even if the something is a ritual from the olden times. There’ll be so many things Mary can’t control when she starts across the bridge. Every wreck is a hiding place for something deadly: a wild dog, a coyote, a man left over from the olden times.

A bad man; is there any other kind, now that Raj is gone? Mary crosses herself one more time, sucking up to God just in case he’s real. She whispers a silent prayer that there are men like Raj on the other side of the bridge. Exactly like him, only less dad-like. Men the right age for Mary. Good looking men who aren’t solitary killers or members of misogynist boy-gangs who give a whole new meaning to the idea of one night stands.

You can buy an electronic version of Ruined Cities, which includes “Crossing” and fifteen other stories at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.