Drownings (part five)

      Drownings (part five)   For good or ill, at this moment her phone rang. She put it on speaker. “Julia.” “Julia?” the man asked anyway. “Is this Mr. Herberston?” “Are you some sort of reporter?” Her eyes said to McAlley, he’s been checking. “Mr. Herbertson, I’m enquiring after the job. The one […]

The Big Pants (conclusion)

Short Stories The Big Pants  (part seven)         He reconsidered. Maybe, in some ways, Perry wasn’t. He had his own place. He worked in customer service, sitting home taking help desk calls for three or four companies. I gotta ask Perry, Tom counselled himself, how much he’s making. He saw Luisa was […]

Drownings (part four)

      Drownings (part four)   Three stacked windows bloomed onscreen. “I confess, I’m not in Herbertson’s department. I’ve got Carmadge down…” McAlley patted pockets. “Dustin is one of my own lads, so the name comes to mind. Here.” He laid the ID under her eyes. “Young,” she said. “I think it isn’t possible. […]

The Big Pants (part six)

Short Stories The Big Pants  (part six)         She had come to Toby Messerman thinking that a thirty-six-year-old fat woman, who had never had a job outside her husband’s studio, needed to get sleek. Not that Jackie wasn’t encouraged seeing people of size sass back…but she thought in real life the competition […]

Drownings (part three)

      Drownings (part three)     Faia strode next to him, both aware of the woman’s yelling. They descended to the water, cleared a gap baffled by rolls of grey rubber—and they were afloat. Half of the walkway seemed forbidden; allowed parts doglegged segment to segment, cordoned with moveable fences painted yellow. The […]

The Big Pants (part five)

Short Stories The Big Pants (part five)         Leon got insurance for those times he was cutting brush, and crossed fingers the rest of the time. The children and her daughter needed adding to her own…and that was a lot of money from her paycheck. Luisa cleared a little above seventeen hundred […]

Drownings (part two)

      Drownings (part two)     On this end of the tunnel grey waters lapped, probing their way landwards, aiming for the foot of a bench. A bench shaded, had there been leaves and sun, by an ugly-trunked, thorn-clustered locust. The bank sat undercut, pod-strewn; dead blond grasses arched and dropped their heads […]

The Big Pants (part four)

Short Stories The Big Pants (part four)             Yet the call hadn’t been, as the armchair psychologist would have it, a cry for help. He was asking Debbie to advise him on a decision. What you would want with anything that might have consequences you hadn’t thought of— Fresh eyes. […]

Drownings (part one)

      Drownings (part one)     While the world was buying nothing, and working at nothing, the city underwent its heart-rot. Apartment houses ceased to cohere… Not the residents, still and always pleased to avoid each other, but the bricks and beams. A few had money for heat and ran it; some, walking […]

The Big Pants (part three)

Short Stories The Big Pants (part three)               John answered, from the other side of the cages. “So we don’t starve to death. And I think maybe it regulates temperature, too.” “Now,” Gerda said, “if you were thirsty, and you drank a teaspoon of water, that would not help […]