Next Agent

Lou drove. Not like he did when his kids were strapped into the child seats. He drove like he did twenty years ago. Guiding the new roadster into the first curves of Topanga Canyon, his foot pressed firmly to the floor, his heart raced. It was freedom.

Desert Angel

“I can’t believe you’re paying me for this,” he said, squinting into the harsh desert sun. Sal’s arms hung by his sides, the weight of the hammer pulling his right arm taught. The handle swayed back and forth, barely perceptible, pulsing with his racing heart.

“How else do we discover our true selves without pushing the limit a bit?” I said. Taking the hammer, I drove the last of the four posts deeply into the dry, shattered soil.

Leaving Home

The glass door slides silently over the well-oiled tracks as you pull it open, stepping out onto the 30th floor balcony. Wind whips your long, blonde hair around in a wild dance, thrashing your neck and cheeks, warning you to be alert. You approach the railing only to realize you’ve left the door ajar; being…

Reflection of Death

Sidney felt the darkness first, the road crunching underfoot, frozen with snow, the ice cracking on the trees far above her head, sharp and jagged shards of ice falling on her shawl. The sounds woke her from a slumber that felt more like death than sleep.

Hardest of Wood

The Kappa Deltas gathered outside for a third night in row, singing the same incessantly droll songs, hooting at the fraternity pledges passing by in convertibles, and blathering on and on about how much spirit they had. Scott and I sat at our desks, fretting over an impending deadline racing toward us the following morning.

Dream Thief

“Give me your dreams, boy, and I’ll let you sleep another night,” whispered the invader, his fuzzy mouth lightly brushing Jack’s ear as he slept.

“Boys need their dreams,” growled Castagere, the dream guardian sworn to protect the budding imaginations of Jack and his little brother John. Unfurling himself from under the bed, the great monster extended his razor-sharp claws, reaching for the teddy bear across the chest of the sleeping child. “I’ll tear the stuffing from your seams.”