Today is the official launch day for the Queen’s Ferry Press’s anthology, Best Small Fictions 2015. I’m so excited to be included in the fifty-five stories, chosen by editor, Robert Olen Butler. The story I wrote, “The Third Time My Father Tried to Kill Me,” was published originally by Mojave River Review. The anthology is stuffed to the gills with work from sensational fiction writers such as Stuart Dybek, Ron Carlson,and Bobbie Ann Mason, to name but a few. Two of my favorite stories are Naomi Telushkin’s “Object,” and Jeff Streeby’s “El Paso: July.” All of the writers would be grateful if you’d consider buying a copy on launch day to help propel the anthology to the higher reaches of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble rankings. You can purchase a copy a the following places:
I am so grateful to the editing team of Tara Masih, Kathy Fish, Robert Shapard, Claudia Smith, Michelle Elvy, Claire MacQueen, and Guest Editor, Robert Olen Butler, and if you buy a copy and bump into me I’ll happily sign it for you.
Gloves of otter skin and a fur-lined anorak, dressed for the arrayal. The brittle leaves destroyed underfoot as the dead bird rattled in the cardboard box. Children’s hearts are empty when it comes to knowing deep grief, or at least they are up to a certain age. There had been no visible signs of struggle. The hen appeared quite normal when I collected the eggs that morning. Certainly, she was loud, her ire expressed with a piercing cry at seeing her treasure pilfered. The hole we dug was ample for the shoebox, the soil dark and moist like wet coffee grounds, a small pool of water in the bottom of the grave. Looking back, I thought the creature’s breast seemed swollen, abnormally so, perhaps some cardiac condition known only to poultry? Anyway, we dug the hole smack-dab in the middle of my mother’s manicured lawn. My parents were out of town on a weekend “getaway,” and I was the man of the house. Murder. That became my legacy. After the box was in the ground, we dumped the soil on top and patted it down tightly in case the bird came back to life and haunted us. When we finished, I thumped my best friend on the back and headed towards the house as the slanted sun poured its bloody light on the fresh mound.