The tale of the fourth or fifth wife of Mssr. Bleue

It wasn’t that I didn’t know about the crypt under the house when I married him. Everyone knew about the crypt, and the keys he always carried, especially the large silver key that he wouldn’t let anyone touch but made sure everyone saw. It wasn’t that I didn’t know. And it wasn’t that I didn’t care. It’s just that I… Continue reading The tale of the fourth or fifth wife of Mssr. Bleue


They should’ve believed me, those zoo people. Now it’s a lot of clean-up. I warned the zookeepers, but they said the penguins needed their daily walk. They said it was good for them, lowered their stress levels. I said I get it, I go on walks too. Good for thinking, for plotting. I told them I’d seen… Continue reading Carnage

If you are reading this…

I might be dead.  Maybe it was from illness. Maybe it was an accident. It could have been by my own hand. Anything is possible. If you’re reading this, please take care of my plants. Water them, but not too much. Sing to them sometimes. If you’re reading this, tell my sister I love her. Tell my son I’m proud of him. Tell… Continue reading If you are reading this…

On the day I was ready

A gust of wind buffets me, and I push my hair out of my eyes. The view up here is glorious, a vast and dramatic sky. Endless spires. Industrious people below. I spread my arms wide. I inhale, draw in cold air. I exhale, expel my failures. My mobile chimes, shakes me from the moment. It’s not a good time, but when is? I digit out of my pocket. One new email.… Continue reading On the day I was ready


“I can write whatever you want, in whatever style you want. I’m really good.” I know I sound desperate. “There’s a list of publications on my CV.” I hold out the papers, crisp from the folder I’ve been trying not to squeeze, outlining my four degrees and 10 years’ experience. He nods and grins, his neon orange glasses and overly-white teeth reflecting the too-bright lights. “You’re like AI.… Continue reading Overqualified

The night is still young

“Alright ladies, what’s the plan?” “You’re late! We’re doing a birthday scavenger hunt!” “A what?”  “It’s a game. We do all the things on the list, and at the end there’s a prize.” “And a lot of drinks.” “Not at the end, though. The drinks happen on the way.” “Seriously? Gimme that. One: dance on a table.… Continue reading The night is still young

Lesser told stories

“Can I see your ID?” says the cashier lazily. “Huh?” “Your ID. I need to see it.” Thalia stares at him. He is 17 years old, max, and here she is with a baby on her hip, two bags on her arm, and her debit card in her hand. Her ID? “What for?” “For the… Continue reading Lesser told stories


When I was 12, a classmate took me aside. You know people would talk to you more if you looked them in the face. In the eyes, she said. You know?  I looked up into her eyes. She smiled and I filed the information under ‘how to people’. Coronavirus swept the world into chaos when… Continue reading Catacomb

Nuclear caul

I can tell you for sure, silver rhymes with nothing at all. But you can make slant rhymes and find internal meter. Words that are close, but not quite. They’re not right. Like sliver. And filter. And kilter. And wilter. That’s the person who wilts under pressure, you know? That’s not me, though. I’ve never… Continue reading Nuclear caul

The hunting of the shrew

A few weeks ago, Darty brought in a shrew. We said thanks and cooed over him, which was maybe a mistake. Because the next day, he brought in a field mouse. We told him we didn’t need it, we had plenty of food thanks. But he didn’t listen. That night, he brought us a small… Continue reading The hunting of the shrew