The Sad, Sad Story of Sam Showers’ Ceaseless Sprinkling

This piece has been published in print and online in the fortieth edition of Hair Trigger. To read this story in its entirety, click the link above or pick up a copy of Hair Trigger 40 at Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Writing department or bookstore!

Sam Showers entered the library with a big smile on his freckled face and a spring in his step. Today was not just another average Monday at this second home of his. Today was the day he would receive the prestigious “Outstanding Community Member” award, given annually to the cheeriest, hardest-working, most-dedicated-to-their-town individual in all of Townville. He had combed his curly red hair into perfect submission, worn his favorite green-plaid flannel and khakis, and even gone through his teeth cleaning routine three times to ensure he looked his best when he was handed the gold-plated replica of City Hall. The ceremony was scheduled for eleven sharp, and everybody who was anybody would be there: the mayor, the fire chief, the crossing guard, everyone. It was a really big deal.

Continue reading “The Sad, Sad Story of Sam Showers’ Ceaseless Sprinkling”

The Flight of the Manatee

In space, you are an oxymoron.

You are both a complete anonymity and a bright beacon, able to be seen from anywhere in the darkness around you. You are one in a million, one in a billion, one in a trillion, a quadrillion, an infinite army of space explorers exploring this infinite space, completely alone but shining like the Sun. You stand out from everything around you, and yet the vast magic that lives amongst the stars swallows you up and turns you into a single blip in this giant, never-ending thing called the universe.

You are no one. You are the only one. You don’t belong. You fit in perfectly. You are the only you around in this endless sea, but in this ocean, being you doesn’t seem to matter. You are nothing and you are everything.

You think of all this as you follow the manatee through the asteroids, wondering if it will ever make its way back to the preserve.

Continue reading “The Flight of the Manatee”

Growing in the Basement

There was something strange about the Tenant in the basement.  Ms. Burrows had thought so ever since he’d answered her Craigslist ad and signed the lease.

When Ms. Burrows first met him to show off the basement, she couldn’t quite place his scent.  It was like a sick mix of fresh soil, sulfur, and skunk was burnt into his too-big wool sweaters and ratty brown hair, pulled tight into a bun.  She’d lived in her quaint little house in her quaint little neighborhood for a not-so-quaint fifty-something years, and bringing this young rag-tag ruffian into her home (or at least a part of it) made her a bit uneasy.  But, with no other offers and her costs of living going up and up after her husband’s passing, the space was his.

“Thanks, dude,” the Tenant had said to her.  They’d shaken hands, his clear-cut fingernails somehow managing to hide dirt beneath them, and the Tenant rushed around the house to the exterior basement door, hidden from street view by a few hedges.  Ms. Burrows had looked down at her hand and headed toward her own front door, resolving to wash the hand thoroughly.

Now, however, after three months of the Tenant living beneath her humble home, her suspicions had reached a peak.  There was always some type of sound coming through her floorboards (banging, whirring, and sometimes even opera), a faint purple glow that never faded escaped along the edges of the Tenant’s stark white door, he could never quite remember exactly how much the rent was each month, and the putrid smell persisted whenever she ran into the man.

This piece has been published in its entirety in the “Home” (Spring 2017) issue of The Lab Review. To read more, be sure to check it out!

Together For-Christmas-Ever

December 22, 2016 – 9:26 PM, Eastern Standard Time

I met someone today. It was the first day of the annual three-night Hallmark Holiday Movie series at the local theater, so I decided to close down my gluten-free, non-GMO, organic bakery a few hours early and go. It’s my favorite Christmastime tradition in North Pine Lake Townville.

I sat near the back, a warm cup of peppermint cocoa in my hand and a forced smile on my face. I put my coat on the seat next to me since I was alone this year. In years past, Tommy would be my other half, but since he left me for the doctor who nursed him back to health after his tragic Zamboni accident at the local hockey rink, I was all by myself. I wasn’t expecting anyone to sit next to me.

But then someone did. Continue reading “Together For-Christmas-Ever”

The Carly Rae Jepsen Interdimensionality Theory

Jenny, Therese, Marcus, and Skylar were walking through the mall one day when “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen came over the mall’s speakers.

“OMG, talk about a throwback,” Jenny said as the bop flowed throughout the air around them.

“This was my JAM back in twenty-twelve,” Marcus squealed, shimmying his shoulders to the catchy tune.

The song progressed as they strutted down the hallway, examining each storefront and debating which ones they wanted to enter. Everything was peachy until the princess of bubblegum pop sang, “Before you came into my life I missed you so bad.”

And then Therese, like the little naïve follower she was, said, “I don’t get that.” Continue reading “The Carly Rae Jepsen Interdimensionality Theory”