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.

Read the rest of this piece (and other great work) published in The Lab Review!

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

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 Journey of the Sliver of Finger-Skin

Queso, Queso, Queso is the most popular restaurant in town, but even more so on Thursday nights. The Thursday special is none other than a unique Duck Quesadilla. Its simplicity is its perfection: duck meat, salsa, and Queso, Queso, Queso’s special mix of cheeses, cooked to perfection in a buttery, house-made tortilla. It is the highlight of every diner’s Thursday. Continue reading

How to Walk Your Goat

A lot of people walk their dogs. They take their furry friends outside, walking along the sidewalk or possibly running around in the park, chatting with fellow dog walkers about the trendiest new dog treats and the latest news in the dog-walking world. Then, at the end of the walk, they mosey on home with their Fido’s and their Buddy’s and their Bella’s and their other generically-named dogs.

BORING!

You know what a lot of people don’t walk? Their goats. Continue reading