The Summer Stay-Cation: A Labor Day Story

For Labor Day Weekend: A short-short story just for fun…

A lone leaf drifted lazily into the small kidney-shaped swimming pool in the backyard of my dear friend Muffy. An orange leaf. The three of use, Muffy, Buffy, and myself peered up with trepidation at the large elm tree that shades the deep end of the pool.

“Is that what I think it is?” asked Muffy, with a pained sigh.

Buffy lowered her huge, protective sunglasses and tilted up her enormous hemp sun hat to further assess the situation. She sighed as well. “Yes, I’m afraid summer is almost over. Before you know it the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog will be here.”

“Are you still getting that?” asked Muffy. She sounded a bit smug and sanctimonious, and I knew what was coming next. “I e-mailed all my stores and asked them to not send me any more catalogs. Do you know how many trees it takes to make one Neiman Marcus holiday catalog? More like a forest!”

I couldn’t see behind Buffy’s sunglasses but I knew she was rolling her eyes. Continue reading

The Pink and White Terraces of New Zealand

(This short story originally appeared in the South Boston Literary Gazette, and was awarded “best in issue.” Unfortunately, that literary journal was print only, not online, so I am sharing here online for the first time.)

THE PINK AND WHITE TERRACES OF NEW ZEALAND

Of the months at sea, the less said the better. Although the journey itself certainly must be mentioned. I set out from my adopted country a bride and returned a widow, a change of status I now think of as an improvement.

I was not altogether ignorant of a bride’s responsibilities and duties toward her husband. I had no mother myself, but in the convent there were young women my own age, and also maids and such who came in who talked a great deal more than you might think about the relations between men and women.

When I was a certain age, an acquaintance of a distant relative wrote to the sisters asking if I might be suitable for a match. I had not known of any relatives until then, and apparently they wished to remain anonymous, because I was never given their name or their whereabouts.

But that hardly seemed important, as the background credentials of Mr. Tucker were analyzed and it was deemed that I could do worse. I was sixteen and strong and healthy and couldn’t remain a ward much longer.

In exactly six weeks I was on my way to New Zealand. The year was 1885. Continue reading