The Yard Sale Bandit is in Short Fiction Break

My story, The Yard Sale Bandit appears in Short Fiction Break today.
The editors left THE out of the title and changed the word pocket to picket in the text. An unintentional error I am sure because the original document is accurate.
Such is the short story publishing industry these days.


Shadowed Solitude republished by Literally Stories today


Literally Stories republished the story Shadowed Solitude which originally came out in 2013 with The Huffington Post.  This isn’t what I consider one of my strongest pieces and one day, when I get ready to compile a short story collection, I will rewrite it.

Literally Stories is a great group of people to deal with.  This is the second of my pieces they picked up.  They are very encouraging and complementary, I can’t thank them enough.

From a short story in progress

It’s probably time I finished the rewrites on this one and made it presentable.



He noticed the rattle trap car as soon as it pulled behind him on the main drag in town.  The car was a long way back when he got to his driveway.  Mitch reached his front door and heard the ragged strains of Sweet Home Alabama blasting from a tinny car stereo, then came the noise of a creaking and rumbling junk car before he saw it rattle noisily into his driveway and clunk to a stop.  The motor choked dead but the radio blared on as the door screeched open.  Before he heard her first scream, he knew it was Linda. 


Fleshing out dialogue for Bob, P. I.


“How many times do you suppose you two have broken up over the years?”  Nick asked.


“Twenty.  Thirty.  Who counts?”  Bob smiled.  “Anyway, I always part company with the ladies on good terms.  You know what I always say:  Do them and forget them.  But be nice when you forget them because you might want to do them again.”


“Great motto to live by Bob.  The kind of motto that causes multiple marriages and a lot of P.O.’ed ex girlfriends.”  Nick said.


“Funny but they keep right on coming now don’t they?  The next woman takes me out is gonna light up like a pinball machine, and pay off in silver dollars.”  Bob countered.


“What?”  Rick asked.


“It’s a movie quote.  Bob’s stays up at night memorizing them.  It’s from …”  Nick explained.  “don’t tell me.”  He looked up at the ceiling.  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestt!”


“Year?”  Bob pointed at him but got silence.  “1975.”


Nick turned to Rick.  “I told you.   He has a book or something, internet, whatever.  He studies this stuff.”


“You two are made for each other.”  Rick added.

Excerpt from Bob, P.I.

Another little passage from Bob, P. I. 


The two thieves, unkempt and redneck, turned and stood next the pickup.


“You here ’bout the Craigslist ad?”  One of the scraggly looking dudes asked.


“Observations Mr, Spock.”  Bob turned to Nick.


“Two lower forms of humanoid life, Captain.  I believe they were known as white trailer trash.”  Nick replied.


“What the …?”  One of the men remarked.


“Look.  You want that computer on Craigslist?”  The other hillbilly asked.  He looked back at the television. “Almost new.  Ain’t never been dropped or nothin’.  Or, you like this TV?  I don’t need it.  My old lady don’t like it no more.  Give you a deal.”


“Your old lady?”  Bob smiled “You mean the one you pushed down at WalMart?”  Bob turned to Nick “Someone needs to talk to Mrs. Fentress about her taste in men.”


“You cops?”  One of the men asked.


“No.” Nick answered.


“Then what are you?”  The man pursued.


“I’m an asshole.” Nick answered “He’s a bigger asshole.”


One of the hilbilly’s reached into the bed of the truck and came up with a rusted tire iron and a thick wooden rod a little shorter than a yard stick.  He handed the rod to the other man.


Nick chuckled.  “Really gentlemen?  That’s what you have?”


“Do gooders.”  One of the men said “Didn’t know we still had those.”


“Yeah, this ain’t none of ya’lls business, you know?”  The other one added “It ain’t nothin but a TV.”


“Don’t care about the television.”  Bob added “You pushed a woman.”


“So?”  One of the men asked “Still ain’t none of your business.  Not mindin your own business can get you hurt sometimes.”


“And here I was hoping we could come to an understanding.”  Bob said.


The two men looked at each other, lost.  “So, you do want the TV?”  One of them finally asked.


“This TV?”  Bob gestured and the men nodded in unison.  “I don’t want THIS TV.  This TV doesn’t work at all.” 


“What you sayin?”  One of the greasers wondered.  “This TV still in the box like new.”


“Got a big hole in it.”  Bob said.


“Huh?  No it don’t”.  The man countered.


“Does now.”  Bob answered.  In a quick, smooth movement he reached under his suit jacket, pulled the pistol from its holster and shot the television dead center.  Shreds of cardboard from the box filled the air with confetti and the two men dropped their weapons. 

From the story, White N

Been a long few months, but I found a little time to write something.  From a story of about 3k words.  This is all I will put here for now:


The fedora looked up and it wasn’t on the old man.  It was on Purcell, the trailer park owner; a thoroughly disgusting creature with a classical name.  He looked up with his sunken, watery black eyes and slammed the door of the trailer behind him.  He was a fat, filthy bastard, in a stained white wife-beater shirt and soiled blue plaid used car salesman slacks.  His misshapen loafers were beyond the help of a cleaning rag.  He sported his usual chewing cigar in the corner of the mouth and featured a thin line of brown mess that dripped off his chin and onto the waiting wife-beater below.  He was a symphony repulsive, a concerto revolting.

From somewhere in the middle of the book …

Managed 250 words today to add to a chapter of Bob, P.I.  It’s just banter, but it is typical of the characters.  They are talking about a crime family that they sort of cross paths with.

“They are a long established family in Chicago.  Considered minor players in the whole organized crime scene.”  Nick explained.

“They’re like a Boutique crime family.”  Bob remarked.

Nick looked at him and hesitated.  “Yeah, sure.  They carved out a niche and basically stayed there.  They perform some services for other, more powerful families.”

“They’re like the Tonto of crime families.”  Bob balanced a cig in his mouth.

“OK.” Nick was getting annoyed.  “They keep a low profile and stay out of skirmishes with the other families.  They never seem to overplay their hand and get the authorities too concerned about them.”

“So, they’re like the choirboys of the crime families.”  Bob said.

“Yeah, whatever.  They’re far from choirboys.”  Nick growled.  “Are you going to keep up the running dumb commentary?”

“I got my rights, man.  Just doin’ my thing, baby.  What else about them?”

“They’ve been in everything, drugs, stolen goods, women, you name it.”  Nick continued.

“So, they’re the Dabney Coleman of crime families.”  Rick chimed in.

Nick turned to him. “What does that even mean?”

“Dabney Coleman, you see him in all kinds of TV and movies.  He’s been in everything.”  Rick smiled.

“He was in that movie 9 to 5 with Dolly.”  Bob added.

“Dolly, yeah buddy.”  Rick smiled.

“So, you too with the lousy comments?”  Nick asked Rick.  “Like the genius over here isn’t enough?”

Rick shrugged.

“Hang loose, baby!”  Bob cautioned.

“Sorry, man” Nick said  “It’s not my bag.”

“That’s the spirit.”  Bob pointed at him and lit his cig.