“Good lord, you’re filthy!” Mama cried. She swatted at me with a dish towel and ordered me out of her clean kitchen. As I raced up the stairs toward the shower, she shouted after me, “I’ve raised feral children!”

The laughter in her voice belied her disapproval. Mama loved it when we played in the dirt. Yes, we were feral, but we hadn’t gotten that way by accident.

*4/7/18 prompt: from head to toes

I know many amazing parents whose children are intentionally and delightfully covered in dirt from top to bottom as often as possible. This 5-minute prompt was written with them in mind.


Enter the Brass

The secretarial pool was atwitter, filling the air with their high, staccato voices, flute-like trills that all ended on a questioning up-note. Jerry’s low drone slid under it all, a sad, lonely oboe of a man who knew nobody was really listening to him. Miss Peterson, still trying to prove herself in her new position of pseudo-authority, paced back and forth across the tile, punctuating the chaos with the percussion of her heels. Some of the older women gathered together in one corner to wail their displeasure at the news with the sighing cadence of long-suffering violins. Suddenly, the brass came in–big and booming–trumpeting demanding notes from their wide mouths. They projected over the syncopated dissonance of the office until all fell silent.

*4/7/18 prompt: suddenly the brass came in

I had a lot of fun working on this little piece, choosing my vocabulary carefully and pulling the two meanings of “brass” together.

It’s Catching

She almost gave in to the cancer of futility sweeping through her social circles, an epidemic of apathy brought about by the unending torrent of soul-crushing news. She almost turned off her alarm and rolled into the warm curve of her beloved’s back where she could let sweet dreams drown out the appalling reality of the outside world.Read More »

Pocket Full of Doubt

Mona collected her twelve-ounce, half-caff, skinny hazelnut latte from the teenager behind the counter and scanned the room. As she settled into an overly soft chair deep in a corner, she pulled her laptop from her bag.

A few clicks and a quickly typed password later, she had his secret email account open. Two new messages had come in since she’d checked it at home, bringing the total to fourteen. They taunted her from the screen.Read More »


Angie’s life had gone south while her sister’s had gone north. Career, spouse, home, children … for every clever, successful choice Sandra had made, Angie had made the opposite as inevitably as Newton’s Third Law. Sandra’s life had peaked while Angie’s plunged the depths of addiction and abuse, failure and collapse.Read More »

Spring Snow

It’s the fourth day of April. My Minneapolis/St. Paul family has already experienced nine inches of snow this month and sixty-one inches so far this season. (That’s nothing compared to the recorded record of 98.6 inches, but it still puts them already in the top 30 for snowfall in the last 130 years.) They are not thrilled about this.Read More »