Be A Good One

“Be a good one.” It was what my grandfather said to me when I told him I wanted to be a cop. I promised him I would. I’d been nervous, standing in front of him and the rest of my family and saying it out loud. They were all college educated and white collared. I... Continue Reading →

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Stingy Jack

Jack O’Lanterns were never part of my Halloween. Gran didn’t allow them. She didn’t approve much of any modern All Hallow’s Eve traditions, but especially not the carved pumpkins. “A Devil’s gift to a damned soul,” she’d say. Her Irish lilt was always thicker when she was was reproachful. “As long as I’m under this... Continue Reading →

Knock Knock

Calum gave me the Alexa. He thought it was a sweet surprise. I thought of it as another “smart” device to listen in on conversations. I had barely gotten used to using an iPhone, already three generations old by the time I’d gotten it, to help keep our long distance relationship running smoothly. I had... Continue Reading →

Lumber Yard Talk

I wouldn't say I didn't have a career choice growing up, more that I just was barely aware there were many other options. Dad was a logger. Grandpa was a logger. And his father, and his father, et cetera, et cetera. I was pretty much born with flannel on my back and an axe in... Continue Reading →

Last Requests

Mrs. Grady was the first to go. Then Mr. O’Toole and Mrs. Shafford. One after another, starting just after my night shift began at 10. I only knew because Bill, one of the nurses, came in with an abundance of bedding and towels. Being in the laundry room, I was usually one of the last... Continue Reading →

A Friend For You

The internet is great for a lot of things, like keeping up with the news of getting help with a research project or finding that one song that keeps playing the only line you know over and over in your head so you can learn the rest of it. I thought it would be a... Continue Reading →

Just Beneath Her Skin

I’d seen a lot of unusual cases in my time as a dermatologist. The human body produces no shortage of strange and baffling conditions. Skin is no exception. When Flora Springs first sat in my office chair, however, she nor her skin seemed strange or baffling at all. She was a young woman, still in... Continue Reading →

Kawaii Hai!!

Julien was arrested when he was fifteen. The cops said it would be a pretty open and shut case: traces of the victim’s blood were found on his keyboard and the murder weapon was on his desk beside him. I wasn’t home when they swarmed our house with a warrant. I didn’t have to see... Continue Reading →

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