Listen.  Listen, let me tell you a story.

Letters from Imaginary Places, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine issue 69

I get the call I’ve been hoping for just as I’m shoving a key into my apartment’s questionable deadbolt. I grab the phone; the display shows an unfamiliar number. I cross my fingers. Please please please. “Kallie speaking.”

“Hi?” a girl’s voice squeaks at the far end. “I’m calling about an apartment for rent?”

Thank God.

Why I’m Asking for an Extension on my Paper, Cast of Wonders episode 234

I know this call is really last minute, and I know you don’t normally grant extensions for “anything short of the apocalypse,” but would you be willing to make an exception?  Friday’s storm knocked out my power.  And then the zombies surrounded the house, and between them and the genie and little girls crash-landing on my roof and my housemate’s crazy cat making a general nuisance of himself, my weekend was pretty much shot.

Wait, let me back up.

The Evening Path, Triangulation 2016

“Never leave by the evening path,” Grandmother said.  “Leave always by the morning path, return by the morning path, and you will be safe.”  She said this often at night to Elise, shaking her pipe for emphasis, shrouding herself in smoke.  Eyeing the window with narrowed eyes.

Bones of the World, Apex Magazine Issue 80, January 2016

Maggie was sitting on an old packing crate by the docks, having tea with a lobster she had named Miss Snips, when Father O’Grady approached her. She heard the light, smart click of his heels first. He wore fine black shoes always polished to a high shine, so unlike the dull, work-worn boots of the dockworkers. Or the moldering boots of her father somewhere out under the gray sea.

Harlequin Moon, PodCastle episode 393

The man called Dirt was a master of riddles.  It was his only gift.

The Truth About Unicorns, Abyss & Apex 2nd quarter 2015

She started painting after that. And every painting had a unicorn in it—at least, something that suggested a unicorn. Sometimes it was a wavy white shape in the corner, peeking out from behind a building. Sometimes it was half the canvas, a myopic blur of light surrounded by gray sky, standing on pockmarked concrete. The closer it was, the harder she tried to capture it, the more the paint melted into a haze.

But she never stopped trying.

Blueberry Knight, Betwixt Issue 7

My brother Elliot was a murder of crows. Mom didn’t know yet; it was our big-brother/little-sister secret. Like the time he took me to see Night of the Worm People even though it was rated R, only not as fun and the nightmares didn’t go away after a few days.

Burning Bright, Abyss & Apex 2nd quarter 2010

Before I could say anything, the dragon raised its arrow-shaped head so that one of its round yellow eyes was staring at me, and spoke in a high but solemn voice. “I am small,” it said, “but in one month I shall be big, and then I shall eat you.” Its mouth snapped shut. The eye stayed fixed on me.

“Oh,” I said. “Well, then.”