Stories of Life

One of my stories has been included in the anthology Bones & Blue Eyes and Other Stories of Life, now available online at

Contented, Though Demented

This story was just published on Here’s the link: Contented, Though Demented

The Usual Delay

I delay my mammogram every year. In the past, two of them have shown microcalcifications, tiny indicators of cancer. Why would I give anyone opportunity to detect those again? So, I drag my feet at mammogram time, waiting months after getting a reminder letter before scheduling. Instead of an annual test, I end up biannual. I finally got it done last month, only to live in limbo awaiting results, wondering if another lumpectomy loomed in my future should specks be detected. Perhaps more radiation. Would I take any action? I’m nearly 68, older than I ever expected to be, so why not let it run its course? Que sera, sera.  But the report finally came: an all clear, thank You, God. Maybe if I’m still around in two years, I’ll revisit that machine. Allowing, of...

Cry of the River Birch

I pass it each day on my walk, the lone river birch planted in the slender strip of grass between street and sidewalk. Too close to the walkway, its branches threaten my face so I move to the furthest edge to avoid being poked in the eye. But I don’t mind. Living things need space to grow. We give a little here and there to live peaceably, to coexist. One morning, I see a branch has been broken, snapped so it no longer reaches the sidewalk. A threat removed. In saving ourselves, we hurt others. And I wonder, is it worth the cost, This price of fear? The birch now bare as if crying its loss, tearful dew falling from the broken limb. A tear I match with my...


There was a red Jeep sitting near the power lines, an out-of-the-way place apart from the houses in the neighborhood. I was walking Prince when I noticed it—and knew to be wary since it was an unfamiliar vehicle. The car’s windows were down and as I drew closer, I could see a guy sitting in the driver’s seat. An alarm rang in my head, telling me to be alert. I held the dog’s leash firmly, positioned him on my side closest to the car, took a deep breath and picked up speed as I began to pass. Then I heard his voice. “Hey, good-looking!” My blood turned to ice and I readied myself to get into defensive stance. The Rape Aggression Defense class (RAD) I took at the local police department taught me to do exactly that. I had practiced for years and now it looked as if...

Mystery Tapper

Tap Tap Tap Tap—Tap Tap Hearing the sound, I assume it’s coming from across the street where a neighbor is having carpet installed. But there are no doors or windows open (not surprising, with icicles hanging off the trees), which makes me wonder how I hear it so clearly. Tap Tap Tap Tap—Tap Tap There it goes again. From my window overlooking the street, I can finally tell the sound is coming from my front door. Strange for someone to knock rather than ring the bell. Even stranger, there doesn’t appear to be anyone on the porch. Tap Tap Tap Tap—Tap Tap My cautious nature makes me hesitate. When have I ever opened the door without first knowing who was there? I take a deep breath, grasp the knob, and pull. The porch is empty. I step outside and look up and down...

The Campout

This story was just published! Go to to find “The Campout” in the March, 2022, issue.