Category Archives: Fiction

Short Story: Where Is Everybody?

It was a small family to have drawn together so many friends and relations. Everyone had a blast on the wild and wooly grounds of the Cougevan summer house—playing baby-name drinking games, laughing hoarsely into the night. Everyone, that is, except Phlox’s uncles. For each, the day’s objective had simply been to run out the clock. Now, however, with the pre-fêted baby having ceased to be, the uncles were the only ones to receive a text: Can one of you take Phlox for a couple days?

She wasn’t at the party owing to her debilitating fear of crowds. Her Uncle Marty had faced down his own paranoia about Massachusetts ticks and slapped at mosquitos where he failed to spray. Her Uncle Kai mostly rationalized his failure to landscape the pseudo-historic house under his stewardship by quoting William Burroughs.

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Short Story: Ms. Tisch

My best friend Mona prefaced any philosophical thought with “It must be weird”—as in “It must be weird to be a dumb kid because you don’t even know what you don’t know.” Dumb kids came up in our conversations because of Ms. Tisch. When someone asked if there was going to be a quiz the next day, all she said was: “A word to the wise should prove sufficient.” We considered The Wise to be us.

Ms. Tisch taught fifth- and sixth-grade math and quickly became our favorite teacher, Mona’s and mine. She had taught my brother two grades ahead when she first came to St. Mary’s and was known as Mrs. Tisch. My brother didn’t have much to say about her. In fact, she was largely considered a benign oddball by students and teachers alike.

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