Speakeasy #162 – Fulfilling Wishes at the End of the World

Fulfilling Wishes at the End of the World

Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. They are frozen in time for all eternity, to replace the face of Michelangelo’s David as it sat carved in my mind. The world had fallen apart in the streets outside that day, as we walked through the museum hand in hand.

It was all we wanted to do.

We had decided to spend the day there, he and I, that morning over coffee. So rarely did we get time to ourselves, having an afternoon together sounded like a tiny slice of heaven. We would play hooky from work and go through the museum like tourists, gawking at the visiting exhibits. Hell, maybe we would even eat at the overpriced cafe. He emailed his boss, I called in. Then, giggling like kids skipping class, we hustled to catch the bus downtown.

Our tickets were stamped 10:45AM. The bombs started falling at 12:23PM. Continue reading

The Speakeasy #161 – Earthquake Weather

Earthquake Weather

When I was growing up, my neighbor always talked about earthquake weather. She was old, her hands as gnarled as the knobs on the oak tree in her front yard. Everyone called her tia; though her relatives had long since moved away she was auntie to everyone. Her family had been in California since before California existed, working at the missions under the Mexican flag long before the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was even considered.

Mija,” she’d say to me, smiling up into the orange tree where I perched, plucking fresh fruit from the high boughs and dropping it to her waiting hands. “This is earthquake weather. The air is still and the clouds are high. Mira.Continue reading

The Speakeasy #160 – Popularity Contest

Popularity Contest

“Tell me if you’re game.”

Cord’s words swirled around my head as we peered into the construction site, our fingers gripping the chain fence that separated it from the rest of the neighborhood. Everyone else had already hopped over; their laughs echoed back to us from around the sleeping machinery. I looked over my shoulder, then back.

“I don’t know.”

Cord huffed, irritated. “Look, Teri. If you’re not game, you’re not game. But I’m not going to sit around and let them drink my beer while you dick around with your feelings.” He didn’t wait for me to answer, scaling the fence with a metallic rattle and disappearing into the shadows. Continue reading

Speakeasy #159 – Hunting at Night

Hunting at Night

The night of the council meeting, all the children in the village were sent to bed early. I was no exception, but I stayed awake, tumbling out of the house and into the fields as the sun sent honey-colored rays to stretch shadows across the town while the grownups disappeared into the night. Children caused too much ruckus playing in the hall foyer, so they all had to stay home. Or so mama said.

All the adults went into the meeting hall and I went into the woods. I wasn’t supposed to go there, but something about this night felt different. Continue reading


So hey, did you read my story Worth Living For?

The folks over at The Speakeasy thought it was good enough to place third in weekly contest #158! For real, no foolin’. I think the last time I won something for my writing was in fifth grade.  (That was a good mrflmrfl years ago.)  I’m all tingly with excitement!

Be sure to read the other winners, AZ Gringa, Lance, and Laith.

Thanks so much, Speakeasy voters!

The Speakeasy #158 – Worth Living For

Worth Living For

The first time Ruby ran away, she nearly made it across the river. Her brothers found her at the crossing, tucked among the donkeys and people and overstuffed bags, and carried her home, Ruby kicking and screaming all the way. She was three months shy of thirteen years old, and had no desire to grow up to be a wife.

Despite her protests, the wedding happened that summer.

The next time Ruby ran away, they didn’t find her. Continue reading