Just Like Magic

Candy's pyjamas were yellow goldfish on pink flannel. She sat on the edge of her bed, a cigarette dangling from her lip, two drinks down, and painting her toenails as best as humanly possible. The clock radio on her nightstand flipped a digit. A fishbowl sat near the bathroom sink where an endless drip stained the porcelain. The bowl was surrounded by crumpled squeeze tubes and scented bottles in a state of hygienic disarray....

December 31, 2021 · 2 min · Warren R. Smith

A Christmas Mission

It was a standard letter-sized envelope. Sarah handed it to David and sat down beside him on the floor. She resumed untangling a massive pile of Christmas lights. David gave her a suspicious look before pulling two official looking forms from the envelope. He glanced at the titles and squinted at Sarah again. "You've got to be kidding, right? You want us to be a part of the Mars colony mission?...

December 30, 2021 · 4 min · Warren R. Smith

The Revolutionary Cookies

Summertime in the South Texas' hill country, dusk falls like the skin of ash on charcoal. The rattling dissonance of cicadas reverberates and swells from the darkening trees, and a Mexican bat swirls between sentinels of pale stone. Barefoot and in a floral cotton dress, Kate sat halfway down the back porch steps. Her anklet was a keepsake of braided colored thread. Knowing where to find her at this time of day I walked around from the driveway, sat down and gave her a kiss....

December 26, 2021 · 11 min · Warren R. Smith

Getting to Know You

Like molasses and butter, poured over a mess of buckwheat cakes, her grin spread in warm recollection. Hazel Smith, who was ninety-eight years old, relished a historical fact: When she was young, you couldn't find a more adventuresome girl in all of Hope County. And if you know anything at all, that says a lot. She drew herself up in the tattered arms of a green chintz recliner. And though shifting her gaze to the window lace I knew full daylight was little more than an indistinct glow full of vague moving shapes....

December 7, 2021 · 6 min · Warren R. Smith

Jerry

Geraldo pushed his lawnmower down the street where the homeowners tipped best. He didn't mind that most lawns he passed were professionally mowed, combed, and swept by men in white jackets. Those lawns, too, were as smooth as a golf course. He kept his mind on the right side of things. A man like himself can still contribute to the fight against the jungle in his own small way. The soil is promiscuous....

December 5, 2021 · 2 min · Warren R. Smith

Like Caffeine

Inside Acuppa-Cuppa, on the corner of Rodeo and Camino Carlos Rey, twenty feet of glass frontage overlooks the sidewalk patio, parking lot, and a dirt island -- home to three aspiring evergreens. Despite the fact that it is winter, the day is almost balmy. Light traffic rolls by and the sky is the flavor blue. A vibrant chrysanthemum on a table near the door is flanked by two overstuffed lounge chairs....

November 29, 2021 · 5 min · Warren R. Smith

The Blue Catfish

On the porch a catfish skull hung spiked to a post. A pair of pliers and a knife for skinning the fish lay crossed on an upside-down five gallon can. Smoldering coals grayed, and the breezeless air remained infused with black pepper, garlic butter, and cayenne. Sammers' best hound dog slept in the doorway, twitching and kicking. As evening fell, the remote Creole shack was soon swallowed up by a dense canopy of trees....

November 26, 2021 · 2 min · Warren R. Smith

1st Post and the Gummy Bees

Maybe its time I start my own website. Therefore this is my first post. It's a beautiful autumn Sunday in Espanola, New Mexico. I saw a coyote down in a dry pond today. He sniffed the air. I was downwind, odor-wise non-existent, and standing stiff as a cottonwood tree. I can do a pretty good tree impersonation. It's tricky stuff. Botched, you end up looking more like Big Foot caught mid-stride and ruing the invention of cameras....

September 12, 2021 · 4 min · Warren R. Smith