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

There Came a Knock

A wreath of nut-bearing branches hung on the door, and bundled stalks of corn stood on either side. A carved pumpkin sat patiently at the bottom of the steps; a master of ceremonies waiting for nightfall. These were the kinds of old-fashioned homespun decorations Hazel took pride in—joyed in—in the hope that their authenticity would speak for her. "Lord save me from myself. Is everything done?" said the old woman. She worked her broom down the front steps, right up to the sidewalk in front of her house....

December 9, 2021 · 9 min · Warren R. Smith

Let Us Never Say Goodbye

Midnight on a smooth stretch of two-lane the air was crisp, the stars shining bright. Parked in the middle of the deserted country road, Jake's truck engine lumbered and loped through a restless idle. The gages beneath the dash glowed warmly, and the headlights gleamed over a center line that faded straight into the black velvet horizon. The chrome intake jutting through the hood glistened in the moonlight. It was a perfect night to see what she could do....

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