Flirting with Normal, Flirting with Crazy
Elissa and I were in the same grade only senior year. She didn’t graduate with her own class, a year ahead of mine, because she’d missed so much school, hospitalized in Pineville and too busy being crazy to focus on chemistry or anything else.
A Girl Called Penny
By the end of my first month of piano, Miss Harry pretty much pronounced me void of rhythm and close to tone deaf but tried to be tactful in laying out my faults, not wanting to offend my mother. She would’ve gladly forfeited me as a student. It was those planned lessons for my sisters, also marked for music when they reached fifth grade, she didn’t want to lose.
The Southampton Review
“Other people, inside their lives, might as well be invisible to her.”
THE OPTIMIST’S DAUGHTER. Eudora Welty
Two facts to remember. Number one, he was too gorgeous to resist. Number two, normally, I wouldn’t have been home on a Wednesday afternoon.
The summer before I was ready to start fourth grade, I had two ambitions: Go to a movie with my mother to catch the previews and see one of those visions that ran in our family. My father liked movies as much as me and my younger brothers, but never got the hang of being some place on time. As far as he was concerned, we were early if the opening credits were still flashing when we settled in our seats. My mother refused to miss previews, saying she needed those so she could think about what was coming next. Plus some days, she needed a break, needed it really bad, and that was the other reason our father took us to the movies and she took only herself.
Still Point Arts Quarterly
Sheila assured her father she knew all there was to know about getting into college and predicted the counseling session for seniors would be a waste. It was. But Richard didn’t want to chance missing out on critical information. Back home, he flipped through the packet of sample applications. “Looks like a lot of work.” When she said nothing to this, he said, “A lot.” This habit of repeating what he’d just said made her crazy, but he made only halfhearted stabs at changing.
Moon Snail, Sea Potato, Lobster
Compose: Journal of Simply Good Writing
A moon snail, facing imminent attack, slides its slimy foot over its shell, thwarting the likely predator, a starfish, which now cannot manage a sufficient grip over the slippery surface to pry open the intended prey. Thus is the moon snail saved.
Cumberland River Review
No one predicts it. At least no one predicts the amount. Sure, every TV weather guy says snow is coming. Anybody with arthritis says as much. Something’s in the air and, it being December, the something’s likely snow. Snow if we’re lucky. Ice if we’re not.
Marty’s hands were too small for the rest of her body and especially looked that way when they circled the broad square white plates Happy Jack’s used. The rest of her was pleasingly round. Round, not fat. Chubby had been the description in fifth grade and, honestly, the word was still the one to use, though Marty was past fifty and in charge, part-time, of her own chubby kid. Make that young woman. Right. The caseworker liked reminding her that Candy wasn’t a kid or a girl any more. She was a young woman. So what did that make Marty? An old woman? A plain woman?
In addition to the following stories, Jacqueline’s short works have appeared in publications ranging from Spitball and The St. Anthony Messenger to The Crab Orchard Review and the Arkansas Review. Various works have received the Yemassee Award for Fiction, been cited as runners-up in competitions sponsored by the Broad River Review, Rosebud, and Salem College, and were finalists in competitions sponsored by Big Muddy, the Chattahoochee Review, the Dana Awards, Hunger Mountain, Laurel Review, New Ohio Review, Nimrod, Saturday Evening Post, and Story. She is a five-time Pushcart nominee.
End of the World
Saturday Evening Post
“End of the world,” Raymond calls to the bus driver, pulling to the curb for the mandatory wait for passengers who rarely appear. “The signs are there. I’m telling you, she’s coming.”
Learning the Flute in La Paz
Broad River Review
This wasn’t his idea. Get that straight from the start. One year of almost flunking high school Spanish didn’t qualify him as his father’s interpreter in Bolivia. Freddie had told the old man that. Told him and told him until you’d think even Harlan Gamble, most successful Ford dealer in the entire Midwest region—ten states and how about that?—could’ve heard what his boy was saying. Nope. No way, Jose. That Spanish enough for you, H?