The First Noël

The following took place during my thirteenth year . . . A week before Christmas Day, a gaggle of us self-conscious teenagers loaded into three cars. We headed to Elgin State Hospital, formerly called the Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. Our church’s youth group leader had decided that, in the spirit of Christmas,…

The Antique Shop

a short story … On a street known as Artifact Row, in the historic district of Langford, D&D Antiques offered vintage collectibles. The owners, Dale and Doris, lived in the small apartment above the shop. Per the rules of the town’s preservation committee, the shops and cafés of Artifact Row were required to maintain their…

The Letters

September, 2019 My Dear Agnus, I may be among the last of those who write letters. Handwriting is personal and so I hope my words will be received not as the words of a deacon, but as your brother. The last time I saw you Agnus, at the funeral for Nicholas, I perceived bitterness behind…

The Annual Meeting

  Friday After driving six hours from Chicago, Joe Smoltz arrived at the Splendent Hotel. It was Friday night. An intense two days of meetings would start first thing in the morning. As the Midwest manager of a national chain of appliance stores, he was required to attend the annual “Strategic Management” sessions. The four…

The Homecoming

  The airport was especially crowded. Parents were waiting to pick up their college kids for Thanksgiving break. Alyona waited for her youngest daughter Sophia. She checked the flight information screen. The flight was on time but the plane was sitting on the tarmac waiting for a gate. When the plane finally pulled up and…