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…

The Diner

  The first day of autumn Matt walked over to the diner. The air around him was an admixture of warmth and chill as day and night and now the seasons began to converge. He carried with him a copy of Prank, Chekhov’s own selection of the best of his early work. Matt thought the…

The Payment Plan

  Roni made one more call just before the end of his shift at 10 pm. The west coast number was in the queue. Someone picked up. A young girl answered. “Hello.” “Hi, this is Roni. Is your mom or dad home?” “Mom, someone’s on the phone!” When the girl yelled into his headphones Roni…

The Assignment

  Minutes before the final bell, Miss Hailee handed out a sheet to her third-grade students. The wide-ruled copies held only the heading I am looking forward to summer vacation… She walked down the rows of desks and passed one to each student. “Class, this year we have been learning to journal. On this sheet…

The Legacy

  The band concert on that airless July evening ended with Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. Everyone was on their feet. Moms and dads, grandparents and kids marched in place waving little flags and sparklers. As if on cue from the obligato of the piccolo, stars began popping out of the dark scroll above the…

The Dinner

  The Friday afternoon of Labor Day weekend Marvin was finalizing his response to the client. He sat before his two monitors. One monitor held the client comments regarding the marked-up drawings stacked neatly to his left. The monitor on the right held the recipe for beef bourguignon. He was making plans for a quiet…

What Mattered to Hannah

  Hannah wanted to get away so she booked a week at a cottage on a lake, the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin. Hannah boarded her parrolet Henry and headed north. The drive up from Chicago was just a few hours. Off the main highways she followed a lattice of county roads with names like…