Spending a solitary Christmas Eve after a recent break-up, David Silver stops in a neighborhood bar for a drink. There he encounters a cat and a stranger who asks him to deliver a cryptic message to someone he’s never heard of. This is just the first of many odd things he will experience on a night that becomes increasingly surreal. Just who the cryptic is for and what it means is the mystery revealed in this enigmatic tale in which our protagonist comes under the sway of some old Celtic magic.
Teresa, a young woman living in rural Mexico in the 1930s, is pregnant for the first time and is bound to name her baby according to the tradition of the small town she has grown up in — a tradition that ensures prosperity or poverty for the child. This is the story of a young woman determined to break from tradition so that her unborn daughter has a better shot in the world.
In “The Peacock,” a producer for the podcast “Detective Radio” travels to his hometown of San Diego to research an episode about the US Navy. Along the way, he confronts grief, reconnects with an old flame, and stumbles into a military conspiracy that threatens his life and all that he loves.
Dash Silver and Carol Gold were Hollywood stars in the 1950s, lovers on screen and off. Decades after their relationship ends, Carol receives an envelope with a surprising request from Dash – will she honor it or not? As she considers her options, she recalls their Tinseltown past and the surprising reason she’s had nothing to say to him for so long.
In Hollywood in 1929, a young actress working as a telephone switchboard operator receives a terrifying call — a woman screaming for help, silenced by a sudden gunshot. When the police investigation leads nowhere, she jumps into action to try to learn the identity and the fate of the mysterious screaming woman.
British vampire Robin Dashwood has been hiding from his past in New York City. He’s poured himself into his work as a history professor at NYU. Since his painful transition into a vampire, he has avoided the place of his 18th-century human birth, Hawkesmoor Castle, in Yorkshire, England. However, a twist of fate returns Robin to Hawkesmoor Castle to uncover what he suspects was an 18th century murder, and to pursue the beautiful woman who has captured his heart.
This is the story of Margaret and Bernie’s long marriage, told through a series of nostalgic flashbacks to Hollywood of the 1950s. As they near the end of their long lives, the couple hatches a surprising plan, and one fateful night they return to the Sunset Inn, where they first met sixty years earlier.
“Bar Kafka” is the gripping story of Joe Nickerson’s adventures after serving in Vietnam. We travel with him from Vietnam to Japan, and after he arrives home, from Los Angeles to New Jersey. Captivated by a stalwart, seductive, and enigmatic woman, he ultimately returns to Japan… which leads to a most unexpected encounter.
ANNA PRAWDZIK HULL
Hector, a young man from Albuquerque, is one semester away from getting a degree from the University of New Mexico. His mother, who was recently deported from the U.S., is sick and needs urgent care in Oaxaca, Mexico. To help her, Hector gets a job working for a secretive character, a man named Johnny G, whose dangerous side business — if you can call it that — opens Hector’s eyes, and his heart.
JENNIFER O’NEILL PICKERING
This eloquent and poignant short story, about redemption and forgiveness, begins when a horseshoe-shaped belt buckle tumbles out of an old photo album into Sarah’s lap. She recalls that there was nothing lucky about that particular keepsake, and relives the momentous events of one particular summer that she called “the summer of the river bottom dragon.”
What do a box-car riding, washed up sax player, a Tijuana cop, a Scandinavian diplomat, a gorgeous high diver, and a race horse ready for the glue factory, have in common? They all turn up in Sean Murray’s highly entertaining short story.