The Tomb Is Empty

*This is not a short-short. It’s pretty long. Just fair warning. Patience with this, as well. It may read, at points, like a sermon or a polemic. It’s not. Down the hill and up the trail from Otis and Mercy Warren’s plot is a row of headstones, one of which the man notices because ofContinue reading “The Tomb Is Empty”

In Ramah, Lamentation

The man is in a crowd of people, and he is given a locker room key. The number on the key is 1065. He enters a locker room—it is the old Carroll High School JV locker room. He walks through the locker room and cannot find his locker. He goes through the freshman locker room.Continue reading “In Ramah, Lamentation”

Purple Heart Funeral

The man’s youngest son discovered Oversimplify on YouTube on his own around age eight, which made him an unlikely authority on eras of history that most people know little about. Now, he often says things like, “Can you believe people thought Czar Nicholas was so bad? Apparently, they haven’t heard of Leopold II of Belgium!”Continue reading “Purple Heart Funeral”

We Should Not Have Come Here

They have been tracting for a couple of hours in Armenian apartments in Glendale, CA. Mostly, they have heard, “No speak English,” or “We are first Christian. We know the God. We know the Jesus. We know everything.” They are close to lunch when they knock a door that probably has no one home–the shadesContinue reading “We Should Not Have Come Here”

His Dad’s Final Joke

Stephen, Bob Bolster, Bill Settle, Jerry Kizerian, and the man stand over their father’s body. He is laid out on a metallic table and covered in a sheet. The temple clothes are folded next to him, and the man has a pair of garments to dress him in. Dad looks pasty and puffy, not reallyContinue reading “His Dad’s Final Joke”

The Neighborhood Dealer with the Uzi

The door swings open. An Armenian man in his mid-40s smiles and lets them in without a word. He is wearing alligator skin loafers, white jeans, and a black silk button-down shirt. A pair of sunglasses sits on the top of his head. The young man and Elder Judd sit on a plush couch. “I’mContinue reading “The Neighborhood Dealer with the Uzi”

Haunted House

The man moves up the walkway to the front door and opens it. The door opens to a hall that connects to a dining room with a beat-up oval table. There’s one seat at the table and in that seat is his father. “What are you doing here?” “I don’t know. What are you doingContinue reading “Haunted House”

You’ll Thank Me Later

They are here because of preeclampsia. Lauren is a type 1 diabetic, and at 37 weeks, her blood pressure has gone up, and protein has been found in her urine. She called Gordon away from work that afternoon, Lauren’s mother, Marti, met them at the hospital, and they have been preparing for a C-section allContinue reading “You’ll Thank Me Later”

An Elegy for Christmas Past

It is 5:42 am Christmas morning when the young man’s bedroom door creaks open and he hears his brother’s voice. “You awake?” “Yeah, bro. Come on in.” “Think I should wake up Ruthanne?” “It’s tradition, right?” Stephen disappears, then reappears a minute later with Ruthanne. “I was up already,” she says. “Just didn’t know ifContinue reading “An Elegy for Christmas Past”

It Is the Gloaming

Camille is not going to make it, no matter how hard she tries. Thunderstorms keep rolling through Houston, Southwest will not finish the final leg to Corpus Christi. She has called several times to explain, the last time in tears. She tells his mother, “I hope he is not waiting for me.” “Let’s do this.Continue reading “It Is the Gloaming”