Latest Short stories
Dec. 24. Victim discovered 3 min. off San Pasqual Valley Road/Highway 78. Mile marker 12. Female. Mid 20s. Face down. Homicide suspected. No attempted burial. Thrown and discarded. Decomposition suggests 6 weeks since death. Wild animals got to body. Skeleton mostly intact. Left femur missing. No ID. Prostitute? Photograph in back pocket.
Green. Not eaten. Not trampled into the dust. Food, or maybe poison. It didn’t matter which. Prisoner 13358 hadn’t been actively searching for either. If he had, he would have passed over the spot. An inconspicuous clay lump shielded the leaves that cowered between the stack of lumber and the barracks wall.
Mahzar sat cross-legged on the sandy floor and gripped his staff to still his trembling hands. Suluboya’s painted face stared at him from the corner of the tent as if waiting for him to renounce his promotion. “This is the will of the tribe,” he said to the idol. “I did not choose this. Nor did I choose Devrim’s actions.”
Sand swirled like a plague of locusts across the plain, spitting against Travis’s goggles. A line of fenceposts and an abandoned bunker contentedly slept while the world died around them.
“Home,” Asher’s escort said, handing him a set of keys. He splayed the keys out in his palm. Which one? But his escort had already returned to the car and started the engine. Asher tested several keys in the lock before one turned. The door creaked as he pushed it open. He cringed at the noise. But why did it bother him?