Archive: Short Stories

Behold, the Raisin!

My Cairo-based peace piece (a short story) was published this week by LITRO Magazine, a dandy little UK literary journal.  Please honor them and me by joining Ahmed, a 12-year-old Muslim boy, as he brings joy and hope to Egypt and, eventually, to the United States.  Click here for the LITRO home page and the story.

http://www.litro.co.uk/?p=33907

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Why Eritreans Are Such Fierce Warriors

FREE Read: My short story that was named a finalist in the Glimmer Train Press Spring 2012 Fiction Open

Sometimes when the parking lot is full, Jimmy-Z will stretch out on the old divan where he can see every corner of the lot, forty cars packed two-by-two east and west in each of four horizontal rows, horizontal if you face the lot head-on from L Street across from the headquarters of the uniformed Secret Service, with thirty additional cars in two vertical rows of fifteen each headed north out the back of the lot, vertical if you stand looking into their headlights with the Greencourt Health Club and Spa in back of your right elbow and the Green Door, a gay bar and nightclub, behind your left. Not an inch of asphalt spared. (More)

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A little help from my friends?

The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature just published my short, short story “Valentine’s Day” online, and they are considering publishing my book-length SS collection, “All Head and No Ass.”  I’m trying to shine them on by driving some additional traffic to their website so they’ll know I’m a big-timer.

 Please honor me by visiting www.deadmule.com/fiction/ and taking a moment to read my piece.  If you like it, then don’t be bashful about sharing the link with your friends, family, colleagues, comrades, whatever.  I’m assured this is the way Charles Dickens started out, so help if you can!  And happy Valentine’s Day …..

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September 8, 2011

9/11: a Cop Novel Begins

/I started work on this many years ago.  It’s now the first chapter in a new novel I’m working on./

                                                                    Best Friends

                                                                by Ray Abernathy

September 11 wasn’t the first time Rafe Holbrook had slept through his alarm clock with no thought to its consequences.  He’d done it all through high school, two tours of duty in Viet Nam with the 1st Calvary and 20 years with the New York Police Department.  But on this morning, neither Callie Bacon nor Tom Hale had called to wake him up.  That’s because Callie was back on Deer Isle where she’d decided to stay on after high school and marry a cranberry farmer and raise kids.  And Tommy, his longtime pal, sidekick, spear carrier, confessor and crutch lay buried under 200 thousand tons of steel at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. (More)

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August 28, 2011

Obama: Nibbling the Nibbler

There they were again, this time in a Washington Post article by Dana Milbank.  Two little words — “patent reform” — that speak tomes about President Obama’s approach to job creation. The President surfaced the proposal in a speech two weeks ago and since then it has been imbedded in every White House press release on jobs. In the Milbank article, AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka derides it as the kind of thing “he thinks others will immediately accept” and goes on to include it as one of “those little nibbly things around the edge that aren’t going to make a difference and aren’t going to solve the problem.”  Milbank agrees, calling Obama “The Great Nibbler.” 

 Mr. President, Milbank and Trumka are being far too kind, chipping around the perimeter of the problem themselves. Truth is, the words “patent reform” trivialize the suffering of the jobless and make you sound like, well, a nitwit.   

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/wanted-more-bite-from-obama-the-great-nibbler/2011/08/25/gIQAigGAgJ_story.html?hpid=z3

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August 9, 2011

Read THE GOOD SON Free!

My short story, The Good Son, has just been published in the Summer Issue of FictionNow, a prestigious new site for readers and writers of good fiction — and it’s all free. I’m quite flattered to be featured there and I hope you’ll click on www.fictionnow.com/the-good-son , read my piece and check out some of the other stories.   And let me know what you think — I crave your feedback.

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December 20, 2010

Murdering my mother.

Anyone who hasn’t thought seriously about murdering their mother hasn’t made a seventh annual holiday visit to her in a nursing home.

The sound is that of the Spike Jones Orchestra tuning up. Brenda Lee whining Christmas songs. Multiple phones jangling.  Nurse’s aides alternately barking out orders and gently cajoling their charges to eat their inedible lunches. A resident cries out, “Mama, mama, mama.” Stella Eulalia Moore Abernathy, age 92, is having none of it.  It’s two in the afternoon and she’s still asleep sitting up in her standard-issue nursing home bed, wearing her standard-issue nursing home nightshirt, mouth open, snoring and drooling.  Her skin is the same cadaverous grey as that of my college roommate, whose viewing and funeralizing we attended earlier in the day. (More)

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August 11, 2009

A New Short Story

Note: Since this is a 6,000 word piece, feel free to download and read later, preferably with a single malt scotch in hand.

Shad Fishing

by Ray Abernathy

“You interested in going shad fishing next week?” Jimmy Joe nonchalantly asked of his son-in-law Tommy while they were both up under Jimmy Joe’s rattle-trap Ford pickup trying to put in a new drive shaft.

“Don’t mind if I do,” Tommy replied, trying to play down his obvious pleasure at finally being asked to make the trip. “Trouble is, I don’t have a boat.”

“Don’t need a boat — Alice and Agnes down at the camp got everything a man needs, for fishing and just about anything else. They’ll rent you a boat for $3.00 a day and not even charge you for the week if the Shad run quick. They got waders, skeeter oil, vienna sausage, deviled ham, crackers, even fresh cow’s milk for those that needs it after a long night of waiting for the fish. ‘Course you don’t have to worry about food — we take four or five locker boxes of beef and pork roasts, bacon and sausage and Big ‘un comes along to make sure it all gets cooked right. We split everything four or five ways, including a tip for Big’un because he’s the best cook in middle Georgia. But don’t worry, I’ll spot you on your first trip — I am your father-in-law, and besides, I’ve noticed you eat like a bird and drink whiskey like a girl.” (More)

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June 3, 2009

Obama in Cairo

In recognition of President Obama’s historic trip to, and speech in Cairo, I offer this little short story, which was just named one of 10 runnersup in the annual Potomac Review fiction competition. Good deeds can change history, don’t you think?

Behold, the Raisin!
by Ray Abernathy

Cairo. Everything is moving. Small, square Russian cars, junkers all, speeding down the broad boulevard next to the Nile, slowing neither for traffic circles nor for pedestrians dodging in and out of lanes. Young men riding cranky bicycles past crumbling French, Soviet and Italianate buildings, right hands gripping handlebars, left hands balancing wide wooden trays of precious flatbread. A bus careens wildly around a tiny girl riding side-saddle astride a donkey, the donkey piled 20 feet high with used tires, the girl furiously beating the slow-moving animal with a stick. Two black armored personnel carriers with no windows, only slits for rifles, lumber off the boulevard into the Garden City district, crawl up narrow streets and come to a stop at the back entrance to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia just as two identical vehicles leave. A boy of twelve skips down the walk of an apartment building, crosses the street, pulls himself up by the gun slits on one of the carriers, sticks his tongue out at the soldiers inside and greets them with the refrain from his favorite cartoon show: “Yabba-dabba-do.” The soldiers, most of them little older than children themselves laugh and reply, “da-da-da-da …. da-da-da-da ….dadadadadadadooo.” (More)

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January 18, 2009

Obama, Out of Egypt

Behold, the Raisin

by Ray Abernathy

Cairo. Everything is moving. Small, square Russian cars, junkers all, speeding down the broad boulevard next to the Nile, slowing neither for traffic circles nor for pedestrians dodging in and out of lanes. Young men riding cranky bicycles past crumbling French, Soviet and Italianate buildings, right hands gripping handlebars, left hands balancing wide wooden trays of precious flatbread. A bus careens wildly around a tiny girl riding side-saddle astride a donkey, the donkey piled 20 feet high with used tires, the girl furiously beating the slow-moving animal with a stick. Two black armored personnel carriers with no windows, only slits for rifles, lumber off the boulevard into the Garden City district, crawl up narrow streets and come to a stop at the back entrance to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia just as two identical vehicles leave. A boy of twelve skips down the walk of an apartment building, crosses the street, pulls himself up by the gun slits on one of the carriers, sticks his tongue out at the soldiers inside and greets them with the refrain from his favorite cartoon show: “Yabba-dabba-do.” The soldiers, most of them little older than children themselves laugh and reply, “da-da-da-da …. da-da-da-da ….dadadadadadadooo.” (More)

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