Fall 2023, Volume 35

Fiction by Cary Barney

Gut Feelings

for Adolfo López de Munáin

The glass doors slid open automatically and Joan stepped into the clinic and up to the counter. “Good morning,” she told the receptionist as she handed her the forms. “I’ve got an appointment at 8:30.”

The receptionist looked over the papers. “Thoroughly cleansed?”

“Yes.” Joan had guzzled down the diarrhetic as prescribed, five envelopes every two hours diluted in water, and it had worked all too well.

 “Is anyone here with you or coming to pick you up later?”

“They’re coming later,” Joan lied. She hadn’t told anyone she was doing this, not her daughters, certainly not Patrick. He was thirty, she was fifty-five. He was a welcome reminder that her body was still attractive, but their intimacy didn’t need to extend to her colon. Patrick wouldn’t have picked her up anyhow, since he didn’t drive, had never had a license, on a principle cleaved to since high school. He bicycled everywhere, made it not only his mode of transportation but also his life, selling and repairing bikes at the enormous sporting goods emporium where Joan had bought hers and they’d met. They rode together on weekends through the fields and gentle hills out beyond the city limits. Her thighs and calves had never been better, her endorphins higher, her libido stronger. He’d been great for her self-esteem, that’s for sure. But there had to be limits.

“Sign here, please.”

Joan glanced quickly at the text, I understand that the procedure I am about to undergo blah blah blah, and signed it. The receptionist directed her down the corridor to the door marked “Colonoscopy.” Nobody else was inside the small waiting area. Joan settled into one of the orange plastic seats, took her tablet from her bag and logged onto the university’s digital platform to grade a few electronically submitted Poly Sci papers while she waited. “By 1982 the Soviet bloc nations were clearly heading for a period of social upheaval,” read the first line of the first paper. Oh, how her students loved that word clearly.


Daphne pulled up to the curb and gave Chuck a quick kiss. “You don’t mind if I can’t stay?”

“I might not stay either,” Chuck grumbled. “I’m having second thoughts about this.” Just the thought of them putting that…into his… Of course he’d be asleep, but what if he woke up and felt it poking around in his gut? He couldn’t help thinking of the scene from Alien where…

“You’re going in there,” she told him. “I didn’t spend all this time talking you into it just to have you chicken out.”

“I’m not chickening out,” he lied. “Something will eventually kill me, so why should I worry about it?”

“What do you always tell your patients?”

Some came to him with major avoidance issues, scared to death of their doctors and dentists, though somehow not of him. He worked through questions to help them locate what they were really afraid of, embarrassment, shame, death. He’d set a poor example by bailing now. It would diminish him in Daphne’s eyes, for one thing. She’d been a patient, but they’d decided that if they were sleeping together she shouldn’t be anymore. “That really wasn’t part of your therapy,” he’d joked post-coitally. In truth, it was part of his. She made him feel ten years younger, which was meeting her halfway. Right now, though, he didn’t feel particularly young, just immature. She wouldn’t put up with his bullshit much longer, he told himself.

“Do it, Chuck,” she said. “I’m going to watch until you check in.”

“Oh, okay,” he said. They kissed again and he got out of the car. He marched as resolutely as he could and joined the short line to the reception counter. When he turned to wave Daphne had already driven away.


Joan was grinding her teeth through an exasperatingly weak essay on Balkan nationalism when the outer door opened and someone stepped in and sat opposite her. They looked up simultaneously.



“What are you doing here?”

“What are you doing here?”

“Well, this.”

“You too?”

“You too?”

“Well, yeah!”

They stared at each other until they laughed.

“Wait until we tell the girls!” Chuck said.

“I know!”

“Hang on, do you think they…”

“Set this up?”

“Like that Disney movie, The Parent Trap.”

“I didn’t tell them. Did you?”


“It wouldn’t have been like them.” Their daughters knew their parents were better off separated anyhow, Lola tending to side with Joan and Stacy with Chuck.

“I guess they would have chosen a more romantic spot.”

They laughed again with astonishment. “I can’t get over this,” Joan said.

“I know!”

“Nothing wrong, I hope?”

“No, no symptoms,” Chuck replied. “Just something I’ve had on my bucket list. You?”

“Just a precaution.”

They sat there in silence for a moment, then laughed again, then stopped.

“You look great,” Chuck said.

“Thanks. You too.”

Neither was lying. Both recognized what had blossomed in the other with new, younger love. They were happy for each other, and it had helped them start to let each other go, which they needed to do. They’d been separated for nearly two years, Joan staying at the house and Chuck renting a small apartment downtown before moving in a few months ago with what’s her name, whom Joan had never met. Daphne. Their age difference was about the same as hers and Patrick’s. A pattern there, she guessed. It had been several months since Chuck had last dropped by the house to pick up some books he needed that had been exiled to the basement along with the rest of his things. They’d barely spoken that day, and now neither felt any impulse to stand and give the other a hug. Both were relieved when the inner door opened and a nurse poked his head out and called Joan’s name.

“Well, good to see you,” Joan said as she rose.

“Good to see you too, Joan,” he said. “Enjoy it.”

“You too.” The nurse held the door for her and she walked through. Chuck shook his head slowly, laughing to himself now. Of all the…

Well, if Joan could go through with this so could he.


The nurse handed Joan a plastic bag for her clothes and belongings and a hospital gown and booties to put on and sent her behind a screen to undress. The gown was open at the back, of course, and as she padded out to where the test would be done she thought, well, they see dozens of asses every day, most of them probably much worse than mine. She shook hands with the doctor, a burly man with a shaved head, a bushy mustache, and a ruby stud through his earlobe. Two female assistants helped her lie down on the gurney. They positioned her legs to provide easy access for the probe, which she saw hanging non-threateningly from the side of the monitor.

The doctor told her, “We’re going to send you off to dreamland so you won’t notice a thing.” The nurse swabbed Joan’s arm and the needle went in so swiftly Joan didn’t feel it.

“We didn’t plan this,” Joan said, “but you’re going to be seeing my husband this morning too.”

“Is that so,” the doctor said. “Tell me, what does your husband do for a living?”
Joan managed to drawl “He’s a psycholo…” and she was out.


Two other patients had taken up seats across from Chuck when his phone went plink! and he pulled it from his pocket. The message was from Daphne.

Sold it! They loved the house. After we close the clients want to take me to lunch to celebrate. Can’t say no. Hope you don’t mind. You’ll get home okay?

Well, you could say no, couldn’t you? Before Chuck could decide whether he minded or not, the phone plinked! again.

Make yourself something to eat.

Chuck guessed he would have to. He started making a mental inventory of the refrigerator. Maybe he’d order take-out. Plink!

How did it go?

He messaged back:

Hasn’t happened yet. Long wait.

Or maybe treat himself to the Mexi Burger at the Millstone Diner, with chili, cheddar, sweet potato fries, guac on the side. Just thinking about it made his empty stomach growl loud enough, he thought, to turn heads all the way out in the lobby. Plink!

Be brave.

He answered with a thumbs-up emoji, then waited a moment and messaged again:

Congratulations on the sale BTW.

He waited for another plink! but none came. He almost wrote, Guess who I ran into at the clinic, but decided to save the story for later at home. He and Daphne would share a good laugh over it. Anyhow, the nurse stepped out again and it was his turn. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then rose and followed her into the dreaded inner sanctum.


A nurse snapped her fingers in front of Joan’s face. Joan opened her eyes and recognized the room, the beige walls, the monitor, her clothes and shoes and handbag in the large clear plastic bag on a chair next to the screen where she’d undressed. Was it over? Or hadn’t they started yet?

“We’re all done,” called the doctor cheerfully from his adjoining office. The nurse told Joan to take her time, sit up when she felt ready, not to try and stand for a few minutes.

“Anything to tell me?” she asked the nurse.

“The doctor will talk to you in a little while, after you’re dressed.”

Joan lay there a few minutes more. If the doctor needs to talk to me, she thought, it can’t be good. She swung her legs off the gurney, slid onto her feet and grasped the chair for balance. She sat on it for a while and then retreated behind the screen and changed back into her clothes. She presented herself at the doorway of the little office.

“Up already?” the doctor said without taking his eyes off the monitor in front of him. “Have a seat.” She sat and watched as the doctor scrolled through her lower intestine with the mouse, clicking and zooming in, zooming out, scrolling again, until apparently satisfied with what he’d seen he swiveled in his chair to speak to her.

“We found a little something,” he said. “A polyp. Not very large. Here, look.” He turned the large flatscreen monitor toward Joan. Blown up and in full color, Joan’s colon looked like the inside of the whale in Pinocchio. With his pen the doctor pointed out a reddish blob on the wall.

Joan stared at his warm but practiced smile. She had to ask. “Is it…”

“Most of these are completely benign. But it’s best to have a closer look just in case. It is a little larger than we like to see.”

Joan caught her breath. “Is it still there?”

“No, no. We snipped it out. It’s already on its way to the lab. They’ll do a biopsy and in a few days we should have a result.” He paused. “Don’t be alarmed.”

“Of course I’m alarmed.” Joan thought of Norbert, her colleague, who had six inches of his digestive tract removed. Or Charlene, her brother’s first wife, who’d gone through radiation treatments and then a year of chemo, thankfully pill-based and mild. Charlene was okay now, of course, so not everybody dies. But then Roger. No, don’t think about Roger and his colostomy bag and eventual suicide. “Did you get it all?” she said.

“All that we could see.”

“There’s no chance you could have missed a piece? Or that it’s already spread?”

The doctor shook his head. “Less than ten percent of these develop into cancers. Those that do, if we catch them early on they’re highly treatable.”

The word treatable echoed in her head. Joan imagined herself hairless, emaciated, skin and bones. Patrick would vanish from her life, and she wouldn’t want him to see her like that anyhow. Don’t think about it, she told herself. Pull yourself together. She stood up to leave. The doctor rose and they shook hands. “Thank you,” she said. At the doorway she stopped. “How’s my husband?”

“He’s next. We’re about to put him under.”

“Please don’t tell him anything.”

She wandered out into the lobby in a daze. Suddenly she seemed to hear a low, ominous drone emanating from deep in her colon, a monotonous ground that would underlie every sound she would hear, every thought she would have that day.

When Chuck awoke from the anesthesia the doctor said, “That wasn’t so bad, now, was it?” and told him he was all clear except for a few interior hemorrhoids, requiring no further attention, though Chuck might ask his GP to prescribe a stool softener. Just the word hemorrhoids made him feel diminished, pathetic. He couldn’t imagine mentioning them to Daphne. Why would she want to sleep with an old man with piles? He shuffled out toward the entrance and the line of taxis by the curb. He was about to hail one when he heard Joan call to him. She was sitting on a concrete bench in a little garden by the entrance. He walked over.

“Still here?”

“I thought I’d wait for you. Here.” She handed him something wrapped in a napkin with the hospital’s logo, a ham and cheese croissant. “You’re probably as hungry as I was,” she said. “I already ate mine.”

He sat next to her. “You didn’t have to.”

“I wanted to.”

He bit into it. “How’d it go?”

“I didn’t notice a thing. Did you?”

He shook his head. “I was hoping it would at least be fun.”

“Maybe it’s fun for them.”

They laughed a little. They could still make each other laugh.

“Everything okay, though?”

Joan nodded. “With you?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Nothing serious, I hope.”

“No, just embarrassing. Someone picking you up?”

Joan shook her head. “Let’s get a taxi.”


“And go get ourselves some real food.”

That raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure that’s such a good idea?”

“Why not? Unless you’ve got something better to do.”

“I cancelled all my patients for today.”

“I cancelled my classes.”

“I guess we can survive another meal together. Where do you want to go?”

“I was thinking Flagro’s.”

“For old time’s sake?”

“For the spanakopita.”


Flagro’s wasn’t packed yet but would be soon, so Joan and Chuck were lucky to snare what had once been their table, a booth beneath a faux-ancient wall fresco of a woman playing a lyre. It felt strange to sit there, no longer a couple in need of an intimate space for exchanging words and glances and holding hands across the table. But so what. They ordered stuffed grape leaves for starters and a glass of wine each, though they’d been advised not to drink after the procedure.

“Here’s to healthy colons,” Chuck said.

Joan just nodded as they clinked glasses. Change the subject. They spoke of the lead Stacy had taken in unionizing the staff of the gym where she worked, of Lola’s struggling pet embalming business, of both daughters’ unstable relationships and their own possible bad example. They spoke of Chuck’s practice, thriving thanks to COVID-induced neuroses, and the tortured academic politics of Joan’s department as her colleagues leapfrogged each other for the dubious privilege of chairing it. Joan tried to take refuge in the familiarity of their conversation, but Chuck’s smooth, deep voice sounded far away, as if she were listening from deep within the walls of her cavernous colon, where an imaginary polyp kept saying Hey, maybe there was more than one and they missed me!

Joan realized she hadn’t spoken for a minute or so and Chuck was waiting. She had no idea what he’d just been saying or how to respond to it. Change the subject again.

“So, how’s your patient?”

“Which one?”

“You know. Daphne.”

Chuck grinned. “Not my patient anymore.”

“Your decision or hers?”

“Hers. Given the circumstances.”

“Sure. You’d feel like you were always on the job.”

“Oh, she’s not half as fucked up as I am.” He took another sip of his wine. “She’s got another analyst now. A woman. She says that’s better. So what’s she need me for?”

“Maybe you’re the one who needs her.” Chuck thought about it, then nodded. “Lola says she’s very pretty,” said Joan.

“She’s great. I wonder what she sees in me. I don’t exercise like you do.”

“You look okay, Chuck. You’ve lost some weight.”

“I’m eating better.” He wolfed another grape leaf. “And your bicycle guy, Joan?”

“Great,” she simply said.

“Stacy tells me he’s very good looking.”

“Oh, he is.”

“I think she wanted to sleep with him herself.”

Joan’s glass, almost at her lips, froze in place. “That would be more age appropriate I admit.” She took a sip. “Lola probably feels the same way about Daphne.”

Chuck shook his head. “Not her type. Has her life too together. Lola likes the chaotic ones.”

“Like mother, like daughter.”

Chuck nodded in resigned agreement. “I don’t know how Daphne puts up with me.”

“Same way I did, I guess.” She took another sip. “I’d like to meet her.”

“She’s curious about you, too.”

“You should meet Patrick some time. You might like him.”

“Oh, I like everybody. Not sure he’d like me.”

“Why not?”

“Well, with everything you’ve probably told him…”

“Don’t worry. I accentuate the positive.”

Chuck grinned. “I do too.”

Their food arrived: spanakopita of course, moussaka, pastitsio, and a huge salad with feta, olives and cherry tomatoes. They passed the dishes around as they always had, spearing forkfuls and widening their eyes with pleasure. It would have been delicious anytime, but now after all the fasting and cleansing it was heavenly. The pastry assortment was gooey with honey which they licked off their fingers. The coffee was rocket-fuel intense, and the waiter brought them as always two foggy glasses of ouzo. Joan took a sip and excused herself.

It was nice to be like old friends again, Chuck thought, and not be digging at each other. They were both happy and happy to see the other happy. Separation was agreeing with them. Marriage had been perfectly okay too, until the last couple of years when they’d become empty nesters and realized how bored with each other they were. They’d retreated to their offices, emerged for meals with NPR on to prompt conversation and save them from silence, and at night had to remind themselves once or twice a month to have sex, each lost, he knew, in their own fantasies. Freeing each other to pursue them had been the best thing for each of them, he told himself. He took another sip of ouzo and felt warmth and contentment spread throughout his body. Everything was hunky dory right now, despite the hemorrhoids.

When Joan came back from the restroom he could see she’d been crying.

“I’m okay,” she said as she sat, before Chuck could ask. “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay.”

Chuck waited, then said, “Are you sure?”

“No.” Joan drank the rest of her ouzo in one gulp. “Chuck, we’ve turned a corner. From now on our bodies will be trying to kill us. Sooner or later they’ll succeed.”

Chuck waited again. “Did they find something?”

Joan nodded. “They’re not sure what it is. They’re doing a biopsy and then they’ll tell me.” She sat up straight, flipped her hands in a that’s-all gesture and forced a tight-lipped smile.

“I thought it might be something like that.”


“When I saw you waiting outside the clinic.”

“You can still read me.”

He reached across the table and took her hands. “I’m sorry, Joan.”

“We don’t know if there’s anything to be sorry about yet.”

“Of course we don’t. But you’re worried.”

“We don’t know if there’s anything to be worried about either.”

They sat for a long time. Chuck reached out and put his hand on Joan’s cheek. She leaned into its softness and warmth. She looked up and into his eyes.

“You’re okay, Chuck?”

He nodded. Now didn’t seem the moment to talk about hemorrhoids. He moved around the table and sidled up next to Joan, putting an arm around her and drawing her to him. With a sigh she rested her head on his shoulder. Chuck felt the familiar weight of her head, breathed the familiar almond scent of her shampoo. It felt good to be with her, but he wasn’t sure it was the best idea. They’d both managed to put the marriage behind them, sometimes spoke of making it official with a divorce, and here they were again settling into all the comforts they’d learned to do without. If one of his patients were going through the same he’d call it backsliding. But he summoned his altruism and his abiding affection for this woman, whom after all he’d loved and with whom he’d raised two beautiful daughters. Concentrate on the needs of the moment. Joan sniffled a bit and moved her head, snuggling into him. He glanced across the room and saw Daphne.

He could have guessed she’d choose Flagro’s to have her clients wine and dine her. Chuck had brought her here himself, had felt a small transgressive thrill at turning Daphne on to the place that had been his and Joan’s. Daphne stood there at the entrance with a young couple, the woman looking about seven months pregnant, as the greeter found them on the reservation list, grabbed a few menus and started guiding them toward their table, close by in the small restaurant. If she hadn’t seen him yet, Chuck thought, he could nip back over to his side of the booth. Joan would understand, wouldn’t she? But before he could move he found himself in Daphne’s startled gaze. Her clients sat and opened their menus, chatting excitedly in the first euphoria of home ownership. Daphne stayed on her feet, staring at him. What could Chuck do but shrug and flash her a smile? Daphne didn’t smile back but, ever the professional, finally took her seat and tried to make small talk with the couple while stealing a distressed look at Chuck. “Oh shit,” he said under his breath.

“What’s the matter?”

“Daphne’s here.”

“Has she seen us?”

“She’s looking at us now.”


He nodded in Daphne’s direction and Joan stole a look.

“Lola’s right. She is pretty.”

Chuck signaled to their waiter for the check. “Let’s get out of here.”

But they had to pass Daphne’s table to do so. Her clients were going on about their plans for the baby’s room upstairs, putting in a skylight, Daphne uh-huh-ing pleasantly as she incredulously watched Chuck and Joan approach. Chuck tried to think quickly how to handle this, then called out cheerfully as if surprised. “Daphne! Hello!”

It was the dumbest thing he could have done. Thankfully she played along with false cheer. “Oh, hi!”

They would have to go through with this now. “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” she said. “And you?”

“Just great,” Chuck said, far from convincingly. Unable to move now, he glanced furtively at Joan. “Oh, this is my wife, Joan. Joan, Daphne. Daphne, Joan.”

Daphne narrowed her eyes but maintained her professional smile. “I didn’t know you were married, Chuck.” That was all Chuck needed to convince himself she hated him.

“Pleased to meet you,” said Joan.

“Likewise,” said Daphne, all cordiality now. She turned to her clients. “Chuck is an old friend.” She looked to Chuck again as if for confirmation.

He nodded much too rapidly. “Well,” he said, “we’d better get going. Good to see you.”

“Good to see you too,” Daphne said through a forced smile. Chuck smiled likewise as they started to step away, then mouthed “Call you.” Daphne’s clients didn’t appear to notice as she gave the most minimally perceptible of nods.


They decided to share another taxi, stop first at the house to drop Joan off and then continue to Daphne’s place. He felt more trepidation about Daphne coming home than he’d felt about the procedure that morning. They pulled away from the curb and Joan started to laugh.

“There’s nothing funny about this.”

 “I’m your wife. That’s what’s funny.”

“And I’m an old friend.” He was gazing dully out the window, watching liquor stores and car dealerships go by.

Joan touched his hand. “I’m really sorry about this, Chuck.”

“Not your fault.”

“I’m sure she’ll understand when you explain it to her.”

“She won’t believe it. Would you?”

“You were just comforting someone.”

“Someone I’m supposedly not on speaking terms with.”

“I’m glad we’re speaking,” Joan said. “Thanks for being here.”

He gave a rueful laugh. “I didn’t mean to be.”

“Accidents will happen.”

Chuck thought about this. Or maybe nothing’s an accident, he almost said, but stopped himself lest he start to believe it.

Plink! went his phone, several times.

Can you tell me what the fuck that was all about?

Are you reconciling?

Have you been seeing each other all this time?

You fuckwad.

Joan looked at him quizzically. He showed her the phone. “Fuckwad,” she said, nodding in agreement. “I’ve called you that a few times myself.”

“And worse.”

“I didn’t mean it and neither does she.”

“No, she means it.” Of course that was how it had looked to her. He pictured Daphne in a toilet stall venting her anger, then returning to the table unburdened and composed. He sighed.

“Just tell her the truth. You’ve never known how to lie, anyhow. If she doesn’t buy it, it’s her loss.”

Chuck hated typing with his thumbs, and the motion of the taxi only made it worse.

theres an explsnatuin


…which he gave as best he could: the coincidence at the clinic, Joan’s results, her need of comfort, don’t worry, we’re not reconciling, see you at home.

“She won’t buy it,” he said.

He was looking out the window again, shaking his head slowly. Joan hesitated, then quietly asked, “What are you doing with her, then?”

“What are you doing with Bicycle Boy?” he snapped.

They rode on in silence.

“Trying to be young, Chuck,” Joan finally said. “Same as you.”

They turned into the quiet street and pulled up to the house. They sat there a long time, their hands touching, the meter still running.

He admired the vintage posters she’d put up: 1953 East Berlin workers’ strike, Hungarian revolution, Prague Spring, Polish Solidarnosc. She’d put in wall to wall carpeting in soothing beige and he asked what she’d done with their old dusty Persian rug, which ratty as it was might look nice in his office. It was down in the basement too. He’d look later. He tried out the new sofa. Joan joined him on it and they smiled at each other. She took his hand.

“This is probably a very bad idea,” she said.

“Probably,” said Chuck.

The bed was also new. They were still lying on it late in the afternoon, a light breeze fanning them through the window screen, when Joan heard the soft rapid clickety-clickety of Patrick’s bike coming up the driveway, and then the doorbell. Oh shit, she thought, wasn’t it tomorrow she’d invited him over? Chuck was fast asleep and snoring. Should she pretend not to be home? Sooner or later we have to face this, she thought. She splashed water on her face, neatened her hair, hurried back into her clothes and shut the bedroom door behind her. “Sorry, I was on the phone,” she said as she let him in.

“Hey,” he said, putting an arm around her waist and giving her a long kiss, his helmet still on.

Did she really want to forego this? She let it go on for a long time before stepping back. “This is a surprise.”

“Yeah,” he said, “I know we said tomorrow, but I got off work and it’s such an awesomely beautiful afternoon. Let’s take a ride up to the bluffs. The sunset’s gonna be amazing. C’mon.”

How to get rid of him? “I’d love to, Patrick, but I can’t. I’ve got students coming over.” Which was sometimes true. She enjoyed holding seminars off campus, her graduate students sitting around her living room munching on pastry and informally discussing the role of the Russian Orthodox church in the end of the USSR or whatever. Of course it wasn’t true today, which made it a lie, which made it possibly a nail in the coffin of this youthful fling, or so she supposed.

“Well, I wouldn’t have much to add to that conversation,” he said. “See you tomorrow, then?”

They’d see, but for the moment: “Yes. Ride carefully.”

He kissed her again, stepped out and climbed back on his bike. Joan wanted to call him back as she watched him disappear up the street.

Plink! went Chuck’s phone, stirring him from his sleep. He rolled over, reached down to the floor and fished the phone out of his pants.

Chuck, I’m so sorry.

I should have known it would be something like that.

Will you forgive me?

Chuck lay back on the bed with a sigh. Eventually he’d have to find the right moment to ask the same question, but now he could only laugh. When Joan came back and asked what was so funny, he shook his head and she knew what he meant. What could she do but throw herself back onto the bed with him? At least for the moment, whatever her gut was trying to tell her was drowned out by their sobbing laughter.




BIO: Cary Barney was raised in New York and Massachusetts, graduated from Marlboro College and the Yale School of Drama, and has lived in Spain for over thirty years. He just retired from teaching creative writing and theater at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus. Originally a playwright, he now writes poetry and short fiction. His book of poems Maritxu: A Love Story was published by Lemon Street Press in 2020 and he has had poems published in Tipton Poetry Journal, Third Wednesday, Danse Macabre, Big Windows Review, Quail Bell Magazine and California Quarterly. His story "The Night the War Began" was recently published in Teach. Write.