Some collected work.

Category: Fiction


Submitted to the CBC Canada Writes Short Story Competition, shortlist to be announced February 2012, and winners in March 2012.

“Morning,” John said, hopping into the idling truck, beat-up lunch box in hand.His brother, Bob, handed him a hot coffee.

John was happy the job was in Ilderton today. The quiet of the morning drive, watching the sun chase the frost out of the shadows as his brother listened to the news, had always been his favorite part of the day. And, while he never said so, John had a feeling it was Bob’s favorite too.

In the early morning traffic, the drive went quickly. They had time to hear all of the news from but not enough time that either of them had finished their coffees.

The old truck shuddered to a halt, relieved, under a looming elm tree that had lost nearly all it’s leaves. Two pallets of stone sat awaiting them on the driveway across the street.

As the sun began to rise in the morning sky, the brothers set to work soundlessly, each going about his respective routine with a long-honed, deliberate, and rhythmic efficiency. A gradually sloping hill beside the driveway became a soft, clay-colored trench under their careful shovels as the garage doors of the neighborhood went up and down around them, mini-vans pulled out, and curious eyes on their way to work slowly passed over the brothers.

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Casual Friday

It was a strange and maddening scene today at a non-descript government office building in downtown Toronto. The 7th floor erupted in an intense brand of contained chaos rarely seen outside prison riots and cock fights.

It started early this morning with a vicious rumour and spiraled into a full-blown conspiracy theory that had a few dozen civil servants whipped into a violent frenzy by lunch time.

Apparently someone whispered that the government was considering doing away with casual Fridays.

The first to react was Janine. Always touted as the office’s most eccentric (ie office talk for “crazy lady”), when she heard she might not be able to wear her open-toed sandals and baggy sweatshirt to the office once a week anymore, she snapped. There was little delay between hearing the news and her reaction. Synapses fired and she acted on pure rage and instinct and simply ran full bore through the wall of her cubicle.

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I don’t know what this is…I wrote it a long, long time ago. So, uh, check it out.

The car didn’t honk, it simply slowed and waited for him to pass. With the hood of his sweatshirt up, Michael Callahan hadn’t even seen it coming as he crossed the street. Noticing it finally, he offered a polite thank you wave to the driver and continued crossing the four lane street. As the Nissan sped past him and on toward the 401, Callahan realized that it was the only vehicle he had seen thus far that afternoon. Not much reason to be around here on a Sunday, he thought. The outlet mall was likely closed and the Canadian Tire had shut down a few weeks ago. Not exactly an ideal spot for a bar any more.

He was nervous he realized, half amused. It was cold out today; Fall having come early to London; and yet he could feel the sweat under his arms and through his pockets on the palms of his hands.

Callahan realized when he had called him that he hadn’t seen Jack in almost eight years. He wasn’t surprised to learn that Jack was still in London, nor that the number he had for him still worked. Seeing Jack, of course, wasn’t why he was nervous.

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