Recent Stories: Fiction

May 11, 2017
This time she chose aquamarine. It was her favorite color, and the tastiest, she thought. She chewed at the pointed end of the crayon like a chicken wing. She liked how the wax stuck between her teeth and held them together momentarily. Dr. Philips told her mother last week that her teeth weren’t as strong as they could be, that she needed to eat harder foods. So she ate crayon tips instead of the looseleaf paper her brother did his multiplication tables on.

This time she chose aquamarine. It was her favorite color, and the tastiest, she thought. She chewed at the pointed end of the crayon like a chicken wing. She liked how the wax stuck between her teeth and held them together momentarily. Dr. Philips told her mother last week that her teeth weren’t as strong as they could be, that she needed to eat harder foods.

May 2, 2017
Less house, more trees. My mother has few maxim-worthy beliefs on the subject of real estate. A child of the Depression and second World War, her people didn’t think it wise to “put too much money in bricks.” Even after her father became a man of some means, the family didn’t move from their modest Philadelphia row house. (Though my mother’s mother would come to possess quite a bit of diamond and platinum jewelry — one ring affectionately referred to as “the flashlight.”)

Less house, more trees. My mother has few maxim-worthy beliefs on the subject of real estate. A child of the Depression and second World War, her people didn’t think it wise to “put too much money in bricks.” Even after her father became a man of some means, the family didn’t move from their modest Philadelphia row house.

April 27, 2017
Playing Ping-Pong was not just a game in the basement for me. In fact I didn’t play Ping-Pong, which was a Parker Brothers trademark. I played table tennis.

Playing Ping-Pong was not just a game in the basement for me. In fact I didn’t play Ping-Pong, which was a Parker Brothers trademark. I played table tennis.

April 20, 2017
Mom. Dad. Pete. Amigo, the cat. Auntie Anne’s in the mall, the smell of those hot cinnamon sugar pretzels. The feeling of leaving the cinema after a great movie, that first breath of cool air outside the Megaplex.

Mom. Dad. Pete. Amigo, the cat. Auntie Anne’s in the mall, the smell of those hot cinnamon sugar pretzels. The feeling of leaving the cinema after a great movie, that first breath of cool air outside the Megaplex. 

April 13, 2017
Wayne and Warren Rutledge were born nine and a half minutes apart in an inflatable kiddie pool in the living room above the Lucky China Buffet round about midnight.

Wayne and Warren Rutledge were born nine and a half minutes apart in an inflatable kiddie pool in the living room above the Lucky China Buffet round about midnight.

April 6, 2017
The mountains of dirt rose from the earth like the burial mounds of a forgotten tribe or the tombs of forgotten kings, stretching nearly endlessly across the landscape. From a safe distance, we looked on in silence, watching as the massive machines tore at the soil with their sharpened teeth, opening its secrets to the sky, digging the foundations of the civilization that would succeed our own.

The mountains of dirt rose from the earth like the burial mounds of a forgotten tribe or the tombs of forgotten kings, stretching nearly endlessly across the landscape.

Star Staff
March 30, 2017
The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. 

Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

March 30, 2017
My boyfriend and I once hiked the Appalachian Trail in Maine, a 10-minute walk that began and ended with him sprinting back to the car pursued by a swarm of man-eating mosquitoes.

My boyfriend and I once hiked the Appalachian Trail in Maine, a 10-minute walk that began and ended with him sprinting back to the car pursued by a swarm of man-eating mosquitoes. 

March 23, 2017
Victor, it’s Geoffrey, caught in an ice storm and texting from my car. I tried calling you but you must be out of pocket, Herr Professor, and your voicemail box is full so as a last resort, I’m relying on my less than nimble thumbs.

Victor, it’s Geoffrey, caught in an ice storm and texting from my car. I tried calling you but you must be out of pocket, Herr Professor, and your voicemail box is full so as a last resort, I’m relying on my less than nimble thumbs. 

March 16, 2017
I will think of this in relatable terms. Transplanting and uprooting. I have been plucked and plopped down in a new environment to set new roots and seek the nourishment in my new surroundings to help this process.

I will think of this in relatable terms. Transplanting and uprooting. I have been plucked and plopped down in a new environment to set new roots and seek the nourishment in my new surroundings to help this process. 

Star Staff
March 9, 2017
The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

March 9, 2017
My teacher friends have told me that when their students wanted a snow day, they wore their pajamas inside out the night before: a snow rally cap. I had never heard of this ritual. I grew up in Niskayuna, New York, a small town far enough north of New York City that we didn’t have to work so hard to get a day off school. We could count on four or five snow days per year without wasting any of our wishes.

My teacher friends have told me that when their students wanted a snow day, they wore their pajamas inside out the night before: a snow rally cap. I had never heard of this ritual. I grew up in Niskayuna, New York, a small town far enough north of New York City that we didn’t have to work so hard to get a day off school.

March 2, 2017
He made a pass, pounced at the Bridgehampton drive-in on 27 while watching “The Sting.” The screen seemed hung from a glittering starscape, Magritte moon, a surreal still life with a moving picture.

He made a pass, pounced at the Bridgehampton drive-in on 27 while watching “The Sting.” The screen seemed hung from a glittering starscape, Magritte moon, a surreal still life with a moving picture. 

February 23, 2017
Figuring she would meet Prince Charming in the elevator pressing buttons, Elizabeth acclimated to the steno pool, determined to rise to the occasion. After all, it was only a placeholder till her real life began. Be that as it may, her new job proved to be rather disconcerting. The office did not mimic the hallowed halls of college. Rather, it was fast-paced and noisy. It was tumultuous, a cacophony of typewriters, ringing phones, and dictating machines, accompanied by street noises from below. Huge rings of cigarette smoke circled her head constantly intertwined with gossip. Elizabeth was simultaneously excited and stressed.

Part Two

Star Staff
February 16, 2017
The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

The Star welcomes submissions of essays for its “Guestwords” column, of between 700 and 1,200 words, and of short fiction or memoir, of up to 2,000 words. Please send submissions for review by email, in text or Word format, to submissions@ehstar.com.

February 16, 2017
What makes a happy marriage? Is it children or no children, or in-laws or lack of in-laws? Is it lots of money or lots of sex?

What makes a happy marriage? Is it children or no children, or in-laws or lack of in-laws? Is it lots of money or lots of sex?

Is it love? But what is love? Is it loyalty, or understanding, or common interests, or is it faith? What would Carrie Bradshaw, of “Sex and the City” fame, say about the condition of marriage?

February 9, 2017
She spent Memorial Day weekend in a glass sunroom at a friend’s house in Locust Valley, N.Y., where just a week later she would die. I spent the weekend in the Bahamas with my family. I rode a bike for the first time since I was 12 years old without falling. I felt fierce about my physicality in a way I hadn’t felt since giving birth to children.

Part Two

February 1, 2017
One year after her fifth child was born, my friend Paige Hardy collapsed on the street while running errands. Paige pulled herself up with the help of some pedestrians and went home thinking she was just tired. And who wouldn’t be tired with a 10-year-old, an eight-year-old, a six-year old, a four-year-old, and a baby? She had always been healthy. Never sick. Never had the need for an internist. She had babies so regularly, her obstetrician was her main doctor.

One year after her fifth child was born, my friend Paige Hardy collapsed on the street while running errands. Paige pulled herself up with the help of some pedestrians and went home thinking she was just tired. And who wouldn’t be tired with a 10-year-old, an eight-year-old, a six-year old, a four-year-old, and a baby? She had always been healthy. Never sick.

January 26, 2017
It’s a gray October day. I open the car door and make a dash through the parking lot, dodging the droplets of falling rain. I pass by a red neon sign — “BAR” — that flickers and fizzles as I approach the entrance. I pull open the door and enter the dimly lighted tavern.

It’s a gray October day. I open the car door and make a dash through the parking lot, dodging the droplets of falling rain. I pass by a red neon sign — “BAR” — that flickers and fizzles as I approach the entrance. I pull open the door and enter the dimly lighted tavern. 

January 19, 2017
Long years ago when I was teaching at a middle school in lower Westchester, the schedule was such that teachers shared the same lunch hour as the kids.

Long years ago when I was teaching at a middle school in lower Westchester, the schedule was such that teachers shared the same lunch hour as the kids. 

January 12, 2017
One-Armed Sam was not a discriminating man when it came to drinking. He showed up about six months ago and never left.

One-Armed Sam was not a discriminating man when it came to drinking. He showed up about six months ago and never left. 

Well, he went home at night, but as I unlocked the door in the morning there he was. His greeting was always the same. “Whatever you have on sale, Jack. That’ll do me just fine.” 

January 5, 2017
Anyone working in New York City has had celebrity sightings so often we jokingly called them “brushes with greatness.” From strap-hanging with a makeup-free Gwneyth Paltrow to sharing an elevator with J.F.K. Jr., I’ve had mine too.

Anyone working in New York City has had celebrity sightings so often we jokingly called them “brushes with greatness.” From strap-hanging with a makeup-free Gwneyth Paltrow to sharing an elevator with J.F.K. Jr., I’ve had mine too.

December 29, 2016
I was a reporter in Chicago in the dead of winter, 1967. Nasty. Below zero. Snow and ice everywhere. Brutal wind. A little before Hanukkah and Christmas.

I was a reporter in Chicago in the dead of winter, 1967. Nasty. Below zero. Snow and ice everywhere. Brutal wind. A little before Hanukkah and Christmas.

December 22, 2016
Finny fastened the buttons on the gray coat that was her best-ever find in the clothes barrel at church, even though the sleeves barely touched her wrists. From the kitchen, the querulous voice grew angrier in answer to the person on the other end of the phone. The drinking buddy, who would be over soon. Shoes in hand, Finny crept down the dark stairs to the heavy front door. She eased it open, anxious not to wake the tenants who lived on the brownstone’s parlor floor.

Brooklyn, New York 1954