Recent Stories: Fiction

August 11, 2016
We scattered some of my ex-husband’s ashes this morning. On what would have been his 68th birthday, my son, his fianée, my sister and brother, and I drove to the inlet of Three Mile Harbor at 5:15.

We scattered some of my ex-husband’s ashes this morning. On what would have been his 68th birthday, my son, his fiancée, my sister and brother, and I drove to the inlet of Three Mile Harbor at 5:15.

It was darker than I expected it would be, a dense cloud cover inhibiting what might have passed for a decent sunrise. 

August 4, 2016
“Accountants at an Australian car insurance company have found that Capricorns are the safest drivers. You know why that is, Jack?”

“Accountants at an Australian car insurance company have found that Capricorns are the safest drivers. You know why that is, Jack?” 

“Because they’re cautious.” 

July 28, 2016
Billy T. Conway was dead set against attending his 40th high school reunion. Hell, he hadn’t been to one since his 10th, and only then to check up on his freshman crush, CC, who showed up married to a Frenchman she’d met in college. After that, Billy T got married himself and didn’t bother anymore with reunions.

Billy T. Conway was dead set against attending his 40th high school reunion. Hell, he hadn’t been to one since his 10th, and only then to check up on his freshman crush, CC, who showed up married to a Frenchman she’d met in college. After that, Billy T got married himself and didn’t bother anymore with reunions.

July 21, 2016
I am two. My aunt arranges a party of sorts for my pregnant mother, and the women of the family encircle her in the backyard beneath the cherry tree. My mother’s long floral dress hangs off her freckled shoulders, and she smells of lavender soap. Her eldest sister rubs her feet. We pass around a thick piece of thread, each of us adding beads until we’ve strung a long, mismatched necklace. I don’t yet understand the meaning of my mother’s expanding belly, that soon I will have to share this life, these people, this beloved place with another being.

I am two. My aunt arranges a party of sorts for my pregnant mother, and the women of the family encircle her in the backyard beneath the cherry tree. My mother’s long floral dress hangs off her freckled shoulders, and she smells of lavender soap. Her eldest sister rubs her feet.

July 14, 2016
They met at boarding school. He was the class comedian and she was the class beauty. He was determined to become a star; she didn’t know what she wanted, other than to possess him and to be possessed. He was friendly, goofy, and not quite handsome; she was svelte, liked to laugh, and her facial features were so classical that her face could have been a model for an epigone Renaissance sculptor.

They met at boarding school. He was the class comedian and she was the class beauty. He was determined to become a star; she didn’t know what she wanted, other than to possess him and to be possessed.

July 7, 2016
The divorce arrangements were pretty clear and standard. Dad would get us every other weekend and for a month in the summer. Christmas and Thanksgiving they alternated.

The divorce arrangements were pretty clear and standard. Dad would get us every other weekend and for a month in the summer. Christmas and Thanksgiving they alternated. 

June 30, 2016
On the Sabbath, Mercedes went to church and asked someone if there was anyone who could teach her English. She was directed to a gal sitting near the front. After the service, an arrangement to start lessons was made.

On the Sabbath, Mercedes went to church and asked someone if there was anyone who could teach her English. She was directed to a gal sitting near the front. After the service, an arrangement to start lessons was made.

June 23, 2016
I’m able to do it now, but it was a long time before I could think about my father’s illness and death. For nearly four years, I spent so much time and energy keeping those feelings of loss and pain on the periphery of my mind, not allowing them to break through or interfere with my day-to-day routine. I tried as hard as I could to distract myself with unimportant issues and inessential matters in order to present myself as happy and well. I could only keep the charade going for so long however, and my carefully constructed façade began to fall apart.

I’m able to do it now, but it was a long time before I could think about my father’s illness and death. For nearly four years, I spent so much time and energy keeping those feelings of loss and pain on the periphery of my mind, not allowing them to break through or interfere with my day-to-day routine.

June 16, 2016
Dad and I do freewrites and read out loud to each other each morning and eat big salads for lunch. The stories we produce are a new and delightful treasure. My last one went unshared — we were too hungry for me to read. It was about the vast ideological differences between two brothers. His was about his lifelong stand to protect our beachfront from glop.

Dad and I do freewrites and read out loud to each other each morning and eat big salads for lunch. The stories we produce are a new and delightful treasure. My last one went unshared — we were too hungry for me to read. It was about the vast ideological differences between two brothers. His was about his lifelong stand to protect our beachfront from glop.

June 9, 2016
Although the events in this story took place some time ago, the heart still wants what the heart wants, so in the history of passion, nothing has changed.

Although the events in this story took place some time ago, the heart still wants what the heart wants, so in the history of passion, nothing has changed.

Peter was a war correspondent, back in the days when they actually wore trench coats, chain-smoked Camels, and carried bullet wounds from close calls on dangerous assignments.

June 2, 2016
Zephyr Rafferty snapped a six-foot switch in two across his knee and threw one half of it across the barnyard. His ancient mutt Misty got up with a hitch in her gait, loped, then attempted a leap in the air. She missed it by a few feet and landed less than gracefully.

Zephyr Rafferty snapped a six-foot switch in two across his knee and threw one half of it across the barnyard. His ancient mutt Misty got up with a hitch in her gait, loped, then attempted a leap in the air. She missed it by a few feet and landed less than gracefully. 

May 19, 2016
Bevel staked a claim to his customary spot on the platform by placing his right penny loafer on the “W” of the Watch-the-Gap sign because that’s where the train door always landed. He’d be the first to board the lead “quiet” car, and sure to get his regular window seat on the sunny side, facing backwards in case of sudden stops.

Bevel staked a claim to his customary spot on the platform by placing his right penny loafer on the “W” of the Watch-the-Gap sign because that’s where the train door always landed. He’d be the first to board the lead “quiet” car, and sure to get his regular window seat on the sunny side, facing backwards in case of sudden stops. 

Star Staff
May 12, 2016
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.

May 12, 2016
It happened most recently when she bought a round of drinks for six people who claimed they knew the owner. “It’s our pleasure,” Jasmine announced, setting down each martini and backing away with a flourish of the hand. She felt powerful, endorphins surging. There was no better feeling than riding out a good instinct. Except she hadn’t cleared it with her manager, Brett. As it turned out, the group had no affiliation with the owner whatsoever, they were drunk, and Jasmine had stolen.

It happened most recently when she bought a round of drinks for six people who claimed they knew the owner. “It’s our pleasure,” Jasmine announced, setting down each martini and backing away with a flourish of the hand. She felt powerful, endorphins surging. There was no better feeling than riding out a good instinct.

May 5, 2016
One summer in Montauk I met a really nice kid named Ryan. We were instant best friends. He was an awkward, gangly guy. At the age of 12 or 13 he was already over six feet tall. He could hardly keep up with his body.

One summer in Montauk I met a really nice kid named Ryan. We were instant best friends. He was an awkward, gangly guy. At the age of 12 or 13 he was already over six feet tall. He could hardly keep up with his body.

April 28, 2016

Click here for part one of "Hamptons Hearthrob." Or start reading part two:

Laney felt like hanging herself with one of the scarves in the pricey boutique at the polo field after she saw that she had left streaks of Red-Hot Hamptons Heartthrob nail polish across the one she had handled. 

April 21, 2016
Laney could be miserable. A nasty birthday was coming up. Couldn’t someone make them illegal? After all, they’re hazardous to your health and eventually they kill you. Add to that her daughter’s departure for the Peace Corps, then her husband’s announcement that he was in love with his cycling gal pal, Yi-Yi Fong. Laney had packed off to their Springs cottage and begun the grueling process of sending out résumés.

Laney could be miserable. A nasty birthday was coming up. Couldn’t someone make them illegal? After all, they’re hazardous to your health and eventually they kill you. Add to that her daughter’s departure for the Peace Corps, then her husband’s announcement that he was in love with his cycling gal pal, Yi-Yi Fong.

April 14, 2016
Ritchie Stanton gave up his wife and three children for Lent. It was, so to speak, a kind of Easter surprise. He walked out on his 18-year marriage, his 49-year-old wife, two daughters, and one son, a worshipping son, by the way, who thought his father walked on water.

Ritchie Stanton gave up his wife and three children for Lent. It was, so to speak, a kind of Easter surprise. He walked out on his 18-year marriage, his 49-year-old wife, two daughters, and one son, a worshipping son, by the way, who thought his father walked on water.

April 7, 2016
Since both of us worked full time, we tried to have dinner together as a family with our daughter every evening that we didn’t have any social obligations. One night at dinner when my daughter was three years old she was shoveling in chicken and rice at such an alarming rate that I was worried she would throw up.

Since both of us worked full time, we tried to have dinner together as a family with our daughter every evening that we didn’t have any social obligations. One night at dinner when my daughter was three years old she was shoveling in chicken and rice at such an alarming rate that I was worried she would throw up. 

March 31, 2016
It was no frisson. It was dread, dire — and deserved. College Boards were slated for the following Saturday. With my nonexistent preparation for them (too many homeworks hastily copied from friends on the subway to school — if done at all), I cadged 90 cents from my beleaguered mother to buy the miracle book “How to Improve Your Vocabulary in [X] Days” (the amazingly brief period of time I can’t recall).

It was no frisson. It was dread, dire — and deserved. College Boards were slated for the following Saturday.

March 24, 2016
Karl Hann stood partially hidden behind the curtains of his kitchen window as his neighbor David Wachler went off to work. He watched him open his umbrella against the morning rain, descend the stairs in front of his apartment, then walk to the end of the street. When he disappeared around the corner, Karl realized he couldn’t recall exactly when he had decided to murder his neighbor, but he knew exactly when he began to covet his neighbor’s wife.

Karl Hann stood partially hidden behind the curtains of his kitchen window as his neighbor David Wachler went off to work. He watched him open his umbrella against the morning rain, descend the stairs in front of his apartment, then walk to the end of the street.

March 17, 2016
Travis was at a party he wanted no part of. He had become introspective and less accessible to people as he got older. Perhaps two failed marriages, two children who barely acknowledged his existence, and a failed business endeavor resulting in a personal bankruptcy had contributed to that. He was more content to spend evenings at home watching the Knicks or the Mets or listening to classical music.

Travis was at a party he wanted no part of. He had become introspective and less accessible to people as he got older. Perhaps two failed marriages, two children who barely acknowledged his existence, and a failed business endeavor resulting in a personal bankruptcy had contributed to that.

March 15, 2016
Bruce Buschel is a writer, producer, director, and restaurateur who lives in Bridgehampton.

Stan the Fan calls from spring training
with a rave recommendation of a phenom
southpaw on the Aberdeen Firebirds.
You roll your eyes because he can’t see you

March 10, 2016
Almost 30 years have passed since I discovered what I romantically thought of as my “little path to the sea.” I can still remember clearly and easily the landscape that surrounded it.

Almost 30 years have passed since I discovered what I romantically thought of as my “little path to the sea.” I can still remember clearly and easily the landscape that surrounded it.