Recent Stories: Fiction

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

December 15, 2016
It began when I was a teenager — a strange magnetic force that propelled me into places and experiences that were the provenance of the rich and famous. During my life I found myself in close proximity to the privileged, the talented, the movers and shakers. I didn’t seek it, it just happened again and again — like being in the right place at the right time or, conversely, being at the right place at the wrong time. It was always exciting and unexpected.

It began when I was a teenager — a strange magnetic force that propelled me into places and experiences that were the provenance of the rich and famous. During my life I found myself in close proximity to the privileged, the talented, the movers and shakers.

December 8, 2016
When I stopped by, she was sitting in the sunroom in a bright peach cotton robe and her pink plaid pajamas. Her sister and niece and the nurse were with her at the table under the hanging bleeding heart plant, surrounded by potted hibiscus. She was eating coffee ice cream for lunch, in a pretty china bowl, with a pretty silver spoon. Her napkin had purple lilies on it.

When I stopped by, she was sitting in the sunroom in a bright peach cotton robe and her pink plaid pajamas. Her sister and niece and the nurse were with her at the table under the hanging bleeding heart plant, surrounded by potted hibiscus. She was eating coffee ice cream for lunch, in a pretty china bowl, with a pretty silver spoon. Her napkin had purple lilies on it. 

December 1, 2016
A year ago, at the age of 92, my widowed mother spent her days in one of south Florida’s numerous four-story, pink cinderblock, sanitized senior communities (“Over 55 years; Children prohibited.”) Other than occasional aches and pains and some loss of hearing, her physical health was remarkably strong. To those who met my mother, her keen memory, sharp opinions, and interest in the world were even more striking.

A year ago, at the age of 92, my widowed mother spent her days in one of south Florida’s numerous four-story, pink cinderblock, sanitized senior communities (“Over 55 years; Children prohibited.”) Other than occasional aches and pains and some loss of hearing, her physical health was remarkably strong.

November 23, 2016
Zacharov was in his Moscow apartment. The apartment was dark except for the glow of the 15 computer screens, each manned by a trained hacker.

Zacharov was in his Moscow apartment. The apartment was dark except for the glow of the 15 computer screens, each manned by a trained hacker.

He was working on a plan for Putin. He thought he noticed that information was being downloaded from Hillary’s server. He read the latest email sent from the Brooklyn staff servers — the motherlode of secret information.

November 17, 2016
We had just moved from West Virginia to Atlanta. My husband, a fund-raiser, had taken a job there with a charity. We bought a little three-bedroom house for $13,500 in Decatur on the outskirts of town, 1398 Willevee Drive. The price of the house is a dead giveaway that it was a long time ago —1963.

We had just moved from West Virginia to Atlanta. My husband, a fund-raiser, had taken a job there with a charity. We bought a little three-bedroom house for $13,500 in Decatur on the outskirts of town, 1398 Willevee Drive. The price of the house is a dead giveaway that it was a long time ago —1963.

November 10, 2016
Georgie McFadden marched with purpose through the twice-baking summer heat that radiated from above and ricocheted from below off the endless pavement as he headed toward the one-hour photo shop on Third Avenue.

Georgie McFadden marched with purpose through the twice-baking summer heat that radiated from above and ricocheted from below off the endless pavement as he headed toward the one-hour photo shop on Third Avenue. 

November 3, 2016
It was fall in Charlottesville. The air was still warm, leaves crunched beneath the feet of many thousand students treading brick-laid paths on their return to campus, and Annie and I were smitten with each other. We had met a month or so into our first year at college, I from Long Island and she from Lynchburg, Virginia. I lived in the dorm next door to hers.

It was fall in Charlottesville. The air was still warm, leaves crunched beneath the feet of many thousand students treading brick-laid paths on their return to campus, and Annie and I were smitten with each other. We had met a month or so into our first year at college, I from Long Island and she from Lynchburg, Virginia. I lived in the dorm next door to hers. 

October 27, 2016
When I was a kid on Long Island in the ’60s no one ever wondered what characters their parents were going to be for Halloween. Unlike Memorial Day, when families went to the beach together, or July Fourth, when all the neighborhood adults had barbecues, set off fireworks, and got drunk on Schaefer beer, Halloween was reserved for the 13-and-under crowd.

When I was a kid on Long Island in the ’60s no one ever wondered what characters their parents were going to be for Halloween. Unlike Memorial Day, when families went to the beach together, or July Fourth, when all the neighborhood adults had barbecues, set off fireworks, and got drunk on Schaefer beer, Halloween was reserved for the 13-and-under crowd.

October 20, 2016
Out in the water, to the right, is a rock in the shape of a lion’s head. It rests its chiseled chin on the salty tide. The rest of its body is hidden by the sea, like a lot of things out here. Some people are not sure that the rock looks like a lion, but I am. I have heard it roar.

Out in the water, to the right, is a rock in the shape of a lion’s head. It rests its chiseled chin on the salty tide. The rest of its body is hidden by the sea, like a lot of things out here. Some people are not sure that the rock looks like a lion, but I am. I have heard it roar.