Fiction

You’ve never heard of my father, a postal worker who barely earned enough to keep his family fed, clothed and housed in a small apartment. And yet, if you were to ask me if he were a good provider, I would say the best, because from him, through his actions more than his words, I learned what it is to be an extraordinary person.

Today is September 11, 1992. It is the start of yet another school year. There have been 34 of them behind the desk, and another 16 in the rows. This year’s setting is an old subbasement gym that has been partially converted into a computer room. It is here that she will daily meet with her special needs class. The class is scheduled for fourth...

It’s early summer in 1954 and I am home in Bridgehampton from my sophomore year at St. Lawrence University. It’s too early to begin waiting tables for the summer. I have worked at most of the posh places in East Hampton: the Hunting Inn, the Hedges Inn, the 1770 House, and the Sea Spray Inn. Later these places of employment would include the...

I was standing at the window in front of the kitchen sink. The sun was setting, its buttery rays fading. I watched as they melted into the horizon. I had stood there so many times, yet I was always engaged by the sunsets.

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.
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.

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.