Naso: The Tapestry of Michael Jr.

There’s a small crowd gathered in the church. They’re all black people, like me. The place is a run-down corner kinda outfit. The bricks are weathered, but they were never particularly nice. It’s like they were recycled from some other building that got burned down. There’s a cement cross plastered onto the side of the […]

Bamidbar: The Blind Man’s Mark

The speaker’s podium is lit up with a spotlight. A man is standing there, wearing the impossibly dark glasses that mark the blind. The man can smell the evening’s meal wafting through the room. The man can hear the sound of cutlery being placed gently on waiting napkins. The man can feel the expectation filling […]

Bamidbar: The Soul of Maria (Miriam)

This doesn’t really work as a short story. So I wrote something new, here. My earliest memory is of my mother, an elegant Latina woman with long and flowing black hair. She and my father were sitting on bar stools at the high kitchen counter. It was night outside the large glass windows of the […]

Shavuot: The Chief

I still remember the locket. It was brass and cheap-looking. But the little girl who had it cared about it. And so, I did too. She brought it to school one day. She pulled it from her pocket. She showed it around the classroom. It had been shined to its battered limits. But her face […]

Behar: Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Minor

I close my eyes and ready myself for the opening notes of Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in C minor. I know them by heart, I know the entire piece by heart. I’ve heard it thousands of times. But even before the bows of the cellists strike their strings, I know there is something unusual about this […]

Bechukotai: The Fate of Duncan Jones

“We’ll all just quit.” The voice is that of a young woman. She is beautiful, with a generally approachable smile that made everybody who spoke to her seem welcome and appreciated; even as they know she’s well outside their class. Her smile, at this moment, is more twisted. There’s a hint of anger in it. […]

An Echo of Tragedy (not a Short Story)

When I was 9 years old, a local high school, the Oregon Episcopal School, held a mandatory school trip to the peak of Mount Hood. It was supposed to last an afternoon. There were 15 students, one parent, two teachers and two consultants from Outward Bound. The group brought no flags or poles, no radio […]

Emor: The Priesthood of Mother Earth

Before I enter the parking lot, I check it furtively, glancing around in order to ensure I won’t be seen. In the dimly lit building next to the lot, there is activity. But the lot itself, cast in darkness and devoid of cars, seems completely safe. I realize this is my chance. I rush towards […]

Acharei-Kedoshim: Fat Ladies

It was already dark outside when Sarah Hastings looked around the library’s classroom. The room itself was grand, especially for such a small town. However, like some many other things she’d encountered on her trip through the unwanted parts of America, it had a sense of tremendous wear hanging over it. Sarah’s host had explained […]

Tazria-Metzora: The Assessors

The men in the white coats looked down on us from their windows. They had clipboards and were continually taking notes. What about, I had no idea; although I imagined it has something to do with us. The ‘us’ was a group of about 75 people, milling around aimlessly in a massive warehouse of a […]