*** “Un momento!” Jessamina, holding her Chihuahua with one arm and Philemon’s briefcase with the other hand, stuck her foot out and tripped Dulce as she raced up the terrace steps to La Casa de Meemee. “No niño! No aqui! Andale!” She started kicking the girl. Dulce pulled to get free and Jessamina hit her […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #14"


*** Philemon went straight to the Church of Our Lady. Inside was so dark he had to strain to see anything. Finally, he spotted Luzanne and Paul in a dark corner pew waiting for him as instructed. Luzanne stood up immediately and grasped his hand. “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” she whispered. “I can’t tell you,” […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #13"


***             Fog squatted on the pastures refusing to budge. Milk-heavy cows disappeared from view as Joe Brazil stood at the barn door watching the thick grayness swallow them up. He rang the cowbell and swung the big flashlight back and forth. The cows couldn’t see him but they could hear. “C’mon, Girls!” And the […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #12"


*** Luzanne gathered her son’s dirty clothes just like she used to do years ago when he was still in school, still at home, still safe and sound, still a young boy with his mother to watch over him and protect him. She fought back tears as she thought of then and now, and how […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #11"


***  Señor Bravista hurried from the hotel and crossed the zócalo. From her terrace, Ana Garcia watched Manuel dig more graves. Killing never stops in Marsella. Dying never stops in Marsella. Ana wants Philemon’s seed before they kill him. She wants his baby before they cut his head off and toss it in the Cuaca […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #10"


*** Blood. Blood. Pause THUD Pause THUD. The sound of blood getting through again. Blood runs thicker than water. Hey Blood, what it is? Blood, sweat, and tears. She’s blood, man, so keep your hands off her. Bloody hell! Let’s hear it now: all for blood, and blood for all! Blood relatives. “I blood you. […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #8"

Philemon Steed #7

  *** Marsella is a terraced town on the Cuaca River. Rowboats line the dusty shore. A paper plate blows across the square. Light bulbs strung on rusted wire occasionally flicker on and off like giant sleepy fireflies. A mañanita! Littorella sings it so sweetly for her dark-eyed, fatherless daughter. She is sweetmeats in taffeta. […]

Read more "Philemon Steed #7"


*** “Estrella tells me you have to go back to Marsella.” “Oh yeah? I did what I was hired to do.” “OH YEAH? OH YEAH?” screamed the parrot. “If you die before that bird, I swear I’ll feed it to my cat,” Philemon said. “You don’t have a cat.” “I’ll get one.” “Oh Philemon, you […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #6"


*** “No, pal. You can’t have that chair. I’m using it, see? Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got my little plastic bag of cigars on it and I don’t want anyone touching the chair, see?  Especially Eurotrash like you. That’s right. I don’t want you taking the chair because you’ve got an accent. That’s right. An […]

Read more "PHILEMON STEED #5"

Philemon Steed #4

*** When my phone rang I knew it wouldn’t be Estrella because she never uses the telephone to summon me. So I answered it. “Philemon?” Unfortunately, the phone was an instrument of torture someone else rarely lets go of. “Oh. It’s you. So how are you, Mother?” I could hear the parrot squawking over her […]

Read more "Philemon Steed #4"