“A Poor Man’s Roses” now up at Apex


At first, she sang to remember. It was a way to pass the long, dark time, a way to drown out the buzz in her head when the earth shook and the bunker rattled, a way to live outside the bars of her cage, to be a woman who smoked and drank, flirted and pined, flipped her pin curls and married a man for his car. Eventually, Patsy Cline became Kerri’s reason for living. In five years, she hadn’t found a better one.

“Good morning,” said Stella. It was the only clue Kerri ever had to the time of day, or the notion that days passed at all. Stella opened the cage hatch and slid the food through. “I have a surprise for you today.” She smiled. “You’ll like it.”

Let’s see…what would she like? Kerri would have welcomed a hot poker in the eye, an asteroid hitting the earth, or the blast from that damned super volcano the world had been holding its collective breath about for the past decade. It would be ironic, Kerri mused, if all three suddenly happened at once. About as ironic as someone surviving cancer just to live out the rest of her days in a prison.

Read the rest of "A Poor Man’s Roses" over at Apex Magazine. Or just make me look popular and click on the link.