Literary Short Stories
Paul Pekin

The stories on this site  have all appeared in literary magazines, good magazines like Sou'wester, The Crescent Review, The South Dakota Review, and others.  They are copyrighted and may not be reprinted without the permission of the author. You may link to this site if you wish. 

Paul Pekin
Personal Information

 Fiction Writing Workshop
 Nonfiction Writing Workshop

Making Space

published in Roux, 2004

    Ow, ow, ow! The crazies are hurting, all over the city they are hurting, dudes with strange wild eyes, women with safety pins sticking through their cheeks, old men with voices in their ears, unsavory old ladies just daring you to look at them.   From whence come these people?  The  morning of the day in question, I'm on the Blue Line with my book bag and a low throbbing hangover, not at all happy with my life, my wife, my children, and my grandchildren. Come on!  Who would give a 17 year old girl and her boyfriend tickets to Orlando, passes to Disneyworld, money enough to rent a hotel room for a week, and insist that this idea was perfectly okay, even swell?  I'll tell you who.  The girl's own grandmother, my wife, a woman known for getting her own way no matter what the conszequences.  And why am I telling you this since it's not even part of the story?  Just to show you the frame of mind I was in that morning.

The Strangers
published in Carriage House, 2002

     They're a nice couple; I wouldn't be just making this up.  Look at them, white haired, both, and good looking too, the woman at any rate, the man, well, he's pushing the cart and you can sure tell he likes that woman; he keeps smiling at her, and a moment ago in the cereal aisle I saw him touch her hair.  Bet they're a couple of empty-nesters just getting back into the swing of things, look there's a bottle of good wine in the basket, and a large green artichoke, these people aren't squares, I tell you.  The woman goes down the checkout aisle ahead of the cart and she has the checkbook.  I can see she is well organized, intelligent, she dresses casually, in jeans and a nice dark jacket that shows off her light hair, even the guy ahead of her in the checkout line appreciates that and he's a lot younger man than the husband.


Death and the Fisherman
published in the Rockhurst Review, 2004

  Whatever had taken the bait had taken it straight up, taken it in a single heart-stopping rush that bent the rod double and set the reel screeching and this time, at last,  it could not possibly be a carp unless there were a carp large enough to swallow a nine inch sucker and if there were such a carp in this world  he would be very very glad to see it.