Literary Short Stories
Paul Pekin

      All stories on this site are copyrighted and may not be reprinted without the permission of the author.  With one exception they have been published before, usually in literary magazines like the Crescent Review, The South Dakota Review, Sideshow, The Rockhurst Review and others, but also in newspapers and commercial magazines.  I've picked out work that is typical of what I have published over the last thirty years, and I hope you like it.

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   published in the Rockhurst Review

   It was hot that day, brilliant and decisive, a cloudless sky, a sun that showed no mercy. It was a day for air conditioners and drawn blinds, for shady trees, for ice cold drinks. It was a day for moving very very slow.

The ranger who pulled up on River Road was hardly moving at all. He was driving a battered Ford Bronco with open windows, and his uniform shirt was soaked from the collar on down. Hatless, he stepped out into the blazing heat and adjusted the snap-down sunglasses he wore over his prescription bifocals. The ranger was not a young man.


 An Act of God

  published in the South Dakota Review

The road was overfamiliar. Twice a week, sometimes more, she was on it, and often after dark. When she saw the blinking lights ahead she swung into the passing lane and eased up the pedal. It was not enough. Suddenly there was a figure before her, a man in blue jeans and a short sleeved shirt who never even had time to turn his face.


   Mother Makes a Visit

 published in the Crescent Review

Mother arrived at O'Hare with a bit of red ribbon pinned to the lapel of her woolen coat. It was the Christmas season and the terminal was jammed with holiday travelers, but the young man who spotted Mother, her traveling bag, and her purse was no traveler. "Carry your bag, lady?" he asked, reaching her side just a step ahead of another young man who was wearing a saffron robe and a shaven head.


 published in Sou'wester

 Mr. Keilly was dancing to a Haydn symphony when he caught his foot in a speaker wire, fell, and broke his leg.  Even as he lay there, in agony, astonishment, and utter relief that no one had seen this folly, something in his spirit wanted to leap up and continue the dance.


copyright@ paul pekin 2001