A Hand-Carved Cameo

She was a handsome woman, never without a walking stick or a parasol, depending on the occasion. Her chrome plated derringer always close at hand. Cinched tight in the hollow of her neck, on a dark ribbon, she wore an ivory cameo with a silhouette of her mother. A silver flask of rye was kept tucked into her beaded handbag for medicinal purposes, of course.


Show Time


Elizabeth looked at her reflection and sighed. She’d cleansed, moisturized and applied primer. She was ready for the next step. Betsy liked heavy foundations and dug through her drawer for a new makeup blending sponge; dampening it first she dipped it directly into the pressed powder and went to work. She dabbed and blended before applying setting powder with a small fluffy brush.

In the mirror she turned her head left and right, she liked what she saw so she pulled on a black scoop neck blouse and fluffed her hair


“We’re lost.”

“We’re not lost, I know exactly where we are.”

“How do you know where we are?”

“I’ve got the map. I’m looking at the map. Pull over up here and I’ll show you.”


“OK, where are we?”

She pointed to the map, “We’re right here.”

“On the river?”

“No, on this highway.”

“What highway?”

“Right here where I’m pointing. On this highway.”

“You’re not pointing at a highway.”

“Of course I am. It’s clear as day.”

“The blue lines are rivers, not highways. The highways are marked in black. The freeways are in white.”

“How do you know?”

“Look at the Legend, it’ll show you.”

“Where’s that?”

“It’ll be in the corner somewhere.”


“Shit,” she said, “We’re lost.”




Chloe was standing on the sand with tears filling her eyes when I ran up.

“Where’s Jimmy?” I asked.

She didn’t answer. She pointed out past the mouth of the harbour.

I looked that direction and saw him paddling, small in the distance

lying on his board. He’d just rounded towards the south. He’d just cleared the breakwater.


The incident occurred as Violet was climbing into the back of a Gypsy cab, curbside at The Apollo. She saw it as a revelation, enlightenment, an illumination of sorts.

She’d been drinking quite a bit and tossed her cookies. Lucky for the cabbie, Violet hadn’t gotten in the taxi. Unlucky for Violet, the cabbie sped off. She studied the vomit in the gutter and saw Jesus. It almost kept her from drinking again.


Age had rendered him bald on top with a narrow ring of long, thin strands around.

He looked like his grandmother’s bedspreads. Smooth on the surface with fringe at the edges on three sides.