Gary writes “Grit Fiction,” because life isn’t always smooth. His stories are characterized by wit, wordplay, and plot twists that will leave the reader guessing.

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You Can’t Do That at a Funeral

Andy brushed a curled brown lock from his forehead, surreptitiously mopping his brow at the same time. It’s not a sin to sweat in church, he reminded himself; with countless confessions, weddings, and conscience-stabbing sermons that had taken place under this towering ceiling, he certainly wasn’t the first to perspire. Still, the best friend of…

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Live Love Pray Die

LIVE LOVE PRAY DIE Cancer is killing the love of my life. My precious girl – my wife for ten years, sweetheart for twice that, best friend for eternity. Terminal cancer is stealing her life away. And it’s poisoning me, with hopelessness, helplessness, confusion. This shouldn’t be happening. I am filled with unfathomable rage while…

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Unlimited Miles

  Trucker’s Amnesia gradually tightens its clutch on its victims, so I can’t pinpoint exactly when my mind went missing. But it’s gone, and in its void is miry gelatinous fog. I can’t recall where I am, or where I’m headed. I have no clue of who I even am, for that matter. The only…

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Just a short drive from the historical O.C. Stonestreet Column in Statesville, NC, the Arby’s at 255 1826 East Broad Street was exactly where I headed when I looked up at the grand clock and saw it read “Dinnertime.” I had a real “hankerin’” as they say in those parts, for a Buttermilk Buffalo Chicken sandwich…

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Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams, you had me at “One Coat Guaranteed.” Because I am not a DIY guy at all. Had to Google it just to know it means Do It Yourself. And nobody seems to want to help me with home projects. As if they already know that hanging a picture involves me pointing the studfinder…

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Last evening, while shopping at HomeGoods, I happened past your vast array of Oriental, excuse me, Asian rugs. The helpful young employee was using the automated conveyer system to “flip through” the offerings for a potential Asian carpet purchaser. All were shocked when a gentleman dropped out from between two of the rugs with a…

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Down in Flames

  IT was going to be okay. Over the screams and cursing and prayers, I heard a calm voice say it. My own.   It was going to be okay, because I knew in those final moments that I’d accomplished the impossible. A nearly three-hour flight had been a nearly complete failure. Id been desperately…

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I Am Al’s Lymphoma

I AM AL’S LYMPHOMA More specifically, I am Al’s Primary Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. Also known as Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Or, you could just call me Cancer. You’re better off not calling me at all. Al is fortunate to have me. Really. There are many types of vicious lymphoma more aggressive than myself. For instance,…

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  DADDY One day I shall stop grieving. But not today. Today I have an important errand. It’s the reason I’m sitting outside the gate of the small city park at dawn, watching the sunrise without even seeing it. I’ve got Zoe’s hair clip in my hand, with the lock of her perfect blonde hair.…

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We are all just waiting for our number to be called. I’m not philosophizing, I’m at the Department of Motor Vehicles. By necessity. I doubt that anyone in this frowning, muttering multitude is here by choice. Not even the government employees. Especially not them.   The clock was the only thing moving. I was near…

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