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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DIAMOND I hold her hand as I tell her the story. Our story. I always hold her hand, every time I tell it, and I’ve told it lots of times. Seventy.. Four. Seventy-four times, yes, ma’am, and this will be seventy-five. Seventy-five, Clara, can you believe it? Seventy-five years ago, I asked for your hand,…

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Two Of Hearts

TWO OF HEARTS Two things my father left me: Congenital heart defects, and an object lesson. Dad had spent his too-few years working in retail, dripping frustration, trying and failing to get ahead. Come evening, he’d slam the door, flop wearily into the easy chair, and tell me for the billionth time about the “Arrogant…

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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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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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AISLES My timing couldn’t be worse. I must be a bit delusional, thinking I can just stop and buy a few groceries this crisp autumn morning. It’s Sunday morning, is the problem. It’s a poorly-kept secret that this is the only time guys shop. But I’m a guy, so here I am. And from the…

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