Cassie’s Chair

Finalist in the Nivalis 2016 Short Fiction Competition
Included in the Nivalis 2016 Anthology now available at


When Cassie sat down, it was for sure a serious sit. It didn’t matter if she sat on the front steps, the back yard swing, a dining room chair pulled to a window or the corner of her classroom. She just sat.

Dad blamed Mom. Mom hovered and coaxed. First, second and third grade teachers warned and suggested that Cassie see a doctor, maybe several kinds of doctors. Dad dismissed their concerns and continued to avoid Cassie. In his opinion, Mom should just do a better job. She could pull Cassie out of this if she only tried. Most of the time, Cassie just pretended that she didn’t hear them argue. Other times, she would sit motionless for hours. No one knew why she seemed to go away when she entered her fugue state. Mom had secretly taken Cassie to the family doctor who found nothing out of the ordinary. He thought, however, that it would be useful to refer her to a neurologist, but Mom declined. Her husband would find out and be angry.

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The New Table

First published here

Olivia Clark couldn’t find it. The punch for her Braille writer had rolled off the counter and apparently into oblivion. She was on her knees, feeling the floor, foot by foot, grumbling. Woofy, her ever-happy dog, thought it was a game. He danced around, nuzzled her neck and generally got in the way.

“God, Woofy. Go away someplace. You’re not helping.”

The screen door admitted plentiful sunshine, but it would never be enough. What it did admit this afternoon was the sound of a man’s voice calling her name, probably from the back gate that opened to the alley.

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