Owen sits in a nylon-slatted lawn chair on his driveway, trimming his trees with a shotgun. Mary wants me to go next door and get him to stop. She’s from San Francisco. She looks at me until I get up. “Say no if he offers you a beer,” she says.
I get him to switch to his .22 so it won’t be so loud, but I have to drink four beers before he will listen to reason. I see Mary looking out a bay window shadowed by the eaves. She looks like a painting that needs to be cleaned.
Finally we are into the touch-up phase of the project. Owen is a really good shot. Empty bottles and spent shell casings lie all around us, and I have to work at getting my eyes right before I can tell the difference. “Try it,” Owen says, handing me the rifle. “That last twig sticking up there like a cowlick on the back of a little kid’s head.”
I think I nick it a little on my third shot, and I’m about to nail it when Owen’s wife comes out. She has a tall pink drink in one hand and a brisket-turning fork in the other. “That’s it,” she says, glaring at Owen. “I know you’ve hit your limit when you let college man here take over.”
has taught creative writing and literature at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of North Texas, and the Writer’s Garret, in Dallas. He now lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press), Winter Investments: Stories (Trilobite Press), and Prairie Shapes: A Flash Novel (winner of the 2004 Robert J. DeMott Prose Contest). His poems, short stories, and creative nonfictions have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country, including Blink Ink, Cutbank, Eastern Iowa Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Star 82 Review, and Third Wednesday, among others.
Writer Boy, micro-fiction by Daryl Scroggins in
MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 4, July 2020); nominated by MacQ
for Best Microfiction 2021
Face of the Deep, ekphrastic prose poem in MacQueen’s
Quinterly (Issue 3, May 2020)
Field Trips, flash fiction in KYSO Flash (Issue 12,
School, micro-fiction in Eclectica (Jan/Feb 2018)
“Almost Baptized” and “Against the Current” in New
Flash Fiction Review (Issue 10, January 2018)
Stories: A Mini-Chapbook at Web del Sol