Author Archives: mm

15 Strange Tales of Crime and Mystery

Green Snake Publishing just released my latest collection of short stories and I couldn’t be more pleased. The book has brand new stories that have never been published anywhere, as well some favorites reprinted from places like Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The Last Kiss”

My latest short story was just published by the fine folks at Daily Science Fiction. “The Last Kiss” concerns the relationship between an Earth-bound human and an Earth-trapped alien.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My story “Democracy” published in Hidden in Crime

Award winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch published an anthology in WGM’s Fiction River series of anthologies titled Hidden in Crime. It’s filled with stories about crimes of the past. Things that were illegal way back when, but aren’t illegal now. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve been bundled!

The good people at Bundle Rabbit have put together an amazing collection of novels about teen super heroes, and they’ve included Kyle’s War, my gripping tale of a dystopian future America and one teen’s fight for justice and peace. Grab … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Ferryman’s Tale

I’ve got a jar filled with coins I can’t use. It’s my own fault. I tell people I’ll take them across the river and they can pay me whatever they want. Sometimes people give me a hundred dollars. Sometimes one … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The 911 Dispatcher’s Tale

Nothing prepares you for all the tragedy. People die, sometimes while they’re on the phone talking to you. A few times, I’ve been the last voice people hear in their lives. It does something to you. You try to reach … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Magician’s Tale

My mom raised rabbits and my dad made hats. I guess I was destined for this profession. A lot of what we are is pre-ordained. For example, I didn’t decide to become fascinated by sleight of hand. That was all … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Matchmaker’s Tale

Some of my couples, years later, they come to me and thank me. Others, well, let’s just say they are less than pleased. They think I’m here to make them happy. They have never learned that matchmaking is about making … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Counterfeiter’s Tale

Truth is, I never understood why my trade is illegal. All money is fake, right? It doesn’t represent anything except itself. I suppose what irked me most was that they called my stuff amateur. Amateur! I lived on those notes … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Milliner’s Tale

Women in church still wear them. Some rock stars. A few eccentrics here and there, but who am I kidding? Hats are an endangered species. My friends tell me I need to find another profession, but I just tell them … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Innkeeper’s Tale

I’ve got a staff, sure, but it’s mostly me. I keep track of all those rooms. I know who’s in each one at all times. I know, with ninety-nine percent accuracy, which guests are going to leave their rooms a … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 2 Comments

The Mechanic’s Tale

Ever since that movie about the horse guy, people always ask me if I’m the car whisperer. The first time, I didn’t know what they were talking about. By the time the hundredth customer asked me, I was good and … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 1 Comment

The Custodian’s Tale

Truth is, I prefer the term janitor. Custodian makes me sound like I’m a patron of the arts or something. But I’m not. I clean the school building. That’s it. I’ll tell you one thing: Gum is the worst. Especially … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 1 Comment

The Actor’s Tale

I was in a movie once. It paid pretty good. I figured out I had enough to survive, without working, for a year. So I planned on taking the next two seasons off: no plays, no commercials, no tv, nothing. … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Torturer’s Tale

The school sent my daughter home for bullying her classmate. Later she told me she likes to squirt vinegar into our cat’s eye. She said this like it was the most natural thing in the world. Didn’t you do things … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 1 Comment

The Pickpocket’s Tale

No one carries cash anymore. That’s a problem for me. But I adjusted my expectations. I learned a long time ago that the the life I chose had its rewards, but also its disappointments. I’ve snagged lots of things other … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Umpire’s Tale

The millionaires don’t like it when I make a mistake. Sometimes they kick dirt on me. That’s okay. We all come from dirt, even them, though they forget that. Humility is not their long suit. I almost went into medicine, … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Dermatologist’s Tale

My knowledge was only skin deep, but that wasn’t my fault. I blame it on my training. I wore my ignorance with pride, like a distinct and fascinating scar. As I got older I became more and more cranky with … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Biographer’s Tale

I had written many biographies before I began writing the life story of the famous documentary filmmaker who made movies about the lives of writers. At our first interview he asked me what it was like to live vicariously through … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Dishwasher’s Tale

I never expected to win an award for my work. I was just a humble dishwasher. No shame, certainly, in honest work, but usually no glory either. The people from the awards committee told me I had been chosen out … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Auctioneer’s Tale

The auction house was having problems. Since they had been good to me for many years, they asked if I would help out by sacrificing for the greater good. I was sold. To begin, I auctioned off one of my … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Composer’s Tale

The Starling Symphony made my reputation and my fortune. Critics called Starling a breakthrough, and so it was. There has been much speculation about where it came from, since it was unlike anything I had done up to then. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Carpenter’s Tale

Once my good friend the plumber pointed out to me that my material was once a finished item, a tree, which had been cut down and cut into pieces, I reconsidered what I had been doing all my life. Of … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Taxidermist’s Tale

Guy brought me in a duck he shot. Wanted it stuffed by the weekend. I told him I could do it, but it would cost him. He said price was no object so I did the job and called him … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Undertaker’s Tale

After I died, everything changed. My profession suddenly seemed frivolous, even silly. For a while I hung out with the other ghosts. That quickly grew tedious and I applied to become a god. You wouldn’t believe the questions I got … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Plumber’s Tale

I got a call to come out and look at a house. The guy on the phone said stuff was coming out of his pipes. I asked him what kind of stuff. He said you have to come here and … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Cinematographer’s Tale

We finished a tough shoot—twenty-eight days in the desert, drenched in searing light—and I was tired of it. I told my family I needed a break and went to the dark side of the moon. Spent a week in the … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Copyeditor’s Tale

Ever since my company published that book with the secret codes in it, people ask me if the books I work on have similar codes. They want to get a jump on the public, I guess. I tell them my … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 1 Comment

The Pilot’s Tale

We usually don’t talk about these things until we retire, but yes, I did see a UFO once. A short flight from Seattle to Portland. Middle of the day. A blip of light appears above Mount Rainier. I point to … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 1 Comment

The Meteorologist’s Tale

They call me the weatherman. I’m the least reliable person you consult on a regular basis. Did you know meteorologists have the highest incidence of depression? Lots of people think it’s dentists. Nope. It’s weathermen. We drink a lot, too. … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Photographer’s Tale

As an apprentice, I learned to gather up the photons and herd them into some semblance of order. My teacher helped me until she thought I was proficient enough to step out on my own. I took my camera and … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Astronomer’s Tale

The observatory needed upgrading. I arranged for the grounds to be landscaped, the walls painted, the plumbing updated, the décor freshened, and the roof replaced. I oversaw teams of maintenance people as they polished up the facility until it achieved … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

The Cartographer’s Tale

My toughest assignment was the time I was commissioned to map a human heart. For starters, I had to drive a stake into each ventricle. My assistant got squeamish and left me to do the rest on my own. But … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 4 Comments

Start Times

The absence of the past was disconcerting at first. Our sense of memory was starved with nothing to latch onto and nothing to do. In compensation, we built worlds, just so we could live in them. We invited other creatures … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | Leave a comment

End Times

The end came before any of us expected it. Over in the marketing department, they scrambled to produce a proper logo and theme song. They missed their deadline by only seconds. We cheered their perseverance and plucky spirit. The sky, … Continue reading

Posted in 100 words | 1 Comment

Story Challenge #20: “The Gambler’s Tale”

I found a picture of dice on dreamstime.com that I really liked. I immediately thought of a woman who uses the dice to help her make decisions in her life and the title came to me at the same time. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #19: “How the Clouds Became Domesticated”

Like a lot of writers, I have a lot of false starts: stories I began, got a few pages into, then abandoned. In the old days I would keep these starts in file folders and store them in a filing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Miniatures just published

My short story collection, Miniatures, has just been published by Green Snake Publishing. Here’s a look at the minimalist cover: Miniatures collects 41 of my best short short stories. Nothing in the book is over 2500 words long, and there … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #18: “Under the Mask”

My latest challenge story has lizards, a snow storm, marital strife, and lots of broken crockery. It takes a look at what happens to a couple when one of the partners “wakes up” from being kept under a mask. I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #17: “Before the Birds”

I’ve heard about parents billing their children for their upbringing. I thought that might be an interesting subject for a short story, so I invented a twelve-year-old who gets such a bill. He is in debt to his parents for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #16: “The Restless Wanderer”

This one came from a picture of Kim’s. We were at the labyrinth at The Grotto in Portland and saw a snail crawling on the bricks. Kim took a few pictures of it and one of those pictures inspired this … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #15: “Hail Mary”

Like Susan Sarandon’s character in Bull Durham, I have always believed in the church of baseball. But on this Super Bowl Sunday I understand that particular faith needs to take a back pew to football. So, in honor of the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #14: “The Crying Stone”

This week’s challenge story is a little early because I’m going to be on the road on the day I usually write them. No matter. I got up at 5 this morning and dove into this piece about a sentient … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Pulp Empire and “Weedhead”

The first stories that really moved me when I was a kid were science fiction tales, those futuristic flights of fancy that came out of the pulp tradition. The stories were vivid, strange, and thrilling. They were filled with action … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #13 “The Infinite Garden”

When I was a math major, I enjoyed the paradoxes dealing with infinity. The ones where you can prove mathematically that Achilles can never catch up to that tortoise. Or the one that proved that motion was impossible. That sort … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Claypot Dreamstance

Claypot Dreamstance first came to me almost six years ago when I was doing my Conditional Reality blog. Here’s a few samples of what he said to me then. Since ending my old blog, Claypot’s voice kept coming back to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #12 “Marble Angels”

This week’s story began with a picture that Kim took when we were at The Grotto in Portland, Oregon. While there, we saw a pair of beautiful marble angels on either side of a trail. Like a lot of marble … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #11: “The Kick”

Most of us get bumps and bruises in our lives and most of us get over them and go on with living. But what if a trauma decides to lodge in your body and never leave? This week’s story concerns … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Property Lines”

The March issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine is just out and it’s got a short story by me in it called “Property Lines” which concerns a couple of nice old ladies who find a way to hate each other … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Story Challenge #10: “The Universe of Death”

Most likely no one will ever go to the stars, despite decades of science fiction stories that say we will. Also, we probably aren’t going to beat death. Immortality is a dream at best. And I don’t think we’ll ever … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment