From the roof of the converted wharf I called home, I could just see Spectacle Island, rising out of Boston Harbor. Some paid millions for that view, but it never satisfied me. What I really wanted to see was Nix’s Mate, a bare hunk of stone struggling to keep its crown above water. A lonely rock, unvisited, only ever a navigational hazard.
The night Mary called, I wanted to be up there searching the horizon. But I heard rain whipping against the living room windows and knew there was nothing to see in the post-midnight murk. Besides, I was transfixed by the honey glow my Scotch cast across the ceiling, like some sinister amber ocean ready to wash over me, if I let it. read more
The Short Stories
The Twisted Mind of the Architect
The architect sits in his house overlooking the Brewster Flats. It is a house of his own creation, built at a time when he was enamored of the natural world, and so it is a low building with an open plan, suffused with light from broad windows that invite in the view like an honored guest.
The architect perches on a stool at his desk, a huge tilting space with clips for holding blueprints. The desk is placed by an alcove window, with a winter view of the lawn that slopes to the water. The silver gray of the Flats flashes between the trunks of a stand of elephantine sycamores that raise their bare limbs to the sky. He looks down at the paper attached to the desk, the outline of a building commissioned ten years before. read more
Sophie waits on a hill overlooking the town. From where she sits, she can see almost all of it, sturdy brick buildings, old renovated mills and schools and tidy homes surrounded by trees and well-kept gardens. On the outskirts are wooden houses painted crazy colors, some pink, some yellow, some strange combinations of primer and green. In the distance she can make out a forest bordered by a highway, up from which a smoggy haze ascends. From time to time, the wind blows a few strands of straw colored hair across her cheek, and she pushes the errant wisps behind her ears with shaking hands.
Sophie squints upwards as the shadow of a man falls across her. He has crossed the overgrown field that stretches a mile back from the top of the hill without making a sound, without creasing the beige linen suit he wears. He looks down at her through dark sunglasses and stands silently. His hair is so shiny black, it seems like a cap of obsidian. read more