Short Stories

Next Door to God
Next Door to God by Michael Channing The Lord is my neighbor. I shall not go bored.
Practice Kid
Practice Kid by Michael Channing To help educate me, my wife came up with a brilliant idea. I should borrow our nephew--good thinking because if you're going to borrow a kid, it should be one that knows you--and have him be my practice child.
Monsters to the Rescue
Monsters to the Rescue by Michael Channing My uncle had an obsession with pausing the tape right at the goriest parts, such as a hatchet in the face. Then he'd go make a sandwich.
Heirloom of Anger
baby shoes and a stompbox I will give my daugher my CD collection because she will need to own good music, and even in my fifties, I will still need to validate my tastes by forcing someone else to agree with them.
Heart Like a Sunless Sea
Heart Like a Sunless Sea by Michael Channing In his angry mind and in his aching heart, the young man cursed everything. God, the sky, the earth, her, himself.

The river listened.
Uncle Walrus
Uncle Walrus by Michael Channing Kyle's uncle. If he fell asleep at the beach, someone was sure to try rolling him back into the ocean. A plastic tube poked out through a hole in his throat, just below the jut of his Adam's apple.
On the Bus
On the Bus by Michael Channing They carried more than possessions. They carried the need to be cool, which was a code word for "accepted." They carried the fear that they would be excluded, friendless, dateless. They carried dreams of making the basketball team, slam-dunking in front of the whole school, being carried through the halls on a river of admiring fans.
Devil Tree
Devil Tree by Michael Channing It was the Devil. He wore a brown suit and had a shiny badge pinned to his lapel, a pair of half-moon glasses perched on the end of his nose above a soothing smile. He looked exactly the way I thought he would.
The Saddest Word in the World
The Saddest Word in the World by Michael Channing One day the king sent notice throughout his kingdom that he would give a thousand gold coins to the one who could name for him the saddest single word in the world.
River Through Broken Things
snake in a jar In his dreams, he was the river, large and elastic. Stretched mile over mile of mud and rock.

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing