CJ Maughan

Recent Stories

Light Up Shoes

On her knees against the orange department store carpet, Krista had finally found them. She pulled the black shoe box from the shelf and brushed the dust off the top. The lid flapped open and revealed the size eight shoes that she’d been searching for. ... Read more

A Place for Ma

The story went that Ma had always wanted to be buried out there in the field with the cows. Least that’s what Pa said what Ma’d told him there at the end. He hadn’t wanted to argue. Ain’t wise to argue with a sick woman. The fever had takin’ hold of her quick, the same one that’d carried away our baby sister. Which Pa said was a good thing since he ain’t known what to do with a girl child anyway. “Farmin’ is for men,” he’d said. And I remember thinkin’ ... Read more

Selfish Bastard

”Puppy! Puppy wake up,” Katie cried, the fabric on the trampoline dipping and rolling as she tried to rouse the dog. “Puppy!”

It didn’t move.

“Time to wake up, puppy.” Katie shook the dog, kneading its tiny black and white spotted body back and forth.

“Daddy!” she screamed. “Something is wrong with the puppy!” ... Read more

A Good Night’s Sleep

"Damn this mattress," Henry yelled, tossing and turning in bed again. It was an endless night of aches and pains. First, there was the jabbing in his neck. Then there was the prickling along his spine, the stabbing up his hips and finally, after settling restlessly, there was the nothingness that came with discomfort. ... Read more

Damn

The flowers arched and eased towards the sun, their tips whispering with the golden fuzz of pollen and light. A dull, electric buzz filled the air as fat striped bumblebees hovered over the bright blooms.

From the other side of the house, the metallic garage door slowly opened, squeaking and rattling on its old hinges. It pulled slowly upwards to reveal ... Read more

Chocolate Milk

Sam wipes at his nose and pulls away blood. “Mommy!” he cries. “It’s bleeding again.”

I hear him from downstairs, in the unfinished basement, where I’m fighting the good fight, the never ending fight to conquer the loose ends of storage. “Mommy?” he calls again.

“Sam, I’m coming,” I say, side stepping over the tattered Christmas tree box. ... Read more

Ethel, Mouse and Space Ghost I & II

He could sense her nervousness. It was a feeling he hadn’t felt from her since their time together in college. She fiddled with the emergency brake that way she did when they stopped at lights. A nervous habit that she had unknowingly slipped back into once she was with him again. ... Read more

Dead Bus

The Dead Bus sighed and rolled silently into the neighborhood; its tires grinding against the pavement, churning and pushing up years of hardened gravel. Long forgotten, strandless pieces of paper floated as the whoosh of the doors opened and stirred a small, undetectable breeze.

From the adjoining block houses streamed the new recruits. One or two here. Three or four there. ... Read more

Farmville

Mike unclasps his hands from the mower with a satisfied flourish. He places them on his hips and stares at his yard trying to remember why he felt bothered to mow it in the first place. In a few days it won’t matter. The yard will be gone, his home leveled. Just forgotten bits of concrete and dust, turned over each season for the farmer’s crops. ... Read more

Green Smoothies

The TV was blasting the benefits of green smoothies.

“Smooth up the fiber and stick in the celery,” the dark blonde haired cohost said as she took a smiling gulp, her teeth green with flax. “Oh my! It’s good,” she said smiling at the camera. “I can feel it working already.” ... Read more