Selected Works

News
Lock & Load: Armed Fiction explores guns as objects and metaphors in contemporary literary fiction
Fiction
Broad River Review, honorable mention, Ron Rash prize
NDQ (North Dakota Quarterly)
Winner, Cville fiction prize
Articles
Museums strive for financial stability
Two Richmond, Va., Civil War museums merge.
Anthology of American Writing on Guns
The University of New Mexico Press, fall 2017: Lock & Load hits the mark.

Quick Links

Short story "Laser Vision"

Excerpt


She slips the gun out at the register. She sniffs its handle, scented slightly with Josh's after-shave. Then she swings out the cylinder and slides the brass cartridges in and out. Her fingers memorize their shape and weight and her ears, their metal-on-metal sound. She rubs the barrel. She steadies her hands and clutches the grip. She sets the laser on the Crazy Eights, then lets it follow the second-hand on the clock above the door.

She lays the gun on the counter and presses her sweaty palms together until they stop trembling. Then she wipes her hands on her jeans and organizes the ancient register's paper receipts. Cash, charges, checks. At nine a disheveled couple enters in Santa hats. Vayda stashes the gun under the counter. They get a carton of eggnog and ask for two Pick Threes. "Wish you luck," Vayda says.