I am in my home office library in Lawrenceville, hard at work as a medical librarian for a global publisher of professional content serving doctors and nurses. It is as I prepare for a late afternoon virtual meeting that I become aware of a sudden, strange buzzing sound nearby.

Practically every Sunday morning when I was a kid and it wasn’t raining or snowing, my Pop would crawl under our latest second-hand Chevy Impala (we were a Chevy family), and as Mom led me and my sister Nancy to her green and brown woody station wagon, Mom would tap Pop’s protruding feet and…

Back when I worked at Bloomberg News, I was assigned to write a story on Faisan Shah, the investment banker. “Investment” was a polite way of saying what Shah did. He ran a hedge fund that struck fear into the corporate giants in America. He would buy up big chunks of a stock, sending the […]

Order a fourth café con leche. You feel comfortable ordering that in Spanish, sitting at a table in the Lion Cafe, on the afternoon of your first day in Madrid, two days after Christmas. Plan to lay low today, start to get over the jet lag and wait until your daughter arrives in the evening […]

“It will be another summer of love,” the girl says, inspecting a lock of her hair for split ends. “You know, like in those hippie days in the previous century.” She and her mother sit on wooden chairs on the porch in front of their house, the smaller colonial they moved to a couple of […]

It’s still there. Still resting against the oak tree, with its front wheel curved outward, pointing at the old Shepherd house. I’ve passed it many times. It has become so much a part of the neighborhood that it doesn’t surprise me anymore. It don’t surprise anyone, except the few tourists wh…

“There is surprisingly little voter fraud and not nearly enough to justify blocking vote-by-mail systems in a pandemic.” – Brookings Institution report, 2020 Scene: The sub-basement of what appears to the casual observer to be an Amazon warehouse near Langley, Virginia; except for the helipa…

I wake in a stupor, like I do every day. The days run together, except on weekends, when Zoom is few and far between. I’m pretty sick of it all. My room is dark and quiet, but I hear Mom stir next door, so I attempt a downdog stretch and then wait. She wakes up […]

I’m in line with eight other women, all dancing from one foot to the other, trying not to wet our pants while we wait our turn to get in the ladies’ room. Across the hall is the men’s room. Nobody has come in – or out – for 10 minutes. What is it with guys? […]

I wasn’t lookin’ for a first kiss. I wasn’t lookin’ for a first kiss at all. I mean what girl wants to be wearin’ crinoline petticoats anyway, all puffy and scratchy and bringin’ up welts, makin’ one look like a seafaring buoy. Like if you did get that first kiss with one of them petticoats […]

Alan ripped off his tie after fumbling through his third attempt at a Windsor knot. “Damn it! This tie is impossible,” he murmured. Alan remembered how Ellen would loop the end of his tie up, over, and around itself with the finesse of a balloon artist at a kid’s birthday party. His cousin’s…

The response came too quickly. That’s why I didn’t have to read it to know what it said. Normally the editors took at least a month to make their decision, but this time they’d replied the very next day. The faster response meant that they’d either loved my story, or much more likely, hated it […]

Holly crouched low by the bushes near the porch clutching the jar she’d taken from her mother’s cupboard. Even from this distance, she could hear her mom washing supper’s dishes through the kitchen’s open back door. Darkness had just taken hold of the summer evening with just a hint of quick…

An original radio drama in one act Spooky organ music opens to set the stage for what’s to come, as an overly dramatic voice-over intones: “And now, Radio Theatre of the Mind presents… The Kurse of the Kat Lady Killer!!!… Organ music swells, them fades to the background as the principal char…

“God doesn’t want black people and white people to live together.” Pausing to take a breath, the preacher continued, but with less conviction, “The colors on Joseph’s cloak are separate, just as white and colored people should be separate.” He began to lose the thread of his biblical justifi…

My name is Talleyrand and I am a (large-size) standard poodle who lives with his master in a walkup on the upper West Side in New York. I am a bit of a coward when I meet a smaller dog. I sit on my hindquarters and shrink into myself. One night I had this dream: […]

I’ve lived by the side of this road for … I don’t know how long. It’s always kind of breezy when the cars go whizzing by, and sometimes very noisy with those huge vehicles, but I always stand back and I never get hit. The dirt pouring out of those things will sometimes make my […]

(With apologies to Joyce Carol Oates) Last night, a balmy October evening, members of the university had honored me with a warm welcome at a lovely, well-attended wine and cheese reception. My $5 million alumnus contribution to the endowment fund guaranteed that. The speakers praised my acco…

It would be a long time before Seymour would know if being born with a bigger and better brain, his mother’s words not his, was blessing or curse. But he knew the difference, learned it that first year, watching everyone else loll out in the grass until the summer heat sent them all looking for […]

“Oh my God, Dad. This guy looks like you!” Jack Gill allowed himself a quick glance at his 14-year-old son. Just shy of six feet, the boy tended to drape himself across the nearest available surface, in this case the kitchen island where they took all their meals since Marie died. He looked …

I couldn’t remember his shoe size. He’d always bought his own shoes, and it was hard to tell looking at his cadaver, his feet poking up from under the sheet. I lifted cool, sheer fabric, his feet as smooth and unblemished as ballet slippers. Maybe 10s. Still it was hard to tell with him naked […]

As a kid I didn’t look forward to going to Dr. Doranz’s office, in fact, you might say sometimes I dreaded it. But it wasn’t because Dr. Doranz was a bad or a mean man, though he did inflict some pain on me at times. But that wasn’t it. The physical pain wasn’t it. The […]

It broke into hundreds of pieces on the hard tile floor. Sparkling shards, ready to prick my fingers and vengefully draw blood. Carefully, I swept the floor. Under the cabinets, the table, and chairs removing the dog dishes to the sink. Then the vacuum, to erase every guilty twinkling prism …

Don’t ask me about paradoxes, because I still can’t figure them out. There’s a party going on at Dancers in Williamsburg, and I am sitting and nursing a Tranquility cocktail of vodka and ginger ale. The millennials are decked out in their “Moon” outfits, glossy in golds and silvers or black …

I don’t know about you, but, if you spent time at the Jersey shore when you were a kid, there was something about the combination of sounds and smells of the boardwalk at night that’s like nothing else on earth. No matter how far you make it through life, that — what would you call […]

The townspeople collectively knew very little about Mr. Ebberhaus. He lived alone in a large house on the corner of Main Street, and though he was friendly enough to his neighbors, no one had ever been invited inside. His age was inexact — estimates ranged from late 40s to early 60s — and no one […]

by Gary Szelc There’s a sad wind blowing in the sand pit hollow in the unholy Pine Barrens where the willows now be broken. Sadder yet are nightmares that ride in fear of night as darkness continues to swallow the day. And I, silly I, the saddest of all stands here trembling in a high […]

The nursing home I work in tries to project the image of a fine hospital: clean, brightly lit corridors, buffed floors, flower arrangements in the public areas. But in the rooms where I rotate elderly people in bed, or adjust gurneys to suitable heights, no one waits to receive discharge pap…

May, 1952 East Bay, Rhode Island Aunt Meghan was laid out in my grandmother’s front parlor, wearing a dove gray dress she would not have been caught dead in. My mother had picked it out. The wake was well into the third and final evening as mourners came to mumble condolences and a few decades […]

That Friday night in February the temperature hovered around 14 degrees. After a miserable 10 hours at work with Brad, that opportunist, constantly interrupting her new client presentation, Emily wanted to get home, dive under the covers, and veg out, drained from the day’s pressure. Her app…

Jan had been on dating sites for a LONG time. Way too long. She was one of those people who could relate immediately when she saw a profile earnestly seeking that LAST FIRST DATE. The first date was the worst: the nerves, the primping, the managing of expectations soon to be dashed — since for […]

I’ve known Michael since he was released from state prison in early 2018. I’m his probation officer. Michael grew up in Newark, drank in Newark, drugged in Newark, robbed and hustled in Newark, and let his grandmother down in Newark, and then went to prison in Newark. When he got out, Newark…

Twenty-seven-year-old James Bland sat at his desk, arms outstretched, hands at rest on either side of his keyboard. It was his first day back at work after a week’s vacation. He’d spent it at Disney World, revisiting a wellspring of childhood nostalgia. Lying in bed the previous evening, he’…

So here I am on a very hot day in Princeton looking forward to some Thomas Sweet Ice Cream. After popping in and out of the stores on Nassau Street, I arrive at the shop, already with a flavor in mind. Not surprisingly, the line is out the door. Maybe it won’t be so bad. […]

George Point, a freelance writer and producer and presenter of Book Talk! on WDVR FM and WDVRFM.org, lives in Lawrenceville.

Joseph Gorczynski taught psychology for 35 years at the College of New Jersey.

E.E. Whiting, a Princeton resident and retired lawyer, is now a ghostwriter, specializing in family and personal memoirs.

Matthew McKeown, a Trenton resident, wrote a short story for last year’s Summer Fiction issue based on the National Ceramic Company of Trenton, where he once worked.

John L. Fuller lives in the Kendall Park. Originally from Ireland, he retired after many years as an international transportation manager for several U.S. companies.

Judy Salcewicz has been published in the Kelsey Review, Women’s World Magazine, Horse Network, and Right Hand Pointing.

Ximena Skovron lives in Princeton and writes under the pseudonym A. Goodnight.

Philip Lear has taught courses in the short story at Rutgers in the OLLIRU program and has published two anthologies of stories.

Chaz Weiner describes himself as a “22-year-old aspiring author of young adult novels living in downtown Princeton.

David Ludlum lives in Princeton and works as an editor and marketing professional for a wealth management organization.

For the past 50 years or so, Fred Wish has written and edited newsletters, speeches, government and business regulatory documents, short stories, poems and even a few songs.

Sharri Bockheim Steen lives in Rocky Hill with her husband, two children, and three furry pets.

Ann Calandro is a medical editor and a mixed media collage artist whose artwork has been exhibited in juried shows and published in print and online.

Russell Marks is retired from a career in management at several international corporations.

Jonathan Savrin writes memoirs and short stories about unusual and stressful situations that are encountered during a “normal” life.