The birth of a hero! You’ve never had this much fun Reading “The Amazing Spider-Man!”

"I make things for people who like the kinds of things I make."
Author | Creator | Consultant

Four Stories

Storyworld: None | Series Name:
Reading Order: | Stand Alone? Yes
Genres: Fiction, Literary | Editions: Audiobooks, E-Book

Four Stories puts the spotlight on revelations of clarity and epiphanies of character in the face of emotional challenges.

Each work of fiction is accompanied by a brief essay exploring the formative experiences, memories, and themes that inspired the work, making this a very personal and intimate collection.

The book opens with “You Got Me,” in which the way two people each get through one particularly rough day might have a lot to do with how they spend their days to come.

A musician struggles with expectations and understanding when he travels far from home with his new band for “Gig Number Two.”

He says it’s “Not My Fault,” but is something driving a wedge between them at their anniversary dinner, or is he just… distracted?

“The Days of Wine and Roses by The Dream Syndicate” provides a mental soundtrack for a reluctant walk through memory and pain on the way to save a troubled damsel in distress, one last time.

Each of the Four Stories is fiction, but they each have a piece of the author woven between the lines. You might find yourself in there, too.

If you liked what you’ve read… share this with the folks you think would like it, too!

Earn money when you promote and sell my books and other creative works!
Apply to become an affiliate.

An Excerpt from
Four Stories

Ava went outside. I followed her.

The rain was finished. The sky was white and gray with gigantic cloud castles. The air smelled of warming asphalt, ozone, and manure. Ava stretched her legs on the front steps.

I watched her. “How was the ride?”

She grinned. “Stan’s got a crush on me.”

“That’s adorable.”

“I can’t bear to ride back with him.”

I shrugged. “Not so tough. We’ll put him with Dan and see if Dan develops a personality as a defense mechanism.”

She laughed, so I did, too. She was done with her stretches. I reached for her.

She held up her hand. “Huh uh.”

I froze. “Right. We wouldn’t want the good people of Davis to get the wrong idea.”

She glared. “I thought you said you could deal with it.”

“I just don’t see how it applies to…” I waved at the house. “To this. To the ride up. To Stan.”

“Oh, please! Relax.”

I had no skill with Ava’s argument style. “What?”

Stan burst through the front door. “Hey, Ava! You wanna check me out while I play Andy’s drums?”

Ava looked at me and said, “Sure, Stan.”

Stan held the door for her and winked at me. I gave him two big thumbs up.


The sun gave up trying and fell off the edge of the world. People filed into the little house.

We were set up in a corner of the living room. I was bloated with corn chips and keg beer, tired, mad, mostly drunk, and ready as hell to play. I tapped my fist on the body of my bass, eliciting crackling pops that cut through the conversations and the stereo.

One of Heather’s roommates called out, “Wait! We have to close the windows before you start!”


They battened down the hatches. Andy sat behind his drums. Dan strapped on his guitar and turned up. Ava stepped up to the microphone.

“All right, I guess we’ll start,” she said. There was too much reverb on her voice; she was a breath or long sibilance away from feedback.

I closed my eyes and let out a long breath. My fingers hovered over the neck of my bass.

“We don’t have a name, yet,” Ava went on, “but we came all the way from Southern California to play for you college boys and girls. Here goes.”

Andy fired off the machine gun snare roll that launched us into “Manhattan Aubade.” Dan and I came in together, and away we all went.

Our audience seemed confused. Not enough Van Halen; not enough Smiths. To much noise.

I didn’t give a damn. My buzz sloughed off of me with every note, and my foul mood went with it. I grasped for the sounds and held on.

We finished our first song. A couple people applauded. One shaggy lad banged his head and screamed. He gave us the devil sign.

A knock at the door drove the room to silence. Heather opened it. Two uniformed police officers smiled at her.

Dan unplugged his guitar. “That’s it,” he said.

Ava swore. Behind me, Andy’s sticks clattered across his drums when he dropped them.

I felt heavy.

Heather spoke with the police for a few minutes. I heard her thank them. She closed the door.

“Okay, change of plans,” she said to the room.

“Thank you, good night,” Andy said quietly.

Heather said, “The city of Davis is planning to put an airport in not too far from here. They’ve been trying to determine the impact the noise will have on the neighborhood, and tonight they’re running decibel tests.”

She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “They’ve asked us to open the windows, and they want the band to play as loud as possible.”

The four of us had just enough time to exchange looks of bewilderment and glee before Dan plugged back in, twisted the knobs on his amp, and slammed us back into our set.

It was just this side of cacophony. Dan played more feedback than chords, no longer careful to avoid stepping on the rest of us. That forced me to rip at the strings of my bass, distorting every note. Andy punched holes in the heads of his drums. Ava gave up on phrasing and tonality and screamed her way through the songs.

Shaggy Lad appreciated it.

“Louder! Faster! More Satanic!” He made it a mantra, or battle cry; over and over: “Louder! Faster! More Satanic!”

We played until Shaggy Lad was the only one left in the audience that didn’t live there.


It was almost two o’clock in the morning. Heather handed us twenty bucks and offered to take us to Denny’s.

I could barely keep my eyes open. “I just want to go to sleep,” I told Ava.

She shrugged. “We’ll bring you back some cheese fries.” She shut off the light on her way out the front door.

Name Your Price!