• Human Condition,  Memoir

    My Relationship With Depression and Creativity

    I have PTSD and major depressive disorder. Whether the former is responsible for the latter I may never know, because depression also runs in my family, and so it might have become a passenger in my life even if I hadn’t experienced trauma. When I’m depressed, I stop creating, but it wasn’t always that way. As I’ve gotten older it’s become difficult to meld these two parts of my personality together, when they used to go hand in hand. It’s like they had a big fight and now only visit one at a time. I think it’s important, before you read any further, to establish what depression is. Because of…

  • Flash Fiction

    Room 19

    These walls. These familiar walls. Names and dates scrawled over every inch. Geometric patterns scratched anxiously into the light blue paint, mathematical equations he couldn’t understand. This graffiti meant nothing to Allen. It was the work of his colourful roommate.  “Will you please get down Jude? We’ll never get social privileges back if you keep acting so… crazy.” Allen said. “Crazy?” Jude turned bright blue eyes, wild eyes, toward him. “The only thing crazy is what they expect us to ignore. I know they’re watching.” he gasped, hands and arms spread along the walls in an awkward embrace, ear to the concrete, “the eyes are watching, see? You can hear…

  • photo by Andreea Popah on Unsplash
    Human Condition,  Literary

    The Waiting Room

    Life is a waiting room. We wait. We wait in line. We wait in cars and on buses and planes. We wait for phone calls and mail deliveries. We wait for appointments, promotions, birthdays and anniversaries. We wait for holidays and the passing from one year to the next. We wait for life. We wait for love. We wait for death. An endless expanse of chairs draped in matching blue fabric that doesn’t quite distract you from the dated magazines meant to hold your attention until your name is called. Such is life, with our minds holding hands with smartphones and TV screens to avoid real human touch, or a…

  • Human Condition

    Living in the Age of Distractions

    We live in a fascinating era. We’re in the age of intangibility, of information, of personal branding. We have apps for everything: finance, social media, productivity, meditation, and travel. We even have apps that are supposed to help us have fewer distractions from other apps. The times they are a changin’. Every generation has a big struggle. The great wars became the struggle of many generations all over the world: they toiled and scraped together what was left of a bombed out and hurting nation. Here in North America, us Generation X and Y people, we have no great war. Our great struggle is one taking place in our minds.…

  • Memoir

    Love in the Time of Corona

    We’d been hearing about COVID-19 for a few months. I didn’t take it seriously at first. I thought it was another media scare similar to Ebola from several years back, which never even came geographically close to me. Everyone was scared but nothing ever seemed to come of it. COVID-19 started in China, and though the news stories were tragic, and the video clips of doctors collapsing were terrible to watch, I never felt personally at risk. At least not at first. It all started to feel real on March 12th when the first infection hit Saskatchewan. It became scary on March 16, when our premier Scott Moe Tweeted that schools all…

  • Flash Fiction,  Horror

    Waste

    “Nobody’s seen The Smiths for weeks,” Jon told Rich on their walk home from school. “My mom said they moved, but at night I can see blue flickering, like a TV is on in there. Nobody moves and doesn’t take their TV.” “True.” Rich feigned interest. They’d been friends since Kindergarten. Jon had always been into conspiracy theories.  “So I think we should go over there. I think something happened to them. What if they got abducted or died?” “Jon, I’m not breaking into your neighbor’s house with you and getting arrested,” Rich told his friend. “Okay so the legalities of it are a bit of a grey area, but…

  • Flash Fiction,  Horror

    It’s Just Water

    The bombs fell in September. We saw the mushroom clouds blooming on the horizon and ran for the bunker. The air-raid siren wailed like a frightened child, cutting through what had been a serene summer day and pricking our skin with fear.  We weren’t prepared—at least not as well as we should have been. Months passed. The view through the small frosted port hole in the ceiling grew darker and colder. Whether that was from Canadian or nuclear winter, neither of us could say for sure. We watched our scant supplies dwindle as we waited for any news of the situation outside and we took turns cranking the emergency radio,…

  • Flash Fiction,  Horror

    The Ravine

    “I can’t” Laura said. “Yes. You can” Jay replied, “Feel this?” he tugged on her harness “and this?” he knocked on her helmet. “Yes, but-” “But nothing. These keep you safe. I’ll be your eyes.” He touched the side of her face. The scar tissue had softened considerably since the accident. “Don’t worry. We’ll take it slow”. “You don’t usually hear about blind rock climbers.” Laura smiled, “Thanks for bringing me”.  “No sweat. Well, there will be some sweat. It’s 30 degrees Celsius, but you catch my drift.”  Laura laughed. She’d rappelled down this ravine dozens of times, but this was the first time back since losing her sight. Part…

  • Flash Fiction,  Horror

    Le Restaurant de l’Homme

    James straightened his tie as the limousine stopped out front of the restaurant. Mr. Frank Kravenport, the CEO of Kravenport Industries, surprised them with reservations to some French place where it was impossible to get a table. It was to be a memorial dinner for their colleague Doug Longman. Cancer. “We’re here boys!” Frank’s voice roared, “Ahh, ain’t we in for a treat?” James and three others waited while Frank hefted his weight from the limo before following him onto the deep red carpet that led to the front door. An elaborate awning in matching red bore the name “Le Restaurant de l’Homme” in gold script. James hadn’t taken French…