FLASH FICTION: The Hollow Spot in My Head Where a Bullet Used to Be


A brand-new short story. Published today in East of the Web. Read it here.




My two mini-collections are at last available for purchase…

The first, The Big T, is an arrangement of twelve adult flash fictions. Several of the stories have appeared in outlets such as The Walrus, Smokelong, and Transition. Many of them are previously unpublished in any medium…

The second ebook, Jelly, is a collection of twelve children’s stories. Some of the stories have appeared in popular magazines like Spider and Ladybug. Many of these, too, have never been published…

Order The Big T and Jelly for only $2 each, today…

Remember: you don’t need a kindle to read these ebooks. You can read them on your smartphone, PC or tablet using the free Kindle app.

EXPERIMENTAL OFFER: Blood Drops Everywhere

My latest short story, “Blood Drops Everywhere,” is available exclusively through the following method…

Send $1 via PayPal to the email address below, and I’ll forward you the full PDF of the story:


“Blood Drops Everywhere” is a  1000 word story about a troubled boy. It touches on themes of child psychology, school violence, and the power of the imagination. I think you’d find it intriguing…

I of course welcome and appreciate any and all feedback on the story.

Hope to hear from you soon…




Dad filled a bowl with raisins and put his face in it.

When he got back from the hospital, he had a shopping bag. He reached into it.

Out came a tin truck for my brother Tom. He’d always wanted a truck.

Out came a sawdust rabbit, for Hannah.

Dad looked at me. I looked at the bag.

“I got you a doll,” he said.

I felt sick.

He pulled it out.

A doll has a solid head and body, and arms and legs that you can move.

This was not a doll. It was a ­composite doll. The whole body was soft and one piece. Only the face was hard.

“Say thank-you,” said Mom.

I looked at my dad. He looked terrified.

“Thank-you,” I said.


Tom and Hannah played on the floor all day.

Dad lay on the floor but didn’t say anything.

Mom didn’t say anything.

I tried playing with the composite doll, but…

I didn’t want to look at the composite doll. I put it in a drawer. Under clothes.

I sat against the wall and watched Hannah and Tom.

I felt sick.


I dug a hole in the backyard and dropped the composite doll into it and covered it.

Walking back to the house, I looked up.

My dad’s face was in the window.

He looked terrified.


“It’s a doll,” Mom said, as she washed it. “It’s as good as a doll. Do you know how much… Do you realize… It’s pretty, just look at it. Just play with it, OK? Take it.”

I took the composite doll.

I played with it for a bit.

I squeezed its soft body.

I put it in a drawer. Under some clothes.


One night when my dad came home drunk—this was a year before—he woke Tom and Hannah and I up and got down on all fours. He got us to sit on his back. Then he crawled around the kitchen.

He got sick on the floor.

Mom cleaned it up.

“Again?” he said.

Hannah and Tom went again.

I went back to bed.


Mom looked terrified.

I looked out the window, too.

Dad was digging a hole in the back yard. You could only see his head sticking out.

Tom put down his truck. Hannah held onto her rabbit. They both came to the window.

Mom picked up the phone.


Dad died in ’77.


I didn’t get a real doll till I had Annette. I was twenty-five.

I’ve had four more dolls since then.

Annette’s expecting. Katherine, if it’s a girl, after her grandmother. If it’s a boy, Jordan. Or Tom. Her favorite uncle.


*First published in Transition

*My ambition is to make rollistuff.com the exclusive home of my work. If you enjoyed this piece, please consider making a donation (you may have to log into your PayPal account for link to work – or simply send funds via electronic bank transfer or PayPal to rolliwritesATgmailDOTcom). Any sum is helpful. More donations = more poems, stories and cartoons for you to enjoy. Donators of $50 or more receive a free signed copy of one of my books (simply make a note of which when you pay or send a quick message to rolliwritesATgmailDOTcom).