Rod Siino Writes - Stories

"Frankie Would be Almost Nine" Published in Bull No. 5 (November 2015)

When I was thirty-three my mother wrote asking me to be the executor of her will. She always was a great letter writer, and refused to use the telephone for long distance calls, even after I urged her to call collect. At least once each month I would find a small envelope with her perfect handwriting in my mailbox. Sometimes I’d get three in a week. She’d long ago stopped asking me to visit, focusing instead on reporting to me the mundane daily events of her life and those in the small Rhode Island town where I grew up and she still lived.

Now appearing in "Bull"

My short story "Frankie Would Be Almost Nine" is now in print and online at Bull. I will add it here soon...


Dave’s wife was a lip balm addict. She stashed it everywhere: the car, her two purses, and in each of her coats. Cindy used all the brands she could find, without loyalty to any one. Blistex, Chap Stick, Carmex, Vaseline Lip Therapy, what have you. She employed an evenhanded, unscientific approach to selecting which stick to apply—closest one to her lips wins. Flavors were many. The basic fruits like Super Cherry and Lunar Lime. The sweets like Gum Ball Galaxy. Those named after famous people: Shaq-a-licious Surprise and J.

Look At That

A young woman watched a soldier read a paperback. She faced him from across her kitchen table, holding an empty glass in one hand, her long fingers wrapped nearly all the way around, and resting her chin on the other. With her eyes still on the soldier and his book, she pulled her thinning hair to one side of her neck. Her facial skin looked like a thin layer of parchment adhered to her skull. She wore a tattered nightgown, white with a faint pattern of red and green, and nothing on her feet.

I wonder how old my soldier is, she thought.

The Fire

On the day of the fire, my father and I stood in the snowy parking lot of my apartment complex and watched the water from the hoses transform my basement unit into a wading pool. The smoke escaping from the broken windows of the four-story brick building drifted upward, stopping about fifty feet above the flat rooftop. There it hung–not black, exactly, more a charcoal gray–a result of some freak inversion effect causing it to hang there for hours after the last flames had been doused, a lingering reminder of my current circumstance.

Divorce and Other Arrangements

Later that day, Zwain raised his glass to propose a toast. He’d already passed through his dining room like a sommelier, filling our glasses with something bright and red. His was a long and lean body that, if he were to stretch his arms fully, would seem to occupy the entire room. Now he stood at the head of his table, a captain and his unlikely crew of five, and smiled: “Everyone happy?” he said. “Good.Salute.”
He cradled the glass in the narrow fingers of his left hand, holding it up toward a brass hanging light fixture.

Walking Her Out of Me

These wheat fields go on and on.
“Day twelve,” Jimmy says, breathing harder. “I can do this.” As if to convince himself, he slips his leather knapsack onto one shoulder. Bending to one knee he studies the ground until he finds a rock suitable to add to his collection. He chooses a partially buried walnut-sized gray stone, scraping it out from the ground with his fingernails until it pops into his hand. After putting the stone into the knapsack, he continues on, leaning forward slightly to counter-balance the weight.

It's August and They're Leaving

Charlie Johnson stood over his swimming pool and looked past his friendly-neighbor fence at the colonial house next door. A yellow and green moving van had arrived at the Nelson's earlier that morning. Two large men in jeans and white t-shirts lumbered on the fading green lawn between house and truck with couches and chairs, an antique armoire, and the nineteenth century highboy the Nelsons had found on Cape Cod. A third guy, a shirtless teenager, danced through the clutter on the front lawn like a marine on an obstacle course.
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