Short Fiction

Nathan Embry’ s Secret Sin

I am essentially a nonfiction person, but from time to time I have dabbled in fiction and produced some noteworthy results. Perhaps the most noteworthy of all was the following, “Nathan Embry’s Secret Sin,” which won the $5,000 first prize in the 1989 Regardie’s fiction contest. (Regardie’s was a glossy upscale magazine that rode the housing boom during the 1980s, went out of business, had a short revival in the 90s, and died again.) $5,000 was a lot of money in those days. Hell, it’s a lot of money now. There were more than 100 entrants from some of Washington’s best writers, but I took the cake. It was definitely a forward looking bit of imagination. Two  years later when Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had his extraordinary confirmation hearings that dwelled on his real or imaginary sexual leanings I had more than one friend come to me and say, “Hey, you already wrote that story.” Indeed I did. I might add here that I used to work with Justice Thomas’s wife Jenny Lamp Thomas and have met him on a few occasions.  None of which has anything to do with the story. I hope you find this bit of fiction entertaining.

The Rainmaker

Sometime before I hit the Regardie’s fiction prize, I cannot remember exactly when, I had this short story about a hotshot Washington lawyer published in Regardies. I will always be grateful to my good friend Bill Regardie for creating that magazine and offering me a wonderful creative outlet for many years, not to mention the generous fees he paid to me and all of his writers.

The Great Eastern Shore Bird Mystery

This may be one of the strangest things I ever wrote, but it was informed by my experience with government bureaucracy and is, in my humble opinion, very funny. It was published in Chesapeake Bay Magazine way back when.

The Last Voyage of Captain Bligh

This is yet another humorous story published in Chesapeake Bay Magazine. As I recall, this was based loosely — very loosely — on a real character and a real event.