The Disappearance of Herman Grimes

Issue10_Summer2013_cover_loresThe atmosphere in the restaurant had been especially brutal for six weeks, since Herman’s wife had passed away. He’d been away an entire month, on bereavement leave. And then, barely recovered and somewhat bewildered why he was doing it, Herman Grimes had returned to work. That first week back had been awful, filled with so many gruesome gestures of commiseration from his regulars that they drove Herman entirely into his office. His teenaged employees treated him as if his misfortune were contagious, even using the customer bathroom to avoid crossing paths. The worst was Joe Cloud, his general manager, who had seemingly taken it upon himself to rehabilitate Herman’s psyche through sheer force of aphorism.

Read the rest in Midwestern Gothic Issue 10
Ploughshares Blog, Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week July 25, 2013
2014 John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Awards 2nd place in Fiction (Judge: Martin Griffin)