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a story in Newfound Journal

ava-site14Washing machines, watching men, and a washroom…? Check out “The Way Things Works Around Here,” now available under fiction in Newfound Journal’s current Winter issue.

Here’s a little excerpt:

For weeks afterward, we tuned ourselves to the television sets for news of the fat white man, but none came. We knew the airport, and indeed, our island, could not afford more of this kind of attention. Perhaps the westerner had been released and sent home with apologies. We wanted to believe this was so, to picture the fat white man boarding another plane, indignant, shaking the dust of our island from his shoes, heaving himself up the metal steps and out of our minds. We didn’t discuss this wish. We were ashamed, perhaps. We’d said nothing, done nothing, though we’d seen the whole thing. But arguing with the police? Stepping in to explain the actions of a perfect stranger, a foreigner? It is simply not the way things work around here.

Where is here? And who are we?

The tea is almost ready. We can start from the beginning.


In the sea that stretches from Africa to Indonesia, around the great blue belly of the world, there is an island Marco Polo once christened “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” It is a teardrop falling from the eye of India, a beach-lined tropical forest dripping with bananas and sapphires and virtually all the earth’s cinnamon. You may know it as Sri Lanka—or, if you are of a certain generation, as it once was: Ceylon. This is our island.

Read the full story on Newfound’s site here

Many thanks to Juancarlos Feliciano for his cat-like editing reflexes, and making my first “real” editor-writer experience enjoyable.

Thanks also to Christopher Merkner for his fantastic fiction workshop, and encouraging me to finally submit something to literary journals, dang it.