A Collection of
Givers and Takers
A collection of 12 short stories about givers and takers—the good, the bad, the self-centered and the disillusioned—from twisted tales about marriages gone sour and people caught up in problems they created or others created for them to glimpses into times past when immigrants struggled to find  READ MORE>>>

25-page subtle horror.  Lidia and Simon Drago are living their last hurrah, a European vacation financed by the insurance money they received when their house burned down.  On the night train from Paris to Florence they encounter a stranger who directs  READ MORE>>>
"The Baker's Wife"
Rose Bianco has been working her entire married life in the St. Louis bakery her husband Sal inherited from his parents.  Now Bianco’s is closing, the entire block destined for the headache ball to accommodate another tacky discount store.  If only Rose and Sal could agree on how to spend their  READ MORE>>>
Short Stories

Short stories below (except "Free Danner") are availabe in A Collection of Givers and Takers and as individual short stories.

“The Big Shot” Allegory ezine.  January 2010 and Damned in Dixie Anthology, edited by Ron Shiflet.
“Free Danner” Hell in the Heartland Anthology 2008, edited by Roger Dale Trexler and Martel Sardina.
My Ave Museo” ken*again, Summer 2009 and The Powhatan Review, Winter 2006
“The Baker’s Wife”
Halfway Down the Stairs, March 2009  Now available on
Amazon , Barnes and Noble NOOKBook  and iTunes


“Givers and Takers” The Scruffy Dog Review, July 2006
“Tom” The MacGuffin, Spring/Summer 2006, 2010 and Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, November/December 2006.  Now available on
Amazon , Barnes and Noble  NOOKBook  and iTunes . (Only available in the Collection, not as a single.)
“Playing Games” The Writers Post Journal, September 2007
“The Meeting Planner” Enigma, Winter 2004

We hope you enjoy this published short story.  Be sure to check back later for more samples of Loretta’s work.
My daughter never smiles any more. It’s a shame because she always had such lovely teeth. I blame her lack of humor on that crazy job. Teresa calls it a position and claims she needs to work. “Give up the maid and you can afford to stay home,” I suggest. “She’s not worth whatever you’re paying her.” While my daughter furthers her career—Teresa’s words, not mine—the maid and I spend our days watching TV. “Those women in love with each other are called lisbons,” I explain during Jerry Springer. The maid smiles, but I’m not sure she believes me. Later she fixes lunch. What she calls cooking, I call warming up.
This isn’t the first maid Teresa has employed, but the first since I’ve been here. The last one would let the phone ring five times before she got around to answering it. I know because I was on the other end of the line. At the sound of the beep we’d both hang up. Getting through to Teresa didn’t matter then because I knew eventually we’d connect, even when she was traveling. As for the first maid, I never met her and still don’t know her name. To this day Teresa denies the woman ever existed.
The house belongs to my daughter and she has all the say-so. I keep asking, “How much longer before I go home?” The look on her face says she wants me out as much as I want to leave. I’m only here until my apartment gets new paint and carpeting. Teresa’s idea, not mine. I came to dinner one Sunday, for the chicken and risotto I once taught her to make. After we cleaned up more dishes than she needed to dirty, Teresa refused to take me home. I grabbed my pocketbook and ran outside. Such a scene my daughter caused that rainy day: Teresa prying my fingers from the car door and me screaming for help. Decent neighbors would’ve called the police. Teresa’s did nothing. To pacify her and because we were both rain-soaked, I agreed to a temporary visit.
The next day she followed me into the bathroom, handed me a plastic grocery bag, and said, “Your Depends go in here.” After she left, I shredded the smelly thing into the toilet and flushed. I did it my way until Teresa called in a plumber. Now we do it her way. READ MORE>>>