Shrapnel: Short Stories

An eclectic collection of short fiction selected by the author – James Lloyd Davis

Now available in print and on Kindle at

Stories should always entertain and seduce us, else what’s the point? Whatever genre to which they are assigned, whatever the style in which they are written, a collection of short stories should always and primarily hold our interest. At surface, Shrapnel is an eclectic selection of literary short stories. More to the point, they are fragments of ongoing human narratives, boiled down to their essence…life-altering, snapshot moments in the lives of the people that live within them. Priests and prizefighters, soldiers and poets, con men and killers, wives, husbands, sons and daughters, people we pass on the street every day and never imagine for a moment the tragedy, the sorrow, the conflict, or the pain that lives within them… the drama that awaits them just around the corner… wars, rumors of wars, storms, a car wreck or the chance encounter with a violent crime… any manner of events that can change someone’s life in a sparrow’s heartbeat.

Shrapnel has stories.  It has realism and the magically real, but always endowed with the truth… as it has often been said that in fiction lies the greater truth when all accountability is cast aside, all culpability removed. Shrapnel has action, humor, darkness, light, violence, fortune, misfortune, love, passion, revenge, fame and infamy… those special events and situations that define our lives and reflect our humanity. Events that shape the lives of all manner of people in all manner of moments that unfold like refining fires or quiet revelations.

Shrapnel has stories selected by the author, James Lloyd Davis. Some were entirely re-written but all of them were edited specifically for this book. The collection features new and old unpublished works along with fourteen previously published short stories that appeared in literary journals and anthologies from the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, all selected from a huge body of work that spans fifty years of writing.

Stories like these:  

      • In Nova Scotia, while his wife is home waiting, knitting… less than a mile or two away…a retired sea captain out fishing in an open boat encounters a sudden and dangerous squall.
      • June 6,1968… a war correspondent who’s been sent home to Los Angeles, California from Saigon due to “serious concerns” about his mental health goes to the Ambassador Hotel hoping for the opportunity to hear Bobby Kennedy speak.  
      • In 1937,two very creative con men in Georgia contrive a brilliant scheme to sell bottles of “miraculous” holy oil. And just in the moment when their plan comes together, it suddenly and swiftly begins to come apart. Thereby hangs a tale…and possibly two unhappy con men as well.  
      • A vagabond storefront poet with a head for magic and faith and little inclination for the mundane, learns how to be a man, a dreamer, a husband, and a father simultaneously.  
      • A stuntman on the set of the John Huston film, The Misfits misses a chance to play a role in the film and falls hopelessly in love with Marilyn Monroe from a distance that never will close.
      • And more, much more…
      In the many different stories included in Shrapnel, there is something for everyone.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.