Barry Rachin


About the Author

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Barry Rachin spent several years stationed in Yokuska, Japan as a Navy medic caring for casualties during the Vietnam War. He has studied at the University of Jerusalem, lived on a kibbutz for a year and holds a degree in clinical counseling from Simmons College. A self-taught woodworker, he presently lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

Smashwords Interview

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is the creative process itself – never quite knowing how a particular plotline or character will evolve. Frequently, it becomes a process of personal growth and illumination. Writing creative fiction requires a certain degree of humility along with the willingness to ‘fight through’ all the hackneyed prose in order to find just the right metaphor or imagery. Over the years I have enjoyed a number of hobbies - woodworking, jazz cornet, beekeeping, etc. - but creative writing is, far and away, the most demanding.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans offer a small measure of validation that my shorts stories are finding an appreciative home in the reading community. I use the term ‘small measure’ because the sort of writing I favor (literary fiction), presently possesses a much smaller audience than it did back in the psychedelic sixties, when I was a college student. Still, a narrow group of readers seem to appreciate my creative fiction and I am eternally grateful for their support.
Read more of this interview.


Two Zen Monks
Price: Free! Words: 5,050. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Sarah is travelling to rural Maine to visit an old friend, Midge Parker, who disappeared under peculiar circumstances almost a decade earlier. She drives 400 miles only to discover that Midge has moved on again without leaving any forwarding address. But the journey's end offers an unexpected revelation.
The Hornback Alligator Belt
Price: Free! Words: 4,910. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Ralph Tucker wants to reconnect with an old flame, a woman who wears 500-dollar, Orvis, genuine hornback alligator belts. If the failed romance is resurrected from the dead, the middle-aged man may need a second job.
Judith the Obscure
Price: Free! Words: 4,360. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Judith Nussbaum just woke up to find fifty thousand, Italian honneybees nesting in her hemlock tree, and all the diazepam in the universe won't make the swarm go away.
Kindred Spirits
Price: Free! Words: 4,370. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Dora's face, an aesthetic work in progress, exudes an unfinished blankness - as though God had become distracted and wandered away from the wet canvas before completing a meager handful of details. Not that any of this makes a difference to lovelorn Harry Jankowski.
Damaged Goods
Price: Free! Words: 4,870. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Twenty-eight year-old Jesse Caldwell is painfully shy, lives at home and hates his moronic life. Miranda Huffington suffers from a gimpy leg and equally stunted personality. This is not your standard Harlequin romance.
Price: Free! Words: 3,450. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
Ralph Tucker is dating a woman who favors Orvis, genuine hornback crocodile belts. The dainty accessories retails for just under six hundred dollars. If Ralph’s romance blossoms, he’s going to need a second job.
Price: Free! Words: 2,660. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Alexis Hamilton’s love life closely mirrors the comedy of errors in the E.M. Forster classic, A Room with a View. But where the fictional heroine, Lucy, elopes to Italy with her lover, it remains to be seen whether the Wellesley College graduate can pull off a romantic happy ending.
Price: Free! Words: 4,520. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Lauren, who tends the miniature horses at the 4-H club barn, is learning a lesson in the psychiatric subtleties of logotherapy from a fourteen-year-old students.
A Guide for the Perplexed
Price: Free! Words: 2,330. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
In the rear of Levinson's Wholefood Market, the owner's son, Ernie, just told Shifrah Fienberg that he wants to marry. The emotionally irascible Israeli would have preferred a first date or dozen long-stemmed rose.
A Chinese Bar Mitzvah
Price: Free! Words: 4,290. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Harry Chen is persona non grata at the Goldberg's Bar Mitzvah ceremony. Problem is, Ida, the family matriarch won't attend without the Chinaman.
Switched at Birth
Price: Free! Words: 4,670. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational
Jason Mangarelli would invite Adrian Flanagan to Thanksgiving dinner, but his mother, who is familiar with the girl’s checkered past, disapproves. Perhaps it’s time Jason established his own family traditions.
The Celestial Cornet
Price: Free! Words: 2,250. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Samantha Malinowski possesses a useable range up to high F and screeches double C's for the sheer fun of it. When the high school band distributes new arrangements, the sixteen-year-old trumpeter plays through the music without missing a note. A born lead player with cast iron chops, Sam can read flyshit on toilet paper!
Price: Free! Words: 2,780. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Maria Santos, who just bought the Breakfast Nook, knows nothing about cross-contamination, pest control, immersion gauges or reduced-oxygen packaging. The new health inspector is every restaurant owner’s worse nightmare, but Maria needn’t worry. She’s got an ace up her culinary sleeve.
The Moribund Moose
Price: Free! Words: 6,250. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Ruth Ostrowski’s midlife crisis hadn’t arrived in the normally prescribed manner. Rather, it snuck up on her incrementally, one negligible tribulation after another; it bushwhacked her with night sweats, sent her caterwauling toward menopause and the outer rim of her twilight years. Now, compounding her inner blight, the first frost, like a silver-haired, uninvited guest, blanketed the earth.
The Indigo Children
Price: Free! Words: 4,840. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
The Seekers of Truth commune is just a tad too left of the loony bin to ever gain traction in a straight-laced town like Brandenburg, Massachusetts. Each whacky pursuit – iridology, crystal healing, spirit channeling, divination, I Ching, dervish whirling, Tarot Cards, reflexology, séances and scrying – only pushes the loose-knit clan further to the metaphysical margins.
Old Man, Old Woman
Price: Free! Words: 5,590. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Phyllis Half Moon, a full-blooded Blackfoot Indian, knows all the tribal creation myths. During a camping trip in New Hampshire’s White Mountains she tells her future husband the tale of Old Man, Old Woman.
The Third Fairy Tale
Price: Free! Words: 8,410. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Sixteen-year-old Ned Scoletti is travelling north on a Greyhound bus from Fort Pierce, Florida to Spaulding, Massachusetts, to visit Aunt Josie. Problem is, his mother’s identical twin sister died when Nick was just a toddler. Or maybe not.
A Middlemarch Reunion
Price: Free! Words: 7,620. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
At his high school reunion, Glen Stottlemeyer learns a thing or two about Victorian literature and finds a soul mate.
Leaky Pipes
Price: Free! Words: 4,430. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Bartholomew Schroeder, a recent widower and retired plumber, can sweat pipes and fix broken toilets, but, on a weekend excursion to Martha's Vineyard, can he mend a teenage girl's broken spirit?
Price: Free! Words: 7,760. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Seventeen-year-old Sonny Gossage is infatuated with Naomi Shamir, the Israeli woman who lives down the street. He wants romance; all she can offer is a plate of hummus and occaisional babysitting job.
The Lesbian Thespian
Price: Free! Words: 2,350. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Herb Wanamaker and Kit Calhoun share a mutual disgust for the light-skinned Negro who never cleans up after her Great Dane at the dog park. For the lonely widower and lesbian actress it’s a textbook case of Jungian synchronicity.
I & Thou
Price: Free! Words: 2,460. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Since going on birth control in middle school, Celeste has been on a bit of a lascivious tear, but all that sexual carnage is coming to an abrupt halt when she meets the Hassidic Jew.
Hieronymus Bosch's American Landscape
Price: Free! Words: 3,710. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Bethany Glaspell approached the first-ever meeting with Great-uncle Vern, a man who returned from the jungles of Vietnam with a Hmong bride and warped personality, much as a cat burglar might plan his next heist, telling no one, neither friend nor family, her intentions.
Cupid ain't Stupid
Price: Free! Words: 2,830. Language: English. Published: September 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Lenny slept with Elsie McGivney, a woman so dim-witted she can't make change or hold down an entry-level job. Lenny bedded the chucklehead but got no sex in the bargain. So why is he going back for more?
Nagel's Bagels
Price: Free! Words: 3,580. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
There are five levels of gifted intelligence ranging from bright to profoundly gifted. One in every thirty thousand is 'exceptional', which makes Curtis Stedman, the part-time dishwasher at Nagel’s Bagels, one smart cookie!
The Fire Flower and the Bee
Price: Free! Words: 2,140. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Bear wants thumbs just like his arch-enemy Man, but Heveki, the benevolent, Siberian spirit, has something else in mind.
The Kidnapped Bride
Price: Free! Words: 4,270. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Maddie Etheridge's train wreck of a marriage at Boston's Plaza Hotel cost forty thousand dollars. It only lasted thirteen months, which matriculates out to a hundred bucks a day not including the Samoan honeymoon, restraining order or legal fees.
Circus Maximus
Price: Free! Words: 2,180. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Buddy Hazelton, chairman of the Brandenburg College philosophy department, quit his job to join the Waverly Brothers Traveling Circus. Later today, the authority on Ludwig Wittgenstein's linguistic theory is being shot from cannon.
Bodacious Bimbos
Price: Free! Words: 2,960. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Helen Garfunkel, an unemployed reference librarian, is contemplating a romantic tryst with a hotdog pushcart vendor.
The Reluctant Bigamist
Price: Free! Words: 7,900. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Mickey Pisludski wears a chain of armor piercing, machine gun shells around his thick neck. The week after his Army discharge, he bored the quarter-inch holes in the soft, brass casings, later threading the bullets together on a length of rawhide. Like so many gold, sharks teeth, the shells fanned out across a khaki T-shirt with a gash under the left armpit.
A Room without a View
Price: Free! Words: 7,630. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Thirteen-year-old George Weiner is in love with Sade Richardson, whose father beleives Negroes deserve reparations. A Room without a View - it’s Romeo and Juliette with an ethnic twist.
Twin Souls
Price: Free! Words: 6,010. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Mavis Calhoun, who works the cash register at the Shop Rite Supermarket, is going to teach Harry Wong Smith the fine points of Rumi’s mystical poetry and common decency.
Narcissus and Goldberg
Price: Free! Words: 2,000. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Beatrice Goldberg doesn't much like Hispanics, biker broads, Franciscan monks, skinheads, or even salt-of-the-earth blue collar types, but she is going to get a double dose of all of the above, when she visits Our Lady of La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
107 Degrees Fahrenheit
Price: Free! Words: 5,740. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
A young boy spends a magical weekend with his sister, a former collegiate track star crippled in a freak accident. During the visit he learns a poignant lesson about the resilience of monarch butterflies and the human heart
A Work in Progress
Price: Free! Words: 4,230. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Tawana Saunders is writing the great American novel. Problem is, six months into the project, she’s only got a rough draft plus three lousy paragraphs.
The Way Station
Price: Free! Words: 3,420. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Clarice Copparelli intends to seduce Jason Devlin. The seventeen-year-old boy had sensed this from as far back as a year ago, when he started doing odd chores for the middle-aged, single woman. He just doesn’t know when or how or where it will occur or the likely circumstances. Soon, he hopes.
Bawdy Bodies
Price: Free! Words: 4,420. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Every woman Ernie Summers ever dated had a fatal flaw, which is why he is taking an indefinite sabbatical from the opposite sex. Well, maybe not.
The Chiropractor's Assistant
Price: Free! Words: 84,220. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Epistemology - When Ronda Wickford, the assistant manager of Brandenburg’s ShopRite Supermarket, inadvertently hires a middle-age man with a PhD in philosophy to run the fresh produce department, weird things begin to happen. As events unfold, she learns a thing or two about Wittgenstein’s linguistic theories, common decency and how to fix a leaky faucet.
Fun with Dick and Jane
Price: Free! Words: 2,230. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Dick wants fun. He has no dog. He has no cat. No Spot. No Puff. But he has a plan. See Dick board the plane. See Dick fly away. Far, far away. Hello happiness! Goodbye Jane
Gandhi's Goat
Price: Free! Words: 5,840. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Mrs. Chowdhary named her youngest daughter after Saint Theresa, the Little Flower of Jesus. Unfortunately, Terry has more in common with Attila the Hun than her nineteenth century namesake.
Small Favors
Price: Free! Words: 3,610. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Marcie Callahan’s parents run around the house in their underwear. They belch and fart and do all sorts of gross and disgusting things. The Callahan clan doesn't have a stitch of class, culture, brains or social graces. Which is why Marcie is ready for a change.
Sextillions of Infidels
Price: Free! Words: 3,500. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Hazel and Jorani are stranded in the boondocks of Maine with a broken-down car and ton of teenage angst.
Kissing Cousins
Price: Free! Words: 79,840. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Small Favors - Marcie Callahan’s parents run around the house in their underwear; they belch and fart and do all sorts of gross and disgusting things. They don't have a stitch of class or culture or brains or social graces. Which is why Marcie is ready for a change.
Supermarket Sadhu
Price: Free! Words: 6,260. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Seventeen year-old Fanny Jackson, who works aisle three at the ShopRite market, wants to become a twenty-first century mystic – a supermarket Sadhu.
Six Catholics and an Atheist
Price: Free! Words: 3,940. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
In an increasingly hedonistic universe, Kirsten Hazelton clings to her Catholic faith. But can the hospital discharge planner hold her own when Dr. Wong, an osteopath at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital, confronts her with his own extreme beliefs?
The Reticent Storyteller
Price: Free! Words: 4,190. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Parker Salisbury is dating a girl with the social graces of a cigar store Indian. So why is he giving Lilly an engagement ring later this evening?
A Key to Paradise
Price: Free! Words: 42,720. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
Grace Paulson’s train wreck of a personal life takes a turn for the better when the elementary school teacher meets a gifted artisan whose handmade jewelry boxes are featured at the local museum. Well-versed in nineteenth century Russian literature, Carl Solomon also happens to be the school janitor.
Legal Procedures
Price: Free! Words: 3,710. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Phoebe’s Aunt Janet, who has been married six times, is advising her niece on affairs of the heart. Good Luck Phoebe!
Price: Free! Words: 6,220. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Kendra Ryder just gave fifteen year old Frankie Dexter a slab of fresh-cut tulipwood along with the advice, "When you’re feeling bad, just scuff the wood with 120-grit sandpaper, grab a whiff and you're guaranteed to feel a whole lot better!”
The Abode of Infinite Compassion
Price: Free! Words: 3,710. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Marty Humphrey has trouble finishing things. He just dropped out of college, and previously, a European backpacking adventure was abruptly cut short, when he became morbidly homesick on the flight across the Atlantic. Maybe the mystic-minded Rose O'Donnell can help Marty sort things out.
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