Deborah Shouse | The Sun Magazine

Deborah Shouse

Deborah Shouse is the author of a petite collection of short stories, White Bread Love. She lives in Leawood, Kansas.

— From November 1994

A Portrait Of Angels

Later, when Sheldon stood up to leave, Anna saw the angel hovering right behind him, between him and the door. She wondered what would happen if Sheldon collided with her angel. Would the angel be shattered, smashed, burst into shards of light? Or would Sheldon emerge glowing, shining with a delicious softness?

November 1994


“It was winter when the commandant ordered us girls loaded into the truck,” my mother says. “We were naked, all young girls, maybe twelve, thirteen years old. You —” she points at me, “you would die with embarrassment at being naked in front of so many people.”

June 1993


Driving home from work, Bones rehearsed what he’d say when he broke up with Linda. “I got to get out,” he might say. Or, “I’m no good for you.”

October 1992


Mac took twenty toothpicks out of his pocket and built a fort around his beer. He didn’t want to look at Eddie. He knew Eddie was headed for trouble.

March 1992

It Is Summer And I Paint My Toenails Magenta

It is summer. I sit on the balcony and paint my toenails magenta. Last year, I painted them cerise, Peter’s favorite color. The year before, my toes bloomed baby pink in honor of Angela, my daughter.

May 1991

Separate From Love

Women hold gloved hands over your face, protect you from what really happens in the world, then laugh at your awkwardness.

August 1990

Living In Lotus

Ever since the therapist said, “Rebecca, if only you’d let go once in a while, relax, flow, you’d be a lot happier,” I’d been trying to write in the lotus position.

August 1989


The summer I was fifteen my father moved out, my breasts grew in, and my mother told me to call her Eve.

July 1989

The Things We Learn

I know what he learns in church: Jews killed Christ. He knows what I learn in Temple: how to kill Christ and get away with it.

June 1989


Clea took my hand and we swung arms like little kids. At college, I would never hold hands walking down the street. But here, I didn’t care who saw me or what they thought.

November 1988

you never realized

a woman comes to the door, wearing a saffron robe, her straight hair in a brown bun, her face stern but capable of merriment. her long robes sway, shine purples and royal blues as you follow her.

October 1988


She was chaste and chased. Miriam saw the men looking at her as she dove into the swimming pool, her body a golden promise.

August 1988
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