Yes, a third story has been published!
"When I Was Older, I Will Grow Up" is now online with the Los Angeles Review. This small story has, I think, a big heart. If you enjoy reading it, I hope you'll leave a comment on their site and send the link to a friend.
And can we give a big hand to L.A. review for the story's artwork (visible on the home page)?? Online publications put a ton of effort into finding the right image to accompany each story. The story has a dark side, and that's why I love this light touch:
OKAY... STORY SPOILER ALERT:
While the story is *not* autobiographical, it's grounded in personal history. The first job my sister and I ever had was collecting fireflies for Johns Hopkins University's biology department--and this summer job still exists in towns across the country where science labs explore bioluminescence.
But that first job has haunted me for fifty years. The night before we delivered our summer's catch, I snuck downstairs after everyone had gone to bed. I went to the refrigerator and pulled out one of the mason jars that held our labor. My five-year-old brain believed that the cold air had simply put these beautiful creatures to sleep. But when I opened the lid to one jar, I was overwhelmed by a sickly-sweet stench. I knew at that moment that these fireflies were dead, dead, dead--and I'd killed them. I've never forgotten that smell or that realization, but I was mighty pleased to get that experience into a story.