The Bright Shop by Andy Hurvitz

Malibu Near Trancas, originally uploaded by Here in Van Nuys.

Excerpt from “The Bright Shop“, a new short story by Andy Hurvitz

The Student Athlete

On another Sunday with Henry, Tanya sat with her newspaper, atop the wood deck of the Malibu West Beach Club as Henry played in the sand.

A roof rhyming repetition of half circles and hanging globe lights, the beach club’s young, casual, jaunty and informal architecture echoed its members, an athletic, friendly, successful group who worked hard at leisure.

Multi-ethnic, the people included a Chinese born Physics professor, Dr. Hy Loh, 35, who did chin-ups in his speedo; a Malaysian model, Jacinda Pu-See, who had just been cast in a James Bond movie; and Argentine immigrant Dr. Limon Jacobs whose psychological citrus treatment and adherence to a diet omitting yellow fruits was all the rage.

The flighty film colony buzzed the grounds, landing on the deck in their oversized sunglasses and deep tans, puffing and exhaling, taking off in sudden flight and eccentric gesticulation, marking beach territory in lush olfactory waves of Aramis and Chanel No. 5.

Late Sunday afternoon, up on the Coast Highway, Tanya and Henry were driving home, when she saw a tall, muscular mulatto man in a red swimsuit hitchhiking. She had seen him before, back at the beach, flipping, somersaulting, jumping and running in the surf.

Without a thought, she pulled over and told Henry to get in back so the hiker could get in.

He introduced himself as Colton Banning. He told her he was studying at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Up close she carefully studied the student’s broadly carved chest, flat stomach, and tawny skin. They made conversation about school, Malibu and Vietnam.

Without concern or caution, she invited him up to the house.

She hoped the architecture might seduce him.

Journal of American Progress.

Colton Banning is back. He is living, near the Venice canals, in a messy house full of conflicted characters. Surrounded by dirt, disorder and self-absorption, he is lusted after by an older woman and taken into a poet’s suffering.

Journal of American Progress

“Somebodies and Nobodies”-a new short story by Andy Hurvitz

Adrian/Hanging, originally uploaded by Here in Van Nuys.

In honor of my new short story “Somebodies and Nobodies“, which ends on the Fourth of July, I present an excerpt:

“He climbed back over the balcony rail and lowered himself, floor-by-floor, jumping onto each level and then exiting by grabbing, over the rail, swinging down, bending, moving, slithering, twisting, down and down, until his feet finally touched ground.

He was still trapped inside the compound. He held onto the twelve foot high, barbed wire fence and began to climb.

And then his movement triggered the security lights. He pulled himself up over the fence, out of the compound and into the park. Sirens started wailing. The lights shot over the fence, and he could see armed guards coming through and giving chase.

He bolted like a gazelle through the park, his thickly powerful muscled legs no match for the blue-suited, paunchy police.

He cut diagonally across Admirality and into the parking lot of Café Del Rey restaurant along the water, next to the yachts, boats and the docks.

The sky suddenly lit up in pink and orange, a brilliant colossal light show illuminating the harbor, throwing the buildings into daylight under the night sky.

He ran into a crowd of people watching fireworks, and realized as he ran that he was running on the Fourth of July.

He sprinted down the promenade, under the exploding fire show, across to Mother’s Beach, where more revelers and partiers drank and laughed on the blankets and sand.

He ran over to Washington, onto the beach and dove into the ocean. He swam out, past the pier, turning north and swimming the crawl along the shore, parallel to land.

Somewhere in the ocean near Rose Avenue, some 50 yards out, he stopped swimming and began to kick his legs and tread water. He went on his back and floated with the motion of the ocean. His heart slowed down as he rocked in the sea. And, for the first time in days, he felt free in his own capsule of calm and tranquility.

Kicking his legs and treading water, he pulled out the VHS tape from his spandex pants and released it into the ocean. He let the tide pull him in, as he collapsed onto the beach in elated and relieved exhaustion.”


“Somebodies and Nobodies”

An excerpt from my new short-story, “Somebodies and Nobodies”:

Parkour Hour


Colton drove his car into a back alley behind the Last Stop Bar.  He made a pillow out of his sweatpants and tried to fall asleep again.  His nocturnal mind raced with the excitement of that day’s rescue and heroism.

Unable to sleep at that blue hour, a time when food trucks make their deliveries and only rats and cops wander the streets, Colton drank black coffee, bit into a day-old rye bagel and got out of his car.

Along Main Street were rows of tightly packed, one-story buildings.  He picked one, grabbed a window security bar and hoisted himself up onto the roof.

There the young sentry stood, still bleary and sleepy, looking across dozens of dark rooftops. He rubbed his hands together, stretched out his legs and calves, and accelerated into an acrobatic sprint.

He ran and ran atop multiple roofs, rubber on tar, easily catapulting over skylights, over and around small protrusions, air-conditioning, water pipes and vents.

Packed with self-assurance, he dove across dozens of the little stores like an escaped felon, without falling or tripping, in grace and speed.


He landed back, hard, on top of the Last Stop Bar. He sat down on a milk crate to catch his breath.  Out of the darkness he heard a hoarse male voice.

“Hey you. Get down. I’ve got a gun in my hand and I’ll blast you!”

Colton disarmed doubt with deference, raised his hands up and stood warily and cautiously near the gutter. “Sir, I am just practicing. I’m not a criminal. I promise.”

Something to Live For


photo by Gilda Davidian

“Something to Live For”

A young man without direction idolizes an older man with money and a mysteriously tragic past.

a new short story by Andy Hurvitz

part 2 of the Billy Strayhorn trilogy