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From science to mystery, from the army to university professor, from HeadStart teacher to director of two mental health centers, from the recent history of activism to an overview of everyday violence, Margaret DiCanio's life and writings reflect variety.

To learn more about Margaret DiCanio's published books, click on My Works. To learn more about her short stories, see below.

Short Story Snippets

Once upon a time . . .

I got the house so cheap because of the full disclosure law. The real estate agent was obliged to tell me there had been a murder in the house eight years ago.


Excerpt from “The Guardian”
Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine,
Fall Issue, 2003.

Most residents in Riverton, West Virginia believe the story began with the Humvee parked in the Blossom driveway. The story actually began when Judge Newton Blossom gave his wife’s 1932 fire truck, Bertha, to a junk dealer for scrap.

Excerpt from “The Humvee Did It”
Posted on

An added burden of being homeless, for a psychic, is the necessity of wearing other people’s discarded clothing. Resting on a bench in the Boston Common, Octavia O’Sullivan debated her options. If she took off the jacket she was wearing, the East wind, combined with the rain, might send her to the hospital with another bout of pneumonia. Octavia felt strong enough to withstand the physical pain experienced by the jacket’s owner during the last moments of her life—a couple of years of homelessness had built up Octavia’s tolerance—but the woman’s fear and grief threatened to overwhelm her.

Octavia closed her eyes and whispered, “I wish I could help you.” Immediately, the turmoil inside her subsided. She sensed rather than heard a voice in her mind say, “Stop him before he kills them.”

Excerpt from “The Bag Lady Caper”
Originally appeared in New Mystery Magazine.
Currently in Mystery in Mind,
a collection of stories of the paranormal

. . . Maria perched on the arm of a chair. She said, “Ricadonna Caboto, Angelica, and I were born in the same year--1927. Trista was born a year later. Despite being neighbors, our parents were never friends with Rici’s parents.”

Angelica leaned toward me, “Rici’s father doted on her. As soon as she could count, he took her on his collecting rounds. His men were shocked that he brought a female into the business, but never said it to his face. In the early grades, Rici used to tell us about how her father threatened store owners. As we got older, she stopped talking about it.”

Excerpt from “Tunnel of Malice”
Published in Futures Magazine, Fall 2001.
Short Fiction Mystery Society Derringer nominee,

His name is Wendall Hobart. He's eight. He's a genius. Nobody likes to sit for a kid smarter than they are. I took the job because I needed the money. We live in an up-scale neighborhood, so that my little brother and I can go to a good school, but the rent keeps us short of money.

To get a sitter, Wendall's mother always had to pay extra. She didn't like it. Even though she owned her company, she was tight with money. My mom, who is business manager for a group of psychologists, suspected she'd been poor as a child. Eventually, we found out that wasn't the problem.

Excerpt from “Wendall’s Worth”
An audiotape from a company that disappeared
without paying any royalties.
To inquire, email the author's daughter at: And be patient.


. . . In tall grass near the iron fence, the kids stood in a circle. In seconds, the ring broke and the kids flowed back to us at a run.

"They's hands," said Meshack.

"Got blood on 'em," said Tondella.

I didn't wait for an explanation. In an area of trampled down grass lay two pairs of hands. A left hand shook hands with a left hand. Two similar right hands did the same. In each set, one hand was black, the other was white. Like a drizzle of gravy, blood topped each set.

Excerpt from “Legacy of Glass”
Twentieth Century Award finalist, as yet unpublished.

Her right eye closed by way of her husband Arnold’s fist, Gabriella Broussard could hardly see him sprawled in his recliner. Seated on the floor, her back against the wall, she could see the TV only from the periphery of her badly swollen left eye. As Tower Two crumpled in cascades of concrete, dust, glass, and molecules of human life, she pointed a gun at Arnold and squeezed the trigger. The graceful motion of the building as it folded like a Christmas gift into its box failed to register in her mind.

Excerpt from “Heaven’s Triage”
Twentieth Award finalist, as yet unpublished.