Mise en place or yours? by Paula Johnson

They met at a potluck and bonded over Larry’s incredible cookies. “Scharffen Berger,” he murmured later as he kissed Justine’s neck. “Chocolate chips…for adults only.” She fell hard when he explained how he ground his own flour from organic wheat. He planned the perfect meal for popping the question: Arugula salad with figs, prosciutto, and … Continue reading Mise en place or yours? by Paula Johnson

The Sharon Economy by Paula Johnson

It wasn’t that she borrowed the odd punch bowl. To Sharon, the neighborhood was a mall where merchandise was free and returns were rare. She was at my back door at dawn for toothpaste (“A squeeze?”), around noon for my daughter’s skateboard (“My ollie needs work!”) and at 3 pm for a stamp (“For your … Continue reading The Sharon Economy by Paula Johnson

A Bad Spell by Paula Johnson

When Emily saw the posters for the spelling bee, she resolved to work hard and win first prize. A shiny trophy might get her invited to sleepovers and birthday parties! She kept her crazy dream to herself and spent weeks preparing for the big day. When she entered the auditorium, her stomach knotted sharply, killing … Continue reading A Bad Spell by Paula Johnson

Candle Power by Paula Johnson

Lauren was now 13—finally a TEENAGER.  She was even having a NIGHTTIME birthday party.  With BOYS.  After primping all day, she completed her look with Maybelline Baby Lips lip gloss in Tickled Pink. She was STUNNING. (Prettier than Amanda, but not as awesome as Megan.) Her outfit was PERFECTION: Fuchsia hoodie, skinny jeans, and ballet … Continue reading Candle Power by Paula Johnson

Manic Pixie Dream Boy by Paula Johnson

Oliver appeared when Audrey needed a jump-start. She looked out her window and saw him performing tai chi. But she was on the twenty-third floor, and the building next door was mostly steel beams. Catching her eye, he pointed to his watch, mimed eating, then dropped to his knees, begging. They met in her lobby. … Continue reading Manic Pixie Dream Boy by Paula Johnson

Killer Bees by Paula Johnson

Trevor planned to kill himself on his sixteenth birthday. Mom always said that his condition restricted him to raw, organic produce, so…no cake. His heart murmur precluded driving, Homeschooling was for his own protection. College was off the table. His suicide would be dramatic, his weapon ordinary. He strolled to Arlington Garden and found bushes … Continue reading Killer Bees by Paula Johnson

Today’s Special by Paula Johnson

“They got Marty!,” Deb shouted as she scurried into headquarters. “I knew something was wrong. Who leaves sugar-coated bacon on a spotless counter?” “Boric acid?” whispered Jeff. Deb was silent, antennae drooping in confirmation. She scanned her surroundings. Deb knew how to leap to safety, to this side of the portal. But not even the … Continue reading Today’s Special by Paula Johnson

Daisy’s Masterpiece by Paula Johnson

Daisy was obsessed with Christmas. She loved everything about the holiday—the fragrant tree, shiny ornaments, twinkling lights, candy canes, the works. Just last week, her mother heard the seven-year-old belting out “Jingle Bell Rock” to an audience of dolls. It was cute. It would have been adorable, but it was August in Pasadena. And the … Continue reading Daisy’s Masterpiece by Paula Johnson


Originally, the Rose City Sisters blog served as test site for Paula Johnson’s experiments with HTML, animated GIFs and other web-based wonders. (Her sister, Janet, helps beta test the sites Paula designs for her clients.) In March 2009, novelist Margaret Finnegan suggested turning the Rose City Sisters into a showcase for short fiction. For that … Continue reading About+Contact