Short Stories

I've published a lot of short stories, both on their own in e-format, and in anthologies. Have you read all these?

"Djinn and Tonic"
This is a story from Biff Andromeda's world (Genie for Hire) andh was featured in the anthology Murder Most Conventional. The anthology, edited by Katherine Hall Page, was published by the Malice Domestic annual mystery fan convention.

Golden Retriever Stories
My story, "Dog Forbid," is featured in this fun anthology of holiday stories. Interesting fact: the story in the ebook edition is set at Thanksgiving, but the editors wanted only Christmas stories for the paperback, so voila! the holiday was changed. Steve, Lili and Rochester accompany Mark, Joey and Brody to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and suddenly Brody disappears. Can Rochester find him in time for a happy holiday?
This enjoyable collection is set at Valentine's Day and includes my story "For the Love of Dog." While Gail's cafe, The Chocolate Ear, is being expanded into the space next door, a young woman's body is discovered there. It's up to Steve and Rochester to keep the opening on schedule and find out whodunnit.

"Riding the Tiger" in Happy Homicides 5

When Joanna Campbell Slan and Linda Hengerer announced that the fifth edition of Happy Homicides was going to focus on cats and crime, I thought it would be fun to see Rochester interact with a feline friend.

I know exactly how Brody and Griffin react when they see one of our neighborhood cats - they want to play! So of course Rochester will feel the same way, especially when the cat wants to lead him into trouble.

The story was inspired by a former student of mine. He was a smart kid and a good writer and I could tell he was going places-though jail wasn't one of those places I thought he'd end up. A few years after he left my class, he showed up in the Miami Herald as a suspect in a case involving stolen bitcoins, a digital payment system. I was proud that one of my students was involved in something so cutting-edge-and that he was savvy enough to negotiate himself out of criminal charges by offering to teach the police about bitcoins and how they can be manipulated.

South Beach Stories

Ever since I first moved to Miami in 1986, I've been in love with South Beach, and it's a place I find rich in stories. My first M/M romance novel,, was set there, and I have kept coming back to the area, in Mi Amor and The Guardian Angel of South Beach. I've also written M/M romance short stories set in that world as well.
Long ago, when I was single and dating, I went out with an Orthodox Jew. He fascinated me, because I couldn't see how he could be both gay and Orthodox. Joe is a young, newly-minted MBA who's just moved to Miami Beach and joined an Orthodox shul. There, he's known as Yossi, the Yiddish derivative of his name, and he relishes the spiritual connection he has found. But will he be able to reconcile his belief in the tenets of Orthodox Judaism with the religion's disapproval of his sexual orientation? Or will his crush on his friend Yehuda ruin their friendship and leave him ostracized by his community? What will happen on the Third Night of Hanukkah?
I was intrigued by the idea of writing a short story with a Veteran's Day connection. Can young therapist Ken Levinson help returning vet Paul Wainwright with his PTSD -- or will the growing attraction between the two derail Paul's healing and leave them both more alone? Paul really came alive to me when I realized that he was mixed-race and I delved into his background as an adopted child. The resulting story is called Mixed-Up.
South Beach hairstylist Ryan hates Valentine's Day. But will this day of roses and chocolates end with him giving his heart away to his favorite client once the lights go out? Only Cupid knows!

Check out this MLR short story from February 2012.
A Father's Day 2012 story from MLR. Richie and Gabe meet by accident---when one of Richie's two adopted sons beans Gabe in the head with a soccer ball. There's an immediate attraction---but Gabe, who's still a boy at heart, though nearing thirty, is reluctant to take on a ready-made family. That is, until he runs into Richie again and their mutual attraction takes over...

Looking back at the guys from, I realized that I hadn't given Brian a story to star in. But he's such a sidekick-- could he be strong enough to take on a story of his own? And once I fixed him up with the hard-driving Magnus, could he seal the deal? This story was released on Christmas Eve 2011 by MLR, which is perfect because it climaxes at a Cuban-American party celebrating Noche Buena.

A 10-minute read from MLR. Yacht captain Rashid is immediately attracted to Bjorn, the sexy new sailor at the Miami Beach Marina-- but will Bjorn's secret destroy their budding romance? Is their romance just a quick sunset sail-- or is there a long-term berth for Rashid about Bjorn's catamaran, The Catbird Seat?
A 15-minute read from MLR. Spencer and Armando have built themselves a beautiful world-- a two-story apartment atop a building they own on South Beach, full of sensual domesticity. But is that enough to keep them together, when things start getting stale, and they begin keeping secrets from each other? Can their love survive the handsome men and daring distractions of South Beach?
Junior is a wild and crazy construction supervisor who drinks too much, curses too frequently and never lets a woman get under his skin. Then, he meets the curvaceous Rhiannon who loves football, shoots a mean game of pool and has a little secret she's reluctant to share.

Junior keeps chasing her like a hound in heat, until he discovers there's no crying in the game she's playing. And that's when the fun really begins.


To celebrate the release of Anthony Bidulka's novel, Aloha Candy Hearts, in which Kimo makes a cameo appearance, I wrote a short story, "Macadamia Nuts to You," in which Tony's Saskatchewan-based private eye, Russell Quant, comes to Honolulu in search of a missing person, and asks for Kimo's help. Download it here free as a PDF file.

Check out the M/M romance group at Goodreads for free downloads of two other stories, written for their anthologies. (You'll have to join the group, and attest to being over 18 as well). In each case, a reader provides a photo and a prompt, and a writer responds. My first is called "Photo Booth," (also available at Amazon, though they insist on charging for it, and at Smashwords, where it's free, with almost 500 downloads so far.). A down and out cowboy meets a cute twink at a bar, and after a whirl around the dance floor, they dart into a photo booth for cuddle and a snapshot. The story plays out from there!

The second, released in July 2013, is called "Creeling the Bridegroom." I began with a photo of two handsome young men, one in a suit and the other in a kilt, and the reader's prompt implied parental disapproval because one boy came from a poor family.

"At The Diner"

Here's what reviewer Kathy K. has to say about this short story, in her review for the E-Book Addict website:

"'At the Diner' is only 6 pages, but in those few pages Neil Plakcy shows us two men, father and son, estranged and, without saying anything, trying to find their way back to a relationship. Told from the son’s—Jerry—point of view I was immediately connected with what he was feeling. Not only had he lost his mother but his father as well… a father whom he felt he could never satisfy.

"My heart went to him totally and I mourned even as he couldn’t, or wouldn’t.
"But as the story progresses we see that, by small degrees, Phil is trying to mend the rift between them. Even seeing through Jerry’s eyes I still got a real feel for his father but, not being invested emotionally the way that Jerry was, I could understand that in his own mostly non-verbal way Phil was trying.

"Now this is a story that, even as short as it is, holds a solid wallop that I felt for quite some time. In fact I’ve re-read Neil’s short At the Diner a few times in the time I’ve had it… and I believe that I will continue to do so.

"It’s about a journey that most of us have either undertaken or at least understand and tied to family it has the potential to really affect the reader. Beautifully done Mr. Plakcy; it’s no wonder you’re one of my favorite authors."

Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kathy! If you'd like to see what Kathy is talking about, click here to order this short story in the e-format of your choice from Untreed Reads.

The Cat Who Got Married... and Other Purr-fectly Romantic Stories

Before there were dogs... there were cats. No, I didn't have cats of my own, but I had friends who did, and they inspired me to write a series of stories in which felines figured.

It all began with my high school friend Vicki, whose mother had a sleek black cat named Rajah. He was such a character that he stuck with me, and when I wanted to write about a Jersey girl who was conflicted about how to reconcile the different dreams she had for her future, Rajah popped up and inserted himself into the story.

Then there was my friend Pam's six-toed Hemingway Abyssinian, Hemmie, who gave her her characteristics (and her daughter's name) to the cat in two stories here. It was a lot of fun researching those details and figuring out how to include them.

These are fun, short stories, but if you like cats and romance I hope you'll enjoy them. You can download the collection of five stories from Amazon or in multiple formats from Smashwords.