Fiction

Father's Directive

Jul 20, 2016

Jason had never spoken to her. Seeing her as merely a play toy, an object to satisfy his amusement and lust—and Father’s directive—he communicated with pokes, prods, and, occasionally, gesticulating motions, as if she were a German Shepherd. Sit. Stay. Quiet.

The basement was damp and dreary this time of year, the rainy season, late April, but Jason didn’t mind. Most of his days he spent at work, and his nights he slept in his comfortable bed. Still though, this prize hadn’t brought him the joy of the... Read More »

Make love to me, Hank.

Jul 7, 2016

I typed in the search box on Facebook her name, Aimee Rogers. Thirty results. None of them her. I tried again, different variations, adding our high school, our hometown. Still no joy. I felt suddenly stricken. What if she’s dead? Or what if she blocked me because of that incident in my car, parked near the Occoquan River, as it neared eleven o’clock? One of my life’s great regrets.

She’d said, “Make love to me, Hank.”

And I’d made the mistake of looking at my watch. I took her home instead, as I’d promised her father I’d have her home... Read More »

Discipline

Jul 2, 2016

“Palms on the coffee table,” he said.

She complied.

He lifted her sheer dress, slid down her sheer panties, admired the slim roundness.

“What are you going to do to me?” she said. There was mischief in her tone.

“Do you think this a joke?”

“No,... Read More »

Haunting

Apr 7, 2016

I clearly remember the moment I died. When I saw my lifeless body, beyond peaceful, inert, on my bed, I first thought I was dreaming. Then I noticed the details. The color of the hardwood floor, a shade darker than pine, a subtle sheen, random flecks of dust. The knickknacks and keepsakes on my mahogany bookshelf, on the top shelf, the beer stein from Austria, photos of Beverly and Amy, my daughters, each graduating from UVA, Beverly in '92 and Amy in '94. The rosary I'd received at my First Communion, cheap plastic black and white beads, white crucifix, unused for twenty years—I don't know why I kept it so long. The heavy black coffee mug that was a gift from Gwen, my wife of ten years, who died at thirty-two of an aneurysm, with a quote from Wordsworth: “Faith is a passionate intuition.” I'd tried to find faith after her sudden departure but my faith was as dusty and neglected as the mug.

Dreams were never so detailed, so colorful, so vibrant, so complete. This was no dream. This was a new sort of reality. A reality without blood, without breath, and somewhat surprisingly, without smell or sound.

I was surprised also that I could still feel. Not in a tactile sense, but in a “heart” sense. Obviously, I had no heart, no brain, no flowing life through me, and yet I still had thoughts, memories, feelings. What was life then, if not physical cells and chemicals and interactions and iterations?... Read More »

Barstool

Sep 27, 2015

“That’s a simple question with a complicated answer.”

“Complicated doesn’t scare me.”

“Maybe it should.”

“Maybe.”

“Well, anyway. I was hoping we’d have a few more drinks; loosen up. Then—”

“Then?”

“You know.”

“I do, do I?”

“Of course you do. Don’t be coy. I saw how you singled me out. I saw how you turned on your barstool, just so.”

“Just so?”

“Why pretend?”

“Pretend?”

“Yes. Pretend. We both know that you turned on your barstool so I would see the hint of your upper thigh, the shadow on your cleavage, the mystery of your profile.”

“And?”

“And you knew you’d get my attention. Like I’m a striped bass. I couldn’t resist the shiny allure of your sparkling lure.”

“I don’t know anything about fishing.”

“And yet, you know exactly what I’m saying.”

“Do I?”

“You do. Finish your drink. I’ll order us two more. Then…”

“Then?”

“You know what’s next. You know exactly what’s next. Only question is do we take one car or two?”

“You’re pretty confident. I don’t know if—”

“Yes you do. You know you like it. You know it’s exactly what you need. Your mystery meets my need. Finish your drink.”

“You’ve got it all figured out, huh?”

“All of it? No. What fun... Read More »

Clarence

May 19, 2015

I’m sitting with a man I just met.

He’s overweight, but not unattractively so. He’s smoking Marlboro Reds. Says he gave em up for the fortieth time; started back up today, a day he calls grey.

He went to church Sunday; says he sang with angels. Healed a woman with chronic arthritis. Says it without pride, just matter-of-fact.

He enjoys the quiet irony of the Batman t-shirt he’s wearing. “Never take life too damned seriously,” he counsels.

“Are you suggesting—?”

“Ain’t suggesting nothin’, son. Just observin’.”

“Observing.” I let the word echo in the still spring air, moist from the morning’s rain.

“Yup. Just observing.”

I decide to move to another topic. “What brings you to Delaware?”

“Seemed as good a place as any to stop. I caught a ride with a couple takin’ the scenic route to North Carolina. Decided I didn’t want to hear any more of their subtle bickering.”

“Subtle?”

“Yeah. You know. It’s the looks I noticed first. Suzy put three sugars in his coffee and I think he only wanted two. He watched her put in the third packet, then there’s this little shake of his head. I been riding with em since Boston. Had enough.”

“You have plans to stay?”

“I don’t never make plans, son. Not beyond a couple days out anyway.”

I wonder why he calls me son. It’s clear he’s no older than I am, or if he is, it’s no more than a couple years. I decide not to be offended. “What sort of work do you do?”

“A little of this, a little of... Read More »

Pottery

Apr 25, 2014

She was to him, the solid earth of sturdy pottery, though he had the tact to never tell her so. Life for Ben was mystery, was, though rarely tumultuous, also, rarely understood. When Stephanie looked at a sunset, she saw the beauty, but also the purpose, the inevitable orbit and rotation of earth, the predictability of light, of darkness, of each new season. Ben saw only confusion—he felt often overwhelmed in the stunning majesty of the colors, the artfulness, the perfection—too perfect, too right—like Stephanie’s eyes, like her touch, like her every perfect curve,... Read More »

Vampires and other strange visitors - part one

Oct 20, 2012

So last night a vampire knocks on my door. I invited her in.

I've watched enough episodes of True Blood to know that was a bad idea. I knew she couldn't come in and drain my blood and kill me if I didn't invite her in. But what can I say? I'm a man. And she was like smokin' hot. A redhead. Slim. Almost athletic. I wondered then if vampires worked out. I thought probably they didn't have to. I thought probably they stayed in exactly the same physical shape through their new eternal lives as they were when they died. Then I wondered why so many vampires were pale. I mean, if they don't age, and when they get injured, they heal, why would they grow pale? Maybe it's because most of them have been vampires for a very long time, and in centuries past, weren't most people pretty pale? I accepted this line of reasoning and dismissed the thought, focused again on her amazing body.

She was about my height, in heels, six inches, I'd estimate, which puts her real height at around 5' 4". Perfect. And like I said, she looked like she worked out. She had a body not unlike those women you see in the CrossFit competitions. She had perfect white teeth, but for the two protruding fangs. A smile to die for.

It was dark in the room but for the light over the stove. But even in that weak light,... Read More »

A spent Patron bottle

Jun 22, 2012

A spent Patron bottle.

He woke to the chill of four A.M. He'd slept in his car, convertible top down. After five minutes, the windshield cleared of its dew. He drove home.

Seven inches tall, five inches wide. Height exceeds breadth.

The oriental fan is colorful and ornate. He sees the red dragon as orange. All of his visions are orange. His hopes and dreams, melding, intermingling, crying out, for orange. A memory flashes. A rainbow over a field of soybeans. A rainbow caused by the irrigation apparatus. A "farmbow." Too many colors on a bright day.

A bag of mustard seeds. A fount of limitless faith.

Many afternoons. He remembers. Walks on the beach. Looking for heart-shaped stones. Searching for scraps of sea glass. Searching for answers. Seeking rainbows. Red orange yellow blue indigo violet. Seeking solace. And then, he woke. Act three, scene one.

Laid flat, the bag is 20% full of seeds. Held upright, 10% full. Breadth exceeds height when standing.

The first night, she'd left an earring behind. The second night, two earrings. She never returned to claim them. She's moving to Colorado.

Words... Read More »

A Purple Eel with Green Splotches

Jan 5, 2009

On the front cover, there was a photo of an eel. It was quite long, with green splotches freckling its mostly purple skin. The caption read “Eel found in bathtub by 107 year old man.” Normally I don’t look at “rags” like the National Tattler and the Weekly World Investigator. This photo, for some reason though, caught my eye, grasped at my attention. I picked up the paper, while waiting in the longish line in my local supermarket.

The cover photo, on closer inspection, sure looked real - a purple eel with green splotches. What really caught my attention though, seemed really out of place. There was a “Juvenile Times” magazine on... Read More »

10 Random Fiction Posts (All Fiction Posts)