Fiction

A Typewritten Page

Feb 9, 2019

It was a typewritten page. At first I had assumed it had been a laser printout, from a computer, or, these days, from a tablet, or even a phone. But no, it was an actual typewritten page. There were no clearly discernible errors but there was an apparent, though subtle, difference in *intensity* of some of the letters. I’d never really thought about it but laser printers produce a high level of consistency that typewriters, ubiquitous in decades past, rare today, didn’t.

There was no date.

There was no indication of authorship.

There was no title.

It was part of a larger work, as the start was not indented as subsequent paragraphs were, nor was it capitalized. The page was full, a page from an unknown manuscript, with no page number, nothing unique. It was not on good paper, just the typical white copy paper sold at Staples or Walmart with five hundred sheets per ream for a few dollars.

I inspected it more closely, standing from my desk chair, walking to the dual sliding glass doors leading to the terrace of my oceanfront unit on the fourth floor overlooking the ocean. The sun was still visible a little after eleven, a bright yellow ball of fire warming the chilled March beach below. No white out, no corrections, no strikethroughs. The page was typed by someone far more skilled at touch-typing than I am. Backspace is my most used key, sometimes as I choose to change words as I change direction in the narrative in... Read More »

No Pixie Dust

Feb 12, 2017

“There’s no magic,” he said, with spewing vitriol. “Why do you insist on this silliness?”

“It’s not silly. And you’d know that if you let your guard down.”

“I tried that. Over and over. I was raised in the fucking church and I’ve got the T-shirt. Maybe it works for some people. But not for me.”

“I’m sorry you feel—”

“I don’t want your fucking pity, Sarah. And I don’t want your advice.”

“So there’s nothing left to say…”

“Nothing at all. I need someone who’s grounded in reality, not some Pollyanna. Your pixie dust won’t buy groceries. Or pay the back taxes.”

“Is that what this is about? Money?”

“No. It’s about reality. It’s about living in the real world. It’s about having the courage to stand up and face life as it smacks you in the face and getting back up after it knocks you on the ass.”

“You’re right then.”

“I’m right?”

“I mean you’re right that there’s nothing left to say. My life isn’t only about the physical. Don’t you see? There’s so much more to—”

“I see what you mean. We’re... Read More »

The Baker

Sep 26, 2016

But my fate was chosen before I grew wise, and my fate was to cook, to heat, and to give sustenance to the many. The pain I avoided a great many times, with prudence and alertness, I kept my fingers from the fire, but not every time, alas, so I knew the pain of perfect heat. What choice did I have but to choose to numb the pain... Read More »

Hope's Survival: Art in the AM

Sep 7, 2016

You told me there was more, outside the small window in the bare wood door, more to see, to know, to feel, to explore. I was a superhero, in your eyes, in my multicolored dreams and multifaceted yearnings. Outside our small, cold, cramped home, there was more.

I don’t know, even now, why I believed you, but I did. I believed that I was bigger than our small life. I believed that one day I’d soar, find my way, dream, build, live, explore. I believed insanely in the veracity of a life beyond our worn walls.

It’s not that you were perfect—I knew that even then. You had your share of invited persecutions, of self-sabotaging delusions, of days, weeks, months of malaise, of despair, of short cold days and colder nights. Your temper was short and your wrath wasn’t spared. But you always had one thing, and there wasn’t a single day when it wasn’t evident. You had hope. And you shared that hope with me.

I watched as life passed by, through the small windows, through the cracks in the walls where the... Read More »

'76 Gremlin

Jun 3, 2016

I know it’s not cool to drive my ’76 Gremlin, but to me, it’s my identity.

I remember the day it all clicked in for me. I was fourteen. My dad had bought the Gremlin new. He was proud. It was his first new car. Working as a carpenter was good, honest, steady work, but it wasn’t exactly the sort of thing that made a man wealthy. We always had enough but never had a lot.

So he bought the Gremlin, an early Christmas present to himself and his small family, late in 1975. My first thought was horror. It was an ugly, almost scary, green. And boxy. And small, cramped. He’d traded in a ’67 Impala. A boat. Roomy. The back seat was more than spacious enough for me and my two sisters. There was even room for Max, our dog, a mix of mostly German Shepard with some sort of retriever or pointer, most likely—we never knew.

For two weeks I made excuses to stay home. I didn’t want to be seen in the car. Hank’s parents had a Lincoln and a conversion van they’d take on short camping trips. John’s dad had a Cadillac. And we had a Gremlin. The horror!

Then the moment came that would change my perspective in life, for the next thirty years, and likely far beyond. I was in English Lit class, Hank on my left and John on my right. We had been nearly inseparable since John moved in next door six years earlier.

Miss Simple... Read More »

Swank Tacos

May 20, 2016

“Swank.” That’s what she said when she dropped the check at the table. I was drinking my fourth beer, so my mind wasn’t all there but somewhere else and the word “swank” didn’t register.

And then it hit me. In the parking lot. And I turned back toward the restaurant, thinking I’d go back in, and, you know, thank her. But then I saw her. About ten paces from the front door, nearing a lone Camaro in the lot, under... Read More »

Ruth

Jan 4, 2015

It’s true. Women in their fifties are easier.

At least that’s been my experience.

I don’t mean to suggest they are loose. Or promiscuous. Most women in their fifties have less sex than their younger counterparts. But what they are, by and large, is unpretentious. They don’t play games. They know who they are; they know what they want; they don’t pretend otherwise.

It’s refreshing.

And it’s a little jarring sometimes.

My last experience was with Ruth. Ruth was a redhead. She was the cliched redhead. Adventurous. Headstrong. Vocal. Ruth was fifty-four, two years my junior. I didn’t ask her age—I’ve learned that’s never a safe question—she volunteered it, just after our drinks were delivered. Jack and Coke for me and a tall glass of Merlot for Ruth. That’s how she’d ordered it. “A tall glass of Merlot.” Then she’d told me she was fifty-four and she was looking for company.

See? No pretense.

We had the requisite three drinks before she invited me to follow her home.

She lived in a second floor apartment in a four story apartment complex. An unassuming home, but comfortable. After warming up to her Pomeranian, Snapper, an apt name, she served us two more drinks. She didn’t have any Coke so I told her I was fine with straight whiskey.

Ruth was attractive, not svelte, but not overweight either. She wore her curves well. She had long hair, with good body. Color likely from a bottle, or a hairstylist—I never had the chance to learn which.

I’ve found that women in their fifties... Read More »

March Fourteenth

May 10, 2014

She’d cried at least once a day since March fourteenth.

Sally touched her iPhone to silence the alarm. She reached to the left side of the bed, the side nearer the bedroom door, and found it empty. Again. Ted was gone, she reminded herself. Gone. Forever.

She wiped away a single tear, quickly sliding off the bed, and lightly walked down the hall to her kitchen. She could smell the richness of fresh brewed Starbucks coffee.

It wasn’t... 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 »

Jason

Mar 29, 2008

The black changed slowly to blue as the sleeping fox woke from a night of deep rest. Jason moved his hind legs under himself and rolled onto his belly. He knew it was time to begin again his long walk through the foothills. Still feeling a little full from the three birds his good fortune led him to last night, Jason yawned sluggishly and found the rising sun. He would follow the sun for four or five more days, he thought, before finding the river that grew narrower and more violent closer to the peak. The peak – how he longed to find his destiny there; how he longed to be home.

As the colors of the new day faded, as the light grew, the path became easier to follow. Others had walked the path before him. Many had turned back; some had continued. Jason was determined to continue to walk this day. The fears that plagued... Read More »

10 Random Fiction Posts (All Fiction Posts)