Fiction

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 »

Hopeful Fog

Dec 23, 2016

She likes dismal as I like blood. We’re the exes who became best friends, only we’ve never been together. She’s the best friend I never really knew, and that’s likewise just as true in reverse.

Driving through the fog, slowly, carefully, in a rental four-door Ford sedan, all the world is a blur. But the fog lights show just enough of the road ahead, and we continue traveling, westward, while a Brahms CD fills the... Read More »

Insurrection Reflected

Sep 26, 2016

And he looked o’er the broad sea and to the curved horizon beyond, and sought peace, but found naught. And he drank from the deepest fount, from the waters cooled of the depths of time, and sought peace, but found naught. And... Read More »

The House

Aug 2, 2016

“What are you so scared of, Gilbert?”

“That place is fucking creepy.”

“Scaredy cat.”

“Am not.”

“Let’s go closer. I dare ya.” Danny grinned a grin that seemed ominous to Gilbert, though that wasn’t the word he’d have used. He’d have said of Danny’s smile that it was creepy, or weird, like the abandoned structure before them, guarded by five turkey buzzards, two on the highest branches of a dying and bare tree trunk, the other three on the peak of the unstable roof.

They had leaned their bikes on a stump about fifty yards from the quiet Saw Mill Road after a fifteen minute ride from their homes in Ellendale. The rough and sharp remains of hardwoods as old as the house were as a moat, protecting the dark castle within. “It’s fucking creepy,” Gilbert repeated. “I learned in school that buzzards have this kind of sixth sense, like they know something nearby is going to die soon.”

“Probably just a rat.”

“What if it’s got rabies?”

“Don’t be a baby, Gilbert.”

“I think we’re close enough. I don’t want to get rabies. Frankie’s cousin from Nebraska got rabies and had to get shots in his belly.”

“Need... Read More »

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 »

Strange Surroundings

Jun 24, 2016

He woke to strange surroundings. It was bright daylight. A slight rocking. A canopy of trees.

The hammock. In the backyard. Sunday afternoon. John had his bearings.

Was this his actual life? It was hard to fathom. John squinted at the narrow swords of sunlight, reaching through the leaves and branches above.

The thin membrane of his existence that had been his only reality for three decades was thickening, hardening. That constant sense of unfamiliarity and tenuousness was gone. The new jobs were going well; his clients were impressed and paid him well. The new house was a significant improvement over the dump he’d left, with... Read More »

Go Away

Jun 23, 2016

“I will go away” was the sense I got from Carol as I saw the stark madness in her reddened eyes and there was blood in her cheeks, a scarlet anger, a crimson rage, a crossing of roses in the stint of the sting of her slicing gaze. For the first time since we’d met, I was genuinely afraid. Fight or flight was my first thought but I quickly ruled out fight as I felt as much as witnessed the murder in her haunting expression.

Please do, I said to myself,... Read More »

Independence

Aug 10, 2014

“I simply don’t believe in the limits that you believe in.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“It means precisely what it says. It means that I know that this life we share is limited only to the extent that we believe it’s limited. It means that I don’t subscribe to your definition of the universe, to a definition based almost wholly on physical theories and postulates and misdirections. It means—”

“Are you saying that Newton was wrong? And Galileo? And Einstein?”

“That’s not precisely what I’m saying, no. What I’m saying is that they were right, and you are right in your agreement with them. And that is perfectly okay for all of you. But I’m also saying that their correct view and perception of the universe is not the only correct view and perception. And I’m saying I don’t subscribe to theirs, or to yours.”

“What? You’re somehow smarter than all of us? You’ve found some sort of higher formula?”

“It’s not about smarts. It’s about the precise opposite of smarts. It’s about heart, about soul, about courage and independence.”

“Independence?”

“Yes.... 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 »

A Choice to Love

Apr 15, 2014

The first time Victoria had looked in his eyes, she knew they’d be close. There was a calming majesty in Robert’s gaze. They were, at first, off-putting, his light green eyes, a subtle green like raw peeled chestnuts, with a yellow sunshine brightness. Since then, they spoke often. They shared meals, shared confidences, shared sunsets and hugs and bottles of Merlot. They had become close as they went together to the gym for yoga, as they danced to live music on the deck of the Rudder, as they laughed and smiled and enjoyed life.

But there was something lacking, she convinced herself repeatedly these past three years. She kept him in the box marked “Friend” on her office shelf. Victoria told herself that he was kind, intelligent, footsure, and trustworthy, but there was simply no chemistry. She didn’t feel that oozing and invading fire set aflutter as she had with John, with Henry, with Ralph and François. She loved Robert but was not, and would never be, in love with him. This was what her sleepy voice told her each night as she drifted.

But was it true? Wasn’t it possible she was simply staying safe, red flags raised high in the cold March wind? It was April now, full spring, she reminded herself, and as seasons are apt to change, might how she thought of Robert change as well?

Robert was not John. John had clearly been a mistake. She’d lost most of those four years but gained... Read More »

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