What can YOU say in six sentences?
A fire was burning near the stop sign. "Call 911!" said Mrs. Black. "Wait, it's fine," said Mr. Gray. "It's under control."…Continue
After the party, I climb into the driver’s seat, start the engine, and glide out, alone, onto Highway 86, heading north, away from Tempe.
Thank god I only had two drinks.
Squeezed inside its skin, like adult fingers in a child’s glove, the young Rattler lies invisibly coiled in the backseat.
I cross over the Arizona Canal, notice I’m making pretty good time, then think, Shit, I left my jacket—the expensive leather one-- back at Ray’s…Continue
Somehow Thad had gotten hold of some truth serum, and fed it to our friend Dean, who confessed: “I used to know the difference between porridge and oatmeal. I don't any more. And I remember looking up the word sardonic in the dictionary when I was fifteen, liking its meaning, and using it a lot in conversation. But then when I was around twenty, I forgot what sardonic meant, but I knew that I used to know, so I thought, am I getting stupider with age?” After a…Continue
I wanted to run but I stayed where I was, in Kim's bed; who would want to be known, after all, as an absolute Swine For the Ages?
My cowardice here at the thought of my rep gone to shit was a thing that screamed to the rafters, yet it may be that whispers, nibbling, held me as well, I really don't know. There was her calm as she lay with me now, her languid half-smile, her casual hand on my belly, its soft play of fingers, her sibilant slurs in my ear...the lithe coil of her body when…Continue
It was hot and fidgety night things shone the hollow light of their eyes from the woods, flash and gone, innocently sinister as they pressed on to do things that required darkness, knowing that day waits for nothing. The whispered ideas of the tall weeds, dry and raspy about him, their communal meanderings in the wind like some ceremony, as if he sat a visitor in the church of wild grasses and watched them worship in rhythm to a music inaudible but lovely as morning.
He was behind me at the red light, a handsome forty-something guy in a big white pickup truck. I watched him in my rearview mirror as he raked through his salt and pepper hair, ran an index finger across his top lip and squinted as if contemplating something serious, then he tugged at his right ear lobe several times which made me decide stress was causing these nervous picking tics.
Mr. Stressed then stuck a finger in his ear, pinched out some material which he quickly…Continue
The hour is late, and you've already seen more than 30 patients today.
I make a remark about assembly line medicine and "is this what you envisioned when you entered your field?"
I have a list of questions since our last appointment a week ago, and I begin by saying, "I really don't know what direction to go here, so I need you to be my compass."
You smile warmly at this, and for some reason that feels good.
Then I hear the…Continue
It seemed like it ought to have been a stellar day, having begun with the auspicious omens of the double-yolked egg and the return of the goldfinches. By noon, though, everything had turned to shit under a mountain of paperwork, compromised schedules, and revised or cancelled agenda.
This is how it always turns out for him. He longs for all good things, thinks good thoughts, sees only the best of all possible outcomes, but it’s no use. Inevitably, the universe has other ideas;…Continue
No one but a tourist takes a waterfront architectural tour of Chicago in November; I am a tourist, with a fascination for architecture - it is, of course, too cold to sit on the deck of the boat and listen to the tour guide for very long, and it is difficult for the tour guide to remain on deck, too, although he is a proud Chicagoan.
Below deck, however, is a warm and darkly wooded bar, and a fresh pot of coffee, which Nick pours from with ease, ignoring the little sways and…Continue
Kim's eyes said take me and there was a time I might even have told you I swelled with new light and grew horns, but, again, the devil's light is an abstract, not even an instant of time.
Oh, it masks as the blood, sure enough, and Kim's new insistence bled me that night, and I wrapped her and drove, yes, but, you see, need is a...
Where does it come from and where does it go and what is it?
We danced such a curious dance: alternately, we…Continue
At 10:55PM, Melanie’s swing shift was almost completed, and as she was returning her tools to her opened toolbox, she noticed that Eve had glided up to her on her dual tractor treads and come to a complete stop directly in front of her. Eve’s mechanical arms and extenders retracted, and she seemed to pause, waiting for Melanie to give her a command. As Eve idled before Melanie, Eve seemed to be processing something, almost ‘thinking’—although Melanie knew these shop floor robots, unlike…Continue
last night she dreamed she was a cat.
she was a long-haired persian with amber eyes and ginger hair and dangerous claws which she could retract at will.
most days she would simply sit in the window and watch the world go by - it never occurred to her to chase a bird or stalk a squirrel; all her needs were met.
in the dream, the man would stroke her luxurious fur and tell her over and over she was good and beautiful.
she would curl her body into the lap of the man…Continue
She is his undoing and her power would lie in her knowing this, yet she remains powerless. There is passion on both sides - hers with a heavy helping of 'relationship' and his, of course, without.
Even when things reach the point where she is willing to kneel she never forgets herself, never releases herself to complete abandon. She knows the motives of men are always suspect - especially men who ride motorcycles and own bars in West Hollywood.
Kim, beauty, ivory, ice-blue smoke roiling, new eyes...
She knifed me; I bled like a baby and I could not breathe.
We danced in that club and she took me home, and she told me, Get Serious Now...
I cupped her sex, drank.
My tears and my sweat bathed her feet.
The light in her eyes, her quick gasps of breath, they said, take me...
Hammered clouds drag themselves over a surprising bright green expanse. Their shadows have rolled themselves up, to leave the water below in a kind of upside down glow; it is oddly brighter than the sky, and it shines up into the face of the close gray mass above. Licking each other’s heels, the ruffled waves nudge themselves together. As though they think themselves smarter, they taunt the clouds to rain, but the sky waits in dark silence. Heavy looks from overhead do…Continue
‘Eve’ is thinking again… well, not exactly thinking, but feeling, again… which she immediately realizes is a serious problem. Those ambiguous sensations—the same ones that happened last time-- are starting to effervesce, to bubble, inside of her, in a kind of craving she doesn’t fully comprehend. They’re so deep within her white Mylar-covered chassis, she can’t be certain where they’re located, or exactly what they mean.
Must be love, must be love, must be…Continue
Staring at this exhibit, in a place that once housed major household appliances, I inhabit a spot that was formerly filled, I imagine, by a different lonely person. It is a silent world here, with perfectly directed light, encased by rectangles of colorful canvas suspended on the walls. They whisper and sing of their own still beauty, but nothing here lets me touch it. The softly clicking heels and reverent murmurs nearby touch nothing either, for that is the rule. When I leave,…Continue
She came like quicksilver out of the crowd that milled by the dance floor, out of the dark, her lithe body coiled, head forward and neck tucked like a boxer's, arms and hands loose at her sides.
She came straight at me, blonde hair swept up and over her eye; her ice-blue dress, sleeveless, shimmered like skin.
Kim, an ivory knife, burnished...
She stood before me and smiled with new eyes.
New eyes that told me, I can dance with you, without you;…Continue
How to restart a story? Lay context and go.
I pulled my Slick Sammy act on Kim and took off out the door and maybe she figured that's how the game goes--I know she dug certain aspects of pillage--and in any event she said nothing.
I was a Big Dog in those days; small kennel, but still...
Kim was a pup at the time.
She lay in the weeds and made plans...
The single most important sporting day of the year for Stump Shiner was the Turkey Day Classic, in which the Hayneville High Bobcats played arch-rival Greenville High Dirt Daubers. Both team quarterbacks were evenly matched this year, as were the defensive linebackers and guards, yet Stump knew for certain, even before the anthem was played, that Hayneville would win the day.
“How can you be so sure?” Charlene…Continue