What can YOU say in six sentences?
His left hand hooks like a lobster claw, the weathered baseball mitt all crusty and snapping. On his right, he wears his brother’s beat-up hockey glove, just as ugly and cumbersome. He’s cut a foot off the end of his stick for an easier shot. Behind him leans a makeshift net of discarded hockey sticks, laced and lanced in the snow to serve as goal posts. He fires the rubber ball off a wall some twenty feet away, then…Continue
The man moved into the house across the street six days ago. I didn’t see a moving van, just a brand new white pickup parked out front that looks like it flew in right off the lot. The man never comes out; the only activity I see is occasional movement of drawn curtains and after midnight, searing white light seeping from every angle and crevice of the place. Last night, I dreamed he came to my door and we talked a bit. He…Continue
Tablespoons are mothers, generous and purposeful, dishing out just the right amount of love. Teaspoons are daughters stirred in the mix, mimicking mom. Forks are sons, their prongs spiked to attention, ever ready to prod the flesh or jab a mealy mouth. Knives are fathers, showing cutting teeth, flashing steel with forks as they cross each other. They sit silent around the table for now. Behind closed drawers, who…Continue
The Great Divide
As we crossed the field to his house, Bryan told me he’d asked Jen to the movies. The field telescoped in reverse binoculars. The world flew into space. Jen’s friend was Airi, the girl I viewed from afar. “We could dooble date,” he said. “That would mean I’d have to ask her,” I said, tripping over my stomach as it dropped…Continue
Everyone wanted to hear the new kid speak. When he loped off to the pencil sharpener situated against the far windowed wall, I followed chase. A hard-ploughed ‘howdy’ fell from my mouth. “Ma desk’s over there, behind that girl, Bernice.” Glancing her way, he sounded an ‘mmmmm’ in a foreign sort of way and my ears…Continue
They’ve all left and it’s finally quiet around here. I hope they all found what they were looking for. The air feels different now. It’s not saturated with fearful talk. Perhaps the rest of us can make this place what it was meant to be. We’re still good.
It’s a place of dusty dreams. The twisted light cord hanging from the center is gallows rope, its naked light bulb, an abandoned blackening body when lit, barely gives life. The floor grades down to a centered sewer hole for plumbing that was never finished. Stagnant water encircles it, left from old rain that drips in and stays for weeks. Nobody comes down here much but when they do, it is for jars of fruit in the room…Continue
I set my camera across the street, the timer set for every three minutes. I’m so pleased to see I was able to do it. Yes, there I’ve caught a woman in the frame. She is looking in the window. I have also caught myself in the picture, there in the upstairs window. It’s a photographer’s faux pas to do such a thing but I have proven an old theory regarding photos of ghosts.…Continue
Everyone wanted to hear the new kid speak. When he loped off to the pencil sharpener situated against the far windowed wall, I followed chase. A hard-ploughed ‘howdy’ fell from my mouth. “Ma desk’s over there, behind that girl, Bernice.” Glancing her way, he sounded an ‘mmmmm’ in a foreign sort of way and my ears perked jack rabbit style. “Quite the scrag, inn’t she?” he snuffled.
The biggest man in camp is barely holding on. His near frozen hands cling to the heavy pistol, his grip tenuous like a quick slipping faith. Through the flap of his shelter, he watches the others watch him with crooked eyes. They are desperate, hungry for answers. The women and children are untouchable, even in death. The wind sings through the heavy pine, through the snow-blocked pass and it calls his name but he refuses…Continue
Where will you go? West. What do you need? Three ships. What will you find? Everything.
Drowning in fresh air, his lungs exhale flat, airless; he surveys the blue map below, bathing cap islands dotting the surface, the depth illusion that of a wading pool. He glares back to the ladder he wrenched and strangled coming up. His stomach leaps as he peers over the edge at the water. She sits midway along the edge of the pool in a one-piece swimsuit the color of the sun. She is looking his way, hand in salute, shading her eyes; she has never looked his way before. Down he…Continue
He swears he didn’t say a word. Hardly moved his mouth. His eyes shift back and forth like one of those Kit-Cat clocks with the rolling eyes. She’s positive he said something nasty, a muttered contemptuous response. “I - didn’t - say - a - word,” he annunciates, his hand cradling the back of her head, fingers nestled like snakes in her hair. “Do you hear me?”
Added by Paul de Denus on May 10, 2011 at 8:25am — No Comments
“Come brother, have some.” He is quite the vision, the smirking imp cloaked in red holding out temptation. I am excited by the offering in such a quiet and hallowed place, overwhelmed by the power of our choosing. We are good Catholic boys but wonder, who is really watching? I take the wine from him. I imagine a pointy tail poking out the back of his cassock.
I knew we’d get him. I believed it all along. Told everyone we would. My buddies down at the 50/50 Club doubted it, thought he was too well protected by the power that be. Not me. Mine’s got special ops.
He’s been careful to send each a letter, going on fifty years now. He promised he would stay in touch. He tells me it was harder when everything was hand written, when bony fingers ached with arthritis carding through an old Rolodex of names. His words occupy the air like a memorable fragrance, he talks around me as if I’m not in the room, as if he were reminiscing with old ghosts about the old days, the military and how…Continue
I see that my mother flashes a certain style, a slightly off-color blue, different from mine. Her faded blues are well traveled. They have seen much wear and tear over the years and she used to joke, “Well they have rested on some mighty fine sights!” My faded blues are pretty sharp. They were given to me from my mother; my father saw things in a different light. I take care of them as best I can so they won’t fade too…Continue
Lagging a traditional four paces behind, I follow my wife Coretta around the second hand store. As usual, I can tell she is in no particular hurry, taking her time to linger over items that pique her interest; every once in a while I’ll wave a hand and point out something that I think might grab her attention but she only sighs and moves on. Up near the front I stop and point to a picture in a frame leaning against a…Continue
Upon dying, the lights went out, followed by a dull hum. A few eternities passed as he struggled to open his eyes but they stubbornly remained dead shut. He tried to summon a sense of his surroundings and thought them familiar, like a vague remembrance from a heavy dream. In the dream, he heard a sound that slowly grew louder, the sound of many feet shuffling. “Where is God?” he asked hopefully, his sight lightless, the…Continue