The stars must have lined up just right, because Bud knew nothing about astrology, in fact, he thought it was utter nonsense that anyone could predict a person’s future by looking at some distant suns in far-off galaxies where, for all Bud knew, the idea of humans and human fate had not yet even occurred to the local populace. But Bud needed a job pretty badly, and being a newly graduated English Major--most of his classes had concentrated on the 19th century Romantics--he couldn’t be too… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 30, 2009 at 6:00pm —
Rapunzel threw down her hair, but nobody climbed up.
No prince, no frog, no nothing.
From her lonely tower she lamented the lack of love and despised the enchantress who kept her locked up on the 13th floor without an elevator or even an Ipod.
So Rapunzel sang and sang, but things only went from bad to worse, and pretty soon she was ready to throw in the towel.
All she wanted was a little fun, and God knows, she didn’t want to get… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 27, 2009 at 11:00pm —
Some had the speed and the right combinations, but if you can’t take the punches it don’t mean a thin
g. ---“Boom Boom Mancini” Warren Zevon
I stepped off the school bus, and Mike immediately hit me, square in the face.
Although Mike and I were both six years old, and riding home from first grade, he was the toughest, meanest person I ever encountered—then or since.
He hit me again and again, and my nose burst, blood everywhere, and everything on my… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 26, 2009 at 9:00pm —
I saved your message on my voicemail. In it, you said I was a coward, a bad lover, and that I had lied to you about love. Now, 29 days later, that voicemail will be automatically erased by the telephone company. The phone company can’t afford to store every message on everyone’s phone, now and forever. It would cost millions of dollars in digital storage space, and use up energy that could otherwise be used to light cities, or electrify rural regions, where the idea of betrayed love is not yet… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 26, 2009 at 8:30pm —
I keep returning, again and again, to my “in-box,” but no e-mail arrives from you. Seventy, eighty, maybe a hundred times a day, but you never write.
When I first fell in love with you in London, my God, it must be 30 years ago now, I then said to you, “You are a writer. A writer must write every single day—no matter what, even if it's only a note scribbled on a cocktail napkin or a postcard.”
Always the contrarian, never one to take advice, you would do almost anything to… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 26, 2009 at 1:00pm —
Motivated by either fear or attrition ---I’m not sure which---a year ago, I abandoned my long-standing habit of reading your daily horoscope. I’ve lived a long time, and I have at last learned that there are three things none of us, no human, must ever do: over-explain one’s self to others, pry into the darkest recesses of the ones we love, or prophesy the future. Every other act, no matter how humane or depraved, is permitted.
Today, while driving home from your funeral, I found… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 25, 2009 at 3:30pm —
On his way to the airport, Richard mused that air travel had lost much of its glamor, of late. It required infinitely long waits in line, getting undressed (or nearly so) while passing through security, and once on board the plane, he often felt like had been shoehorned into his seat--a seat that seemed like it had been designed for a circus midget, not a stand-up comedian of his robust stature (XX-Large). The comedy circuit required a fair bit of travel, and he was growing tired of this… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 24, 2009 at 12:00pm —
He was lost again. Yes, it was true that he was a cartographer--or more accurately, HAD BEEN a cartographer--at least that had been his profession, until Google satellite images and new map-making technologies had made him "redundant," as they say in England. Out of his damn job and looking for work, as we say here in the United States.
Now, on his way to 11th job interview this month, and driving around downtown San Francisco looking for an address in the Financial District, he had… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 24, 2009 at 11:30am —
Helium was discovered by Sir Norman Lockyer, an English astronomer, while he was studying a total solar eclipse, in 1868. It was discovered to exist on the sun, before it was learned that it existed on earth. Formed at the 'Big Bang,' Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, and is commercially recovered from natural gas deposits, mostly in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Helium is used to buoy the Goodyear blimp and to blow up children's birthday party balloons, many of the… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 19, 2009 at 7:00pm —
For forty years I’ve longed to write a poem, but haven’t yet, about a fire engine, its gleaming red finish ablaze, melting like candle wax in pitchfork flames, as a drenching rain poured down. Forty years is a long time to want something, something unrealized and un-obtained, even something as trivial as a poem with an image, some would say, befitting a teen’s trifling imagination.
When, all those years ago, you left me--just two days before our wedding-- all I could see were the… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 19, 2009 at 2:30pm —
The charming couple who lived next door, the two who never bothered anyone and who were childless, decided to move. Many of the neighbors were surprised to learn that the couple was leaving the neighborhood, and wondered who might next move into the house that everyone had observed, at one time or another over the past decade, appeared so well-kept and neat, even though no one was ever seen cutting the grass or trimming the hedges.
On moving day, a big moving van pulled up, and a few… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 18, 2009 at 10:30pm —
It was spring. The days were getting longer, like Pinocchio’s nose. The women walked by Palazzo Vecchio, dressed in their diaphanous spring clothes. “I’m a real boy!” he exclaimed. “A real boy.” Regrettably, he was arrested when it was publicly discovered by the Carabinieri, that only one part of him, was actually made out of wood.
Added by Brad Rose on April 16, 2009 at 6:35pm —
I have forgotten all the places I've been-- New York, Venice, Paris, Vienna, Rome---all lost to me now, evaporated like a dry desert lake, their once palpable sights and sounds, barely a faint dust, or chemical-salt, of memory. It is thought that travel broadens the mind, but it is seldom recognized that travel empties it, draining it of everything, erasing every detail, but the wish for home.
On Wednesday, following my midnight return, I crawled into bed, as you, lost in the… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 16, 2009 at 4:25pm —
“Like, she was my best friend, you know?”
“Yes, I know.”
“Like, my very best friend in the whole world, except that I didn’t like her all that much, know what I mean?”
“Yeah, especially after she, like, stole my BF and I thought ‘how the fuck can you possibly be so rude, you scumbag bitch, especially to your own best friend?’”
“I see,” pretending--though, not very convincingly, --to understand, at last, the unity of youthful opposites.
Added by Brad Rose on April 16, 2009 at 11:50am —
They also serve who only stand and wait
. --- "On His Blindness," John Milton
It’s not really because of bureaucracy.
If you’re a cow, you nonetheless, do a lot of standing around and waiting.
Chewing feed, watching tails swish, giving milk.
Silently reciting lyrical poetry, hoping that the humans won’t hear you or see your lips move.
Herded from here to there, to stand and wait some more, just like in the military only with much less… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 14, 2009 at 5:12pm —
There was a time, long ago, when humans were able to read entire books, hundreds of pages long. Later, as human evolution progressed, the species’ attention-span diminished, and it was discovered that humans were able to read only pages of text, a few at a time, but not more. Some generations later, however, it appears that the human capacity for reading shrunk to paragraphs, and not long thereafter, to a single sentence. Now, of course, we know that the height of human evolution has… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 13, 2009 at 8:48pm —
It could be said that on-line dating had not been a complete success for John. The woman he had most recently met nearly killed him with her constant talk of her pet alligator, Rufus, and irritating references to her horoscope’s prediction of her inevitable, forthcoming marriage to John. The one before her, had brought her 1st husband (of three) to their first in-person dinner date, causing John to wonder why she had reported in her previous e-mails that she was an ex-nun and never married.… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 11, 2009 at 8:00pm —
Just wanted to thank all of the writers and readers who have taken time--which I know is a very scarce resource for everyone-- to read my squibs. I appreciate your reading, comments and suggestions. These pieces vary in quality, but they bring me pleasure to write, and even more to share with folks who participate in this site. I hope you continue to visit my blog and to enjoy the speedy short stories. I of course, always welcome suggestions and ideas for edits. Again, many thanks.
Added by Brad Rose on April 10, 2009 at 10:52am —
30 minutes left.
That’s not many.
Fancy appeals failed.
Stinking punk lawyers.
I smell blood.
Stay of execution?
Added by Brad Rose on April 9, 2009 at 10:39pm —
“You’re the writer,” she taunted, “so write your way out of this.”
I gazed at her, as if she were a character in a story I had written a while ago, about a Barbie-blond divorcee, who fell in love with a guy named Richard, who was a failed stand-up comedian and an ex-chicken rancher. I had knocked her off in a flashback drowning scene, when a plot twist seemed like the only way to move the plot forward.
“What are you waiting for, some deus ex machina to save your sorry… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on April 9, 2009 at 10:05pm —