“No, no, no,” Victor said, “You only know half the story, and you're jumping on your favorite target. Since when did voicing a strong, well-articulated opinion become a crime?”
“Nobody likes a constant diet of piss and vinegar, even if it does contain the truth,” Mary replied, as if to close the discussion, but Vic wanted clarification.
“Are you saying you'd rather be entertained by pornography, or half-baked philosphizing under the guise of art rather than admit someone's a fraud… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 30, 2009 at 12:00am —
The tarnished knight climbed down off his high horse and stepped in a mud puddle. It was obvious to several observers that the knight enjoyed the way the mud squished between his exposed toes, but like subjects of the emperor parading in invisible clothes, the majority remained silently flabbergasted. The chain-clad knight believing himself unanswerable for his indiscretion took their silence for fawning, and as fawning can be mistaken for encouragement, quicker than one could say, “Odds… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 29, 2009 at 12:00am —
In six sentences I can say enough to tell a serious, humorous, romantic, or fantastic story, for
I’ve learned to make use of coordinating conjunctions. I can start out with an emotionally-charged concept, and
I can bring in characters, not exactly based on my loved ones, of course, and make them suffer for art. I hardly ever kill them off, nor
do I forget them after I’ve abused them soundly. They’re only actors in my little plays, but
I try to coax the best… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 27, 2009 at 1:59am —
The saloon door creaks in a slight breeze, which is not the mariah, but the humid remnant of the sirocco that also causes dust to settle in clotted drifts against the edges of what remains of the buildings. The saloon has survived intact, as is to be expected, along with most of the church. There are two or three houses that could be occupied if there were that many people needing a place to live. So far, you seem to be the only person who has come out of the holocaust, but you know that can't… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 26, 2009 at 1:34am —
Near the end of their outblown discussion about art, perhaps out of sheer frustration, Jack turned round to face Amanda and said, “Your mind is like a thesaurus. You know about twenty-seven ways to express everything. Enough with the esoteric poetry, already! Write something we can sink our teeth into—the way you used to.” He couldn’t have pierced her heart more cleanly if he’d sharpened the words before spitting them out, and suddenly she could think of only one way of saying what came to her… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 25, 2009 at 1:43am —
Her beauteousness exhumed an ancient Pandora's Box of unreclaimed hope in the purple prose to follow. Were He to spew all the righteous rioting within His soul of souls, disregard the enigmatic coupling of a cursed intercourse, and cleave to her in damnable intercuspation, there might not remain a recognizable modicum of the former avatar He had used to secure His previously, however much coveted, inapt participation in the grandeur of her wake. She was, after all, His acolyte, had never quite… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 24, 2009 at 12:00am —
At the foot of the stone stairwell, where from this angle one can only view the swaying tips of two cypresses and the gray cloudless sky beyond, I dream of climbing to forever. Who would miss me now that I have no money left and cannot go home—I’ve lived so long away? Is my legacy such that on some Tuesday without obligations my brother or sister will experience some fleeting thought of childhood, and recall the silent stranger who accompanied them through it? Or will they find some memory… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 22, 2009 at 8:00pm —
Not knowing what to do with myself, I walked through crowded city streets, with red lights everywhere telling me to stop what I was doing and go home. Later, with a bowl of popcorn that tasted like chalk, I sat in front of the tube, and flipped the remote. Nothing on the box caught my interest, but the dialogues reminded me of things we'd said; like the times you asked me why I felt the need to smoke before we went out with friends and I pretended not to hear you--asking instead if you'd seen… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 22, 2009 at 6:39pm —
Hilary thought she might search for a key to the bothersome black overnight bag in the pockets of the many things Kate had hung in the heirloom wardrobe, but didn’t like to consider the embarrassment she would suffer if she were discovered snooping by her niece, who was a guest after all and entitled to her privacy. It might be better to rejoin her sister and Kate downstairs where perhaps she could elicit clarification through conversation. There probably was a simple explanation that just… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 19, 2009 at 6:27am —
Whenever I open my e-mail and see something from “RC,” I have a momentary thrill, knowing my second career is still viable. Hey, I’m not going to apologize and admit to plagiarism; this stuff is being sent to me to use as I see fit, and I’ve been having great success with it. That piece about the circus, for example, is one I would never have come up with sans
outside help because I hate the circus, and clowns, and their melancholy lives, but everybody seemed to like the story. And the… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 18, 2009 at 11:43am —
One o’clock in the morning, and I’m still getting my grades together, having yet to post the exams on the electronic platform to keep the students busy in my absence.
Two of us, my buddy Álvaro and I, typing and sorting, researching and getting together material that will comply with the syllabus; material that we’d already gathered fully once.
Three awful days I’ve spent duplicating efforts that tired me out the first time.
Four days ago we were robbed.
Five minutes I was… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 16, 2009 at 9:00pm —
Cudnt stop ther counting upit six and making mor the same. As each wer lookin fer the littl shining paragraf to say the rit thing. Wots a paragraf, you mite ask. It wer a way of tellin tales in the olden days, and thes partikerler tales had each of them six tellin bits and each of them perfek to reed. Wots reed, you mite ask. You mite but I dont ritely hav an anser.
Added by Michael Brown on September 16, 2009 at 12:00am —
It was founded on a whim, according to Helen Brandt who had tired of not knowing and was looking for answers. She was Bill Theramin’s receptionist/secretary then and he believed so strongly in her rendition of wondrous events
he agreed to help her type scripts and get them published, turning her words into a curriculum for living. Graying at the temples and soft-spoken to the point of condescension, Bill could make anyone with whom he conversed feel as if they were looking up at him from… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 15, 2009 at 11:23pm —
Margaret couldn’t sleep that first night in the motel bed. Elsewhere sleep came easier. Those she’d left behind would remember her. She’d made certain. She’d left a weddingcake-sized treat on her ex-kitchen table, and wondered if anyone had noticed the empty Comet cans by the sink. “Everything spotless,” was her last thought before drifting off.
One precious drop of fluid left; the interview a week away. How would life be without having… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 14, 2009 at 6:06am —
Jay Robinson, a twelve-year-old prodigy, and my next door neighbor here in Scranton, died last week of the brain cancer, Mrs. Robinson had known about for a year, and Jay, himself, was told about nine months ago. Always displaying a smile in the face of his adversity, he had endeared himself to most of the neighbors. For a time, I despised his precocity and his facility in grappling with emotional concerns which for the most part affect people with greater maturity; that is, until I realized he… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 12, 2009 at 7:05pm —
Have you ever noticed how when you’re standing on an elevator and more people get on everyone stands in what seems to be their designated space? I’m not making this up. It’s true, and you can’t violate the tenets without suffering the consequences. Once, while ascending in the building where the DMV is located, a striking woman emanating just the right hint of a most intoxicating fragrance was positioned correctly, and I overstepped my mark to inhale more deeply her essence, and though I’d seen… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 12, 2009 at 3:02pm —
Jimmy Mahoney, having begun the evening feeling old and overweight, has been on a high for the last thirty-seven minutes as he’s well on the way to bowling his perfect game; strike after strike builds his confidence as he thinks he could single-handedly bring the Spartans to the head of their Thursday night league. And then the worst thing happens -- Alice’s girlfriend Peggy brings over a handsome well-built, younger-looking-than middle-aged man whom she introduces as her cousin Roy, an… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 12, 2009 at 12:54am —
Turning the key in the door, when he said, “And now for something completely different,” in his best Monty Pythonesque manner, he expected her reaction to be jubilation upon seeing the little gift-wrapped ring box on the hall table near where she would hang her mackintosh. The rain had taken away some of the torpor threatening to settle over the village. However, catching some movement across the flagstones out of the corner of her eye, she shivered uncharacteristically, and then exclaimed,… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 9, 2009 at 11:27pm —
In the tidy little kitchen of Nana’s Coney Island bungalow, where I learned to tell time from the clock that was a white cat with big moving eyes and a swishing tail, and one of the few places I could see my dad, I sat eating alphabet soup, while my mom, in the other room, was talking to Nana and consoling my cranky little brother, Ray-ray, who had never liked wet food. My dad put his can of Rheingold on the table, though not on a placemat, I’d noticed, and sat in the chair Ray-ray had left,… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 7, 2009 at 9:48pm —
“I swear, sometimes I can’t tell night from day anymore,” Jake said, furrowing his brow as he exhaled.
“Go by what you see me wearing,” Mona suggested barely above a whisper, which seemed about as much as she could manage from within the confines of her black satin sheath. “Do I look as if I’m dressed for a walk in the park?”
He glanced at the revolver in her well-manicured hand, and said, “Baby, you look like you’re dressed for business, and by the way, where’d you leave the… Continue
Added by Michael Brown on September 6, 2009 at 6:00pm —