Category Archives: Fiction

Fictional Writing

Wherein the writer attempts, unsuccessfully, to return to writing fiction vignettes, producing swill and incoherent drivel instead. Coleman Daniel Sprague was the first person convicted under the new thought-crime statutes. The charges against him were extensive. The first count with … Continue reading

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Precursor to a Kiss

I am convinced that, during the fugue state between rousing from a deep sleep and becoming aware of one’s wakefulness, there is a period that can last, figuratively, for days. Let me explain by example. A few weeks ago, as … Continue reading

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A Simple Desultory Dystopic

I recall a somber afternoon in January when it all began to fall apart. We knew we were circling the drain, but we didn’t realize just how quickly we would be sucked into the septic tank, that basin awash in … Continue reading

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Raccoon Encounters

For the second time in just over a week, a raccoon managed to make its way to our back deck, which is at least seventeen feet above the ground. Metal tubes, wrapped around the middle sections of six by six … Continue reading

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Last Man Down

“On the cusp of my departure, my words are hollow and weak, as I struggle to describe the man I wished I’d been, a speck of the decent man I failed to be. I tried but I failed. I could … Continue reading

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Snake Sighting

Gwynn Slottman was deathly afraid of snakes. The mere sight of an elongated, limbless reptile sent her into a panic-stricken delirium of the highest order. She screamed, swore, and jumped on chairs and tables. Sweat poured from her brow. Perspiration … Continue reading

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A Real Memory, Unwelcome but Unchallenged

I’m not sure which of the two of us were more guilty. I suspect it was me, though she could have made the first move. That’s always been the case though, hasn’t it? I was the one who felt unloved … Continue reading

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Ice

I remember that night when you fell through the ice. You were so sure of yourself. You were such a fool. “No way I’m gonna fall through,” you shouted back at me as I pleaded with you to come back. … Continue reading

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Serpent

“What in the name of God is that?” Brenda’s voice hissed, jarring Carl’s attention, as the unexpected sound erupted from behind his left shoulder. “Why do you do that? You startled the hell out of me.” “Sorry. Well, what is it?” … Continue reading

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Clenched

Dangling from a mesquite shrub on the edge of a cliff, nothing below me but sharp rocks a thousand feet below, I reach up for that helping hand that’s not there. It’s dark here on the precipice, dark and lonely, … Continue reading

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A Diverse Ending

We saw the  Earth shudder when the first nuclear blast took place. Though we were only a few hundred miles above Earth, we could tell something ghastly was happening below us. The Earth winced, like a person stabbed with a … Continue reading

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Who Are We?

Calvin stood motionless as he observed the magnificent beast walk past him, just a few feet away. Apparently, the unicorn did not see Calvin. Otherwise, the animal would have bolted. Instead, it was the picture of serenity as it grazed … Continue reading

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Blue Eyes

Her penetrating eyes were talons. Once they had him in their grip, he was helpless. Though he was a victim, he was willing prey. He treasured every glance, every sweep of her eyes across his face. She knew the power of … Continue reading

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Cars

I drove a car, which my neighbor had borrowed  from a friend, to the gas station. Actually, he had traded vehicles with another friend; he had let his friend use his nondescript sedan in exchange for the use of his … Continue reading

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Seductive Spices

“What the hell are we going to do with three pounds of goat shoulder?” Geneva’s tone revealed her doubts about the gift from Jacob’s friend, Katrina. Jacob flashed a conciliatory grin at her. “You needn’t worry about it, darling. I’ll … Continue reading

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The Last Cold Front

“Man, the weather is changing a hell of a lot faster than the models predicted. Two years ago, I was among those saying we wouldn’t see a sea level increase by three feet until 2100.” Angus McCutcheon’s leathery face was … Continue reading

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Distant Broden

Lina waited for Broden to continue. “Oh, he was just so totally in love with life. Why would a man buy a two million dollar car and then kill himself a week later? I mean, it just doesn’t make sense.” … Continue reading

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Ophira

“If you look long enough and hard enough, you can find things to dislike about almost anyone. But you’d be looking for the wrong things. Instead, you ought to be looking for those shreds of likability hidden among the overgrowth … Continue reading

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Famine is to Family as Murder is to Mother

Allen Sherman loved his mother. Her maiden name was Achtung. She was of Prussian ancestry, though she was loathe to admit it. She preferred to tell lies, claiming Scottish lineage on her mother’s side, with a direct line to nobility … Continue reading

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Speaking of Change

“Carvings. Wood carvings. That’s what they are. For a moment, I thought they were paintings. From a distance, it’s hard to see that the pieces are three dimensional. Have you ever done any wood carving? I used to, when I … Continue reading

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Rebellion

Yesterday was Independence Day, the fourth of July. We spent the day at home, mostly, though I went for a drive in the afternoon. Last night, we watched a few bursts of fireworks from the deck and heard the concussive … Continue reading

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The Strange Story of Selena

Selena was a raccoon aficionado. She collected raccoons the way some people collect cigars. And like people who collect cigars, she periodically smoked some of the raccoons she collected, though not like people smoke cigars. She kept most of her … Continue reading

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Swedish Designs

Lina Lindström’s career in criminal forensics exposed her to what can arise from bungling, blind rage. At the same time, though, she witnessed outcomes created through careful planning and precise execution. Though both approaches led to murder, she often was … Continue reading

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What’s All the Fracas?

His birth certificate read “Fracas Edward Schlattery, Jr.”  According to the document, he was born to Lisa Starling Schlattery, age twenty-six, and Micah Delfino Schlattery, age twenty-three. Fracas Corbett didn’t  wonder who his namesake might have been until he reached … Continue reading

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Bidding for Worship

Listen carefully to the voice in your head. Listen to its tenor and timbre as it urges you to consider or reconsider aspects of your life you thought had long since been settled. You may not even hear it if … Continue reading

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