In Fiction on December 12, 2013 at 10:50 am
The mural’s colors were garish and rich—deep bronze Indians circling the bright white canopies of a wagon train. Behind, the green trees seemed fluorescent against the shade of a deep wood.
Covered in gray dust and aching from the day, Joe stopped to consider this reconstruction of his people’s history. The romanticism. The racism.
A proud, untrammeled tribe seemed to wake in his heart.
But it was an odd stirring, and as Joe looked ahead, up the boardwalk to the squat row of beige townhouses with their faded lawns and collected refuse, he suddenly bent to unlace his boots.
When he stepped through—onto the cool grass, into the caravan—they were all that he left behind. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on December 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm
“Sit, Mr. Brennan. Your wound is weeping.”
When I turned, Philippe Bonté was sitting at the white marble counter, delicately stirring a coffee.
“How’d you do that?” I asked, slow to comprehend. “You weren’t there before.”
“I wasn’t?” he asked innocently. “Well, if you’re sure… You really are a magnificent detective, Mr. Brennan. Voudriez-vous un café?”
I crossed the room in three long strides and put my pistol beneath his chin.
“Non, merci,” I said, readying the hammer with a click, but Bonté didn’t so much as flinch. He wiped his mouth and waved the napkin in the air like a little white flag. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on December 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm
Sunlight strikes the basin and reflections dazzle.
Shining waves are chasing as I slowly paddle.
I pull the oars, myopic, intent upon the beach,
while depths of wondrous mysteries lumber
This short poem is my response to this week’s Trifextra challenge, which was to add 30 words to these three: Myopic, Dazzle and Basin.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, and check out the rest of this week’s stories!
In Fiction on December 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm
A Place to Rest
The whitewashed walls of the old mission emerged from the mist, slow and shy like a wary ghost. It was boarded and broken, abandoned by man and god alike.
“Suits me,” Dan grumbled. Three days in the hot sun had just about baked his brains, and death had seemed near enough, until the fog rolled in and pocked his skin with dots of dew. Half a day of blind shambling later, the desert brought him here.
Unless he’d died. Unless this was heaven, and the rolling mist the veil.
A bell rang softly inside, and a light came on. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on November 25, 2013 at 11:14 am
As I wheeled through the streets of Luxor in the bullet-eaten Mahindra—my brother covered in blood and brooding like a lunatic—the crowds stared but kept their distance. At the hotel, I parked down an alley and walked my brother through the back.
“Stay here,” I said, opening the door to my room and nudging him inside. I limped down to the front desk to find Panya hiding behind the office door.
“Father has gone out, Dr. Rosen,” she said meekly.
“That’s alright; you can help me.”
The girl gripped the door like a shield, her thick eyebrows working. She was Oxford educated, and smarter than her father by half, but she was also extraordinarily traditional. It was improper for a man to speak to her alone.
“I’m hurt, Panya,” I said. I held up my bloody hands for her to see. “Please.” Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on November 22, 2013 at 9:55 am
Knock, Knock, Knock
You knock, your heart a nervous bird, flapping. A chill wind sighs.
You knock. What sound is that? Claws scrabbling. Whispers.
It’s been years…
You knock, and the door swings wide—to warmth.
This is my short response to this week’s Trifextra challenge – where we were given the freedom to choose our own word to use three times in a 33-word story. If it’s not clear enough, the word I chose was knock.
Let me know what you think and check out some of the other stories over at Trifecta. They’re short, so they won’t take long!
In Fiction on November 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm
Carge pulled his cart. The wedgestones helped the wagon to climb—up the narrow street to the pit, and the furnace that warmed the governor’s halls.
On cold days the hill would ice, and if a body slipped it would slide like a lifeless luger down the hill, bumping over the stones and knocking now and then on a villager’s door. If Carge was lucky, the body would wedge in a doorway just one or two landings down; if he was really lucky, it would slide clear to the bay and be lost.
Carge shivered and wished for trees.
This quick story is for the Friday Fictioneers. The prompt was the picture up there at the top of the page (by Kent Bonham). Let me know what you think below, and click the link monster to read the rest of this week’s stories!
In Fiction on November 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm
“I mean to make you my husband, Pietro.”
Pietro leaned forward, certain he’d misheard over the clatter of horse hooves and carriage wheels. Ippolita smiled wickedly.
“My family has always punished you for what you are,” she said, smoothing her skirts. Her hands lingered between her legs as she met Pietro’s gaze. “But if you do me this… kindness… I promise I shall remember you.”
Ippolita sat with her legs delicately crossed—a tiny thing, so light that the slightest jostling of the carriage bounced her on her velvet cushion. She was as dangerous as she was beautiful, but Pietro was only a fool by profession, and he wasn’t so easily played.
“Why can’t you do this thing yourself?”
“Kill my own father?” Ippolita shrugged. “I could. I wouldn’t shrink from such a thing, but it would seriously complicate my inheritance.” Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on November 8, 2013 at 10:23 am
Without name, I am often spoken.
The least of the gods, yet the most feared; not Death, but His brother; undone with a whisper, yet the ruin of many lives.
Who am I?
This riddle is my response to this weekend’s Trifextra Challenge. Do you know the answer?
In Fiction on October 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm
The audience poured in, revealing brief glimpses of the wintry street as the doors opened and closed: night settling; snowdrifts swirling in headlights; buildings tall and glimmering. Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett watched. The others had yet to arrive.
“Seems to be a popular premiere,” Beckett offered. Shakespeare shrugged.
“The Tempest is playing at the Otten,” he said. “Patrick Stewart makes a great Prospero.”
“There’s room for new blood, Bill,” Beckett replied, as if consoling an overlooked child. “God knows there is. They’re doing Godot at a black box uptown, but you don’t hear me complaining.”
“That’s because no one would go, Sam, competition or no. No one understands your foggy abstractions.”
“Hmph.” Read the rest of this entry »