In Fiction on June 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm
From the Cradle
Fevered, I dreamt I crawled a burning maze, my limbs withering and sloughing off in my wake; dead men chattered nonsense, mouths filled with ash, eyes filled with pain; then a drenching rain swept up from some distant gulf, washing the ash and limbs and fire into an endless black chasm.
When I woke, dew dripped from the palms, dropping heavy in the leaves. A faint light glowed over the dunes to the east, pink like lilies in the spring. The oasis, our green cradle, seemed to sigh. We were safe.
I let my brother sleep and set to work digging a shallow grave. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on June 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm
The Crucible of Death
When I awoke, the golden morning was pouring through tall windows, glowing behind shifting gossamer curtains. Madelaine lay beside me, long and liquid and naked. She smiled.
“You talk in your sleep, Sean,” she said. I sat up. I was still fully dressed.
“Dreadfully boring. Dirty laundry and mysteries and murder.”
She rose from the bed and stepped to the window, where she was a cutout in the incredible light. The sun flashed through her legs. I reached for my gun. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on June 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm
I drove south over dunes and flats of rough-packed gravel, my brother groaning meaningless psalms in the back, Meher’s lifeless body jostling like a marionette to my right. My leg needed attention: Shrapnel had nicked the femoral artery, which leaked a slow pulse of blood—a violent bump might tear it completely—but our attackers were in pursuit.
Egypt’s Western Desert is a bleak expanse marked by few settlements and fewer roads, but I knew the Dakhla Oasis lay some 30 miles to the south; it would be several hours over the treacherous terrain, but I drove on, praying the dusty skies would give us cover… praying the blood I had left would last.
*** Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on June 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm
Out for Blood
Sweat stung my eyes and blurred my sight. Meher stumbled ahead of me, walking backward and straining. My brother hung between us like a bridge, heavy and insensible, as the footsteps grew louder behind.
“Who are they?” Meher gasped. “What do they want with your brother?”
“They don’t want my brother,” I said, wheezing. “To them, he’s just a freak. They’re literally out for his blood; whether it’s hot or cold when they get it is incidental.”
Meher’s terror flashed on his face.
“I do not wish to die,” he said.
“Then let’s get him to the truck.” Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on May 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm
We sit on sleeping fire, on Damāvand, where the dragon Dahāg writhes in his bonds.
We see our city, older than myth, and its transient seething.
The hill shakes; our hearts are inflamed.
This is my response to the weekend Trifextra challenge, from the friendly folks over at the Trifecta Writing Challenge. The prompt this week is the picture up above, provided by mohammadali on Flickr.
The photo is of Tehran in Iran, and my story draws on some old Persian myths. Check out this wikipedia entry if you’d like to know more.
In Fiction on May 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm
The Goodnight Song
I start to dream
this passing thing.
light up the walls
the shadows cast
will guard my bed.
It’s gathering out
upon the street
a girl walks by.
An easy heart-
is lulled to sleep
by a memory. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on May 29, 2013 at 10:59 am
I don’t know what made me angrier, that the bitch had killed me, or that she thought she could make up for it with some pulpy story of lust and love.
“Listen, cherie,” I said, my words slurred by what must have been a dozen bourbons, “you used me, that’s all there is. Stole away my life even as I live and breathe.”
“You’re dead drunk,” Madelaine said.
“Correction, miss,” I replied. “I’m dead and drunk. Your version’s a noir cliché, mine’s a Greek tragedy. And you know the thing about tragedies?”
“Everyone always dies at the end.”
I fumbled in my pocket and drew out my gat, a trusty 1911 with steel plating. Unsteady, I leaned into the counter and took aim at Madelaine’s face, squinting one eye to make sure she was all lined up. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on May 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Dear Characters: A Confession
I’m going to kill you. Please don’t fight it.
After all, you either die on the page, on your own terms, or you die when they close the book. Which is worse?
A quick 33 words for the weekend Trifextra challenge. Head on over and read the rest of the entries (it won’t take you long)!
In Writing on May 24, 2013 at 11:38 am
“Pick up the phone.”
Colin listened a moment, to the far-off sound of the freeway and cars driving through the mist.
The stranger made no reply, simply inclining his head toward the phone. Colin shrugged and grabbed the broken receiver.
“There’s not even an earpiece on it, mate. How’m I supposed to hear?”
The voice that replied sounded digital and broken, like a recording from some earlier era, but the feeling of hot breath as the stranger whispered in Colin’s ear was distinct:
“The better question is: How am I speaking without a voice?” Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on May 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm
Tough Guy Bobby Caduzo
“A little… light for a mob joint, isn’t it? I mean, watercolors? Artsy mirrors. Glass eggs in baskets? I thought we were here to meet ‘tough guy Bobby Caduzo.’ This don’t strike me as a place for no tough guys.”
“Hey shut your mouth, would ya? Show some respect. Bobby’s right over there.”
“Where? I only see the broad at the counter.”
“Bobby is the broad at the counter, stupid. Barbara Caduzo.”
“Sal, I’m in deep with these guys, man—how’s some chick supposed to help?”
“Heh. Tony, sometimes it’s real obvious you grew up without a mudda.” Read the rest of this entry »