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 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 October 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm
Dives and Lazarus
Thomas and Quinn strolled down the Helicline, through pleasant evening air and a smell of lavender. Quinn polished the buttons of his vest and looked back at the massive white orb.
“Magnificent!” he exclaimed. “A fantastic vision of the future. And this fluorescent technology seems a prudent investment, Thomas. What do you say?”
Thomas, who had been inspecting a silver dollar, tucked the coin in his pocket and sighed.
“I suppose it does,” he said wistfully.
Quinn eyed him askance.
“You’ve been acting very queer today,” he said. “Is everything all right?”
“There was a man sleeping in my doorway this morning,” he said. “He asked me for a dollar to feed his family.”
“A crook, surely,” Quinn replied. “Tell me you didn’t pay the man?” Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on September 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm
By early March we had left Aleppo and were making our way south toward Qusayr, where we had heard Hezbollah fighters were crossing the border from Lebanon. Pha’ris had somehow convinced a commander in the FSA to take us—that my reporting would glorify their cause—even though I told him he shouldn’t have said that.
“You worry too much,” he told me, that day near Rastan. The shelling was thunderous in the distance, and the sky was black with smoke.
“I’m a realist,” I said.
We were packed into our four-by-four with six rebels. Another truck, winding its way through the burnt-out cars ahead of us, held six more. There had been a third in our convoy just a week earlier, but they’d tripped an IED by Maarat al-Numan, and we’d spent the greater part of a day collecting body parts for burial. Hell yes I was afraid. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on August 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm
For All of Us
The water splashes—cold, sharp fingers to wake me—and I roll.
“Vstat’, yevrey,” the guard bites: Get up, Jew. I squint at the past-white sun flaring through the bars. The smell—pelmeni, I think—brings me to my feet and I sway, hoping. But of course it is not for me: A man has opened his cart on the street, selling meat pies. My porridge sits cold in the corner of my cell.
“Ne peremeschayte vozdushnuyu,” the guard says. He opens his mouth, grabs his throat and rolls his eyes to the whites. Don’t choke.
They still do not let me sleep, but the beatings are coming less and less. Abakumov tells me this is because Stalin has fallen ill. The others say he may even be dead. Let it be true.
Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on August 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Gracie drifted from the sky and landed, quite elegantly, on the point of one toe, then smoothed the pleats of her milk-white skirt with a satisfied sigh.
The sole spectator to her amazing feat (and her lifting skirt), Matt gaped.
“Hello there!” Gracie said gleefully.
“Are you an angel?” Matt asked. Gracie giggled.
“You’re silly,” she said. “Goodbye!” And she skipped down the street with a look of wonder on her face. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on August 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm
The philosophers stood in their burgundy robes and burgundy slippers, hands clasped and eyes downcast. At the center of the white, marble floor, a pool of crimson blood was creeping from the youth like a halo in some medieval triptych.
“What was his error?” the Master asked. Fingers of red found the stony cracks and raced outward. The philosophers stepped back.
“His conclusion didn’t follow from the premise,” one proposed. “The logic was weak.”
The Master sniffed. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on July 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm
Too Many Flowers
The bee loomed tall in the evening sun: 25 feet long, with a black and yellow frame and wings of molded plastic.
“You sure get worked up about your ichthyology,” Bann complained.
“Entomology. How do you still not know the right word after twenty years?”
“It reminded me of our first date… Remember the bees at the orchard?”
“Where’s the stinger?” he asked, but then his eyes went wide Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on July 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm
The rain made a sound like the drumming of fingers, as if a host of demons had climbed the cabin to probe for weaknesses, shrouded in water and darkness. The storm spit down the chimney and the fire hissed and flickered.
“It’s getting worse,” Kendrick decreed, a sour look on his face. There were fifteen of them gathered around the hearth—a family of five from the house next door, three college students from the opposite cabin, a single mother with two kids from further down the beach, and Kendrick’s own wife and children. This was the most any of them had spoken in hours.
They had thought it wise to band together for company and warmth, but that was three days ago. Now the firewood had nearly run out, and the rain showed no signs of stopping. Read the rest of this entry »
In Fiction on July 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm
Shrimp ‘n’ Grits
“Oh darling, you’re so wonderfully crude,” the senator’s wife exclaimed. “But shh, he’s coming.” She tilted her head to indicate the approaching waiter.
“You folks know what you’d like?” the waiter asked. He crossed his hands politely.
“How do you like the shrimp and grits?” the senator’s wife asked with only a hint of a smile. The waiter smiled broadly.
“Just about my favorite dish on the menu!” he said. “Real nice; like what I had growin’ up.”
“You grow up around here, son?” the senator asked, solemn as a sermon. The waiter nodded.
“’Bout five miles down the road, yessir,” he said.
One of the senator’s party leaned across the table. Read the rest of this entry »