Enlarging My Reduced Life

Moderation. A dirty word. From moderate (Latin) via moderat: reduced, controlled. I’ve had too much moderation. I submit as evidence dreams I’ve not chased: Living in Mexico. Learning to sail. Chucking it all to write. What’ve I been controlled by? Fear. Fear whittled my dreams to wants. My hopes to goals. Thousands of compromises later… Continue reading Enlarging My Reduced Life

Working Capital

Lexi’s small and cute, but ten years of Adam Smith’s invisible hand in her panties has knocked the bloom off her rose. Her next trick saunters up, checks her out. Lexi smiles, fluffs her hair. She settles for less, again. They go around the corner, upstairs. When Lexi’s back hits the sheets she’s figuring how many… Continue reading Working Capital

Late Night Caller

50-words about silence In the sudden silence after the furnace blower shut off, Heather heard her husband whispering. His words were indistinct, his frustration clear. Heather stopped breathing, listened. A woman’s voice slipped through Bill’s cell phone. Bill’s reply: “She’s home early. I don’t know why.” Heather called out, “Bill, who’s that?” Silence. © Copyright 2021… Continue reading Late Night Caller

Remember Montag

an anti-institutionalization manifesto Hemmed in by semi-sentient algorithms and AI grammar police reading at a seventh-grade level, surrounded by sheeple all too willing to swap their only-ness for approval, to sleep on the sidewalk to buy the latest customizable surveillance gadget, I hereby declare: The central denials of our age are self and place, by… Continue reading Remember Montag

A Night in Her Shoes

150-word story Ellie never knew when her mom was going to kick her out. When she was twelve, Ellie started sleeping in her shoes so she could walk to her auntie’s without worrying about broken glass on the sidewalk — or frostbitten toes in winter. When her mom wanted her back, she called the cops… Continue reading A Night in Her Shoes

Fluid Transfer Permit

Working nights. No end in sight.  Walk the lineup, kick the pump on, feel the fluid inside the pipe, watch the numbers on the gauge. Heed cavitation’s gravelly roar, kill the pump, close the valves, walk upstairs, pour and clutch a cup of coffee.  Answer the truck driver’s call. Walk the line, check the hose,… Continue reading Fluid Transfer Permit

The First Time We Tried to Name Our Band

I’m on the bed staring at the ceiling when Blayne says the Cranberries’ Zombie uses the same chords as the Pumpkins’ Disarm. I think he does, anyway. It’s hard to hear after fuck-if-I-know-how-many shots of whatever we’re drinking. “Play it for us, then, Mister Guitar Wizard.” I hear Blayne open his case. I hear him puke. I hear… Continue reading The First Time We Tried to Name Our Band

In the Eye of the Storm

100-word story Maria sees the ambulance. Her driveway. Her front door, open. Marcus. Where’s Marcus? Her foot slips off the clutch. Her Civic jerks and dies. Sprinting to her front door, Maria hears birds chirping, kids shooting hoops, a lawn mower. She smells cut grass and ribs cooking on a barbecue. She sees Marcus’s Hulk… Continue reading In the Eye of the Storm

What the Sisters Saw

50-word story The day the government blinded the boys, their sisters sang them home.Not one girl led her brother by the hand.Looking ahead to decades of caretaking, the sisters saw they would have only one chance to teach the newly sightless boys to listen and keep their hands to themselves. © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading What the Sisters Saw

Playdate

A 100-word story I crack a beer and sink into a chair that’s in the sun and out of the wind to dial my friend Dave. He knew me when I had hair. Dave still lives in the desert where we took road trips guided by one rule: stay on dirt unless low on gas or… Continue reading Playdate