A Night in Fontana
Brody Carlisle halted his horse on the crest of a shrub-covered hill, slapped his Stetson twice sending dust floating skyward, and after placing it back on his head, coaxed a swallow from his canteen.
To the west, the sun slid behind a scattering of tall pillar-like plateaus. Their...
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Food. Globes of mashed potatoes glistening with a thin layer of gravy, plump slices of pie gushing with ruby red cherries–food wassensuous. It was sensuous before Abby even knew the meaning of the word. Sparkling Christmas goodies enticed her as a child. She would sneak from her...
Read more: Full
Stan stood on the sand, crumpled by how many people and birds running and sliding into it today. Now, it was getting dark, the last of the purple, streaky clouds turning black against a pale, gray sky.
Go or stay, just two choices.
He reached down...
Read more: The Decision
Amos stood on a thick, muscular knoll on the shoulder of a dark river. He shivered, soaking wet from his silver hair to his leather shoes, and stared, disoriented, at the pines across the river. They seemed to stand with their backs to him. Amos felt...
Read more: Swiftwater
In July the monsoon rains returned and with them came the little green frogs. Price Aurigena had first seen them in the summer of 1969 when he’d arrived in Korea and now, a year later, they were once again everywhere. Frogs sprang from the ground like exploding popcorn...
Read more: Minerva Shield
I have studied martial arts all my life: Karate, Judo, Kenpo Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, and Hsing-I, but as I've gotten older, I pretty much stick to Tai Chi. I used to study Tai Chi at a park in Washington, D.C. called Glen Echo Park. It's an old...
Read more: Seinfeld Moment
Wedding Portrait – Life Portrait
July 20, 1942
Escorted by her eldest brother Neil, Annabell walks across the front lawn to meet Bill. her groom. She is dressed in a long gown of pink net overlying pink point d’esprit. A bandeau of artificial roses secures her pink net veil. She also...
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S is for Scintillation.
Their arms and elbows locked as they vied for control. Major released her grip and dredged her beet-colored nails across his muscled chest. Zane glanced at the four lines of ripped skin, blood dripped onto the rim of his pants. He lunged forward, grabbed...
Read more: Salvation
Glennis Walker Hobbs
Black, ginger, and tortoiseshell felines zoom through the open screen door onto the deck. Black Nic pauses and surveys his domain from the top of the steps. Kittens race down the ramp and scamper into the backyard. Glory, the tortoiseshell, runs to the maple in the corner, ...
Read more: The Explorers
Beckett – you asked for this
Here am I, on this grey morning, here I am again, entering this day as I entered yesterday and the day before and unless I am spared by death will enter tomorrow and the day after, endlessly growing older with the anxiety that brings, the fear of coming...
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Mattie opened the front door. "I'll be back in a while, Henry," she said, then stepped onto the porch and clicked the door shut.
It opened behind her and Henry stuck out his head. "Wait, I can come with you."
She shook her head. "I need...
Read more: Reconciliation
The eight-year-old 1958 Chevy was purring along through rural Kansas with ease. Don smiled with pride. When it hit 180,000 miles he planned to celebrate with a smoke and an ice-cold Mountain Dew from the cooler. It was a beautiful late April day with the sunny...
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Why I’m Failing My Innovative Fiction Course
This is from an assignment in the Innovative Fiction Course taught by Karen
I'm just not making it in my innovative fiction course.
What is innovative fiction you might ask? Well, if you have to ask, I'd say you're one of those rubes...
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The Don, whose real name you do not want to know, ever, has vast experience solving problems. Our organization, Don’t Try to Find Us Press, never advocates violence. We take no responsibility for violent acts committed by those misinterpreting the Don’s recommendations.
Read more: Dear Don...
Todd shivered in the dark, seated cross-legged on the linoleum. Coats and dresses draped gently over his five-year-old shoulders. He flinched as a slit of bright light flashed through the space at the bottom of the door. Seconds later the deep, rolling rumble followed. “Mommy?”
Read more: Todd’s Miracle
Mad Hatter Town Planners
I fell down the rabbit hole straight into the town planning committee meeting. A large basin of Sangria sat in the middle of the scratched wood table in the center of the room, and a keg rested against the back wall. Al, Stan, and Art...
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Dinner at Grandma's
You’re at Grandma’s house again for dinner. As always, the family is gathered together and everybody’s trying to out-talk everybody else. You ask yourself why you continue to go through this ordeal every week, but you know why; it’s Grandma. Also, it’s a family tradition that brings you...
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Mommy’s Little Secret
At age five, Amy told her mother that the thought of swimming scared her. Not surprisingly, her mother poo-pooed the idea, and said that fear showed weakness and stupidity. From then on, Amy said she hated swimming and never admitted any fear to her mother again. I don’t...
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New Age Centre
I had been in Oz for a few months when I received an emergency call to come back to South Africa. Every émigré who leaves elderly parents dreads this call.
But this was worse than death. Our family lawyer called me to attend a meeting...
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"I’ve Been With Willy All Day"
The late August sun hung hot in a bare blue sky. Matilda picked up a tattered straw bushel basket and trudged into the garden with it. The rows of beans were dusty green, the corn stalks tall, their leaves edged with yellow. She settled on...
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Nomi stood a few feet from the curb, watching her breath in the November Seattle rain, waiting for her mother. She hated asking for money. The feeling of dread almost compelled her to flee as she saw the silver Mercedes approaching. If only she didn’t need another fix.
Read more: 50 Minutes
Her Fortune is the Future in the Past
The toe drags umber, the pressure of holding paint forces the belly to bulge, and the canvas texture causes tired bristles to bend and stretch, casting tinted shadows in their wake. The resulting undertones bring life to the painting. The vitalizing paint bled from the brush is drawn from the...
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The Compulsion of Water Lilies
Gevera Bert Piedmont
She was buzzing in his ear again, the world’s largest and most annoying fly.
“This isn’t the beach you promised me. Can’t we go into town at least?”
He flicked a hand over his shoulder at her, go away, and stared into the waves. His eyes sought and...
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Lessons In Plot: From Setup To Payoff
By Joy Manné (the student) with Help and Encouragement from Karen Barr (the teacher)
From ‘The Road from Setup to Payoff’ by Karen Barr, (Writers Village University, MFA 250-261 Story Focus series based on the book by Lisa Cron)
One of our most hardwired expectations is that anything that reads like the beginning of a new pattern—that is a setup—will in fact, be a...
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Meatloaf and Mashed Taters
Art Subklew is a 55-year-old Paramedic residing and working in The Southern Berkshires, Massachusetts. He began creative writing as a teenager, mostly focusing on fictional short stories grounded in his experiences as a teenager growing up on a small farm. He has attended numerous classes in Creative Writing...
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