small bite from a big piece

This is an excerpt from a work in progress. It has a beginning, and an ending of sorts, but is otherwise just a taste from a dish still cooking. Awhile back I posted another excerpt, which you can revisit here if you’d like. That one comes immediately before this one, and features the same characters.…

Where to begin

Consider the arrival of a new tenant to a basement apartment. He is a young man in his late twenties. He has a goatee and sideburns, because the year is 1998, and most young men of that time had those things on their face. He wears jeans and a t-shirt, has very few belongings, all…

The End of the World Club

The one and only meeting of the End of the World Club was held in my favorite building on campus, the old English department building. It was nestled back among the trees, and you could open the old windows and let the breeze in, feel the hardwood floors croak under your feet. And it just…

Nothing seems to kill me

She said those lyrics were going to kill me. I said they’re just lyrics, imagining. Release. She said, “I don’t like them. They’re not you.” I set my phone on the nightstand, tossed off the covers, swung my feet to the floor. I gazed out the window into the night and considered hugging a moonbeam,…

The arrow

The arrowhead pauses, nudges against my ribs like the finger of a child, becomes aggressive, won’t stop. Pushes harder. Penetrates flesh, and, emboldened, pushes on. It penetrates bone and cartilage, punches through, drives inward. The arrowhead navigates organs, tissue, muscle. Sluices to the opposite rib cage before it stops again, nudges, breaks through. Pulls the…

Making Peace With Ghosts

I hear her in my sleep. At least I think it’s her. And I think I’m asleep. I hear her cry, “Why didn’t you want me?” Faint, not real. I roll over, clutch the pillow. My wife stirs. “You hear her?” But I don’t hear my wife, even. Or I’m not sure I do. My…

Here at the beginning

Blood and pieces of bone begin to slide up the bedroom wall. A sonic boom sucks out buckshot, sealing holes left behind. A pasty, overweight man in his late forties sits up in bed. Splatter flies off sheets. The back of his head pieces together, a jigsaw puzzle of skull and scalp. He leans forward,…

Once upon A TIME

When I was a kid, maybe 6 or 7, I found a cheap sci-fi paperback in a store called Mott’s 5-and-Dime. That makes me sound like, really old, starting a post off at a 5-and-Dime, but I think it was the 5-and-Dime that was old, not me. Anyhoo, we used to go there for school…

A Hero’s Life

Sitting at his keyboard, Caulfield could not see around the soft, gray walls of his cubicle. But when he rolled back and turned to his left, he could see across the aisle into Johnson’s. He could see Johnson’s shoulder, the arc of Johnson’s back, the chair under Johnson’s ass. He could also see out the…

an excerpt

Winstrop   “Winstrop?” He was seated on a stool, sharpening a sword. He turned his head, cocked an eyebrow. “Winstrop!” He sighed, hung his head. He inhaled deeply, leaned the sword against the wall, exhaled. He rose from his stool to stand at attention. Lethargic attention. A disengaged civilian, not interested in standing to anyone’s…