The Old World

I never could stand the daylight. The harsh glare, the endless vista. The exposure. Being outside in the sun underscores the insect-like nature of human existence, these pathetically insignificant creatures crawling around on the skin of a stone ball  hurdling through space on a pointless trajectory. Daytime is so unspeakably depressing that I can’t bear to be out in…

Liber Somnium

“Use this with caution,” the bookseller warned. He did not like this woman, but business was business. “I’ll use it however I like. I bought the damn thing. It’s mine now.” She reached for the door handle. The bookseller shrugged and turned back to his work. “Wait a minute,” she said. “Where are the words?”…

Miss Meyers

She wasn’t a particularly good nanny, but my parents could afford her.  We made do with other kinds of hand-me-downs, so why not a nanny too? I heard she had worked for the Oscars and had taken care of all five boys after Mrs. Oscar died. It never occurred to me that  Miss Meyers might…

Aftermath

“I assure you, sir. The hotel will do everything in its power to insure that this matter stays private.” “I certainly hope so.” “It’s just that the reporters are already in the lobby. And down in the parking garage. There’s no way we can get you past them unseen.” “Don’t you people have a service…

Willing Participants

“This here is what I got,” the man said. “Old London Underground double-decker.” “What’s it run on?” asked the other. “Petrol,” said the man. “It ain’t been converted.” “No good to me that way,” answered the other. “There hasn’t been any petrol for months.” The man looked wise. “Oh, it’s to be had– for a price.” “Not…

Cleaved Together

How do you remove every trace? he thought, carrying another box of her junk to the truck and dumping it in. When they had gotten married, the preacher made a big deal of using the word cleave. He said that married people cleaved to each other, that if they broke apart it was like ripping a piece of wood that…

Make ‘Em Believe You

“He’s making a bomb in there.” “No way.” “Then why all the chemicals? Why the bags of fertilizer? He’s like whatshisface. Timothy McVeigh.” “Yeah? Prove it then, Mr. Smarty.” “I can’t prove it yet. All’s I’m saying is we need to watch the place for a while.” “How long is a while?” “I don’t know. Couple days,…

Holdout

At first, I didn’t even know about it. I don’t have a TV or listen to the radio. I guess I knew when I saw the first cars going past, roofs piled high with bundles and boxes. Sure, I knew the river was up, but it’s been up before. No need to panic. Sheriff came by…