Friday Fictioneers

Inner Man

Since my seventieth birthday I have assiduously avoided mirrors. I find it is better for me not to remind myself of my appearance, for it belies my inner man. This is not to say that I have the boundless vigor and flexibility of youth, but I certainly feel better than the shrunken visage of sparse

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Grief

After the funeral, I made arrangements for the bills to come to my office. Every month, I paid her rent, her electric, even her phone. At least once a day I would call her number and pretend she might answer it, hear her voice on the answering machine. At first I left messages, but then

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Consequence

“Hello?” “Sorry to wake you.” “Joey?” “Listen. I need you to get over here. It’s Pop.” I sat up. “I had a dream about him!” “Yeah, well. This ain’t a dream. I need you to come to the house right away.” “What happened? Is he okay?” “I––I can’t tell. He’s sitting in the kitchen. He’s

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Frank Lloyd Wrong

“We hired you because of your vision, James,” said the senior partner.  “We gave you an opportunity here. You knew the importance of this project to the firm.” “And this is what you bring us,” said the junior partner. “This…I don’t know what to call it.” The drawing lay unrolled on the conference table between

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Cast Adrift

They said it was the law that turned him out of the house. They lied, saying he could have stayed if it was up to them. They didn’t exactly blame him for her death. They just didn’t want him around as a reminder of her decline. He blamed himself, of course. For a while he

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Deserts

“Like a drink?” Without waiting for me to answer she handed me a beading glass. I took a sip. “The good stuff. And in the wedding glassware, no less.” “I thought you deserved something special after the day you had.” She gentled the back of my neck like I was a skittish horse. “My man.”

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This Again

I know this place. Of course. You have been here many times. Countless. But why am I here again? You do not remember? Is that world you cared so much about already gone from your recollection? It seems like a dream I had as a child. You have said that before. How do you feel?

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D.O.S. (Disintegrating on Schedule)

I don’t recall the picture, only that it starred an actor who was young and handsome at the start of his career fifty years ago but was now an aged relic. Dark thoughts in the darkened theater as I watched the folds of wizened skin beneath  the famous chiseled jaw, pouches beneath the steel-gray eyes.  Projected

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After Orcas

It’s not the place.  She kept telling herself this, but it wasn’t helping. She swallowed, the acrid taste of bile in her throat. It was cold on deck, the wind’s icy fingers prying open the buttons of her coat. She gripped the steel rail as she watched the bow cleave the black water. The motors’

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Sanctuary

At first I denied it, telling myself autumn was coming early. Leaves can begin to turn in July. It had been a dry spring. But there were the birds. In the three weeks since coming here we hadn’t seen a single bird. I took up the satchel of food I’d scavenged from the deserted  grocery.

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