Friday Fictioneers

On Bainbridge Island

“Are you done crying?” he says. “For now,” she says. In the back, Suzy sleeps fitful in her car seat.  He watches the tiny face in the rearview, the red stain of the taffy covering her cheeks like a rash. “I don’t think giving her sugar is such a good idea,” he says. “I’m sure

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A Few Questions

“May I get you another?” I picked up my glass, shook the melting ice. “No, I’ll wait. She’ll be here any minute.” “Very good, sir.” He strode back across the patio, watching his tables. The place was filling up. I glanced at my watch. She was taking forever. I watched the moon for a while,

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Love

All living things. Animals and plants, but especially plants. Her delight. The house smells of moss and acorns, of blossom and verdant decay. Her apron still hangs on the hook by the door, the soil-stained pocket  sagging with the weight of  spade and wrotter and trowel. She favored hand-made tools made by her husband, the

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Die Todnacht

Graz the Ragman trundled his barrow through a landscape he did not recognize, though he had  lived all his life in Dresden. Where the Frauenkirche had stood was now a tumble of scorched stones, smoke and dust hanging in the air like a shroud. The baker where his mother had sent him for the Sunday loaf of rye

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After Babylon

“If it was a war,” Susan argues, “Then where are the bodies?” “Perhaps they were eaten. Maybe they rotted. I don’t know.” Dr. Thrang stays out of it, busying himself taking samples and looking at them through his spectrometer. “I think it was something else,” she says, folding her arms. “Nuclear war would have destroyed everything.”

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Waiting For Eight

Stuart ordered a cup of coffee. He poured cream into it and stirred it in. He swiveled his stool part way around to keep an eye on the building across the street. The man sitting next to him was eating a donut, breaking it in half and dunking one of the halves into the coffee,

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Sick As Your Secrets

A small-town doctor who buys a daily half gallon of whiskey causes gossip.  During the course of a week, I’d hit six different liquor stores in three different towns, none of which I lived in. I’d dispose of the empties the same way, hauling the bottles to the landfill or a dumpster behind a bar. I never drank in

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Århus

The sun felt good on her face. She closed her jet-lagged eyes and breathed in the spring smells. Flowers, baking bread. “Må jeg bringe dig noget at drikke?” She looked up to see the waiter,  his crisp white shirt and black vest. The sun gave his blue eyes an otherworldly glow. She reached for her Danish phrasebook.

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The Invisible Air

It is only when she doesn’t seek  him that she knows he is truly there. She feels his breath on her collar, yet will not turn to see. She believes her eyes have the power to make him disappear, perhaps forever, and this she will not do. His presence does not comfort, does not agitate. She does

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Stuck In The Middle With Mother

Mother’s mediocrity was so consistently applied that it almost became a kind of excellence. She wasn’t especially bad at anything. Nor was she particularly good. In everything she did, Mother was merely adequate. The many dinners she cooked for us excited no praise, yet were always eaten without complaint. When she gave gifts, they were accepted but rarely used

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