Friday Fictioneers

A Family of Three Now

My wife brought in the stack of Christmas cards to sign.  I shook my head. “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.” She smiled. “I like to get a jump on things.” I almost said probably addressed them in January, but I caught myself in time. I thanked her and went to my study. I opened the first

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Keeping Appearances

“Am I waking you up?” “I had to get up anyway, Dad. The phone was ringing.” “Ha. Listen, I need you to do something for me.” “Name it.” “I need you to come over and shovel the walk.” “Now?” “Yes, now. Before your mother wakes up.” “It’s four in the morning.” “I know what time

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Pollos

Enrique was appalled when he saw his cousin’s pack. He walked around it, whistling. “What do you have in here, Hectór? Furniture?” The boy shrugged, or tried to against the weight of the straps. “You know we’re walking, right?” “Not all the way, Rico.” “The boat takes us only to Salina Cruz. After that, the

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The Wheels of Progress

Hughie leaned the 12-gauge against the doorframe, handy but hidden. He stepped onto the porch. The man got out of the Cadillac, smiled at him. “Mr. Tweedy? My name’s Hoskins. I represent––” “I know who you are,” said Hughie. “If you come to talk  about selling, I’m not interested.” The man’s eyes went hard above

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Errol Barnes, Esq.

The lawyer sitting across the table from Floyd had a greasy look. “It appears your brother Errol Barnes, esquire, has left you a hotel, ” he said. “Son, I haven’t spoke to Errol in fifty years. Why in hell would he do that?” He opened his briefcase and took out a stained letter. “This may

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Away

Janie, hand in hand with Chloe. In my memory, I can’t see their faces because they’re walking away, but I know they’re happy. It’s early June, the morning air fresh with  last night’s rain and the miles of fresh farmland in every direction. My girls are so excited they start to skip down the midway.

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Fair Play

Vargas knew she would not stop crying, so he hit her a few more times  and closed the bedroom door, leaving her to her tears. He went out to get wood for the stove. The snow howled outside. The stove warmed the cabin to a swelter. Vargas stripped to his undersuit as he drank himself

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Christo’s Gift

For years, Ray badgered Christo and Jeanne-Claude to barter a piece with him. He sent  dozens of works of mail art, a large collage. There was never a response. One day on his porch he found a brown paper parcel bound with white twine. The US Postal Service mailing label was lettered in neat block

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Lame Tesla

When Mr. Jurgens gave him an F on his project, Pete got really upset. “Edison couldn’t understand that Tesla saw his inventions in visions,” Pete yelled. “They came to him in dreams and he built them!” “Yes but Tesla’s inventions were functional. This isn’t.” This took place in front of the whole class, which is how Pete

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Seventeen Cents

“Ten seventeen,” says the lady. She’s real old, maybe too old to be working. “The sign said the hats were ten bucks.” “That’s right, and with tax it’s ten seventeen.” “Ten is all I have,” I say, looking at the pile of torn singles and dirty change on the counter. “Plus, I’m already wearing the

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