Now and then I'll post a new bit of my short fiction.




After the war every acre of farmland for miles around was bought up by a development corporation with an eye toward the future. This was the time to act. This was how you seized an iron from the fire and used it in whatever fashion irons were used. Who needed farms in this age of mechanization? What was farming if not archaic? Though a generous person might consider using the word quaint.

The development company drew up plans. It secured the necessary permits. The time of change arrived. Hundreds of fields were plowed flat. Down went the barns and the silos. Fences were plucked from the soil like weeds. Rambling houses where generations of families had lived, tilling the earth. . .these were mowed down by monstrous tractors and bellowing backhoes. The farms had existed for more than two centuries. And how long did it take to erase them from the world? Days. You’d think maybe longer. But no.

A new crop appeared. It seemed magical. A crop of houses. Wow.

Though not actually magic, of course. Only the feeble-minded believe in such puffery. It was simple economics. The war had come to an end and the returning soldiers wanted somewhere to live. Wanted? They needed. They had gone to war as young men. They’d left the homes of their parents. It wouldn’t do to return to those same homes, those rooms with small beds and postered walls. Even if the soldiers returning from the war wanted to reclaim their childhood rooms. And none of them did.

Economics is largely based on mathematics. Everyone knows that, right?

Consider the war as A. Consider the soldiers as B. C was the life they’d been dreaming about for years while wading through mud and killing the enemy. Consider the enemy as E. So B killed all of E and came home looking for C. They pursued C to the neighborhoods that were once farms. They knew nothing about the ghosts of cows and soy beans. They had their own ghosts with which to contend. These would be the ghosts of E, slain in multitudes on the battlefields of countries far away.

E, truth be told, was also only looking for C. Sadly, E was destined never to find C. This was because they were the bad guys.

B found C. B got married and built families around themselves. Families = F. They had children. These would be G. C watched G grow up and produce grandchildren, H. After a long row of years B used up all of the C that had been allotted them. B waved goodbye to G and H. B exited C and entered the realm of I.

Death = I.

When B entered I, G and H typically moved away, looking for their own version of C. G and H held fond memories of their homes with B. They generally had respect for what B had gone through during A. They were different from B, though. Most of them were never to experience the trials of A. All J knew of A was what they read in books or saw on television. For them A was something that existed on the printed page or in small black-and-white rectangles in living rooms. G and H could never fully comprehend how much B had given during A in order to achieve C and make life possible for them. G and H weren’t being rude or thoughtless. They had their own concerns. There was important business that needed tending.

The era of J had begun.

Adjustments had to be made.


Fifteen First Sentences


The sound of distant gunfire reached us at the same time the most beautiful woman in the world began to dance.


He told a very small lie to make one day slightly easier, then spent the rest of his life watching that lie swell to the size of the sun.


This morning she first laced on her favorite tennis shoes and second laced herself to the back of the bedroom door.


She said yes when it should have been no and he laughed when the situation demanded a moment of silence.


Please she said and he said All right and she held out a dagger and he said Wow I thought you were kidding.


In the morning, as cool light painted both of their nude bodies pale pink, he could not for the life of him recall why it had seemed a good idea to bring home a woman with eyeballs tattooed on both of her sunken cheeks.


There was a gentleman who walked mildly among his fellow humans, worked mildly at a mild sort of job, married a woman as mild as himself, raised several mild children, and when he died the people around him immediately forgot he had existed, something the gentleman might have found mildly amusing.


In the dead still of night he opened a crystal box shaped like a crescent moon and removed an object everyone in the world believed to be pure myth.


So here’s where I live the mysterious woman said and the guy she’d picked up earlier in the evening hoped she wasn’t talking about the blood-spattered packing crate by the burned-out car.


When the pickup truck fishtailed she closed her eyes and held tight to the little plastic bag that had gotten them into this terrible mess.


Their love would endure forever, so long as forever was defined as seven days, three hours and eleven minutes.


Hot dogs contain a sinister and undetectable ingredient known only to the equally sinister and undetectable entities who place it there for purposes none of us will ever know.


I thought vampires only came out at night the lonely woman said and the man with the odd teeth and sunglasses said Don’t believe everything you read.


Things began getting truly out of hand when the people who last week turned into plush ducks began this week to turn into real ones.


Floating past the maple tree, heading up into the open sky he couldn’t help but think: This is going to be some kind of day. . .