“Goddamn sand.” “What?” “G-o-d-d-a-m-n s-a-n-d.” Will speaks slowly, forcing the letters through the fluttering black on white kufiya wrapped around his mouth, nose and neck. “C-a-n-‘t s-e-e s-h-i-t,” Popeye yells back. “What?” Popeye yells in Will’s ear, “Said can’t see shit.” Will nods as the two soldiers brace against the orange wall, whipping dirty sand all around them. “Should stay here,” Popeye shouts in Will’s face. “What the fuck you …Read more.
Miriam and Cat
Cat waited for Miriam to get up. He waited a long time, but she didn’t rise. She didn’t put fresh herring on his plate. She didn’t fill his water bowl. She didn’t open the back door so he could refuse to go out in the snow. She didn’t clean his box, even when he mewled and scratched sawdust all over the rug. By afternoon, Cat was very hungry. He walked …Read more.
The Call of the Dragons
Thunder echoed in the distance as the rain pelted down, the cold, fat drops of water crashing against the traveler’s cloak. Tattered and frayed at the edges, one could tell from a distance the cloak and its owner had seen far better days. Shuffling forward in the darkness, the figure finally reached the doorway of a ramshackle inn at the end of the street. A battered and faded sign hung …Read more.
The Big Picture
Field Kallop is an artist whose primary tool is gravity. Her exhibition, The Melody of Structures, recently on view at The Tremaine Gallery, was an elegant contemplation of physics, mathematics, and the unseen structure of nature. The work is hard to categorize because it is at once drawing, sculpture, installation, and, during a public event when she constructed the piece, performance. As approximately fifty observers stood around the periphery of …Read more.
Dark Cold Winter Woods
In the dark, I pass a Schwarzwald. Pine trees drip and drool in the obsidian pre-dawn. The thick black copse is cold and damp like a grave and thin frozen firs scrape the dirty oily sky without giving shelter. No lingering for me. I feel unease and the apprehension that Hansel and Gretel should have had. Dank, inky winter forests drive ice worms into my soul. This dense night wood …Read more.
Chasing Rabbits Your first treatment you mercifully sleep through. Your first chemo and you sleep and sleep and sleep with your IV’ed hand propped on a pillow cross-stitched with magenta hibiscus blossoms. I’m glad you are oblivious to the gory war stories recounted by your fellow infusionees. Your gentle hand twitching, lip wiggling, and ankle rustling show me that in your dreams, you’re chasing rabbits– You and Queenie, your beloved …Read more.
I wonder what she would tell me if I could understand Like spies of any age, I want the key to the code that will unlock her secrets. Oceans Secrets of the deep Our desire to know drives us ever deeper Struggling to crack the code Yearning to understand our siblings Whale, Orca, Dolphin Do we really want to know what they have to say? Rivers Secret patterns of movement …Read more.
Waiting On Life
Waiting on Life The silhouette of an old woman rests against the window of her car. A red light gives her time to muse. She remembers translucent memories and holds her gaze steady. She is long past the memories of porcelain words uttered in false wisdom, broken utterances dropped like smashed plates on the dinning room floor. But she remembers the drive home. Seeing bronzed faces of men, Men with …Read more.
On the Way to Work
On the way to work, Annabel Prentiss found herself stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. An 18-wheeler had careened into a ditch off of the highway, and the back half of the rig blocked two lanes of traffic. Good thing her job didn’t require a clock-in time. It didn’t require much of anything, truthfully, except transcription skills and perseverance to put up with the hogwash at the office. She scoped deposition testimony …Read more.
The Story From Here
The converted Quonset hut had been bought from the military surplus after World War II had ended, almost 21 years before. From a former barracks, housing men on their way to that great conflict, it had been converted to a multi-purpose hall, in which many functions were held. On this night, the floor that had seen a big dance the night before had been covered in carpet and the north …Read more.
Only four years ago, Morrie Markoff began his fifth career. He wanted to write, be a writer. This weekend, he will participate in the L.A. Times Book Festival reading from his first published book. Clearly, at age 103, the title of the book comes as no surprise: Keep Breathing The interview with Steve Lopez captured my imagination. I was surprised and delighted by what touched me in this interview: Keep …Read more.
Why I Write
In the last year, I’ve taken an active, more formal approach to my writing by publishing an indie book on Kindle and CreateSpace, which led to submitting short stories here on bookscover2cover. However, looking back, the writer has always lived inside of me, that compulsion other authors will recognize to create stories on a blank sheet of paper. My earliest writing memory goes back to grade school. I was around …Read more.
Sinking Daystar I have seen 23,011 sunsets or so. Each one different than the night before. Each one a newborn, crying out on an early eve. There is something about a newborn cry. Your heart opens wider just at the sound. Your eyes are softer. Your soul more gentler. Their inch high fingers touch the sky. They enkindle the heavens. The clouds light up. Laden booties stamp golden dust from …Read more.
The Oneness of Eternal Water
Hokusai’s wave Stands still in time, Each tiny drop perceived, Its foamy edges clear, Far off Mt Fuji Fixing its location, That single wave That certain day. Hokusai’s wave Has been around the world One hundred thousand million times And touched the shores Of every land with bordered shores. From beginningless time Hokusai’s wave’s been drawn to heaven And joined the procession Of clouds that drift and sail Across deserts, …Read more.
Home is where the heart is, the saying goes. I bow to my gypsy heart And the many places I have loved. I. Oklahoma I was a child here, Feeling the way only children can– Learning what children learn– All life around me mysterious– In touch with my senses Of touch, smell, taste, sound. Pictures petrified with companion feelings Remain. Storms turning the mid-day skies to black Send us running …Read more.
Water wheels grind wheat and corn, drive the bellows that heat the iron furnace. We think we harness the water, in reality we are only borrowing its power. Paddle boats roam the rivers, the rivers that provide their power. Steam engines, invented in my own back yard, combine fire and water for greater purpose. The mighty Susquehanna powers a dam, the dam turns water into electricity. One leads to the …Read more.
I Stardust and a twinkle in your eye converge, you and I become we. We love and become us. A seed becomes a tree. A mighty redwood, statuesque ever reaching higher. A cedar of Lebanon, wizened bearing witness as centuries go by. Their roots a deep foundation. A dandelion, numberless as the stars in the sky wild and untamed. Their seeds take to air, carrying wishes and potential. A divine …Read more.
Talk to the Stones
Doc rose from his bed where he’d spent the last few hours. Ready or not, he had to speak with her. Celia lived only a mile away. Harley could stay with her, go to the same school, keep the same friends, live the same life. Plus there was the added benefit of Celia being Ellie’s twin. Harley might find herself in a parallel universe of sorts, Ellie gone, but not …Read more.
I dreamed I had me a daughter, magnificent as a field of corn swaying in the sun, at peace with what she knew and free. I dreamed of how I saw her grow, season by season. I dreamed of all the little things she’d find beautiful in the world that I could never see any beauty in till she showed me them up close. And she was generous like that, …Read more.
How I Met My Neighbors
The eggplant was slowly sizzling in the pan on top of my stove when the front doorbell rang. I peered out the kitchen window. A stranger stood outside our duplex. Not that I knew many people anyway. The military had just moved us into this German house less than three weeks ago. A glance at the eggplant pieces in the pan told me that they still needed a good ten …Read more.
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