All in Fiction

Gary Thompson, The Great American Drifter

I felt a kinship to this guy. I, too, had always felt that without the trappings of relationships — the weight of accountability to someone else — I could do much more. Yet, there I was, afraid to be by myself for two weeks on a chicken run to the fray of a new life unknown. Riding shotgun was a guy who also preferred solitude but would still be stuck on a Great Falls road if it weren’t for other people offering up a little bit of their company.

First Season At The Unicorn Ranch

The pails of lemongrass milk we yoke out to slake them will be the same to pick up their poo: pink for girls, blue for boys. Noisome as a teenage pageant winner’s bedroom, it reeks of very horny flowers with a pollen fetish. If left uncollected the deep pheromones attract an unsavory population... I'm not talking about the diamond lice that we inspected their horns for each day...

Conversations with Whores

Old men with cheap cigars talking to half naked women, who can’t waste too much time with one guy because it’s all about turnover. Beyoncé was playing on the jukebox and it sounded out of place. Hip-Hop didn’t belong there. It was too cool for what was really going on.

Our Heroes are Socialists

“In this nation, athletes are heroes. In bedrooms all across America, boys and girls have posters on their walls of Tom Brady, Lebron James and Tina Charles. All of them card-carrying socialist union members. Imagine that, Americans of every stripe cheering on socialists in bars across the country. If they only knew...

Tuesday

Trash day. Last night's rain warped everything. Grass. Lawn chairs. I never know how it does.

Little pieces of tree and leaves are coming down out of the tops and spreading everywhere. Tiny dried up late-springtime bits covering the ground. Clods of them tearing by on this windy mid-morning when all else is quiet.

My sister saw the house with the eviction notice as we went through the old neighborhood. I remembered two kids, a dog, a trampoline, while we looked toward the empty open mailbox. Rain soaked tongue of its door lolling like an unwanted dog. If a house could be a loveless dog preparing to die.

Everything is wet.

Natural Causes — Part III

The visitor’s eyebrows arched at the sound of his name and he entered the room. He took Mary’s hand from C, then turned his head upwards exhaling blue smoke to the ceiling. And with great fanfare Massimo kissed her hand, precisely on the wedding ring she still wore. 

Natural Causes — Part II

On the ninth month after Joe had died of natural causes, Mary was in St. Francis reciting her novena for the dead, quiet like, lips moving, nothing coming out, holding her rosary. A shadow crossed her sightline to Jesus. She looked up, lips still moving, thumbing the beads.

"God bless you."

When The Sandman Slumbers

The world has turned. People now have the option to avoid sleep indefinitely. A simple pill puts part of the brain in a sleep-like state while the conscious mind continues. People spend more time enjoying life, being with family, working more. On average, most only sleep once or twice a week. The manufacturers of the Awaquen pill are formulating a pediatric version of this for children over two. This will introduce night schools and better education opportunities. The world is now much more productive and fast-paced. It is a better world for everyone.

            Except the Sandman.

Small World

The sand almost burned the spaces in between my toes, but felt delicious. Little stubs of thick and thin palm shoots would poke up into your feet if you didn't walk carefully.

When the plateau melted the blue water came into view. Sure enough there it was- three figures on a mid-sized daysailer. No chop, but close, and the broadsheet was full. Two orange stripes and the number D-850 standing out near its apex.

I am Matisse

I am Matisse, and this is a kid’s story, because I am a kid. I am nine years old and very responsible for my age. The other Matisse, at least the only other one I know, was a great painter, the father of abstraction. I have decided to be empress of the universe. I’m what adults call precocious.  

My Grandma-ma always speaks to me as if I’m the smartest person she ever met. My mom still thinks of me as only nine and my dad, well he just smiles at me all the time. Actually he beams. He doesn’t say much of anything.