Coincidence

“It would appear that you are correct.” Shana’s lawyer studied the sheaf of papers again. “But why give it to you?”

“I’m sure he thought it was something else. He’s been handing over my home office piecemeal.”

“And you videotaped the exchange?” The lawyer scratched his head.

“I film everything I have to do with him.”

The lawyer leafed through the pages and pulled out the deeds again. Five of them, rental properties, and Shana’s ex-husband had purchased all of them during their marriage. “You think this is what happened to the savings you inherited from your mother?”

“I know it.”

“And you recorded…”

“Look.” Shana pulled out her phone and played a short clip.… Read the rest

Company policy

Ed ran his hand across a day’s stubble. “What’s Frank Dewitt’s name doing on this list?”

“He’s a fat cat dinosaur,” replied Jeff, the young executive on the other side of the desk. “And that’s the first place we trim.”

“If I listed the things that have kept this company afloat for the last twenty years, every page would start with ‘Frank’.”

“Edward,” said Jeff, “Are you arguing with me?”

Ed moved his hand from his stubble to the back of his neck. “I think you forget my position is being eliminated.”

“What’s your point?” Jeff leaned across towards his employee.… Read the rest

Rip Tide

Quinn Burgess dove down and opened his eyes behind his mask. The pretty little fish all darted away, and he swam after them until he had to surface for air. He kicked down to stand up, but his feet didn’t reach the bottom. “Swam out too far there!” he said to no one. He turned to orient himself to the shore and jerked his head in surprise when he saw how far away it had gotten. He started swimming in, scooping his hands in a strong breast stroke.

The swimming felt hard, much harder than it had felt just a few minutes ago chasing the fish.… Read the rest

Sunset on the Beach

“Here comes the cow,” muttered Lee.

“What?” Jay moved his feet around in the sand. They were wading in thigh-high water  on a sandbar a good distance from shore. The setting sun reflected orange, promising a vivid sunset.

“She’s been watching us since we got out here.” Lee tugged on Jay’s arm.

“Let her look.”  Jay nudged a sandy lump, but it was too curved, and he sent his toes exploring in another direction.

“I just want to enjoy this vacation.” Lee pulled harder. “I’m really not in the mood for a confrontation.”

“So ease up. Enjoy the vacation.” Jay removed Lee’s hand from his arm and instead intertwined their fingers.… Read the rest

1812 festival overture

It starts in low with the strings, sorrowful and full of remembrance. Let us not forget those dead who went before, those who fell, those who stood until they could not stand, those who never let fail. Here is their pavane. Hope and trepidation hold hands and carry out their somber bodies.
Listen to the clarinet standing alone. Listen to the battle story. The nervous thrumming strings are the racing hearts of memory. Now the brass! The first clashes build to tempestuous thunder and then collapse. But the winds rally! The theme! It is time for the theme! But as strongly as it begins, it fades away, and the orchestra waits, poised.… Read the rest

In the middle of the storm, in the middle of the night

Darron wasn’t a doctor, and he didn’t have a medical background. He had a pair of hemostats and his wife’s giant canning tongs to act as forceps if things came to that. He wanted a nurse. No, he wanted the midwife. Or the doula. Or that really scrawny kid who mowed the lawn in summer.  He wanted the fucking ambulance.

“Put down that phone.” Casey stood between the bedroom and hall. She was naked. “I am not having this baby in a …”  she groaned. “Count me!” she ordered.

Darron scrambled for his watch and its handy stopwatch feature. Casey leaned into the doorframe, and he drew careful circles on her back while he counted the seconds to the contraction’s peak.… Read the rest

Tomorrow Tonight

“Brangelina broke up again.” Nate adjusted himself on the barstool, but there wasn’t a comfortable position.

“When?” Charles, the bartender made a great show of drawing up a beer.

“It’ll break Wednesday.”

“Right.”

Charles moved away without ever meeting his patron’s eyes. This was important. It was his role as the front to take the magic knowledge to the bookies. All the bookies knew Charlie had a source. But nobody suspected drunk old Nate in the corner. Which was just exactly how both Charles and Nate wanted things to remain. Nate drank at this bar every night, and he made sure to leave sloppy drunk at least twice a week , or at least to look like it.… Read the rest

Cold Flash

Lacy’s pool was heated, but that didn’t mean it was warm. Jumping in when the temperatures were below freezing typically required a certain amount of gumption. But Lacy didn’t pause. She wasn’t a swimmer, but she dove like it was summer. The weather wouldn’t stop her. She thought she would have jumped into boiling lava rather than listen to them screaming inside any longer.

“Take her with you then, I don’t care.”

“I will! She’ll be safer!”

Lacey kicked back and forth from end to end. The air outside was frigid, but it was still warmer than the air in the kitchen between her parents.… Read the rest

The story of the fox and the very round grapes

Once upon an Aesop, the starving fox jumped up and seized the grapes. They were not sour at all. Then she choked to death. The moral of the story is plain: fuck fables.

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This weekend, Trifecta has asked us to write a new fable in just 33 words. Mr. Aesop and I have never been on what you would call close terms. So I’m afraid I took advantage of my fable to thumb my nose at him.

Read the rest

Cold beer, hot revenge

Three beers into a good drunk Shawn Devrie ran out of brewskis. “What the hell. The fridge was full yesterday,” he shouted at the garage.

“Some of the guys came over last night when you were at work,” yelled his roommate Ray.

Shawn snarled, “You owe me for three cases of beer,” and drove down to the corner store to undo the damage.

When he got back, Ray said, “You’d give yourself alcohol poisoning if you drank all that.”

Shawn found yesterday’s empties stored in plastic garbage bags in the corner of the garage. They hadn’t even bothered to crush them.… Read the rest