Promoted to Exile: conclusion

Promoted to Exile (three)   If he liked looking at it as his advocate would have him do, Herward could say the affair had served to call attention to his availability. They wouldn’t like him entrenched in his work, proprietary in mood, growing secretive because he liked his reputation, lying, at length, to protect it. […]

Promoted to Exile: part two

Fifth Tourmaline: Promoted to Exile (two)   Or do I have it wrong, Herward asked himself. Is outrage passion, and hate…the flip side of love’s coin, well known to be. Enduring, then. He hadn’t loved Vonnie. Mr. Jocelyn’s government (Jocelyn today probably living high, on his pariah’s island), had agitated for what he’d called justice. […]

The Bog: part four (short story)

The Bog (four)   Now Laurel heard a country singer, the crackle of an energy bar unwrapped. Her sister might do this…be on the phone, snack and play music, put busyness between them. The sojourn would end, and they would not have spent it together. Rachel was nervous, out of her element. Laurel’s own phone […]

Spin the Wheel (short story complete)

  Spin the Wheel   If you don’t mind has to count as a question. By rights, you’d have to have a reason for minding…so you’d have to know what advantage there could be in opting out, guess whether the other guy would win the toss or lose it.   Try thinking all that without […]

Promoted to Exile: part one

Fifth Tourmaline: Promoted to Exile (one)   His advocate had told him to make the most of his new station. The advice was free, benefit of a passing encounter on Herward’s way out. The promotion had come too close on the heels of the charges’ dismissal, for him to suppose the whole thing had not […]

The Bog (part three): short story

The Bog (three)   The sad thing, maybe the ironic thing, was that at the heart of the bog, signal strength, phone reception, was fine. Two towers on not so distant hilltops could be seen, already—or always—lighted red. It was dusk, and with Amanda, Laurel and her sister were hiking a mile deep along the […]

Fourth Tourmaline: Sympathy for the Torturer (final)

Sympathy for the Torturer (final)   And he doubted he would know his grandmother’s apartment house, or even find it. You couldn’t ask someone where the street you remembered had been. It was subversive talk, this raising of nostalgia. He would not find the offices of Palma’s old newspaper, where she’d let him sit watching […]

The Bog (part two): short story

  The Bog (two)   “So if I start choking after a while, just ignore it.” He barked out another of his bitter laughs, and stalked himself back to his lost place. “What I’m trying to say…what I’m trying to say…we got a preserve here, we got a refuge two counties over, we got a national […]

Fourth Tourmaline: Sympathy for the Torturer (two)

Sympathy for the Torturer (two) He had been walking, fingering out the remaining jam from the jar. He would have to go on carrying this glued, more or less, to his sticky hand. He’d darted away from washing in a public fountain, seeing an officer ride up on her motorbike. As the gossip had it, […]

The Bog (part one): short story

  The Bog (one) “You’re confined in this place. You…and one relative. Spouse,” he said. “Child, sibling.” The speaker prompted; he spotted examples in the crowd, and pointed. And each of those he pointed to, three or four among a group of reporters, off-duty sheriff’s deputies, and protestors, laughed; by this self-conscious laughter, becoming vaguely […]