That Other World

Sometimes, somedays, you can almost get there. You can just see it, like it’s on the edge of your periphery, with its blending of slanted light among bright, endless colors. You can lay in a dark room and see it, just for a few moments, without really going there, and you get a smell of the grass, of the wind, of the water running through it. Just a few fleeting seconds… perhaps even a minute, where the mind is free of its shackles but before sleep finally takes you to its churning chaos. The fields stretch on, for forever and…

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Average Girl

She’d be called average, or perhaps that might be slightly generous. You know this, and yet to you, she is beautiful, even captivating. She walks beside you, and you can’t help but gaze at her, letting her eyes hold yours. She’s round-faced and nut-haired, modestly dressed more to hide being slightly overweight than for any desire to appear chaste. Her rose cheeks, blushing from either the late spring sun or her own feelings for you—you can’t tell which, though there is one you prefer to believe—have a smattering of freckles under those captivating eyes of… almost grey.  As you walk…

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Middlebury (A Gen Y Tale)

Tim stepped into the cool, dry air of his house. The air conditioner was whistling like usual, but he was tired and didn’t feel compelled to attempt to fix it. It could wait another day. He stepped over the hardwood floors and to the kitchen, where he opened the fridge. There were no cold drinks there; apparently, Marcy had forgotten to go by the store and pick up more beer and soda, just as he had forgotten the last time. Tim looked around the brightly lit house, his eyes resting on the floor-to-ceiling windows and the small garden beyond, which…

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It’s Random

My phone vibrated in my shorts pocket. I was honestly surprised I felt it at all, given how much my motorcycle was shaking beneath me. The dirt road that wound up the hill had gone washboard after the recent storms and the constant passage of tourists on trucks and dirt bikes. My old Yamaha was made for smooth pavement, and it punished me for taking it off-road by shaking my hands numb. My phone buzzed twice again, and I knew it was Devin’s girlfriend, probably frantic or furious – or both. She would have to wait. Maybe all night. I…

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Jimmy Turns Thirty-Five (A Gen Y Story)

Jimmy, who was “James” only on his tax documents, was looking forward to his thirty-fifth birthday. Like always, he had carefully managed his money over the year to provide for all the things he wanted and to have a bit extra to buy himself something special for his birthday. This year, it was a doozy. He had seen it coming all year and had taken extra care to stow away even more of his pizza delivery tips (which were more than usual), actively cutting back on his consumption of alcohol and pot. What had Jimmy’s mind wandering so much when…

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3 Easy Ways to Keep Short Fiction Short

This was part of a response to a free audiobook of one of my short works (about 12k) words, which you can listen to for free below. The comment was concerning how to keep short fiction short. Writing short fiction is really a different beast than writing long fiction, and the skills are a different set. If you want to limit length, here are a few easy things: 1) Limit the scope. A few locations, or one, rather than many. A few characters, or even one, rather than many. 2) Keep it to one plot. “A” story only, no sub-plots.…

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Iron and Clay: A Doomer Tale

Jim was the smartest kid in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. He aced every math exam, always tested well in science and English, and got exemplary marks in history. He was otherwise a normal, well-liked kid that played football and soccer throughout high school. Though he was never the star athlete, sports kept him active and grounded and provided him a good set of friends off the field and year-round. All of them knew he was the smartest of the group, but he never made a big deal out of it, preferring to go with the flow and help with homework only…

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Nostalgia Chronicles: Gen Y

It’s a hot day, and it isn’t helped by the thirty-five pounds of books in your backpack. You walk steadily away from the chaos that is the end of the school day; the swarms of cars and kids move steadily behind you, and the quiet of the deserted streets sets in, interrupted only by the occasional quip from one of your walking companions. One by one the friends of mutual direction peel off, and you’re by yourself, walking through the empty suburbs to your house. There’s never enough trees, and you begin to accumulate a layer of sweat under your…

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The Parable of the Wise and Lazy Farmers

There were once two grape growers, who each had plots handed down to them from their fathers. One of the farmers was a diligent, wise man, who followed the teachings of his father and was prosperous with his craft. The other man heeded little the gifts of his father, and was prone to vice and laziness. It happened that one year, as the winter was receding, the lazy farmer neglected to prune the old growth from his vines. The wise farmer, who went out to the fields with his children to prune the vines, noticed this and grumbled to himself,…

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Eyes in the Walls, chapter 2

I couldn’t shake that horrible thing from my dreams. It didn’t help that I had to go to the funeral home at least once a week. I did my best to focus on my homework, but I could never get rid of the feeling that the thing in the morgue was watching me, waiting. At night I imagined him following me home and sneaking into my house, standing at the foot of my bed in the darkness, licking his lips.

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