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The next day, I understood French. Standing by the curb in my bathrobe and slippers on a frosty morning, looking for the paper in the shrubs, I saw the sparkling blades of grass and heard the crystals crunch beneath my feet in a suburb of a suburb of New York City—all right, Jersey— Read the rest of this entry »

So many words are already written on a dollar bill, it hardly needs more language from me, words as evocative as God and Trust, as if heaven had to sanction my buying a croissant, beautiful words though, about my public and private debts. Read the rest of this entry »

We bought the farm, not to grow anything, but because it came with so much food. The farmer had died without a will and let it go for taxes, complete with furniture and cars, and in the barn some big machines we siphoned of their gas to joyride down the country lanes. Read the rest of this entry »

He was never the brash young hurler from Texas or Australia who brushed back batters from the plate with high inside heat. From the start, he threw more college stuff. I didn’t try to change him. I work with what I know is on the mound on game day. Read the rest of this entry »

Good morning, voters. Just last night I signed my name without pausing to 200 pieces of pending legislation, each of them crafted to meet a specific human need, but I couldn’t sign the 201st. It was a crafty piece of legislation too, I’m told, Read the rest of this entry »

Achilles has been making trouble down at the corner store. Yesterday, it was the coolers: they weren’t sufficiently chilling his beverages. We tried apologizing. He only fumed, and fixed us with his godlike glare, and gnawed his garments. Read the rest of this entry »

He should only hang. He only survived his youth because he had his parents overmatched and lived by their protection. Their idea of punishing Butchie was to limit him to slightly less of something the rest of us couldn’t afford even a little of. Read the rest of this entry »

The box is richly padded and, for one who won’t be stirring, roomy. I should have lived as comfortably, in darkness as conducive to long remembering. This is no way to begin. I am paper and bone in a box under earth as blunt as a clod. My words should be simple as sand. Read the rest of this entry »

This is not my usual business. I’m what my associates call a financial adviser but occasionally I will let out some surplus funds at an agreed return to help a person pursue a dream. This could be college; it could be a night of romance with a special lady, a shipment of cigarettes, or it could be something we all take for granted like walking straight. Read the rest of this entry »

—Do you plan to tell the doctor all my secrets?
—She won’t be testing for secrets.
—Suppose I tell her yours?
—You don’t remember them.
—That’s not fair.
—No.
Read the rest of this entry »

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299-WORD NOVELS

Character, conflict, emotional impact. And sentences! Everything you want in a novel, without one extra syllable.

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The pen name David B Dale honors my parents Beatrice and Dale. David+B+Dale = davidbdale

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