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With every swing she ages—sometimes younger by a minute, sometimes older by a generation—away she swings, back she falls, away. I stand on widespread feet, in sneakers on sand, in one spot for hours, pushing, waiting, pushing, Read the rest of this entry »

More crosstown than up or down, they blew through the city like leaves. At the river, they skidded into a headwind off the water and eddied through islands of trash that fronted the docks, swirling beneath the bridge they had never crossed, and went with the flow until one of them snagged on something. Read the rest of this entry »

The sign at the border with firm politeness welcomes me in my own language. I take it on faith it doesn’t play favorites but welcomes readers of other languages with equal grace, though why it thinks the Chinese will follow this road here I can’t imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

Chapter Four. If you retrieved the first three bottles, you know the urgency of our confinement and how to help us. If anything, we are more desperate now as the authorities close in on the operation Read the rest of this entry »

As far as I’m concerned, no teacher goes into a classroom without concealed weapons. I know I never have. Chalk is a bullet in the right hands. Students have no idea what I’m up to or whether what I’m teaching them is algebra or how to live. Read the rest of this entry »

He didn’t sleep at night until he had fed the jar. He hustled pool and won: nobody figured a kid could shoot. Mondays he caught shifts at the deli unless the regular slicer came back sober from the casinos. He ran deliveries of whatever didn’t burn a hole in his hand until nothing felt hot. Read the rest of this entry »

I wonder if the President feels as threatened as I do when I read his mail. So many citizens feel so wronged and express it in similar ways. We’re not naive at the White House; we know the country isn’t perfect, but how would torturing the President solve anything? Read the rest of this entry »

Travelers are forever being told the whens and wheres of the city: when the church was reconstructed, where the Romans took their baths, how the rains affect the rosemary crop, but all they really want to know is why the sad man shuffles on his knees from one end of town to the other, Read the rest of this entry »

As I packed my bags for Chrysalis House, I reviewed conflicting reports from staff whose clients, all old, had achieved 100 years or more and begun the change. I make no claim to their veracity. Some on the floors had started a third set of teeth, I read. Read the rest of this entry »

We haven’t always envied clerks and stockers at the Big Box store. Now we chat with Carl in appliances or listen to Edith at register 6 and we dream of following them home for a hot dog dinner and a night with the TV. A night in the family room. A porch. 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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