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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 »

Nature didn’t stand a chance against ruthless inventor Volante Volanti. By carving a simple channel through a gentle rise, he changed the course of a river for the noblemen he served, thus moving the border between two city-states and annexing to his benefactors’ gain the fragrant fields of the left bank valley, its shining marble quarries and the towns wherein their bitterest rivals quartered and trained. Read the rest of this entry »

Her guide did not lead the new doctor all the way to the village; instead, halfway up the rise, he gestured with his stick toward the cluster of huts in the high distance. Four days they had traveled together without talking, by oxcart, by flatboat, on horseback, on foot, and now she had a need to share her misgivings about the job. Read the rest of this entry »

I do so much more than gather data. My predecessor, the AIM12, was essentially a gather-and-analyze drone, but even she had vested interests, if I may say—and because of my protocol, I may—before they unloaded her higher functions and transferred her to payroll. Read the rest of this entry »

They came at night and brought me and my son down to the boat. I told him to bring his doll, but he thought we would be coming back. He didn’t want the men to see him carry a doll he called Mommy. The men were not patient. 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.

Behind the Pseudonym

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

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