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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 »

Their lips locked, as if to prove nothing is casual. They had gone in for friendly affection and found themselves committed to something much more. Had they been teens in braces, snagged wires would have explained it; as it was, some inexplicable suction event was preventing them from separating their mouths. Read the rest of this entry »

People assume we adopted her. (I would assume so too, except that I witnessed her unlikely birth to my very white wife by way of a nearly transparent, very white, me. I don’t object to the riddle of our mismatched hues Read the rest of this entry »

—So, what are we looking at here?
—You tell me.
—It’s a . . . smudge, right?
—Charlie says it’s the soul.
—He also thinks gluons are guardian angels.
—That’s hard to disprove too. Read the rest of this entry »

Between the weeklong mentoring retreat and the four-day money migration futurecasting conference, Temple had only one day left for work, and perhaps because of that pending workload, Read the rest of this entry »

I might have chosen the needle and thread, thereby insuring myself a long if not necessarily happy life, or the bow and arrow, the significance of which seems obvious. My rich aunts had both grabbed rice cakes on their ceremonial turns around the table Read the rest of this entry »

He showed us what was on his fork, triumphantly, as if he had made it or given birth to food. I have no idea what this is!, he told us. What is this? He made us taste it from his fork, reloading as needed, and guess what it might be. Read the rest of this entry »

All these years later, I still find Barney’s logic compelling. We needed mitts before the start of the season. We couldn’t squeeze the money from the pittance they called our allowances. After expenses, and what the church extorted in those little envelopes, nothing was left for new equipment, Read the rest of this entry »

I promised my daughter my heart, forgetting it wasn’t mine. You were there, fat with her, already weary of the burden and beautiful, intolerably beautiful. You made demands: a hairbrush, a mirror, not that hairbrush, ice yes but not ice chips, a delivery date— Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, we understood it was a provocative topic. That’s why we chose it. To provoke thought. Next.

No, the question is not racist. It’s a speculation about race. Let’s be clear about that. Next.

Well, because it’s frankly ridiculous to base admissions entirely on test scores. 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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