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Once I bought the dog, there was no turning back. Even a get-well beanie-baby from the hospital gift shop becomes an imperative for me: he must now be delivered to the woman who shared Mom’s hospital room, even though Mom’s already home and I’m just here to get test results. Read the rest of this entry »

She’s staying at the only good hotel in town, a place I’ve never been, and giving a paper, whatever that means, and wants to see me while she’s here. We’ve never met, but I know things about her I would never ask anyone else. Read the rest of this entry »

This car is too big for our abbreviated family. Dad drives and I sit in the back where he can see me, as if I would budge, just the two of us since the accident that cut us in half. Beside him is empty. Beside me too. Read the rest of this entry »

He shows his hands as bidden. Across each palm, and flecking the edges also of his bare soles, doily patterns of lesion and wart, the arsenic array. His hands outstretched toward the inspector, palms up, thumbs east and west, Read the rest of this entry »

Mister Oldman is a sweet old man and a sweet old man shall I be, when my business is done and my children don’t come and my needs are as simple as these. Something new is among us now, ladies and gentlemen, the aged. Read the rest of this entry »

They live in molded plastic chairs bolted to the floor before the great black window of Gate B4, looking at the glass when they can bear to see reflections of what they’ve become, or through it at the sky that never brings their son’s plane home. Read the rest of this entry »

When I was six we nearly blew up the railroad station. I can’t believe it when I think back, but at the time it was so common for children to get our hands on explosives. The older boys, and by that I mean ten, eleven, figured out how to render the volatile agent from unexploded land mines in boiling water and pack it into cakes they could ignite with an improvised fuse. Read the rest of this entry »

All I’m saying, all I know and all I want you to hear, is that everybody could be happy with bigger hearts and smaller hands. We have so few responsibilities. Dip a cup into the stream. Everything else is just trouble we get ourselves into. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m sitting at a red light falling in love. She’s cute and small and dark and young. She would have to be young for this brand of romance. I can’t see much of her past the headrest; what’s more, the glare off my windshield and the tint of her back window filters somewhat her evident charm, Read the rest of this entry »

When we were dating, I thought it would end when we got married. I thought I could solve the secret of his unhappiness. Then we got married and it didn’t end. When we had our baby and it didn’t end, I knew it would never end but I didn’t leave. 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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