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Answer these questions, and we will match you with your ideal companion.

  1. What do you want in a wife?
  2. What will you do when that category of human you described, in 1, does not exist?
  3. What makes you think you deserve that category of human you described, in 1?
  4. Whatever happened to the wife we gave you the first time?
  5. If your first wife encountered you accidentally, would she cross the street?
  6. Would you cross the street?
  7. Would you end up on the same side of the street?
  8. Why do you spend so much time on the street?
  9. What is it you can’t find indoors?
  10. When you look deep into your heart, or your soul, or the otherwise random concatenation of incongruent memories that cling to your singular perspective, which emptiness, scarcity, or incompatibility scares you the most?
  11. Do you have a pet?
  12. What car do you drive?
  13. When we asked about your car, and possible pet, did you momentarily relax, equilibrium restored, and regain confidence in the questionnaire, partially?
  14. Do you want to sleep with your pet?
  15. Yes, we mean that kind of sleep.
  16. Why not?
  17. If you were forced to decide between finding a loving soulmate who would be your lifelong loving wife and watching your pet, who, for the sake of argument, had been snatched from your back yard and sold into a dog-fight circuit, forced into the ring to defend her life against a much larger and more vicious predatory sort of fight-trained dog, what would you decide?
  18. We thought so.
  19. This concludes the questionnaire.
  20. No, you don’t get any more questions.
  21. No, that is completely irrelevant.
  22. No.
  23. Thank you for your honest replies.
  24. No, you cannot change them.
  25. Say thank you.
  26. You’re welcome.
  27. An ideal candidate will shortly be knocking on your door.
  28. Be there. Answer.

I bought the newspaper out of pity before I boarded the local. It felt thin, and looked like nothing new. I swiped my card near the fare box and at the same time watched myself do so on a monitor showing me from behind, shot by the camera above the door. Read the rest of this entry »

I owe the Xuuxu my life but no gratitude. Once they flushed us from our valley and stood us naked, side by side in the long grass under the sickle moon, lowlands clansmen that the colonists favored Read the rest of this entry »

The water flows both ways through the tunnel of love, depending on which rusty lever I force! Like life, this tacky carnival ride with its soggy boats bobbing in a curving trough is not a circle but a figure-eight, or an eighty-eight, that doubles back and gives us second chances Read the rest of this entry »

Although I could be fired for asking out loud, your city council have all been wondering if other towns are shrinking too, and if so, what’s being done to stop the trend or reverse it. Read the rest of this entry »

Some of my stuff I want to keep after I’m dead, but Ariel can pick out three things from my toy-box, not three of the same things, like not three ponies, or not even two insects, but a pony and an insect and a piece of furniture would be good, and she can ride my bike when she’s big enough. Read the rest of this entry »

Before it grew too big to lift, the hospital could have moved to a better neighborhood or invested in its neighbors. Instead it pushed out handymen and cleaning ladies and street hawkers like my uncles Read the rest of this entry »

Our shabby little houses look like conjoined twins inexpertly separated. Her family’s house got the worst of the porch, ours got the sagging gutters. Read the rest of this entry »

I picked it up on a minor island, the one with the grimy harborfront, I think, and the spine of useless mountains like a broken back along its northern coast as if it had been stepped on. Read the rest of this entry »

My dear wife, the gentlemen who detain me do not understand why you neglect to send what they ask for my release. Try to appreciate that when they saw us get out of your patron’s car at the embassy, they took us to be valuable. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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