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It starts as a comic premonition. He yoinks the plug from the drain in the floor of the ocean. He mans the big shovel that scoops whole countries at a time. A ravishing storm of flame consumes the sky and is not satisfied and goes looking. Read the rest of this entry »

The room is dark and smells of disinfected pee with a hint of vanilla. Eleanor Barney must be here. Most of us have been wheeled into places and parked facing the screen but younger people with red ears are crowded onto folding chairs, noisy with outdoor talk, coats in their laps. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know this man across the table but if we’re dating, I’m a reasonably lucky woman, depending on my age, my looks. I don’t know much. A plate of eggs and bacon before him, scrambled soft, I believe they call it and nearby, toast in uneven stacks, so the meal is underway. Is this breakfast? Read the rest of this entry »

The day I nearly lost him, he was such a little man. Rolling his miniature suitcase down the concourse with his boarding pass, threading his way through the taller adults, he looked back just once like a confident boy friend, roguish that he was in the lead, then disappeared from the face of the earth, a suddenly vulnerable child without his mother. Read the rest of this entry »

Our fear of tooth decay is functional; of saber-tooth tigers is not; of decay—or for that matter decadence—as a destination, can’t keep us from turning into soup bones and stew. It might save us some pain if being afraid kept us from visiting the dentist, but once we’re in the chair, it only makes things worse. Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday I was grazing and cruising the heifers in clover. This morning I stand at the edge of the bull ring in sawdust and bullshit and sand, listening to music to salute an armada, triumphant strains for a dusty empire from trumpeters sniffing for blood. Read the rest of this entry »

In all our years together, she had never seen me without it. Even I wasn’t sure how I’d look once I’d shaved. Hands on the sink, I peered into the foggy mirror considering my face and saw her figure flash past. Read the rest of this entry »

In later stages of the experiment, there was little to distinguish the personalities of man and dog, wolf and wolfman, shark and man. Read the rest of this entry »

Three directions you must know: Out, Too Deep, and the slightly curved Goodness that extends forever and gives our lives meaning. Out is the direction of peril and food. Too Deep is oblivion. Some can be brought back from the deep, but they come back as food. 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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