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—Do you plan to tell the doctor all my secrets?
—She won’t be testing for secrets.
—Suppose I tell her yours?
—You don’t remember them.
—That’s not fair.
—No.
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Life may be short but forgetting takes forever, especially when they leave something behind. It’ll be four years now since Bob walked out with nowhere in particular to go, just trying to make distance from me. 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 »

During the funeral in his old hometown he didn’t give it a thought but when he needed a ride to the airport and couldn’t think who to ask he discovered he was in all the world alone in that particular way, 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 »

They could be sisters, Rachel and Ayat, 18 and 17, dark and doomed. Now departed they are photographs, not girls; they are headshots looking forward, side by side on newsstands and on TV screens, never meeting. They never met. 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 »

That was your idea of an apology, old man?—that preposterous collection of sophistry and insults? Did you forget you were talking to a jury of 500 farmers? Athens is still a democracy, whatever you may wish. 251 farmers can stop all debate. 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 »

What happened to Shirley? Her brother was shot and she lived her life feeling shrapneled. I wish I could tell you her story. I’ll tell you what I know. 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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