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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 »

He climbs the same hill every day and, until there’s a day without news, the papers will keep on coming. At his age, he already knows to come down hard one foot at a time and press his whole weight onto that pedal, to lean his body over the basket, and look uphill, and swing his ropy shoulders above the handlebars and lead with his head forward, to overbalance the load that loves the ground and the machine that wants to roll backwards. Read the rest of this entry »

Rumors of my death are only slightly exaggerated, son. I’m so close to dying I taste ashes. There’s little time for me to atone for a lifetime of neglect—of you, I mean; I didn’t neglect much—but, no matter, this should do it. It’s more than a will; it’s your life from here forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Sons make choices and, like it or not, it’s the mother’s job to support, which is to say I never liked his wife. A charming boy, he’s needed a lot of support. I don’t like thinking of him there, fragile in the heartless city, cocooned in that apartment alone with her, turning into what. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear B—
You can’t imagine how a woman of substance has changed this house and all your boys, me included. Billy brought her, thinking she was his, but they’ve each found reasons to love her, features of you, I think, that they vaguely remember. Read the rest of this entry »

My boy powers a line drive through the gap just about every time. Claims he does it by not caring, taking easy swings. Me, I spray the ball to every corner of the park, 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 »

I am my own god and when on the eighth day I wake to survey the universe I have wrought and baited to snare the helpless unsuspecting and extract from them their thanks, I find it sprung by circumstance. Read the rest of this entry »

I took my son to work today and they gave him my job. He looked so earnest in his Bullwinkle tie: regional vice-presidential, in fact, apparently. Stakeholder-inspiring, they called him, a paradigm shift in leaderliness. Read the rest of this entry »

At 26, with the assistance of a team of psychological facilitators spending down a healthy post-doctoral research grant, he began to retrieve repressed memories of abuse he had suffered as a child 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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