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The FREE Kindle promotion for my novella: “Love in the Time of Rising Gas Prices” – a spoof of love, second chances, and prison breaks–runs until Sunday 11/22/15.
Available on Amazon / Kindle (link below)
(No Kindle? see “Read on any device” instructions on the Kindle site)
Love in the Time of Rising Gas Prices http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZJVGSQ
What’s it about?
Nelie Calip lives alone with her half-sister/maid in a 200-room mountaintop mansion overlooking the quiet village of Blind Peaks. She has just about given up finding true love. Ray Norsi is an escapee from the maximum security penitentiary at Quincy who’s just arrived in Blind Peaks. He’s just about given up making sense of the glass half empty, half full paradox. Will they meet? Fall in love? Sell books?
Continuing with the Flash Fiction stories I wrote this year for the Writer Unboxed FF Contest (Round 4). Here’s one that didn’t win any awards. Enjoy the day, and please feel free to comment.
After Peters lugged the rooter out to the schoolyard drain, he cleared the debris from the grate, removed it, and pushed the cable down the drainpipe with the hope if everything went as planned, the snake would clear the line without a problem, and he could get to the dozen other maintenance jobs marked urgent on his list.
His mind drifted.
Had it been that long? He couldn’t help smiling, remembering Andrea’s face when she told him the ring fell down the bathroom sink.
He pulled the line back. His left knee acting up again. “Damn,” he said. “These drains.”
It’ll get easier, friends said. Give it time. To them, time was appointments and places to be and slots to fill. Peters saw time for what it was, a place without light.
“How’s it coming?”
Peters didn’t turn. Not Reynolds’ inquiries, not now.
“Listen,” said his supervisor. “Finish here and get that broken window by the teachers lounge fixed. If you can’t clear this, don’t waste time with it.”
The rooter cable caught. Peters jerked the line. “C’mon, dammit.”
Andrea had always said his temper matched his determination.
He yanked the line, sent it through again. Nothing. “C’mon, dammit.” He tried again. “C’mon.”
He explained elbow joints to her, but seeing he’d retrieved it, she never let him finish. “Needs a good cleaning,” he’d said, handing Andrea the smudged wedding ring.
The line clear, Peters coiled the cable, and crossing the schoolyard, sought that place of light.
Here’s the first of the Flash Fiction (250 word) stories I wrote back in January in response to the Contest on the Writer Unboxed site.- Enjoy
Two of their neighbors brought the tabletop lantern into the living room.
“Perfect spot,” Adele blurted, quickly rubbing her arms.
Royce kept silent. It made the room obscenely bright, even revealing strands of a lifeless cobweb floating near the ceiling.
“Well,” said the taller neighbor. “Candle’s battery-operated. No fire worries. It’ll burn two weeks. Be back Saturday. Next neighbor’s turn. Y’know, set by the window like that, even passersby may notice. Bless you both and may you find peace in the light.”
Peace in the light? What a line of crap. Royce had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. But look at this. Adele on the verge of tears. And when wasn’t she?
“It’s beautiful,” she told the two neighbors as they were leaving, and afterward stood transfixed before the table and the lantern’s light.
“What’re you simple-minded?” Royce yelled from across the room.
“So pure, so peaceful,” Adele answered.
“Yeah, pure stupidity.”
“Not true. Something . . . more. I feel it. You must believe me.”
“Been snookered’s what I believe.”
The light reflecting off Adele’s face at that moment was like nothing Royce had seen before. It wasn’t simply that she looked suddenly younger, although that was part of it, but that she wore an expression of such innocence it made his muscles limp.
But the feeling passed, tightening as quickly as it came.
“Move away!’ he shouted, reaching Adele. But she remained transfixed by the light, and unmoving, despite his relentless punishment.
Today’s the birthday of short story writer Katherine Mansfield 10/14/1888 – 1/9/23. Back in the day studying the short story, I became interested in Mansfield’s writing not only because she’d been influenced by Chekhov but her style, like Hemingway’s, was lean. Something I admired then, and now.
A sampling of her writing: from Miss Brill:
Although it was so brilliantly fine–the blue sky powdered with gold and great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardines Publiques–Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur. The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting–from nowhere, from the sky.
. . . waking up as Donald Trump and knowing your only goal is to have another bad hair day?
(From a writing exercise from author Rick DeMarinis): Convince yourself that your aim is not to compose a short story. Instead write nothing more than a single interesting paragraph with no long-range goal in mind. Requirements of this paragraph are twofold: it must contain an action of some kind, and it must suggest a mystery. (By “mystery” I mean that the action itself is not understandable from what we have been given in the paragraph). My response:
A young woman in a thick black winter coat pulled an orange out of the grocery bag she was carrying and set it on the ledge of a concrete wall in front of the building that once housed the orphanage. A man inside the building passing a window on the second floor noticed what she was doing and was certain she was the one responsible for leaving various food items on the ledge recently. He decided to go outside and tell her that what she was doing wasn’t legal and she would need to stop, but halfway down the staircase he remembered something he’d long ago forgotten, and instead of admonishing the young woman he dialed a phone number written on a paper tucked inside his wallet.