Author’s note: The other day, after neglecting my journal for a day, I picked it up and entered a “zone” and didn’t set it back down until I had filled 16 pages. At several points I became aware that I was writing without thinking and enjoying the stream of consciousness, so I’d tuck my brain away again and keep going. Afterward, reviewing where my mind had wandered, I got the idea to share the whole 16 pages, almost exactly as they’d come out, with only one addition: the word Trope.
Why would you want to read this? Why would anyone care what I write when I’m just riding a stream of consciousness to nowhere or somewhere or wherever this goes? I don’t know. Maybe I’m the only one who finds this writing exercise interesting, but that’s OK. It would not be the first time, or the last. Continue reading “Gently down the stream”
(With the usual thanks to H.L. Mencken)
He brushed aside the brush and peered into the clearing, not sure he could trust his eyes. Oh, nothing was wrong with his eyes, it’s just that they presented him with a sight that would be unbelievable except for the fact that, undeniably, the sight was there and his eyes were delivering an accurate picture of the clearing.
Plainly, he could see – well, the plain fact was that hobgoblins were swarming.
He couldn’t tell how many there were – after a certain quantity the actual number became irrelevant. It was enough to constitute a swarm, and perhaps five hobgoblins would be enough to subdue the average person. When five is enough, then it didn’t matter whether the clearing contained a platoon, a brigade or a regiment: It was simply more than enough to overcome his solitary soul. He was toast if he entered the clearing. He was toast if they saw him in the underbrush. He was, quite simply, toast. Continue reading “Hobgoblins on Parade”
This time — this time will be different, he said, as he pushed the boulder up the hill to a precipice. This time, this time will be different, she said, as she gazed and reached for the woman in the pond. This time it will work. I just have to try again — I’m doing all the same things in the same order — it has to work one of these times if I just – keep – trying –
“I say, old chap, why don’t you try something different? Just adjust your aim a trifle, or try this instead of that, here and there?”
Different? But this is the way I’ve always done it.
“Quite right. And are you pleased with the results?” Continue reading “A ‘journalist’ confronts his tormentor”
Wanting to write but lost for ideas the other day, I reached into the vinyl piled next to my turntable and picked three song titles at random, then vowed to fill a page of my journal with a story named after each tune. I share the results for better or worse.
Continue reading “Saturday Stories: Three flashes”
The door burst open and the uniforms swarmed in, surrounding the old man in his easy chair, who raised his hands with a calm bemusement on his face.
“How may I help you, gentlemen?”
“We’ve good reason to believe you’re storing explosives and incendiaries in this household.”
“As you can see.” Continue reading “Saturday Stories: The Raid”
Once upon a time – what does that mean?
Well, it happened once – but how do you get “upon” a time? Is time something you can leap on, like a horse or a bicycle? Or does “a” time mean that it doesn’t really matter when it happened exactly, it was just one of those days? (And I paused just then – did I mean to ask if it was one of “these” days or one of “those” days, if you know what I mean? And if you know what I mean, why am I trying so hard to explain?) Oh, I hope all of this hem-hawing at the start doesn’t mean I’m going to have a time trying to get the story out.
Ah, well, then. Once upon a time – it was a time not unlike ours but long ago – a time when the rulers were arguing among themselves and people heard them argue, rolled their eyes and went about their business, because a person’s got to eat and squabbling rulers don’t feed anyone except the scribes who pay attention and write it all down as if someone cared – there was a girl. Continue reading “A time it was”
I always wondered where I would be today if I had stopped to tie my shoe and did not, after all, bump into her as I entered the store. I would have arrived five seconds later, and she would have already walked out the door and started up the street in the other direction.
Or I wonder where I would be today if she had been in a different mood and, when I bumped into her and asked her pardon, she would have said, “Watch where you’re going, moron,” instead of giggling and saying, “Shall we dance?” while grabbing my hand to keep her balance, which led to my swinging her around in a makeshift waltz.
Seventy years later, still holding hands, I’m glad I didn’t stop to tie my shoe, even though the sudden waltz ended when I tripped.
Finnegan Moore was good at starting things, but he seemed to have a phobia about endings, completions. It was if he believed that endings were little deaths, as if finishing a book was a good time to die, or finishing a work project, or the last film in a trilogy, or the last show of a series – and he didn’t want to die.
“Lord, let me live to see how the story ends,” was a constant refrain of his life. He was relieved to reach the end of the Harry Potter stories, but also terrified, because now that he knew how the story ends, would someone in the sky decide it was now an appropriate time to take him?
“But you know how the story ends,” his friend Dan said one day. “You know how everyone’s story ends – with an ending, and not necessarily wrapped up in a bow.”
“That’s just it, you see,” Finnegan said. “That’s just it. I’m afraid of finishing because it’s a little death.” Continue reading “The Man Who Was Scared of Finishing”