1. Table Talk - A Dialogue Exercise

    The point of this exercise (in truth, it was a Short Story Competition entry) was to tell a short story solely in dialogue (beats were permitted). I chose to have more than two participants to make it more interesting. Table Talk “I’m starving,” said Ken. “It’s been a day from hell.” “That it has.” Laura stared at the menu. “Can I have pork chops?” asked Jack. “No, Dad, they don’t serve that here.” Jack waved down a waiter. “I like a good chop,” sulked Jack. “They don’t serve chops...
  2. Idle Hands

    This is in response to another challenge, that it would be impossible to write an interesting story about a man walking down the street twiddling his thumbs. **** Despite its name, Broadway at half-past nine on a Tuesday morning closes in on you. Matt paid the vendor for his breakfast, a foot long hot dog with onions, mustard, and sauerkraut, and took his first bite. Around him, people hurried past in nearly every possible direction. Even with the density of the crowd, there was...
  3. The Courier

    Malcolm folded the papers and sealed them in the envelope. He looked at the clock. The pickup would take place in the next thirty minutes. If he were late, all his preparations would be for naught. But he had to be careful. They were watching him, he was sure of it. They had a tap on his phone line, and he had seen watchers in the neighborhood. The surveillance wasn’t continuous, though, and he felt sure he could slip through their net. They were overconfident, and they didn’t know...
  4. The Siege

    This is a poem I entered quite some time ago, and then lost track of. It's a double tetractys, and I used the descending count (10 4 3 2 1) followed by the ascending one (1 2 3 4 10) to suggest the ebb between two wave surges. The Siege The surf explodes upon black rugged rocks a roaring beast dashed against fortress crag. Pause. Hissing, foam retreats back to the sea, marshalling rage to launch the next assault.
  5. Bitter Fruit

    This is a short piece I wrote in March, 2008. My goal was to write a scene in third person without any direct reference to what the main character was thinking, but still try to clearly convey his thoughts and feelings. I'm posting this not because I think it's a great piece of writing, but because it illustrates the difficulties of a third person objective narrative voice. Bitter Fruit Steven clicked the Submit Payment button, then set aside the power bill and picked up the next...
  6. The Killing Jar

    (This is a short story I am putting together around a character I created for one or the RPGs on the site. I wanted to give a glimpse of him to those who weren't around when the RPG was taking place) The Killing Jar Mack Grundy smiled. No one saw the smile, so no one was chilled by it. Down here, among the dregs of a dozen worlds, he was the Hammer of God, chosen to break them and render them harmless. He was looking forward to breaking the new prisoner. Not yet positively...
  7. Interviewing Jim Morrison

    This is something I wrote for a poetry contest on the site nearly a year ago. I hope you enjoy it. I sat myself down with the leather-clad poet My mission: to capture his essence in ink. The sleepy eyed singer of Doors fame waited as my head filled with nothing; I forgot how to think. The Lizard King put up his feet on the table and hummed a few notes as I stood on the brink of finding the ultimate question for him He pulled out a whiskey – we both took a drink. The questions...
  8. Cold Vengeance

    This is a revision of my winning entry in Short Story Competition 22, the theme of which was a Chase. Virgil Lambreaux was a dead man, and he knew it. He had nearly a sixteen hour lead, but there was no possibility of escape. His fate was sealed the moment he walked into the Icarus Base transport bay and recognized the brunette near the cargo lockers. “Rissa! What brings you down here of all places?” He hurried toward her, but his grin faltered at the cold glare she gave him as she...
  9. A Day In The Death

    This was my non-winning entry in the Short Story Competition for A day in the life of the Grim Reaper. He had a feeling in his bones that this would be one of those days. There were no fiery letters in the sky, nor whispers from the hollow dark; but a degree of prescience was part of the job description. Unfolding himself from the comfort of his cold, dank crypt, he wrapped himself in one of his identical hooded black cloaks, and selected a scythe from the stand next to the entrance....
  10. Night Song

    This was my entry in the first Writing Trinity poetry competition on the site, for which the challenge was to weave the words mahogany, dreaming, and afterthought into a poem. Although I did not win, I anm happy with the way the poem turned out. The warmth of your body melts into me musk and patchouli, your fragrance divine a cinnamon afterthought wafts from your lips I lie wrapped around you, at consummate peace jealous moon watches from October skies as the world of my thoughts is...
  11. Haiku

    I will post Haiku poems (plural Haiku) in this blog entry. The first one I posted here, however, I refined, and then added three more, to form a four-haiku cycle, one for each season. I submitted it to the Soft Whispers Seventeen Syllables anthology, and it was accepted an 10 April, 2010. I probably won't title any of the haiku I write. It seems counter to the spirit of the art form to add a title to a poem of 17 or fewer syllables.
  12. Neverending

    Neverending Nothing lasts forever. Stars are born of coalescing dust and gases, compressed under their own weight until they burst into nuclear brilliance. They blaze for millions, billions, or even trillions of years, and then they burn low and die, or explode in a last blast of glory. Even the universe itself has a beginning, and will someday wind down like a worn out clock. His lifetime is as evanescent as a wing beat of a gnat by comparison. He was born in what men call the dawn of...
  13. Blue

    Brakes screamed, and the world spun. Metal slammed and roared, and glass exploded. Moira’s shattered and bloodied face expanded before Kyle’s eyes as it flew toward him accusingly. He woke quaking, his heart pounding, and his bed sheets soaked with sour sweat. Kyle climbed out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. He splashed cold water on his face and tried to slow his breathing. In his recurring nightmare, he was the drunk driver who had split Moira’s car in half and stolen her life....
  14. Forever in a Heartbeat

    Todd Rizzo could not keep his eyes off the gun. Once again he lifted it from the coffee table to feel its cold weight in his hand. The Smith and Wesson .22 caliber pistol weighed 33 ounces, a little over two pounds. He was surprised how easy it had been to buy it through his friend Barry. The faint smell of steel and gun oil made him feel both nervous and somewhat excited. What the hell am I doing he thought for a moment. Annoyed at his weakness, he firmly set the gun back down on the...
  15. Morning on the Lake

    A thousand ghostly serpents stretch pale heads above the lake, warning the rising white wavering Sun. Fearless a grey shell among them slips. Shadowed pilot lets oars drift launches a silent line; a soft plop; the figure waits in vain. A starling squawks, the only sound to pierce the peaceful air. The figure lifts his arm once more another plop, and rippling rings expand. Then a splash, the rod bends down the snake heads veer away as water churns and figure turns a...
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