“Bartleby’s Preference” at Crack the Spine

Yuri led an ordered life. He woke up at 7 am, and his breakfast always included half a grapefruit eaten with a serrated spoon. It took him 12½ minutes to bike to his job as a network security consultant and 13½ minutes to bike back (he lived uphill). The hour before bedtime was spent reading on the couch in his living room. At 11 pm he went to bed, and, because he slept soundly and didn’t dream, the time until 7 am the following morning didn’t exist for him.

Then Yuri got a cat…

Read the rest at Crack the Spine

With Fanfare, and Without

We entered the sandy arena three abreast and stopped in the center. We raised our trumpets, flags adorning the extra-long bells, and began to play. I have always gotten a thrill from the bright sound of tightly harmonized trumpets, especially when I have helped produce it. Halfway through, the two trumpeters on the outside turned to face opposite sides of the arena as we built to a climax.

When we were done, we marched out of the arena, through a hall and up some stairs to a small unadorned room, a closet really, where our instrument cases were kept and where we spent most of our time. We listened to the muffled noise from the arena as the knights were trotted out and attempts were made to whip the audience into a frenzy, waiting for our next cue. Continue reading With Fanfare, and Without