The sideshow acts had been run-of-the-mill. I saw a bearded lady and a man who ate glass. At the end of a line of tents sat one with no sign. The barker invited me in and I asked what I would see.
“Something that must be seen to be believed.” Continue reading Dixie
“But does it work?”
Dr. Seaver leaned back in his chair and blew on his mug of instant soup. The steam fogged his glasses. “Of course not. It’s just a thought experiment.”
“Oh,” I said, picking up a doohickey on the professor’s desk. “Of course.” The doohickey, or maybe gizmo is a better word, had protruding wires and springs and blinking lights that changed pattern as I turned the thing over in my hands. Dr. Seaver watched me indulgently.
“It’s based,” he continued, “on a faulty premise: the idea of the circular spectrum.”
“The what now?” I returned the gizmo to its spot.
Read the rest at Gravel
I awaken in the dark on my back, a crushing pain in my head. I try to move my arm, but there is resistence, something holding it in place. But I overcome the resistance and the arm rises, accompanied by the soft dripping of some sticky, viscous liquid. Continue reading Stuck
Every day Jerry started writing a new novel in the hope that the next day he would find his efforts worthy enough to continue. This never happened. Yesterday’s writing was always Yesterday’s Writing, old and dull and foreign from the new day’s line of thinking. He had been a salesman for thirty-five years, and he knew from experience that when one prospect appeared the least bit flat it was better to look in a new direction than try to import a mountain. So every day Jerry turned and indeed didn’t have to look far before he found something new to get his typing fingers moving. Writing was easy.
After a few months, however, it struck him that he had so many beginnings of novels collected in a stack by the side of his typewriter that he may as well explore the market for beginnings. Why not? Perhaps someone had assembled a similar collection of endings, or a whole lot of middles, and were actually in need of beginnings. Granted, his beginnings were not first-rate, but they were in sufficient quantity to give a prospective client an appetizing variety to choose from. So attractive was this marketing idea, and so tired was he of writing beginnings, and so in the mood was he for frivolous travel, that he straight-away packed up his beginnings in a black leather briefcase and went out to put them before the public eye. Continue reading The Briefcase
I woke up about the time the steady thrum of the highway changed to the crackle of gravel. I pressed my forehead to the car window, hoping the nausea would pass away quickly. I started to roll down my window but mom cried out in alarm.
“Close that! It’s too dusty!” Continue reading Tea
“Here, read this. Forty-two words.”
“Okay…” She reads. “I like it, but I don’t get where it says ‘explicably’.”
“I meant ‘inexplicably.'”
“Did you get that it’s at a hospital?”
“Oh! No…” She reads again. “His leg is missing?”