Fiction

Both Sides Now

By on Sep 26, 2020 in Fiction | Comments Off

Thrice I jumped on the frozen river to make sure it was frozen, the river; so the kids would not fall into it and one by one freeze or be taken by the hard draft travelling. I could see it travelling its way down below, where my feet lay. Not only was I walking on thin ice, I was jumping and thumping all over it, but I was fine and it would be fine. It always was. Someone had to do it, and this someone was always Sally Marlow, ice rink and ice rink expeditions’ manager when Bo wasn’t there (and, see, Bo was never there). Once we were sure the ice was thick enough, the children got on...

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Cold

By on Sep 25, 2020 in Fiction | Comments Off

My whole life changed when I was 15. Everything I thought I would become. The future I thought I had. All gone. And I had such promise. I was a swimmer. Nebraska State champion in three events as a Freshman. I was going to go to college. Maybe the Olympics after that. But that all ended one blistery February day.     It had been sleeting that morning, and the wind was howling out of the north. Mom picked me up from swim practice in the old grey bus from the nursing home where she worked. She was late, as usual. The second I staggered through the door of the bus, two things hit...

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Black

By on Sep 25, 2020 in Fiction | Comments Off

There were wolves in the forest because there were wolves on the beer steins. “No,” his father said. “If Hitler did one good thing it was to kill all the wolves.” “Hitler didn’t kill the wolves,” his mother said, “and he didn’t do anything good.” “It’s a joke,” his father said. “It’s not funny,” his mother said. His mother had pink cheeks like the Hummel dolls she kept on a shelf. When his father said something she didn’t like, her cheeks became brighter. Her cheeks became brighter when his father said he was going to make her wear lederhosen and...

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Cohen’s Resurrection

By on Sep 21, 2020 in Fiction | Comments Off

The address read 615 Calle de Ignacio. To the casual eye, it was rather unremarkable; just an old dilapidated brick building, entrenched among seedy waterfront bars and makeshift warehouses which lined the Montevideo ship yards. For the last several years the building had served as a hotel to the disenfranchised: the outcasts and those whose pasts were forever sealed within the confines of this dwelling. After W.W. II, these “tenants,” many of whom came from Europe, poured into various South American countries, leaving behind them their nightmarish histories, be they the victim or the...

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Chicken Noodle Soup Maiden

By on Mar 31, 2019 in Fiction | Comments Off

Nineteen fifty-nine was a year of great uncertainty. What about the Russians? Why so many TV Westerns? But in Stuart Nation, Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood, I tripped over my own vexing questions like they were too-long shoelaces—all swirling around a girl in my fourth-grade class whose disinterest intoxicated me. I was a happily-chatty kid most of the time, except when I was around Carol, whose studied cool and blond, bowler-cut hair usually left me incapable of saying more than hello. To the actual Carol, that is; I shared some incredible phantom-afternoon interludes with...

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Lunch, 1968

By on Mar 31, 2019 in Fiction | Comments Off

“This is important,” my buddy Walter bellowed one lunchtime across the chatter and clatter of Germantown High School’s vast cafeteria. “And I can only say it once.”  The topic that day in 1965 was color—specifically, orange, the hue of a stack of cheese crackers piled high and majestic near the cash register. I’d questioned the wisdom of paying for food we each had access to at home, albeit connected to peanut butter in the form of Lantz snacks. Why buy them when we have them in our kitchens? “These crackers,” the tall, handsome 10th grader said in stentorian tones...

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