“You’re telling me there are seven new human-habitable planets, a mere 40 years away light-speed distance?” She looked at him, eyebrow raised. Continue reading
Somewhere up above the viscous fog that rolled and knotted itself across the meadow between fen and family farm, the moon shone full, a cold silver shield in the night sky. Continue reading
Joseph leaned against the hardware store’s outside wall, impatiently tapping his fingers. Its surface was cool in the shade of what promised to be another scorcher. He drew on his cigarette, then used the same hand to slide his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose. His fingers trembled and the ash dropped to the dirty sidewalk. Continue reading
Nora sat on a low rock, head tipped to one side. The meadow’s shallow pond flashed morning’s sun and last night’s shadows. Continue reading
Two boys huddled on the battlement wall, wind-blown and on fire with An Idea.
Between them the small catapult waited, fragrant with fresh-tanned leather straps. A pile of stones glittered, rubbed free of ocean, with chapped hands and tunics needing a wash. Continue reading
There was little light in the cellar, but it was nothing to the darkness of the army of boot heels sinking into the bloody ground overhead. Continue reading
Smokey sighed and sniffed the shirt front and wide-brimmed hat of the abandoned Park Ranger uniform. It had been dropped near the scenic overview, next to the Michigan-plated Lexus. Betsy likely hadn’t even noticed that her guide had paws, not hands and feet.
Betsy jogged through the underbrush, pounding her Calphalon saucepan with a designer stainless slotted spoon. The rhythm was irregular, to keep the grizzly ahead in a state of terrified confusion. Continue reading
“Enough of that,” he snapped off the television and stepped onto the back porch. Easing into a wooden rocking chair, he cupped his hands around his coffee, Continue reading
Her 1997 Honda rocked and groaned through the narrow city streets.
She knew the moment her car crossed from affluent to impoverished neighborhood. Continue reading
She flattened the canvas bag for a clearer view out the back windows, smoothing the thick blue rug that had graced the tiny apartments of uncounted siblings and cousins. Continue reading
She wrapped her hands around the hand-thrown mug, coffee scent misting the still-cold morning in an exhausted cloud. The metro newspaper lay splayed before her on the kitchen table, moaning headlines and sub-stories of international terror threats, environmental ruin, domestic violence, a floundering economy, and the collapse of another small local non-profit. Continue reading
The water tumbled and flashed, as if laughing at him. Continue reading
Rolls and soughs
A sweeping of sand across sand, the Continue reading
Cold. Literally frozen to the bone. Not that I’m whining. Not that I can do that anymore. Continue reading
A bowl of nuts dominated the coffee table, a nutcracker standing sentry, ready for service. Three wooden bowls with three types of crackers surround the cheese log, like wise men around The Child. Continue reading
She’d traversed the mountain, her skis crackling and sparking as she streaked down the final slope. Just a few kilometers more across the icy flatlands; she would reach the Hold before full sunrise. Continue reading
(A moment of peace, the calm in the eye of the storm.)
Just a few short hours ago, there‘d been a clatter of metal against glass, the whine of motors rotating through a thick sludge, the wet thunk of an awkward body, a snip and rustle of evisceration, the rasp of metal on metal, and a clang of slamming doors.
“I think we’ve done all we can for now.” Karen wipes her brow and surveys the damage. “When are the troops supposed to arrive?”
Lula, at forty, was too old to be a whore, and too smart to be a madam. Scratching a living from the arid Oklahoma soil did not appeal to her.
She never did cotton to book learning. At least, not the kind of learning offered at the town’s one-room school house. It squatted at the edge of town like a carbuncle,
Hands on hips, furious, pleading, she is at the end of her rope. “I know you have it. It was here just a second ago, right on that coffee table.”
He looks up at her from their communal couch, brows raised, close mouthed, hands clasped and resting in his lap.
She strode down the corridor, Gravboots beating a driving rhythm, her Sikshooter clanging warning bells off her generously curved hip. Ready for transport down to the moon, Arizon’, she suspected the Space Cowboy Coalition was playing them for fools. No profit, but maybe an adventure. She’d arranged her own transport.
I see you through the light canopy that enshrouds the bed, your cheek a false pink from yesterday’s gathering of early spring blooms. Sun shines bright through the window panes, warming the edge of your pillow. Wrapped up in a light duvet, its cover pale blue and patterned with tiny flowers, soft contrast to our sturdy wooden bed, you roll away from the light. Shall I throw open the windows and let the Green Man in?
There once was a settlement on Arizon’, 20 kliks from a ruined moonbase at the far edge of what the Space Cowboy Coalition called the 66th Quadrant. The planet to which Arizon’ had been attached is as long-gone and forgotten as its name. By all that’s natural and what we believe to be the laws of science, the tiny golden moon Arizon’ should have spun off and disappeared as well. But there she sits, spinning slowly, holding her place in the quadrant, wreathed in pearly-gray clouds.
A transformation is occurring…
Many, many years ago, when the red planet was untamed and sparsely populated–not like it is now, with its towering star scrapers and rumbling freewheelways—Schmitties roamed the plains, and the atmosphere was breathable.
A man could make a fine life for himself as a Schmittyboy. The pay wasn’t great, but the vistas couldn’t be beat.