A standout

“You’ll never find it,” Bobbi said, kicking at dry leaves blowing against her feet. “He left a gift,” Jules said, her hand shading her eyes from the sun. “so he also left a way to find it.” Bobbi and Jules stood at the corner of a vast meadow, a small grove of elms and oak […]

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Riding the rails

The law says a freight trains can’t go over 10 miles an hour when it’s moving through town. At that speed, if you’re agile enough, it’s easy to grab onto one of the boxcar’s ladder rungs. Sometimes, if the car had just been offloaded they leave the cargo door open to air out the container. […]

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Waking up

A small, subdued group of people gathered around the hospital bed watching the still patient. The rhythmic beating his heart was a regular beep synchronized with the whoosh of his respirator. His visitors hoped for the telltale flicker of an eyelid to tell them he was awake. Alan Poole was coming out of a 15-year […]

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Swim at your own risk

floating diving raft

Ponder Lake was deeper than it looked. The dive raft anchor was attached to the end of a mussel crusted chain so long it was lost in the murky depths. On a dare, I once tried to reach the bottom, inching down link by link until I couldn’t hold my breath any longer. I shot […]

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Warm milk and old oil

It was the smell that Vince would remember. That warm milk, piss and vomit mélange that always made him think of elementary school. Mix in the lingering pall of old, grimy oil, and the bitter tang of iron oxide on the back of his tongue, Vince felt like he was walking through a cloud of bad […]

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Tis the season for tough questions

Nearly 20 years ago, when my daughter was still in elementary school, she came home one December afternoon in a state of wretched befuddlement. That day some of her little friends were discussing Santa Claus and his rumored nonexistence. Apparently, some of these juvenile dream-killers were telling any of their playmates who would listen, that […]

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Looking back

side mirror on 1955 Ford Hairline

Looking back, Widow Winslow wasn’t a very convincing recluse. She’d only come into town Saturday mornings when she’d drive her 1955 Ford Fairlane to the Farmer’s Market where she rarely spoke to anyone other than to ask Satchel Brewster about his heirloom tomatoes or haggle with Natty Crowe for some of his sourdough buns. Sometimes […]

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