Daily Archives: August 24, 2015

No Exit (Yet)

No Exit (Yet) Sartre was right, at least temporarily, for this woman (11/2002; ultra short)   “Don’t make me go. I don’t want to go,” Linda pleaded. “But you have to.” “Why? Why do I have to? I don’t understand.” “Because you can’t be here.” “What do you mean? I’m here aren’t I? And it’s so lovely here. So peaceful.” Linda looked longingly upon the quiet calm. “I know you want to be with us. We’ve seen that for years. But you’re not supposed to be here yet.” It broke his heart to see someone like Linda in this situation. […]

Would You Turn The Key?

Would You Turn The Key? Which way would you go? (12/2002; ultra short)   The red light flashed on the gray wall. The klaxons rang, painfully loudly. The two men instinctively turned and looked at one another in disbelief. Or perhaps in terror. The light and the siren meant only one thing – fire the missiles. The men reluctantly removed their operations manuals and strained to perform the steps listed. It was finally time for the two final steps. Steps that would lead to the destruction of the world as they knew it. But one of the men began having […]

Mr. Kim’s

Mr. Kim’s A soothing, relaxing day at the spa. Or is it? (12/2002; ultra short)   Mary Thomas had just completed a grueling six-month assignment with a demanding client and decided to treat herself to a day of pampering. After sleeping in until ten o’clock – something that she hadn’t done in years – Mary rolled out of bed and put on a pair of sweat pants and a ratty AIDS Walk t-shirt. She didn’t even bother to shower. She pulled a torn, fading Yankees baseball cap down over her unruly hair instead of combing it. After a quick bowl […]

Parental Pressure

Parental Pressure Charley’s parents always hoped he’d be successful… (12/2002; ultra short)   Charley was nervous. Really nervous. More nervous than he was when he took the advanced placement tests in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Calculus. Even more nervous than when he had to give his graduation speech as his class’ valedictorian. Charley paced back and forth outside the bar’s front door, occasionally shaking out his arms and legs but his attempts to loosen up didn’t seem to work. He re-entered the bar and headed to the back of the smoky performance area. There he waited. Scott, a guy he’d […]


Discretion Would your lips be sealed? (12/2002; ultra short)   “You did?” “Uh huh.” “Really?” “Really.” “With Marshall? Last night?” “Yep.” “With Marshall?” “Mm hmmmmm,” Jane practically purred. “I thought he was gay.” “He is definitely not gay. I’ve got three used condoms in my trash can at home that can definitely attest to that.” “Wow!” “You can say that again,” Jane said conspiratorially with a wicked smile on her face. “Marshall? Marshall from accounting? With the HP 41C calculator in his shirt pocket?” “What’s so hard to believe? If you take off his glasses, he’s got the most amazing […]

The Mourning After

The Mourning After Tina Turner sang it best… (1/2003; ultra short)   The house was overflowing with people. Old people. All friends of Abe’s. They were everywhere – at the kitchen table, in the living room, on the two dozen folding chairs she’d set up in the piano room. They were all so old, she thought to herself. Their clothes were worn and rumpled and saggy. And they all smelled, well, old. Tina, 28, was considerably younger than Abe had been. Most of her friends wondered why a beautiful, shapely girl like Tina married a geriatric like Abe. Tina told […]

Unhappy Girl

Unhappy Girl A sad tale. A happy ending? (1/2003; ultra short)   She seems to be whining all the time. She seems to be screeching all the time. She seems to be crying or pouting or all the time. She’s never happy. She’s never in a good mood, enjoying the day. She’s never happy playing with the other kids. It’s a shame. I can’t help wonder whether, in the moment she was conceived, there was a seed of unhappiness, of discontent, of evil even that passed through her mother’s placenta. So, see, perhaps it’s not her fault. Perhaps when her […]


Butterfly Inspired by a recent trip to India, and an amazing person. (6/2004; ultra short)   With cream-colored wings with golden highlights, she floats across the field gracefully, effortlessly. The lights turn toward her, drawn to her life force. Her wings flap and the air currents ripple across the grassy field. Time stands still as she tangos by. No other living creature exists. Or rather, they exist but simply don’t matter. With deep blood red wings now, she is bewitching and captivating. Watchers stop still. She is the one they watch. She is the one they admire. The field is […]

It Makes Me So Sad

It Makes Me So Sad Hugs make the world go around. So let it be written. (3/2005; ultra short)   She said, “The world doesn’t run on love.” Why did she have to go and say something like that? It makes me so sad. I don’t even really know what she meant, and it still makes me so sad. She’s drawn to the proverbial stray dog in need of help. Hers is a crooked, cockeyed, scrawny fellow. Hers is the pudgy eight-year-old boy with acne. The old man practically blind in both eyes. The shy, skinny girl lacking self-confidence. She […]

Lottery Blues

Lottery Blues Lucky is in the eye of the beholder. (1/2006; ultra short)   Four snores and seven dreams ago, I was poor. Not any more. You see, I won the Mega Interstate Lottery. $425 million. Actually, I took the one-time payout, which was “only” $250 million. I bought myself an all-you-can-eat lobster dinner and then placed the rest on green double zero against everyone’s angry objections. Unfortunately, I won. Now I’m worth something north of $6 billion. And I own the casino that couldn’t pay up. Being poor was so much better. No, that’s not quite right. It was […]

Rainbow Cat

Rainbow Cat A boy and his parents are pleasantly surprised. (1/2006; children’s story)   At dinner one night, Peter and Katherine asked their parents if they could get a pet. Mom looked at Dad. Dad looked at Mom. They said yes! “We could get a horse,” Peter exclaimed. “Horses are too big and they eat too much,” Dad explained. “We could get a dinosaur,” Katherine suggested. “Dinosaurs are even bigger than horses,” Mom said. “And they eat more, too,” said Dad. “We could get an alligator or a lion or a tiger,” Peter tried. “Alligators and lions and tigers have […]


Famine Which is better, feast or famine, or scraps every day? (3/2006)   She promised me that we’d feast, that there’d be lavish, opulent platters of every kind of delicacy known to man. Sure, she also told me there’d be days of hunger too, difficult stretches of famine. But for quite some time now, there’s been too much too little and not enough too much. We lived on the streets of Rotterdam. Most days, we had clothes on our backs that fit. Sometimes the clothes were even clean. Sometimes, though, our clothes were tattered and torn until we could find […]

The Round of His Life

The Round of His Life This man will remember this round of golf – and this day – forever. (10/2001)   Greg punched the alarm clock just seconds after it went off. The neon green display read 4:30 a.m. Somehow, even in his sleep, Greg must have sensed that the round of golf he was scheduled to play in just over 90 minutes was going to be the round of his life. Greg quietly slipped out of bed, not wanting to disturb his wife, Nancy, lying next to him. Nancy was eight months pregnant with their first child. Greg figured […]

Building a Bridge

Building a Bridge A king gets help with an important project from a young boy. (10/2001)   There once was a King who ruled in a far away land. His name was King Two Sides. King Two Sides ruled a land called Yarzach. This land encompassed many hundreds of acres of land, with two large lakes and a river that snaked its way between the lakes, dividing the land into two regions. Both regions of the land were beautiful in their own way. The regions were also very different from one another. The King wanted to commission a bridge so […]

Ten Questions

Ten Questions A man meets a woman and finds out if she’s compatible… (11/2002)   As soon as he opened the door, Robert Sherman suddenly felt heavy, like he always felt when going out to a bar. He’d all but given up hope that he’d find Ms. Right at a place where people attempted to turn slurred speech into glamour. He felt heavy from the apparent futility of it all. Robert stood just inside the doorway for a minute and allowed his eyes to adjust to the bar’s relative darkness compared to the glaring outer lights that served as a […]

Dream House

Dream House A tale of a very special house. (12/2002)   Her hair still a mess, but her teeth brushed, Claire closed the door to the guest bedroom in which she had slept and skipped down the stairs and entered the kitchen. “Good morning, Anne,” she said as she saw her host sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper. “Good morning, Claire. How did you sleep?” Claire didn’t really know how to answer; she hadn’t actually slept much and yet felt incredibly well rested. She had had the most amazing dream of her […]