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I saw him surfing traffic in the city and knew nobody was looking out for him. The boulevard at rush hour was impassible. Nobody who wasn’t being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw would have tried to cross it on foot, yet he was running with the cars, Read the rest of this entry »

Neighbors and strangers are holding bits of my childhood up to the sunlight, the better to judge them. Mom and I have arranged the tables in loose chronological order; attentive shoppers moving clockwise will see my unformed adolescent self unfold into hopeful young womanhood over there by the plum tree. Read the rest of this entry »

We started with an exchange of thumbs-ups, not because they fully conveyed our feelings but because we were plummeting toward earth rather quickly and needed a shorthand gesture for Yes, we will live; isn’t it exciting? Read the rest of this entry »

We were twelve and stupid, American kids living in America, lying on our backs at recess. You like that? We lay on our backs side by side in the sun, in the grass, full of youth, looking for shapes in the clouds. Read the rest of this entry »

I cried on the elevator, then over lunch and later at my desk. It’s funny now. They call me Weeping Will. Weeping Will stands looking at people who know him and though nothing they do is different today Read the rest of this entry »

On the edge of my bed, his outline brightened by moonlight, his profile sharp and reassuring just as it was, then later at the market his round shoulder turning, hawk’s brow silent and still, his little cap tipped so familiarly, thereafter whenever I need him, Read the rest of this entry »

—Do you plan to tell the doctor all my secrets?
—She won’t be testing for secrets.
—Suppose I tell her yours?
—You don’t remember them.
—That’s not fair.
—No.
Read the rest of this entry »

The kids formed a new government yesterday after the briefest of campaigns. “Who’s bigger?” was one campaign pledge. “I’ll tell Mom,” was another. Ballots were cast verbally, sometimes face-down in the carpet, and claims of voter intimidation were resolved internally by the poll boss. Read the rest of this entry »

The humid summer heat was murderous. Every year one or two were killed in our town, cooked in their rooms. At our house on the avenue, a fan in the attic drew refreshment from the night through our open bedroom windows and pulled the hot air up the attic stairs. Read the rest of this entry »

It starts as a comic premonition. He yoinks the plug from the drain in the floor of the ocean. He mans the big shovel that scoops whole countries at a time. A ravishing storm of flame consumes the sky and is not satisfied and goes looking. Read the rest of this entry »

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299-WORD NOVELS

Character, conflict, emotional impact. And sentences! Everything you want in a novel, without one extra syllable.

Behind the Pseudonym

The pen name David B Dale honors my parents Beatrice and Dale. David+B+Dale = davidbdale

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