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I owe the Xuuxu my life but no gratitude. Once they flushed us from our valley and stood us naked, side by side in the long grass under the sickle moon, lowlands clansmen that the colonists favored Read the rest of this entry »

Although I could be fired for asking out loud, your city council have all been wondering if other towns are shrinking too, and if so, what’s being done to stop the trend or reverse it. Read the rest of this entry »

He’s not always easy to see. I can be talking to him in my room on a rainy afternoon with the radio playing and sharing a blueberry pie, and my dad will open the bedroom door and Deuce’ll be gone and it looks like I’m eating a pie by myself and talking to the radio. Read the rest of this entry »

I had no magic as a child. I would have used it if I had, to stop the Boots from kicking me where I hid. Flat against the bedroom floor with the floor of the sky just inches above my nose, I knew no safer, more anonymous place to be, Read the rest of this entry »

Sons make choices and, like it or not, it’s the mother’s job to support, which is to say I never liked his wife. A charming boy, he’s needed a lot of support. I don’t like thinking of him there, fragile in the heartless city, cocooned in that apartment alone with her, turning into what. Read the rest of this entry »

What happened to Shirley? Her brother was shot and she lived her life feeling shrapneled. I wish I could tell you her story. I’ll tell you what I know. Read the rest of this entry »

You’ll say I’m making metaphors, but this is how it happened. You could ask around. There are witnesses, disappointed people who repeat the tale to teach their children a lesson. I was a diver with a feeling for the calculus. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know how long he’s been supposedly dead. Nobody will tell me. They don’t like me doing research either, but he’s all I ever overheard about. He’s the most exciting relative I never met. Read the rest of this entry »

He wanders past the boarded-up businesses in town with a look of guilty surprise, as if he’d been tapped on the shoulder while spying on something he shouldn’t have seen, startled behind binoculars, and never bounced back from the shock. 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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