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Where we live, the troopers are always on call, even if their kids are in the patrol car with them on their way to the shoe store. I’m twenty minutes out, is all Mom said to the dispatcher, but I could tell from the road we took she wouldn’t be dropping me off. Read the rest of this entry »

We sit at a table in The Glade—a room named for the sappy paintings of pastoral scenes on its walls. Their grasses and trees are carefully balanced and in them nothing lurks or lives. Read the rest of this entry »

—Nevertheless you did kill him?
—I was present at his death.
—Present with a knife.
—Mine was not the only hand on that knife.
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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 »

In photos of my daughter’s wedding, I look thinner than I was and not at all as if I wanted to strangle the groom. There stands Sheila, radiant as always against a bank of pallbearer suits. Read the rest of this entry »

—Dad, are you trying to trade me?
—What would make you say that?
—Mister Moyer said you offered me for his daughter.
—Not just his daughter, son. That was a package deal.
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Had they been a less practical couple, my parents might have had children by accident. Instead, one night, before I was born, at the wobbly table in the breakfast nook, Dad drew a line down a page of yellow paper Read the rest of this entry »

She was never my girl until you took her and now that I will never get her back, I have reclaimed her. Read the rest of this entry »

On the roof of our apartment building my son waited for his father to arrive so he could jump. Meanwhile I, the attending parent, persuaded the police chief not to upset, by storming the roof, what balance our child still clung to Read the rest of this entry »

Sit here and wait and don’t move. I’m tired of telling you. Good, now stop squirming. Good, and stop whimpering. I need a moment’s peace. Are those your feet on the furniture? What do we say about that? Good, there’s hope for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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299-WORD NOVELS

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

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