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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 »

Sure, we can find your lost classmates and relatives if that’s what you want but our popular service is the reverse. That’s a misconception. You don’t always have to move to make a clean break: most people are easy to shake. Read the rest of this entry »

The room is dark and smells of disinfected pee with a hint of vanilla. Eleanor Barney must be here. Most of us have been wheeled into places and parked facing the screen but younger people with red ears are crowded onto folding chairs, noisy with outdoor talk, coats in their laps. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear mother, father dear sisters, dear wife, babies I am not sadness dying. That pain does not kill me. The stronger is making me I am sure when I work too long if I will ever come back. You send me everything from your letters that home is new. You are spending my money I hope. Read the rest of this entry »

The kids are playing Doctor in the sandbox. Our first concern is what they use for instruments but we let them have their space. We see them in profile from the house earnest and still. Their lips are moving.
—Where does it hurt?
—Everywhere. I suffer from a general malaise. Read the rest of this entry »

She was our youngest and tender-hearted (tender, in fact, throughout) and therefore hard to eat. All through the lengthening day, the aroma tempted us to open the oven and peek, to pluck at the crisping skin, to let just a bit of her escape. Read the rest of this entry »

We stepped out from under the big tent into the day. The bright round world, so numerous it can’t be counted, presented to me one of its faces, green and fresh with rain, sky shimmering behind the clouds, leaves sparkling in the fragrant breeze. Read the rest of this entry »

We were born and nearly raised by the time love was invented. Just after the big bombs went off, it was, when parents went looking for hope and found it in their suddenly nuclear families. Read the rest of this entry »

He climbs the same hill every day and, until there’s a day without news, the papers will keep on coming. At his age, he already knows to come down hard one foot at a time and press his whole weight onto that pedal, to lean his body over the basket, and look uphill, and swing his ropy shoulders above the handlebars and lead with his head forward, to overbalance the load that loves the ground and the machine that wants to roll backwards. Read the rest of this entry »

They have me locked up for something I didn’t do, which is lucky. If they had convicted me for the job I did pull, I’d be doing hard time somewhere real. 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.

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

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