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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 »

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

If tomorrow they locked us all in jail, how many of us could testify our way out? I’ve been looking at mug shot books all morning and nobody in this whole jury of peers collection looks not guilty. I wonder, if they gave me the book of women, would I find innocence there? Read the rest of this entry »

Until my hitchhiker showed me her gun, I’d been speculating whether crazy and neglect could render a woman nearly unrecognizable since I’d last seen her. She’d chosen a shockingly dangerous place to flag down cars, Read the rest of this entry »

The tiniest fang-like tooth, which, every time it has settled against the stop inside the lock, has kept the bolt from sliding free from the jamb of the big cat cage, had been misaligned from the start and, weakened by thousands of abuses, finally snapped. Read the rest of this entry »

In this 300-word paper, I will prove that the world exists, beyond a reasonable doubt, as I was assigned. 277 words to go. First premise: as everybody I know will tell you, I am to blame for everything. Read the rest of this entry »

Something so good and pure at the core of a man like my husband hardens to a bullet in the forge of an inhuman world. He might laugh at me for saying so. He doesn’t need me to sing his praise. Those who don’t know him will never admit his humility. Read the rest of this entry »

Limping from the crash site, she resumed the inventory she’d begun while hauling her legs from the driver’s seat: legs, two arms, fingers and thumbs, head, scalp, blood. She’d been driving fast on the rain-slick freeway to the casino, Read the rest of this entry »

What must it feel like to know you’re being operated on. Hear the happy surgeons chat about vacation homes while they stab and reach inside you. Just a few steps from the diner door, the first blow paralyzed me. I fought my body as it fell, but couldn’t make it move. 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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