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With every swing she ages—sometimes younger by a minute, sometimes older by a generation—away she swings, back she falls, away. I stand on widespread feet, in sneakers on sand, in one spot for hours, pushing, waiting, pushing, Read the rest of this entry »

She’s a glorious bride. I don’t know how this day compares with her dream of the perfect wedding, if she had one, but her face is bliss. I’ve watched her since morning preside over the event like the owner of the day. I saw her take the news about the fallen cake without a twitch. Read the rest of this entry »

I promised my daughter my heart, forgetting it wasn’t mine. You were there, fat with her, already weary of the burden and beautiful, intolerably beautiful. You made demands: a hairbrush, a mirror, not that hairbrush, ice yes but not ice chips, a delivery date— Read the rest of this entry »

The next day, I understood French. Standing by the curb in my bathrobe and slippers on a frosty morning, looking for the paper in the shrubs, I saw the sparkling blades of grass and heard the crystals crunch beneath my feet in a suburb of a suburb of New York City—all right, Jersey— 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 »

This is not my usual business. I’m what my associates call a financial adviser but occasionally I will let out some surplus funds at an agreed return to help a person pursue a dream. This could be college; it could be a night of romance with a special lady, a shipment of cigarettes, or it could be something we all take for granted like walking straight. 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 »

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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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