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I spend the week wondering what I can do for him, not just unload but bestow on him to brighten his prospects without, I admit, ever wanting his hopes to glow more brightly than mine and yet, I want him to be happier to receive than I am to relinquish whatever item I halfway hide in the piles of trash by the curb. Read the rest of this entry »

This godforsaken gravel shoulder is as good a place—as bad a place—as any to have made your peace with life and dying. Still, you probably objected. Not here, you said, by which you meant, Not yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer camp for boys had been a nightmare of fellowship and other itchy rashes. For weeks, he had tried to find somebody he could like or a hiding place, but they had pestered him with bows and arrows, canoes and climbing ropes. The ropes he liked. Read the rest of this entry »

When the night voices tremble in your heart, so do you hear where each of us is, except for me, except for the one who doesn’t call. Your bed is damp with not knowing. Left to the black glass and right to your husband, you shake your head No all night. Read the rest of this entry »

I saw him surfing traffic in the city and knew nobody was looking out for him. The boulevard at rush hour was impassible. Nobody who wasn’t being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw would have tried to cross it on foot, yet he was running with the cars, Read the rest of this entry »

When I’ve finished writing my dictionary, things will be different in this world among English-speaking people and between you and me. When we first learned them, words were something hefty we could thrump with our knuckles the way we test a melon. Read the rest of this entry »

It so happens I’m sick of being a man if this is what it means. I won’t be home today or at the office either. I’ve been summoned and nothing else matters. Permit me to narrate. 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 »

They dance at parties now who only ten years ago moved like tan machines or seated at desks impersonated receptionists or standing stiffly with legs spread functioned as security guards. 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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