151 Extracted Words – The Tease – November 2019

 November 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a novel in progress.

They finished their breakfast, cleared the table and filled the sink, before heading for the Jeep. Jessie drove with Molly at her side, up front, and Tumbleweed in the back, prepared to tuck with oncoming traffic. There was little and, as they wound down the road toward Deadman, it became obvious why. The whole canyon was filled with a dirty, cornflower haze. Visibility deteriorated with every drop in elevation. The rain from the previous night’s storm had done less to extinguish the wildfires than its wind and lightning had done to stoke them. Overhead, the sound of helicopters and PBY’s droned up and down the valley like worker bees. The acrid stench was potent, stinging Jessie’s nostrils. She removed her sunglasses and pulled her bandana down to wipe across her eyes.

“It’s got to be pretty close,” Molly guessed. “I wonder if any evacuations have been issued. I better call in.”

 

Author’s Note: Now and again The Tease has featured slices from my upcoming novel. This work is nearing completion and, in order not to spoil any of its outcomes, this will be the last monthly installment to draw upon that source. Fear not, The Tease will go on, and the novel (in its full form) will be available soon enough. 

 

65 Extracted Words – The Tease – October 2019

 October 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a short fiction piece in progress.

 

The wet trail smells like childhood and the sky is painted dark like death. Between the two, hanging from the horizon, burn the changing leaves of Autumn, and his life. Slog, trudge – pause to glimpse the beautiful, the mysterious – then slog, trudge and carry on once more. The trail seemed to be all that mattered, all that existed, aside from his thoughts … and the fire.

139 Extracted Words – The Tease – September 2019

 September 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from an essay inspired by the lyrics from a seventies release.

The exit sign. Does it read the same from the other side? No, same door, different purpose.

“Could it be that somebody else is
looking into my mind
Some other place. Somewhere. Some other time.”
                                                    Alan Parsons/Eric Woolfson

139 Extracted Words – The Tease – August 2019

 August 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from an essay in progress.

When does the party end? To paraphrase the lyrics of a familiar song, its when the lights get turned (out) off. But is that really true? Some parties are just getting started when the lights go down.

So then, what actually signifies the party’s end?

At a wedding, it might be when the newly married couple exits. At a graduation or birthday, it might be after the presents are opened. When its a wine party and the wine is all gone … well.

To me, what signifies the end of a gathering is when the tables get broken down. Let’s face it, if you stay longer than the furniture, chances are, you’re annoying someone. Perhaps the host, perhaps the people they are paying to break it all down and clean it all up. Either way, take your hint from the folding chairs.

93 Extracted Words – The Tease – July 2019

July 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a novel in progress.

Jessie didn’t even remember when she and Mann came in themselves, but when she returned with their latest round of drinks (which had devolved to the level of vodka sodas) she realized they had been sitting on the sofa long enough for the darkness outside to have completely enveloped the grand, tall windows and their view of the valley. A seam of lightning cleaved the sky.

“Looks like that storm is getting heavier. The boys are in for a rough night. Gals too, hope they keep it wired tight.”

313 Extracted Words – The Tease – June 2019

June 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a novel in progress.

He packed the old Ford with everything he thought he might need, save the items he would toss in right as they left. He planned on getting there early, at first light, if necessary. He already had the place in mind, if it came to it. Hopefully the dumb shit would take his threat as advice and just hit the road, disappear, never return. But before he could even finish the thought, it soured from clarity. “Got damn, Cleopatra, as sure as you’re a Saluki, that kid’s a dumb shit. A neophyte, liberal, socialist dumb ass.” He spit in the pine needles behind the Ford’s toothy rear tires. “And people think he’s some kind of truth teller, but just like the idiots that mistake you for a Doberman, they don’t even know what the truth is.” He spit again, this time brushing at the stubbly skin covering his taught jawbone. “He’s a coyote, a jackal, and you’ve seen how I dispose of them.” He reached behind the dog and rubbed the wooden stock of his thirty-thirty. “Afraid you won’t get to sniff this one’s bones, though. One shot and we’re out of there. Might not even go back to the homestead right away.” The dog whined through her long nose. “Well, I wouldn’t care for that either. I’d surely miss the place as much as you, but we might have to run for a while. Might be a kick in the ass, anyway.” He smiled at the thought of crossing the heartland during the night, listening to emboldened talk show hosts across the land, their voices turning to midnight anthems, crying out with pride about the mysterious patriot in Oregon, and how he acted so boldly, the way we wished our leaders would. A crack of lightning answered from the sky. “Well Miss Cleo, sounds like a storm picking up.”

93 Extracted Words – The Tease – May 2019

May 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a short piece in progress.

Terrell, Ayesha, Sisse´, Cisehal and Michael all sat at the bleached, teak bar. Behind them, the surf crashed softly southward into the faraway. They all sipped lightly from their glasses except Terrell. He was pouring from the Beefeater like a man lost at sea, just trying to get to the bottom so he could put his message in and cork it.

“Why the hurry, sir?” Michael asked.

“No hurry, M,” Terrell answered, between the gold and white teeth of his buccaneer smile. “It’s tasty … but no hurry. Not even with the storm coming.”