Category Archives: Short Fiction

The Proposal

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Monday, November 7, 2011

It was late, almost 8:30, too late to walk home and go back out for dinner, and something about the light rain on a cool fall night made the thought of getting carryout even more dismal than usual. Tonight, he would unwind at this bistro, in the middle of the block on one the local streets that wound their way between the boulevards.

“Hey, Bobby.” It was Carla, on her way to the bar to pick up some beers for one of her tables, one of the waitresses who recognized him as a regular.

“You know my name isn’t ‘Bobby,’ don’t you?”

“Yeah, I know,” she smiled back at him. “It just feels right whenever I say it. ..Go ahead. Sit anywhere you want. I’ll tell her you’re here.”
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The Elevator Trilogy

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Part 1: Going up.

Our story begins the morning after the night when the crew from Otis started renovating the other elevator. There were only two. True, the building was relatively short, a mere 28 stories tall, having been built in a era before downtown property values pushed buildings to the sky, but the elevators were soooo slow, so crowded, stopping on virtually every floor, they were the prefect place, you guessed it, for love.

Of the twelve people waiting in the lobby, two of them, unbeknownst to each other, were about to meet. For the sake of discussion, we’ll call them Bob and Jane, not because I’m trying to protect their identities, but because those were their names. Their names may have been ordinary but, trust me on this, they were not.
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The Ladies Room

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Monday, October 17, 2011

“I don’t understand why everyone’s so upset.” Alisha, now Assistant to the new CEO, stood outside the outgoing CEO’s office, talking fast, the way she did, in a loud whisper to her girl friend, Mel, whose arms were full of supplies. By outgoing, in this case, we mean “dead.”

“I know.” Mel widened her eyes and tilted her head in agreement. “Sure, he founded the place. I get it, but the guy was like over 90 years old.”

“Even so, you know, he was in great shape, for his age I mean. You know Wendy in Accounting?”

“Sure. We used to chat when I was on her floor, until her hearing started to go.”

“Well she’s employee number eight or something, definitely less than 10, and she says the old man was never a day sick, not so much as a cold.”

“I’m no doctor, but I’m thinking you’re less likely to get sick if you never leave the office.”

“True. He did work hard, right ‘til the end. ..He may have been old, but he seemed fine to me, until his head hit the hardwood.” Alisha rolled her eyes in the direct of the bookcase inside the old man’s office where his body had been found.

“Shouldn’t there be a chalk outline or something?”

“That’s only if he’d been murdered.”
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“Gesundheit!”

Short fiction for guests of the Wordfeeder
Saturday, October 1, 2011

The street was busy that evening, as usual. Three narrow, unmarked lanes, one of them for alternate street parking, the one on the other side blocked by a delivery truck here and a service truck there. The pavement was still damp from the late afternoon rain, just a bit of steam rising where the sun breaking through the clouds was doing its job. There was still and hour or so of daylight. People, mostly young in this neighborhood, were coming and going in between and around each other, avoiding garbage bags that wouldn’t be collected until late that night, and the occasional piece of throwaway furniture left at the curb. Racks of fruit, flowers and other stock protruded from the front of stores that were thriving on the flow of locals coming home from work. It was noisy with the sound of traffic and of people talking, too many to hear what any of them were saying.

Stepping quickly across the street, between two badly parked cars and onto the sidewalk, she walked up to the door to the right of the Gyros place that was in the bottom of the converted tenement where she lived, five tall flights up. Without looking left or right, she put her key in the lock, the key with no chain to help find it, turned it, pulled back the heavy metal door and stepped into the dimly lit hallway, looking ahead to a brighter light at the bottom of the staircase.
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Imperfect Together

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Monday, September 5, 2011

“You know,” Greg mumbled into his pillow, wondering if he’d been drooling, “I can feel you staring at me.”

“That’s not possible,” Georgia responded from where she was sitting up against her pillows, her knees up, one hand on the TV’s remote control waiting to see if she should change channels.

“Are you staring at me?”

“Well, yes. Sort of.”

“How did I know?”

“Because you can feel the intensity of the anguish emanating like laser beams…”

“Like red laser beams.”

“Right. Like red laser beams out of my electric blue eyes.”

“That’s it exactly.” Sitting up, Greg grabbed and stacked up his pillows against the headboard, fluffing them just so, scrunched his tush up and interlocked his fingers while staring mindlessly at Jimmy Fallon’s monologue. “Okay, I’m up. What’s bothering you?”
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The Desk

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Monday, August 22, 2011

As is the case with everything I write,
except for a few details, this is a true story.

Prelude –
(To a short short story? Why not?)

As you may already know, there are literary historians who contest the notion that William Shakespeare (4/26/1564 – 4/26/1616) was, in fact, the prolific author he is reputed to be. (Yes, he died on the same day of the same month on which he was born.) It is their theory that, acting as a front, Shakespeare took credit for the works of one or more of his contemporaries, namely Francis Bacon (1/22/1561 – 4/9/1626) and/or Christopher Marlowe (2/26/1564 until he was stabbed to death on 5/30/1593 at the age of only 29). Most scholars believe this debate is unwarranted and that William Shakespeare was, in fact, the genius creator of the works to which he signed his name.

In any case, relationships among these three men – Shakespeare, Bacon and Marlowe – varied from cordial, even warm, particularly between Shakespeare and Marlowe, to angry, resentful and distrusting. Some have even suggested that Bacon – who was known to have a nasty disposition, generally lacking any sense of humor and occasionally ruthless – may have arranged for Marlowe’s demise, envious of his closeness to Shakespeare and angered by certain blasphemous remarks, quite shocking for their time, made by Marlowe about Bacon which Sir Francis took personally. Who knows?

What is known for sure is that Shakespeare’s remarkable productivity stalled abruptly in late 1599, with no output – no play or poem – through most of 1600. The best he could manage was some reworking of Hamlet which he had first written in 1589. Why? Could it be that Shakespeare was distracted and, instead of writing, chose instead to spend the year rolling around with Gwyneth Paltrow? (Who wouldn’t?) Of course not. That was the movie. In fact, no one really knows, but there is a school of thought that believes Shakespeare, who was a superstitious person, was affected by a gift he received about that time from none other than Francis Bacon himself. Alleged by Sir Francis to have been presented to encourage a reconciliation between the two, there are those who believe the gift had a much more sinister purpose.

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It was early on the perfect Saturday morning, Jake’s favorite day. He’d been up for a while, wrapping up one of the columns that would one day make possible the nice house in the country which was their dream. For now, their one bedroom city apartment would have to do. His nimble fingers were flying over his laptop’s keyboard, until they stopped abruptly, for just a moment, before hitting the final period. “Done.”
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Schmutz* Patrol

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Sunday, August 14, 2011

*According to the Urban Dictionary: Used by Jewish mothers to identify that you’ve got some kind of crap on your face. Random, icky stuff that ends up on you or something else. “Dirt” in German.

Tuesday, 1:05 PM.

An attractive 30 something brunette in one of those fits perfectly business suits only high priced women attorneys wear, makes her way through the noisy lunch hour crowd of professionals at this particular downtown grill to where the other half of her meeting is waiting for her in one of the booths.

“Hey,” the attorney, still standing, says to the women she has come there to meet who is busy reading something on her phone, her crab cake and fries platter half eaten. “I got held up on a conference call.”

“No problem. Have a seat. You want something to eat?”

“No,” the suit responded, reaching over, without asking permission, to take one of her fries. “I won’t be here that long. Are you sure it’s okay to talk here?”
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