When my sister and I would go the Carnival Circus, we couldn’t tell our Dad, of course. “No jobs,” is what my Uncle Kevin used to say, whenever you’d ask him why we only had a few restaurants in town, and why we had to drive to Olderville to get groceries since the Piggly Wiggly shut down, and why the amusement park that would open just before Lent and close down in time for the Fall semester was lost to rust and vandalism and a sea of litter and weeds. The place was restricted – you couldn’t just waltz in, or you’d get the deputy called on you and get your name in the local paper, which was a big deal in a town of only 2900 people (they stopped lowering the number on the sign so people wouldn’t get depressed, after Molly Ames had jumped off Croger Creek Bridge early one morning). [Read more…] about Eagles’ Wings and Unicorns
The Painter’s eyes weren’t ordinary eyes, nor was he an ordinary sketch artist, bargaining for a twenty dollar bill on Times Square. He had a little booth next to a bodega on 3rd, and he didn’t work in chalk or pencil, but in fast-drying egg tempera, with particularly dark yet vivid hues. The Painter wasn’t known to anyone by name, as far as anyone knew. He was simply “the Painter” and, if you sat for him, he looked at you the way you look at a bug in a jar. Your surface persona – that was the jar. [Read more…] about Paying for Your Soul Up Front
Darryl held the cup of coffee over the edge of the fire escape, eying the two taxis below. Whichever one started to move first, that’s whose barista he would become.
Jill was late for work, and the whole call taxi thing was new to her. In New York, you didn’t really call unless you were out in the burbs. Maybe you summoned a cab with a cell phone app – you could do that. But she never heard of anyone calling from lower Manhattan. Chicago would be an adjustment – you could flag a taxi in Chicago, but not this far off the brown line. Damn, there was the horn, and her hair dryer wasn’t working. How are you supposed to operate like that, when everyone in the law office has a suit worth more than your last vacation? Especially if you ever wanted to clerk your way up the ladder without sleeping with it. [Read more…] about F*ck Your Day Job
In the darkest grove of a forest where no light ever shines, the air is always chill, even in August, and no path of root or rock or footfall is ever straight, there is a winding tree. They call it a winding tree, those that say they’ve seen it, because it’s turned like the twist of a rope, spiraling upward like a snake charmer’s trick, toward a blackened sky. But the tree isn’t the thing that interests little Lyn Fuller. Lyn wants to know where the staircase leads. [Read more…] about Following Fortune (part 1)
Hon Carter had a machine gun behind his eyes. Wherever he looked, he saw carnage, and he was the cause of it. He had long ago tried to blind those eyes, not once but three times, when he was foolish enough to think he could spend eternity doing any other job. When you were drafted, you didn’t get to pick your duty, and that went double in God’s army. Now it was a soggy, crimson mess that oozed from his sockets, and still he saw. There’s a strange kind of hope in mutilating oneself, and maybe there was an end to it at last. Just three more names. [Read more…] about Nightmares in Heaven