All three of them went at it, struggling without gaffs to hoist their haul across the gunwale and on board the Abysmal. They had caught a real, live man in the stormy seas off Sable Island. He was squirming like a man might when hauled from the brine, weak, half-drowned, but breathing, freezing, and displeased. Three mariners, their coats scuffed beyond hue, their hats laden with the salty wet, their beards crusted with weather and age, stood in awe of a thing that was no fish but could not have survived if he were an ordinary man. [Read more…] about The Man Who Could Not Drown (part 1)
Medusa had big hair – on purpose, of course. What would you do if a dozen of the nastiest snakes you ever saw were growing out of your head? You couldn’t just put on a wig. The only solution was do your hair up like that Married With Children lady – Peggy Bundy, and try to keep them quiet. [Read more…] about Medusa and the Mormons
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
A tongue is the most dangerous thing next to love. The Christians warn of the tongue devouring the speaker. The Hebrews say the steady, gentle pressure of a tongue breaks bone. And none of this comforted Jerald Parker, whose tongue was enormous by any standard estimation. When Jerry opened his mouth, girls cringed, so most of the time he didn’t. He was twenty three years old and had never been with a woman whose company he hadn’t paid for. Jerry had learned shyness from a young age – that was his Uncle, Roger, who had gotten him a “21st birthday roll” which Jerry had expected to be something you ate in place of cake, maybe with a couple of candles on it – one of those wax pairs of numerals representing his coming of age. [Read more…] about Breaking Bone
Racy Feder is the fastest sketch artist in the world. When the second tower fell in New York, she wasn’t taking a photograph, she was standing in the street, pencil in hand, making a sketch. When she was witness to two men making it out of the bank on 42nd Street with automatic weapons and sacks of Chase’s money, no one dared hold up their cell phones for a shot. Racy, sat calmly and efficiently with her knees tucked in, seemingly scribbling on a pad, and her not one but two sketches became the only globally syndicated images of the holdup. During the ice storm two years later, when cars were sliding out of control on I-87, Racy turned in drawings to her grandmother’s insurance company, made on the scene, showing the trajectory and position of each car in her line of sight, even before their own vehicle was struck. [Read more…] about Hands that Listen
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