They knew I could hear them. The lift was broken. That's what Jim calls it, a lift; Marni calls it an elevator. That's why the three of us were walking up the stairs of our apartment building. The black sky, starless and moonless, had arched over our evening walk and now we were…Continue
Added by Carrol Strain on January 27, 2013 at 7:43pm — No Comments
"Silly Sally!" said Sarah. "Sitting sobbing on the settee, all because stupid Steven --"
"Stop it!" squalled Sally. "Stupid Steven started it!"
The setting sun silvered the slender leaves of the willows outside the screened-in sun room. It might have been a scenic setting, but the slough beyond sent out a stinking scent that settled over all. It was enough to send Sally over the edge, and squall again she did, screaming, squawking, sobbing as if her sad heart would…Continue
Today started off better than some
And only got better from there.…Continue
When they first came to our village, we thought they were interesting, amusing. Nothing much ever happens here, and their presence offered the first entertainment we had ever had, outside of our own festivals and rituals.
We allowed them to join us in…Continue
"I don't believe in pain," he said.
"Mm-hmm," I replied, keeping my eyes on the computer screen in front of me. Alvin was leaning against the front counter of the office where I work, his tall and swarthy frame encroaching upon my personal space. I rolled my chair a little…Continue
The door to her new life opened slowly, but Maddie didn't mind. In her long years on the planet, she'd developed a little patience, even prayed for it a time or two. She'd soon learned not to do that so much, though, at least not so earnestly as she once had. You pray for patience, and you never know what you'll get to teach it to you.
And anyway, the years didn't seem all that long at this point in her life, sometimes whooshing by with a speed that took her breath away. These days,…Continue
My daddy sought perfection—in his kids, if not in himself. A tortured soul, he knew he fell far short, but perhaps he thought that if his kids could always make the honor roll and maintain stellar reputations, his Maker would let him slide. Naturally, his expectations led to a good deal of domestic discord while I was growing up.
As much as he hated imperfection in his offspring, Daddy hated baseball, too, declaring it a…Continue
"You've got till Thursday, asshole," growled the voice on the phone. "Thursday. That's it."
I heard a click and the line went dead. The cheap burrito I'd had for lunch turned instantly to liquid in my gut. How would I ever come up with that amount of money in three days? For that matter, what had made me think that I could buy more time from Big Lou?
That was just it. I hadn't thought. Because he had known me for a long time, and because, he said, he thought he could trust me,…Continue
"You are such a drama queen!"
"It's true, isn't it?"
"No. It's not."
"Uncle David told me."
"How would he know?"
"Daddy named me after the man who saved his life in the war, didn't he?"
"Of course not."
"That's why I was never his princess, why I could never measure up."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Why won't you tell me the truth?"
"You're making this up. It's not real."
"Why didn't you try to stop…Continue
He was young, untested. The first words out of his mouth were a lie, and I knew it, but he thought he could fool me. I nodded and smiled. “Go on,” I said. He seemed not to notice that he was stepping further into my trap.
Obviously, he didn't know the rules of the new order. He thought he could still buy his way out, and he tried that with me. I raised an eyebrow at his temerity, and, though he tried to disguise it, I could see that he slumped a little at this minor defeat. He tried…Continue
She marched down the sidewalk like the queen of England, spine as straight as an iron rod, sturdy pumps clacking rhythmically on the concrete. A flower pot of a hat sat on her head like a crown, and her well-made coat was buttoned all the way up, even though it was a warmish day.
He walked - or rather, careened - several steps behind her, keeping his distance but yelling all the same, arms and legs flying every which way, hair unruly, plaid shirt buttoned unevenly, dirty work pants…Continue
This scar? This one right here?
It's no wonder you don't remember it. You were so young. You were staying with your grandparents, I think, and your dad and I went camping with another couple.
What’s that? Oh, yeah. You’re right. I really don't like camping so much. I thought I did, back then, though. Everyone else I knew said they liked it, back then.…Continue
I'd always meant to read some of Joseph Campbell's writing, and recently after a friend mentioned him in conversation, I picked up a book of his lectures from the library. By the time I was halfway through reading the first lecture, I felt I had found an old…Continue
"What are you saying?"
"I watched it all. It wasn't her."
"They all say it was her."
"I know. I know. I hear them, too."
"Why would they say that?"
"One of them is lying."
"I'm telling you." He took a…Continue
Did you really think that you could
Escape this life unscathed?
No dreams lost, hopes forsaken,
Nothing is perfect, except this:
Nothing, perfect Nothing,
Glimpsed by only the…
When the authorities finally allowed us all back into the neighborhood to salvage what we could of our belongings, all that was left at our place was my old teakettle, hardly smudged, sitting on a rock. The kettle and the rock were both still pretty hot to the touch. The plastic that…Continue
It weighed heavily on his conscience, this thing he had been sent to do, although the law was clear. The bank's official papers he had brought to the home with him left no doubt. Danny walked out onto the front porch to think things over.…Continue
With a collective sad sigh, dolphins departed forever the round blue ball they had once called home. We watched them go, a little sad, but mostly distracted. We were all so very busy, after all. Soon after, polar bears became extinct, too, along with a host of other species. It wasn't until a desert began to flow where the Amazon River had once run that we truly noticed a difference in our daily lives. Petty wars spread dangerously around the globe as food became…Continue
Added by Carrol Strain on December 17, 2011 at 9:51am — No Comments
The first time I ever tried to sit and meditate, I broke into a sweat from the simple effort of sitting still for a few minutes. These days, after much practice, I'm only a little better at it. A completely silent mind still eludes me.
This morning, for instance, I sat and watched as my thoughts tumbled about upon the floor of my mind. They started rolling around like playful kittens, each with its own personality, its own…Continue