I had never seen this particular island before. As far as I knew it hadn’t even been inked on any map. I hadn’t been gone too long, nor had I ventured too far; the mainland was still visible in the west. Even a half-blind invalid...

I could almost smell trouble coming. They knocked and I went to the large front window in the living room to see who it was.  I must have looked like the least possible threat ever with my little five-year-old feet in bunny rabbit slippers with whiskers...

“God is in me or else is not at all.” --Wallace Stevens “Not at all,” I said, “I don’t mind doing this.  In fact, I like it.” The doctor left the room. Tiny dots.  A Sunday afternoon in some nameless place.  Making tiny dots. You’d think X marks the spot,...

For the fourth building of Florida’s Leesburg Super-Geriatric Regional Medical Center, you have to go through a series of doors that require a badge, computerized vein recognition, and facial recognition from the security guard.  An overhanging sign greets you with the words Cogito ergo sum. ...

I sat watching the girls walk by.  This was my second week in Shanghai, my first time in Asia.  The girls looked like they were heading to funerals.  Their expressions, their clothing, their entire demeanor screamed death to me.  I had come from Montréal where...

Mystery is manifold.  Nothing proved that more than examining Josh Black.  He seemed ordinary, but he most definitely was not. With glasses, Three Stooges Moe haircut, neighbor-hand-me-down jeans shorts, tennis shoes with more holes than shoe, and freckles like his face was splattered with blood, Josh...

Tatum had grown generous to a fault, giving away most of his fruit and vegetables to his neighbors and friends.  He thought it was a way to get more acquainted with all of them. Still, Tatum’s neighbors, up and down the street, remained standoffish, keeping their...

Young Charley Tillman was a mouse in a trap.  He thought the trap was a practical joke that he was playing on himself. It felt unreal the way he kept track of time.  He’d been reduced to measuring the levels of darkness in spoonfuls as it...

So I found this Santa Claus card last night. It blew right into my ankle as I was walking around the downtown area of my city. The colors were faded, but not enough to where I couldn’t make out the letters and numbers. The background...

Although stress and chaos are the natural order at a hospital, few things serve to rattle doctors and nurses more than death. The cold, procedural actions undertaken before, during, and after a passing, contrast heavily with the unrestrained drama surrounding the patient and their families....

No one in the support group thought recovery would be easy.  But Morrison couldn’t even get past step 1: I admit I am powerless over alcohol/drugs, and my life has become unmanageable.  Unlike most in the group, no one hadn’t been court-ordered to attend.  In...

Dr. Benjamin B. Forsythe was an odd scoop of orange sherbet, a cold, pasty, dour sort.  His whole life had been a matter of melting into something or nothing.  He’d become a successful psychiatrist over his long career.  Dr. Benjamin’s office was in St. Louis,...

Harris Wilson never considered himself particularly generous, especially around the holiday season.  He’d spent too many years concerned about the direction of his life and where he would find himself after several disastrous years at college.  But after a series of short-lived low-rent jobs, mostly...

Growing up, my dream was to be a journalist. Maybe I’d watched too many movies, but I loved the idea of chasing down big stories and going undercover to investigate huge scoops. Mingling with the rich and famous and being first on the scene of...

My job usually isn’t all that interesting, and that’s the way I like it.  I’ve done my time in the workforce.  A lot of people my age are retired by now, but I never really had money to step out of the working world.  My...

Ever since my wife Adalyn disappeared, it’s been just Charlie and me all alone.  I don’t mind it.  I’ve never much cared for company.  If I’d wanted visitors, I wouldn’t have tried to get as far away from civilization as I could now, would I? ...

His secretary had asked him if he’d had time for an interview today…some small-time reporter, looking to earn a few clicks out of a chat with an old businessman.  He’d declined, of course.  Told her to reschedule for next week, although even if he was...

Past As you probably know, Christmas is indeed a time for reflection. A time to revisit memory and times gone by with those you've loved and those you've lost. I should know. I am, as it happens, the ghost of Christmas past. Ugh, the ghost of...

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