My Craft Stories

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part Three

The middle refrain from Cantata Nº 208 played over a loudspeaker in the barn. The sheep fidgeted in the corner taking turns climbing on each other’s backs. A line of ewes stood apart from the herd staring at Xabier who sat at the workbench pondering the music as he fiddled with bits of wire. Bach intended the piece as a hunting song. Its true meaning rang in Xabier’s ear as he read. Soon he had thought of a way to expose the hunters.

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Conversations My Craft

I Smell Like Daffodils

A Conversation “I suppose you’re happy now.” “You do smell better.” “And the flea circus washed away, gone down the drain, to never be seen again.” “A bit dramatic.” “I spent days training them to flip mid-air. Charlie could land on his nose.” “Never saw his performance. The stench overpowered me.” “Now I smell like daffodils.” “With a tinge of honey.” “I don’t like it.” “You know…” “What?” “No, I’d better not say it.” “Tell…

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Conversations My Craft

Save a Tree, You Know

A Conversation “WouldyouliketobuyamagazinesubscriptionsoIcangoto football camp? “Slow down. What are you doing?” “Selling magazines to go to camp.” “What camp?” “Football camp. I can go to football camp and get this cool radio if I sell enough subscriptions.” “I played football as a kid. We would just play in the mud.” “I don’t like mud.” “Mud makes football. You have to become one with the field.” “We have a lot of different magazines; cooking, outdoors, home…

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My Craft Very Short Stories

The Double Chocolate Bar

He brought out the candy and tore the top edge exposing the chocolate. She longed for it. He snapped off the end and brought it to his mouth. He felt eyes on him and looked directly at the girl. She sat across from him on the upper deck. She smiled, and turned away. He moved the chocolate with his tongue and let the richness roll through his mouth. He caught her looking again. She smiled…

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Author Readings My Craft

Author Reading: A Diamond in Her Eye

“You’ll never get me to tell you where the jewels are,” the child said. She leaned back and smirked. So starts my short story A Diamond in Her Eye about a precocious little girl who also happens to be a jewel thief. How, you might ask? She is a shape-shifter. The story came about after one of those police procedurals on television where the detectives lean on the accused. I thought the twist of having…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving – Chapter 12

The Coin Castle King All the discarded neon from the hotels, motels, clubs, and casinos of Las Vegas ended up in the boneyard. Once shiny and bright, signs now waited here to die. Tucked behind a sign company, the boneyard only took visitors by appointment. It made a kitschy place to meet. Todd preferred this spot to any other place in Las Vegas. It wrapped up all of the glitter, glamour, and glitz into one…

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My Craft Stories

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part Two

From his knapsack, Xabier retrieved a crust of sourdough bread and a jar of jelly made from some red berries that reminded him of pomegranate seeds. The jelly reminded him of the taste of Earth apples. He thought about his mother making jelly. Long dead, he presumed. He didn’t understand the reason why, but when he signed up for this job he was told time took on a different meaning here. Although he aged barely…

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Conversations My Craft

Plan for World Domination

A Conversation “That’s interesting.” “What is?” “This video on stem cells.” “How so?” “It says we can convert fat cells into stem cells and rebuild our bodies.” “Figures.” “You sound like you already knew this.” “No. But it all makes sense now.” “How so?” “The plan for world domination. It all started in the 50s with Americans eating too much.” “Okay. I still don’t follow.” “Fatten up the populace until they can’t walk and then…

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My Craft Stories

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part One

Tin, ting, tin, tang rang the bells of Cantata Nº 208. The boy rubbed sleep from his eyes and covered them to block the dancing sunlight streaming through a slit. He slipped on boots, a filter, and gloves.  The red sun inched across the sky and it would be half a Earth-month before nightfall. Without the chimes, he might have missed feeding time. Small frame, calloused hands, a full head of sandy-brown hair, he looked…

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My Craft Stories Tall Tales of Sin

Greyhound Arriving – Chapter 11

Neon Boneyard Cindy slept in a grey REO Speedwagon shirt on the overstuffed couch in Wallace’s office. A gauze bandage covered the hole in her arm and she crammed her bare toes into the cushion for comfort. The day had been a whole lot of trouble. Wallace gave her the t-shirt and some jeans from a bag his daughter stashed under his desk. Laying on the couch, Wallace realized how much Cindy reminded him of…

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