The Who’s, Which’s and Where’s of Flight, Book One of the Outer Flower
Arshad sauntered off to the Fish and Eagle. The serving wench, Polly, had a sympathetic ear.
Oren hadn’t known what to expect of civilization, but feeling the sharp disappointment, he knew he’d expected more.
The scepter was held by a dying hand.
“Know that I will see you in the face of your son.”
‘You called me here,” said the King. “Tell me why.”
“The burden of a dead man has been released.”
William walked to the edge of the overhanging rock and surveyed the horizon.
“It should have never come to this. All blood and gore and malice.”
The King’s corpse lay in the open until nightfall when it was gathered with the rest.
“I don’t relish slaughter, but the man was most unreasonable. Stiff-necked and proud.”
“I loved Ray Welk from the time I was eight years old. The love bug bit me and I felt the sting in my soul.”
“This is not a gentlemanly conveyance,” protested Ondred.
The smoke wrapped around them like a worn blanket, memorizing each form.
“”My gloves!” said Creath, pointing. “There are the glove I dropped!” Ondred walked to the prickly bush and picked them off. Then, he walked to Creath and… Read more “Flight, Chapter Six”
“This path is so worn it could lead to my bedchamber.” said the King.
The fabled forest was not large, verdant, or even mysterious. It looked like the type of spot where one might piss.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve seen enough of human nature.”
“I’m to marry. Life is a tiresome affair.”
“Dragons are worms. I find them sad.”
The Blood Wars would cost the lives of thousands. It began over a bird.
The flower and the effects of its scent became legendary.
Shame is a fire, burning my core. Her name was Rena Davis, and I was the one who gave her the name of “Old Black Pig.”
Theodosia has been indignant all her life, mostly because she’s named Theodosia. “Why couldn’t I have been named Cynthia Jane?” she asks me. “That was Grandma’s name… Read more “Theodosia, Indignant to the Bone”
Lizzie doesn’t have much, but she does have a high school education. After graduation, she walks home alone to find her step-father “moonshine blind,” half dressed and… Read more “Lizzie Speaks, excerpt from Silver Bottle”
“His death broke the cold snap.”
“Times were different,” I say finally. “People minded their business then.”
Blanche draws me by her very diffidence. She stands apart, looking unhappy and confused.
He was lucky the doctors had been able to save his arm. He was lucky to be alive.
Lorraine’s childhood is marred by the alcoholism of her mother. However, she does have a few happy memories, and the sound of popping soap bubbles is one… Read more “Excerpt from Silver Bottle, a memory from Lorraine.”
A slyly sensual sound at a time when sex wasn’t talked about, except by married women on front porches in the summer twilight, or wildly exaggerated by teenage girls, also in whispers but with a throatiness, a raw edge which might cause the speaker to break off, red-faced, while the rest of us looked at our feet.
I told Scott the name of his biological father. Bombs might explode, but I thought he had a right to know.
My mom might be nuts, but she’s still my mom. Someday, she’ll be embarrassed about all of this.
I felt something inside me I’d never felt before, and I let out a scream that climbed Devil’s Backbone, then dropped to the hollers where it stilled the deer. It felt like someone had taken out my heart, torn it in half, and put it back in.
The woman in my mind just now? That was my mother. Resurrection driven, gliding in and out as easily as a paschal moon, hungry for a feast.
Onan sees himself as a child, playing with his truck in the red clay of the hill. He sees Rochelle. He sees little Rochelles. He sees a little boy who looks exactly like him, playing with trucks in a sandlot, about to make the same mistake he did.
While my sister was forming in my mother’s belly, my cousin Beverly Anne was dying in her mother’s arms.
Grandma looks bewildered, like a child who’s been tricked. I’ve seen this look on her face before. In the hospital, mostly in the evening. The physical therapist told me not to worry. “It happens with stroke patients. We call it sundowning. They get confused. Expect her to have good days and bad. Expect her to cry and be moody. Don’t be alarmed at outbursts, accusations.” I’ve never feared for anything until now.
We were a couple. Nobody on the floor but us. This went on for, oh, I don’t know how long. He even begged me to go away with him.
Who is this poor man, so tired, so broken? Slowly, she recognizes Bart. She can only guess at his suffering, his contained hours of grief. He is in love.
“You can’t be around a man five minutes without turning it on. I’ve watched you.” Mildred’s words were venom. “You’re sad, Susan, sad. Batting your eyes, sticking your boobs out. Pulling down your mouth like Marilyn Monroe.”
Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:
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