Three Fingers

Marika cut her eyes low, away from the damnable blank canvas. The blasted thing had preyed on her mind for two weeks now. She’d vowed to get a least one spot of paint on it before she removed her butt from the stool. She shifted to stare at the inert jars of paint that could…

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Terp, the Record Scout

Strolling down Gardner Street that warm evening in Opikwa Idaho, Terp listened to the distant train and smelled the mélange of roses, leather, sweaty people and those chattering people eating their grilled steaks. He’d ventured back down to Earth because he wanted to breathe the rarefied mountain air and adored the sound of passionately sung…

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Terp and the Twister

Terp swayed with the rhythm of the pounding piano, the well-melded bass voices and the ethereal sweeter-than-birdsong women’s voices. As they began the jubilant Hallelujah part of the refrain, an angry roar swooped in. Singing stopped and children screamed as the freight train roar deafened them. They watched the roof over their heads lift and…

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Terp, the Choir Boy

He’d visited many churches over the ages, but had no memory of such a passionate collection of rustic voices. They shouted to glory! The singers held nothing back, the exuberance of the spirited women and men, the divine harmonies between them strummed his inner lyre with joy! He loved a full church and this one…

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Diana, Drain Queen

Diana rang the doorbell as Max rolled the snake unit up the cobblestoned walkway. A pudgy red-nosed man in golfing attire opened the door. “What do you want? Damn it, I’m going to be late!” Max pointed at the ‘Drain Queen’ logo embroidered on his jacket. “Sir, we’re the plumbers. Your wife called to say…

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The Cave of Living Smoke

The grayness all around us appeared as ephemeral, wide wisps of varying chiaroscuro tones, as might fine smoke from a fire composed of a variety of combustible items seem on a clouded night. Darkness prevails, only a dim glow coming from the stuff guides our way. Pressing with force through any section of it leaves…

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Dreaming of Better Days

Tamika Lamar keyed in and trudged to the same desk she’d written the factory’s procedures from for four years. What a dead end job. The place seemed to attract pale faced automatons like a robot magnet; the image of an electromagnet on a crane at a junkyard flashed in her mind. Opening her satchel wide,…

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Missing Delphina

Oz reached in and grabbed the cord. He ran his hand down it until he came to the plug. Crawling further under the kitchen sink, he plugged the dispose-all in. He leaned out and back against the island cabinets. The floor needed mopping. He swatted the dispose-all box out of the way to find his…

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Betsy, Stanley and Herb

“I’ve had all I can stand from that old bastard; I’ll fix his wagon, I surely will.” She poked around the crowded kitchen counter for her wild herb book, a quarter at the Salvation Army store in town. “Of course not,” she mumbled, “don’t matter anyway. I read holes in the pages and ought to…

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Huntin’ Frogs

1955. “Mama! I done struck oil! Black gold! Millionaires!” Valerie stretched her kneaded dough balls into the bread pans, covered them with a tea towels and rubbed her hands on her apron. “A millionaire, is it? What have you been up to, Punkin?” “Mama, Californy is the place we oughta be! Look!” Vicky thrust black,…

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