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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A Single Wild Blossom

Greta sweltered at the keyboard, trying to get one more article done. Just one more! Think! She worked full time plus at the factory at salary, meaning they didn’t pay overtime. She sold books from her mother’s outrageously huge library online and did copywriting for six businesses. She also had to care for her increasingly…

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The Crash

Lester sat reading his daily devotional with a steaming mug of black chicory-laced coffee. He heard what sounded like a tree falling across his barn but he knew there was no tree near enough to do that. By the time those thoughts had cleared, he stood in the farm yard looking at the tail end…

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Being Awake Is a Reason To Drink Coffee

Being awake is a reason to drink coffee. Get up before the sun rises, make coffee, work. Weekdays, work consists of being around other people, so throw a wash-up in there. And Sunday I take Mother to church, so that’s a wash-up too. Oooh, I love Saturdays: Up, work, logic circuits afire, fueled by coffee.…

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Caleb and the Viet Cong

“Caleb, get your ass back over here and hold this ladder!” “Uncle Johann, there’s something in the woods making noise!” “There are a million things in the woods and most of them make noise. Hold the ladder!” Johann had a hod in one hand and a trowel in the other that also grasped the ladder…

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At the Oasis Hotel

“All I can say is this hotel will drop a star for lack of train access.” “Dear, you knew that when you booked these rooms. I think the staff had been exceptionally polite and had a marvelous selection of fruits.” “Fruits schmoots, they didn’t have fresh figs.” “You never eat them at home, even when…

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An Unfortunate Phobia and Chess

“Shawn, did you dump Chess somewhere? “’Course not. Shut up.” He kept his eyes on his phone, his thumbs in a frenzy. “You dump off every dog I get. Emery gave me that one, said she’d be quiet and not dig anywhere. So why’d you dump her?” “Shut up. You think I dumped you stupid…

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Feed Your Heart

“Put your finger right there.” Janie did, but without any charity in her heart. Esther made up the bow all pretty and just on the lid so’s the box would be real easy to open. “Janie, doin’ this ain’t hurtin’ you. Miss Betty is gonna like that we remembered her birthday.” “Miss Betty has no…

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A Life of an Obscure Self-Published Book

Mack sat quietly on the shelf day after day with his 19 copies. The Word Master, the man who had spent long nights to move the words  from his mind to a page Mack carried had lain inert for several cycles of sun reaching and retracting across the wooden floor. Soon after, others arrived and…

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Potato Dictato

Potato Dictato Mary Ellen Wall   I come into the living room with Jimmy’s dinner cause it was football on and his eyes was glued to it. I set the fried pork chop and buttered taters on his lap and was sticking the fork, not the pointy end, into his hand when the TV went…

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