Snow

Doc came prepared. He was wearing a parka and a heavy sweater when he got off the airplane. He had two big carry on bags and a huge duffle. Why did you bring all this stuff? I asked him. Doc looked puzzled. I left half of it at home, he said.

The next morning, we got up early and drove up to the property that Jake and I owned in the foothills of the Sierras. Our cabin was on the edge of the forest high above a lake. From the deck, we had a panoramic view oft he lake and the surrounding hills.

I had borrowed Jake’s truck so that I could transport several four by eight foot siding panels to replace the ones on the north end of the cabin that the porcupines had chewed up. Doc asked what porcupines found that was good to eat in wood siding, and I said it was the glue.

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Bad Apples

Wanda here. I’m the director of Social Services at the Lutheran Home. I do a little bit of everything around here. I’m the chief cook and bottle washer, so to speak. Mainly I’m in charge of patient welfare. I see to it that the gals get new undies when they need them and that the guys get to the grocery store when they run out of oatmeal or prunes. It’s a good job. Busy, busy. But that’s the way I like it. And George and Ida are good people to work for.

If you have to be in a nursing home, this is a good place to be. Nobody volunteers to get in here, I suppose, but we take good care of the residents. We go the extra mile. The food is good, and we give the seniors lots to do. There’s something going on all the time. Talks, music, Bible study, exercise classes, bingo. Nobody gets a chance to sit around feeling sorry for himself.

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bigskywhiteclouds

a novel excerpt by Jeffrey Allen Walker
([email]jallenwalker [at] netscape [dot] net[/email])

MY APARTMENT’S MAGIC WINDOW (WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1994)
Please let this be the last day. Let me get hit by a bus or shot or vaporized. Just don’t let me have to come back here again. When I was a planner in Minneapolis I wrote a couple of articles that were published in some trade magazines and had a few guest columnist pieces in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, we called it the Strib. I never complained about seeing my name in print, but I wanted more. I wanted to write a great novel that criticized the American way of life and moral system. But in order to write, I had to understand. What better way to understand than to participate? But being an active member cuts down on writing time. It’s a very mild catch-22. No bloodshed. Nobody’s feet get cold. Nobody’s guts spill out. As a result of internal debate between going out to experience and staying in to write, I did nothing except write a few guest columnist pieces for the Strib. No great novel, no critical acclaim.

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EREMIA

a novel excerpt by Aidan Baker
([email]aidanbaker [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

My CD collection is like a calendar of boyfriends. It’s not very extensive, my CD collection — ergo, my love life, obviously, hasn’t been very extensive…

Every time I go over to my CD holder to put some music on, I’m confronted by this array of albums, songs, digitized sounds, that are, yes, mine, but all reminiscent of some man, some boy who used to be part of my life. Not even boyfriends, lovers, in some cases — just some guy I had a crush on.

I remember reading something recently about the brain and smell: When your brain records a smell, it records everything else along with it — a record of your surroundings, your actions, your companions. When you smell that smell again, whatever that smell may be, all the other recorded information comes flooding back along with the olfactory memory. I think it’s the same with aural memories. With music.

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Statue Of Liberty

a storella by Jerry Vilhotti
([email]vilhotti [at] peoplepc [dot] com[/email])

“Why Biagi? Where do you go?” his wife said totally confused by his behavior since his father died.

He couldn’t say. In his mind as vivid as the color of her blue eyes, he could see himself again crossing the German school yard, where no longer a kindergarten existed, shooting from the hip and behind the wall of his aim staggered a “nazi” clutching at his throat as if a raw clam were crawling up through his mouth.

“B”, as his close friends called him, took up his jacket as if it were a rifle and left. He was all ready late for his date which was his seventh in just two weeks. He had a lot of catching up to do since his long walk from Northern Africa to Germany.

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Looking for Glass

Dad told me once that when he and Mom went hunting for fire agates
With their rock hound friends, Mom would not hunt with the rest,
But would walk alone beside

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