I’ve started a new venture, made up stories less than 1k words. The published ones will only include a tantalizing first paragraph or two with credit given to the publisher. I’ll give the full version of unpublished stories and invite visitors to comment.
Brownwood Texas, 1927
Datura Literary Journal, Issue 1, November 2018
It’s warm inside Ira’s automobile, hot for this time of night, but Ira doesn’t notice. His attention is centered on Sadie’s Soda Shop, across the street. Through brightly lit windows, women in fancy dresses are laughing and sipping cold drinks. Music rolls out the open doorway; some tunes he recognizes, It Had To Be You, Bye Bye Blackbird, but most of the melodies are foreign to him. He looks for in vain for Francine’s familiar profile.
Ira enjoyed watching people from unseen, private places. In his younger days, he had spent hours looking in certain windows that he knew, guessing what the people were thinking, listening to the noises they made, dreaming up stories about their intentions.
A lady steps outside the soda shop and stands under the awning lights, a cigarette’s cherry glows and illuminates her face. She reminds him of Francine when she was in high school and he watched her smoking behind her uncle Stan’s barn, coughing and inhaling. He’d hold his breath, in the shadows, quiet as a church mouse. He could smell her perfume under the tobacco smoke. He’d watch her pick her nose, scratch her butt, fiddle with her breasts. He knew all her secret habits and she never knew he watched her. She never saw him clutch his groin and convulse without a sound.
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ekphrastic, 99-word flash fiction
Lind Marine by Sharon Hind-Smith,
An imposing fellow stood outside the wheelhouse of the Shelley Lind, watching me as I approached the gangway, ditty bag in hand. It was my first assignment fresh out of the merchant marine academy.
“You there!” the fellow spoke with a deep gravely voice. Blue eyes flashed in the sunlight reflected off the water.
I stopped at the foot of the gangway. “Yes sir?”
“New hand or just nosy?”
“New hand, sir.” A rush of pride washed over me as I grabbed the handrail. “Sharon Kelly, able seaman reporting.”
“Come on, then.” Blue eyes twinkled. “Name’s Freighter, welcome aboard.”
©2019 by James W. White
A Free Man
“Learjet Niner Three Bravo clear for takeoff,” barked the airport tower.
“Roger, clear.” Pete Canter responded. He gunned the Learjet’s engines. It was foggy, but there were clear skies above two thousand feet.
“In five minutes I’m a free man with twenty million in cash and Mike’s Learjet. Too bad about Mike.”
The fog below him now, Peter headed for a V-shaped cloud that pointed toward Caracas.
A flashing red light interrupted Peter’s jubilation. Two wires stretched from the flashing light through a ragged hole in the overhead panel. An alarm sounded. Cabin pressure plummeted.
Peter gasped. “What the fuck?”
Copyright © 2019 By James W. White
Randi McCoy, Benicia Hills
“Stop!” Becky’s cry ricocheted from one side of the trail to the other while we did a two-mile walk climbing Mount Wanda. “These damn boots don’t fit!”
I stopped, shifted my pack and grabbed my water bottle. “They’re brand new. It’ll take a while to break ’em in.”
“I don’t care. I can’t walk in these things.” Becky hopped on one foot as she pulled the boot off the other.
“Do you have an extra pair of sox?”
Becky sat on a rock and fumed. “Forget it. I’ll go the rest of the way on my bare fucking feet.”
©James White, 2018