Cutting Ties and Mudslides

Billy burst through the front door of the barbershop, sliding across the checkered floor and into an empty barber chair. He twirled twice and stopped.

Emil leaned back in the other chair, barber’s cape rustling over his sagging paunch.

Leon raised his shears from Emil’s thinning pate, “How can I help, Billy?” He didn’t really want to know, but he was a businessman.

“Dahlia’s gone and told me she wants another semester in Germany.” Billy buried his face in his hands. “It’s like she doesn’t want to get married!” Continue reading “Cutting Ties and Mudslides”

What Price Success?

Once upon a time, summer sunrises warmed deep forest, from chill evergreen to clattering gold, edging our bedroom curtains with the nascent glow of unarticulated adventures. Ceaseless waves, having raked over agate and quartz all night, left hints in bits of driftwood and bobber, and precious white-scrubbed logs from distant islands and Superior storms. Continue reading “What Price Success?”

Cool Water or Writer’s Block?

Azul Tequila with lime

The firefighter pulled off his helmet, face streaked with sweat and dust from a raging fire, now controlled.

He’d single-handedly saved an even dozen citizens that night. He felt a tug on his pant leg and looked down into the wide eyes of a tiny tot.

“Thanks, Mister!” the child lisped. “Want a TMCoke and a smile?”

“Thanks, but I’d rather have some cool water.”

“Good choice!”

(No. Just…No. Highlight, then delete.) 

Continue reading “Cool Water or Writer’s Block?”

A Fish Tale from Lake Country

Largemouth BassIt couldn’t be un-seen. It was right there in front of me: the giant spaghetti bowl, the splash of Tante Lianna’s special sauce, meatballs rolling off the table and onto the floor, parmesan spread all over the dining room table, like sleet in a Minnesota mid-June storm.

Normal. But really…not so much.

And the noodles! Seemingly caught in mid-flight from the bowl, they lay heavy as nightcrawlers escaping a flooded sidewalk, the aftermath of the aforementioned storm, turned to punishing rain.

And Uncle Wilford, face down in the middle of it all.

He should have heeded the warning twinge in Tante Lianna’s trick knee. Continue reading “A Fish Tale from Lake Country”