A cowboy builds a fire

A fairly lengthy story I rediscovered in my files. I think it still holds up.

Mossy entrails hang from a chunk of pine, and the sun is over the curb. It should warm up quickly, but a campfire would be nice. There is an old iron skillet under the sink, and bacon and eggs in the refrigerator. An old-fashioned campfire breakfast. I would try to call Cholo again, to see if he wants to come for breakfast, but there is much work to do. I stoop to collect branches, chunks of bark, and rub them against my jeans, against my jacket. I still have my Zippo lighter, Cholo doesn’t know about that, he thinks he’s removed everything that might cause me to hurt myself, but some things are a secret. Continue reading “A cowboy builds a fire”

Ordinary Handsome – Business as usual

An excerpt. Ordinary Handsome is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0

There was much talk about the weather, the gully wash on Milk Street, who was cheating whom, and the weather. Nothing about a missing boy, or an accident on Little Route. It was business as usual.

It was a day of cleaning up. He washed and changed the bedding in Arlene’s room, swept the floors and tidied the living room. He drank much coffee and slept upright at the kitchen table. He listened to the ticking clock and felt the day gather up into a single cloud that passed over town. It would rain again, but without as much purpose. Just before six o’clock – his usual supper hour – he got back in the Bel Air and went for a drive.

He visited her before he left. She was lucid but pale. He kissed her forehead and she smiled. Calm yourself Jimmy, she said. Let me rest.

Getting into the car and during the drive, he wondered if he misheard her. She might have said, let him rest. But that might have been a transpositional memory. A warning. Let him rest.


The man would recognize the boy, of course; but would the boy recognize the man he had become?

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