The death of ole Charlie

His head slams into the side of the door frame, and he finally falls down on the ground, face first. He twitches a couple more times, tries to reach back and take the knife out o’ his neck, but he can’t reach it and he don’t have no more strength. Continue reading The death of ole Charlie

Coloring

An’ my belly felt good, all fruity and warm. I ‘member burpin’ orange soda and it tickled my nose. Mostly, though, I ‘member feeling good and warm and my stomach was all filled-up and happy. Mamma was s’posed to call later that night. Daddy left the phone on the hook and sipped his beer and ate pork rinds most of the day. He didn’t smile much, but he didn’t yell much, either. Just sat in his La-Z-Boy and talked about how Mamma would be real good actin’ as a dead whore. I didn’t understand what a ‘whore’ was, but it made Daddy smile, so I smile back at him, happy and proud as a rain cloud. Continue reading Coloring

Sleep driving

Hey?” The sound, a voice that was once as familiar as bread, now wooden and tired and indifferent.

Daddy?”

Christ. Cronic are you awake, or what? You almost hit that fuckin’ Dodge. If you’re too tired to drive, for Christ’s sake pull over.” Not wooden or tired or indifferent, but panicked and aware. Speedometer reading 70 miles an hour.

Daydreamin’, I guess.” Continue reading Sleep driving

The ’61 T-Bird

I killed my first boy when I were fifteen year old, my stomach hurt so bad.

His name was Charlie and he was showin’ off his ’61 T-Bird. I could make out the evenin’ star – Venus was her name – and everything looked like a photograph, with the soft blanket of twilight descendin’ ‘pon us.

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Excerpt from Cronic – coming soon….

Cronic: Empty voice

I long for the sound of sirens and gunshots, police amplifiers and squealing tires. I have stopped caring, and yet I care enough to continue. I remain inert and yet I am desperate to run, to hide, to hunt for any vestiges of normality. I am pinned, I am glued, I am molded into the shape of this car seat, watching the miles fade away like optical illusions in a haunted carnival maze. The miles stretch out like gruesome arms, pulling me – pulling us both – into the maw of an open-mouthed horizon. Continue reading Cronic: Empty voice

Doe: An excerpt

Doe was singing. At first it was “Delta Dawn,” and then “Stand by Your Man”. I thought that if she slipped into an Anne Murray tune, Cronic would kill us all for sure. She was singing in the woman’s washroom and she would not come out.

Cronic was not only flustered but actually looked embarrassed. “You go on an’ get her out,” he said, squirming and darting his eyes every which way. “I can’t go in there, Scoobie. You hafta.”

I can’t,” I hissed. “You know I can’t.”

I ain’t comin’ out, Cronic,” she sang. “Not till you promise me a full chicken dinner and some cherry pie. ‘Stand by your man….’” Continue reading Doe: An excerpt

Cronic: Aesthetics

It was one of those late September afternoons when the sun and the moon are on opposite sides of the horizon. They were hanging from the sky like lush pieces of fruit. The sun was on its way down and the moon was on the rise.

I could hear crickets and cicadas and the excited chirps of a few playful chickadees. I could hear the tick-down of the ‘Bird’s engine in the stillness. I could hear my own heartbeat thudding in my chest. I could hear Cronic’s breath from inside the car. But, other than those sounds, there was nothing. No traffic noises, no overhead airplanes, no tractors in the fields pulling in their crops. Continue reading Cronic: Aesthetics