Tourmaline: The Enemy (part one)

      The Enemy (part one)   Frederick as a voice passing her door, fading down an empty hallway. Frederick glimpsed on a public screen, holding up a cardboard sign: ALLIANCE OUT. Or a face that seemed entirely his, belonging to Mrs. Leonhardt’s new boarder, a young student. Not a face to be loved […]

Marjorie Bowen: The Sword Decides! (part fifty-six)

Marjorie Bowen The Sword Decides! (part fifty-six)                   Simona sat a mule; all horses, nags, swaybacks, the hoof-rotted, were being mounted this morning for Ludovic’s cavalry. Tackle was lacking, so was courage to climb the bare back of an angry beast, its mouth tortured with a stray […]

The Resident (part seven)

      The Resident (part seven)     From a spot on the wall, unnoticed in the broader glory of the room, came three deep tongs, that echoed, imposing silence. Chatting groups broke apart, individuals circled tables—finding signs, and taking seats. “I want one,” Wissary told Debra. “What do you call it?” “The chandelier?” […]

The Mirrors (part seven)

    The Mirrors (part seven)     She hoped Mr. Wright would happen by when she sat to lunch. Going through Esta’s trove with Carmine would not be helpful. At a bad time, it would tempt him away from his duties. Rothesay, it seemed to her, was the more at fault… Well, dismiss it. […]

The Tambinder Engine (part two)

      The Tambinder Engine  A McAlley Story (part two)     Leaving, she scanned hard the direction Matthew would have gone. Maybe I’ve seen a ghost. Maybe I’ve had a fit. The bad air… At her rear bumper, she laid her armload on the gravel. The white truck had water jugs in the […]

Depression Glass (part four)

      Depression Glass (part four)     “Oh, that’s pretty. Is it, like, a fern?” “It’s a poisonous plant called hemlock.” “But, you mean, hemlock? How’s it growing here?” “You got me. I can look it up.” He patted his phone pocket. They were under hot sun, on weedy gravel, moving down from […]

The Mirrors (part six)

    The Mirrors (part six)     iii.     Nothing that manifests…nothing that can be… (She was bearing this in mind, in church, where faith was apt.) …is not created for the good. You dispute this. You say that there is evil in the world, and that you have smelled the malignant breath […]

Marjorie Bowen: The Sword Decides! (part fifty-five)

Marjorie Bowen The Sword Decides! (part fifty-five)                   Her day had left Simona restless. While, this role she played required less… Less (a sigh) of standing by in readiness. Fiorina in her simple dress, sweating when the sun was hot, no perfumed waters, no cloth teased from […]

The Resident (part six)

      The Resident (part six)     “Go in and get you something to drink,” Stu called out. “Lunch any time now, Dad.” Deb’s over-the-shoulder glance caught her fiancé’s frozen sneer. She turned in full, with a warning deliberation, and shot Bridge the dagger of a look. One visitor was dressed in black […]

The Tambinder Engine (part one)

      The Tambinder Engine  A McAlley Story (part one)     The subject was a Carmadge, from the far side of the world. She had taken her car on a poking, cautious drive, where guardrails were off, where asphalt webbed itself into cracked rings, undermined by rain squalls come too late. Horses were […]