Sympathy for the Torturer: Fourth Tourmaline (part two)

Tourmaline Sympathy for the Torturer (part two)               Herward said, “Is that enough? I’ll go back.” He touched often, and did so now, tapping Anton on the wrist and pointing to show the queue empty. “More bread.” “Have mine.” Then: “Now, listen. How would it be…how would you personally […]

Tourmaline (conclusion)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (conclusion)           Nearing an outcrop of rock that formed a cove with a brutal undertow, Anton saw the usual small craft, that rowed out to the anchored boats. His ear was attuned for the first time to snatches of the peninsular speech, the patois of the fishmongers. He was […]

Tourmaline (part three)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (part three)           “Where the adjectival phrase takes the place of a noun, where we grammarians employ the hyphenated construction…which is, of course, a bit of shorthand for us…I mean for us alone. They, while officially, the nomads use our own alphabet…” Professor Swisshelm removed his plug of tobacco […]

Tourmaline (part two)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (part two)           They were touching, packed that tightly, twisting shoulders to avoid intimacy; by this, still effaced and invisible to one another. They were queued so far along the street, he doubted he could respect Palma’s curfew. He doubted he would be fed at all. Here were three […]

Tourmaline (part one)

Tourmaline Tourmaline (part one)             Anton nearly smiled. The glass kept steaming up, over and over. Because in a downstairs chamber something, he did not know what, boiled. Had it been sour cabbage, he would have felt envious, hungry as he’d always been. But he never smelled anything cook in […]

The Blue Bird (conclusion)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (conclusion)             She backed into the living room and picked up the TV remote. The news channel showed three women on lounge seating, two resting hands on books. One read aloud from hers. They were not personalities Gitana had ever seen. Someone had told them […]

The Blue Bird (part four)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (part four)           “So,” she told him, standing. “Here’s what I’ve decided, for today. I’m going over to Glimmerings. I’m going to put a note up on the board…get in touch with me. I don’t care…” She raised her voice. Dave was comfortable falling into his […]

The Blue Bird (part three)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (part three)               The person who lived here, number 46, had gone someplace. They’d all gone someplace. She went back down the hall…rattling knobs along the way, aggressive. She got to the landing, and turned to watch. No door tentatively inched back. No head […]

The Blue Bird (part two)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (part two)             She thanked him for the water. “I’ve got to get back upstairs.” It had been one of those friendly congruities of feeling between people not ready to be friends. Dave fading back into distance, giving her this non-answer answer, rejecting the invitation […]

The Blue Bird (part one)

Short Stories The Blue Bird (part one)                   Something buzzed, up like wind can at times, when it slices between gutter and roof edge. And this noise escalated, out of the hinterlands of notice, into skull-gripping alarm. A shock came, too loud to be heard, so loud […]