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It happened Thursday. Word’s been getting around faster it seems.

Jenkins came through with the clip board. I marked Present but Unavailable for Reasons Not Disclosed and went on with my work. Don gave a chuckle when Stacey fingered him behind his back and made that fat guy face for all of us. Jenkins kept moving though I’m sure (how could he not?) he knew what was going on.

My phone rang. It was the IOCD calling to verify the whereabouts of what Don and I dug up Wednesday by the wading pool now drum storage area. I said we’d flagged it as number three then called over to Handling and Media to give them the heads-up, loose lips around this place. Seems lately we get a lot of flack from H&M although I know my companeros well enough to know our lack of enthusiasm at times would never amount to violation of said employment agreements. …


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Photo by Sylvanus Urban on Unsplash

Toni and me sit on the stoop and look down the street. All night long we’ll wait if we have to. In the early evening we’ll take a break for Steak-umms at her place. They have the microwave. Then we’ll be back, sitting on the stoop looking for him. When he comes we’ll tear down the sidewalk, almost as if the first one to him is to get something more special than his grin and maybe a time in his pocket fingering around for the treats he keeps there for us kids. “Candyman Carlton,” someone named him so that’s what we sing as we go. …


Graffiti on the Berlin Wall
Graffiti on the Berlin Wall
Massimo Virgilio@massimovirgilio

It’s always at this time of day that I get the blast of sun from across the street, a reflection off of the windows of the Lenox Tower building, so despised for its hulking modernness. It that sleeps the princes of Wall Street and their families, that which blocks what I imagine was once a perfect view of the 1st Avenue Bridge.

I’ll take what I can get though. I lean back against the faded paisley wallpaper of my room. Anika is in the kitchen and something krouty smelling is wafting under my door. …


Woman not smiling but looking at camera
Woman not smiling but looking at camera
Photo by Luiza Braun on Unsplash

Sometimes I get tired of waiting for Tammy by the bridge. I want to walk on, quickly and get home so I can dash together a sandwich and get downstairs before she shows, maybe put a sleeve of crackers in my pocket if there are any.

If I make it in time I’ll stay down there until the light outside the basement windows starts to dim. Then I know dad will be home and it’ll be safe to go up. But Tammy makes me wait for her, always, by the little creek. I watch the water gurgle around the rocks. I once saw a snake. …


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Photo by Fleur on Unsplash

“It doesn’t need to look perfect,” she said. We turned left at the light and headed down that street where I used to live when I was… don’t remember. I think I remembered the low brick ranch with the carport on the left. My head craned as we went by. I fabricated a memory of me pushing Gabby down the swooping driveway, full run speed over and over again. I told myself I remembered the bounce of the suspension system. Big rusty springs.

My memory hit a possible snag. Where’d we find that thing? There was no possiblitly. Dad? Not an English speaking guy. Kept to himself mostly. Mom stayed in the back. Everything we had came through the store or we’d found it somewhere. Nothing was brought with us. But still, my brain was drawing a vivid picture for me complete with honeysuckle smells and the warmth of fresh spring with damp wafts of just opened sticky flower buds. I resolved that it had all happened. I ended with the crack of a bat, the sound she made when the carriage collapsed and her baby skull hit the slab. The sound brought my mother and father worried onto the porch. They looked at me. …


View of green fields and distant mountains
View of green fields and distant mountains
Photo by Jesse Gardner on Unsplash

I’ve been here for nine years. It hasn’t gone by fast. Every day is a walk through a misty dream where I work the job at hand and try to remember her face. I should’ve been more careful but careful is something dad never accused me of. Instead he said I’d land right where I deserved and nothing more. Even as a young boy I took his words to mean something ominous. My mother never countered him, even when in disagreement but on this subject I don’t think she had the mind to. …


Gas station at dawn
Gas station at dawn
Photo by Geovanni Herrera on Unsplash

Duncan laughs at me in silent hysterics. I pull my pants up and make my way back to the car, fighting the headlights. He follows, aping my covered face with hand in an exaggerated way. I’d have them drive off without him but he’s got the cash for our next meal, I hope. It would be like him to not have it, to have forgotten it in all the scrambling and dodging about and quick clean up. Enough normalcy to allow us out of town and over the one bridge is all we needed.

When we are about a mile away I think to ask, “You got their cash, right?” …


Dog in a field
Dog in a field
Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash

Swimming in the fresh sunlight of today I am glad for it. The memory of yesterday, gray and drizzled, is like the dry lick of a postage stamp; should have gathered more spit. I hammered through the snow turned mud, up to the field where so much opens up around me; the reward for the hundred yards of muck from where I parked my car.

I come here daily, and first spy down the straightway as much as my eyes will power to see if there is any trace of another human. If there is I’ll turn and go back and brood in the protection of my car, behind rolled up windows, until the stranger, hopefully on his way out and back and not just beginning his journey, sees me and I see him and we give each other the knowing and appreciative wave and smile pulled out to let each other know, as the governor said a few minutes ago on my radio, we are in this together. …


Fiction Friday

Girl on hammok in an apartment
Girl on hammok in an apartment
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

It’s not like Patti ever minded me staying over. But I did. I lazed into it night after night however. Too cold looking out there to venture two avenues and six blocks to the Number 1 train.

I’d end up at her place as part of a circuitous set of events, mind set on fulfilling any number of evening desires, none of which involved her. And yet I’d come dragging in, partly hungry, and partly in need of her company. She filled me up.

Her place was small. Everything was in reach. We adored the Malaysian place on the corner. Ajiad was a gas. He always made me feel like he really did wait to see me, almost obediently, though I knew his welcomings were practiced. He’d found his way to the home of the tourists and made himself rich off of the source of honey. Still, in such a place as you can easily feel like a cockroach, it’s addictive to be made feel known and wanted. …


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Photo by REVOLT on Unsplash

Some of the finer points she made were lost on him. He hadn’t been listening. Instead his mind wandered, with his eyes, to the little girl on the bicycle fitted with training wheels.

He always hated the thought of training wheels. When he was a boy, wanting to learn to ride and his father not bothering to teach him, he thought that training wheels where just the thing, the right thing. …

About

Winslow Thornhill

“No rose without a thorn” — Schopenhauer winslowthornhill@gmail.com

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