“Mrs. Cotter & the Duck”

An Old Woman Befriends a Weathervane

By any law, Mrs. Cotter was legally blind. Her mind, too, had blurred.

Creepy StoriesWhen she found her fallen weathervane on the lawn, she thought it was a real bird. The copper duck had broken free in a gale, tumbled down the shingled roof, and landed on its stomach. Its wings were spread. Its feathers were a dull, corroded green. It looked at Mrs. Cotter when she walked out back to hang her dripping laundry.

“Hello!” she said, surprised to find a duck on her lawn. “That’s a two-dollar bill you have.”

The duck remained still. I’ve startled it, she thought.

Mrs. Cotter pulled a fresh, white sheet out of the basket and clipped it up to dry. She put out all her laundry, running the heavy line as far as it would go. Pillowcases flapped. One of her husband’s shirts inflated in the breeze, full and empty all at once. The duck’s copper head started warming in the sun.

“You must be hungry,” Mrs. Cotter said.

She went inside and grabbed a loaf of bread. It was her last loaf. She’d have to do without until her check arrived on Friday, but she rarely had guests and she was grateful for the company. The duck needed help and she was glad to make the sacrifice. She crumbled up the bread and tossed it on the lawn.

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Childhood Beliefs

beliefsChildhood beliefs have a bad reputation among adults, who view their own pasts with a mixture of amusement, nostalgia, embarrassment, and condescension. “If only I could travel back in time,” the adult sometimes thinks, “and tell my younger self what I know now.”

The child, on the other hand, would sooner welcome a principal with a bagful of spiders than an older, lecturing version of his- or herself.

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“The Library Creature”

New microfiction from The Equinox Society, in which a boy shuts his eyes against a daylight threat.

librarycreaturetextThe high-school library was brightly lit and empty when Martin glanced up from his graphic novel and saw the creature in the aisle.

No one else in school used the library before homeroom. Even the librarian wasn’t yet there. It was a good place to hide and read before class—the only place and time he didn’t feel threatened.

This time of morning, the library windows flooded the room with sun, and Martin’s carrel in the back was warmly lit. The creature in the aisle wasn’t instantly apparent. It was more of an impression—a light within the light, indicating something like a man-sized insect with mantis arms, bulbous eyes, and predatory focus…

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Of Two Minds

And now it stands proven that Satan, or the Red Fiery Dragon, the ‘Lord of Phosphorus,’ and Lucifer, or ‘Light-Bearer,’ is in us: it is our Mind.

— H. P. Blavatsky

And therefore the Mind of the philosopher alone has wings; and this is just, for he is always, according to the measure of his abilities, clinging in recollection to those things in which God abides.

— Plato

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Sinister Flash Fiction

sheetAlong with writing a new novel, I hope to write 2-3 sinister flash-fiction stories at The Equinox Society site every week.

I am excited and intimidated by this plan. Some of those stories are bound to be poor. The best will eventually be gathered into a short eBook with original illustrations from an artist friend. Have mercy on the worst.

Please follow along and let me know when you like something.

Oak Record Holder

I had some extra oak in the basement, including two sides of a tiny bookcase I never got around to building. I put it all together, stained it, and made an easy-to-browse record holder.

Vinyl Record Holder

Vinyl Record Holder

Vinyl Record Holder