2014 – October 20 – Swapsies
On the 20th we’re reading “Swapsie” by Sally-Anne Macomber.
To: Milton Flaxmill, Red Cow Publishing
From: Trudy Polaris
Date: October 20, 2014 10: 28 a.m.
Re: A Cheery Tune
Milton! Milton! Milton!
Remember me, the woman who sent you Nuclear Fission in The Pyrénées?
More chilling words were never penned. And thus we are tossed once again into the raging storm that is Trudy Polaris. Last month Trudy caught wind (via a tin can listening device) that she has been nominated for the Nobel Prize. Obviously, this is not the sort of news a person forgets in one month’s time.
The Nobel Committee has been surprisingly silent this year , so Continue reading
2014 – October 19 – Devil Wind
It’s the 19th, time for “Devil Wind” by Gay Degani.
It happens every October in California, hot Santa Ana winds whip through the Old Road, stripping leaves from oaks, sucking up moisture. The devil stokes his furnace, and heat rises from the ground.
You know that moment when you’re gazing into an image and the hidden picture comes into focus? It would seem that October is that moment in 2014. With these installments, storylines reveal their hidden selves. Sometimes it’s a snap! as in the Suicide Club, or, as in this month’s installment for The Old Road, it’s a gentle unveiling. Last month began the process with the discovery of a murdered girl. Continue reading
2014 – October 18 – The Death of Mystery
The 18th brings “The Death of Mystery” by Stephen V. Ramey (reviewed by Andrew Stancek).
12: 01 AM
Mystery is dying. Anne told me earlier that we should have her put down before our vet closed for the weekend, but I couldn’t do that. I’ve never connected with an animal the way I connect with this cat. After eighteen years, we know each other’s signals. I can walk up to my recliner, point , and she’ll move to one side so that I can sit with her. It works the other way too. She’ll hop up – usually when I’m busy on the laptop – meow once, and stare at the gap between Continue reading
2014 – October 17 – The Last One Standing
It’s the 17th and we’re reading “The Last One Standing” by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz.
Aaron sends a text to both Phil and Mora. He’s willing to meet – thinks they should meet – but whatever, he writes.
Once again, October sends a story cycle careening onto a higher plane. What has been fun and (darkly) funny turns quite serious this month. Death is funny until it happens to you, or more precisely, someone you care about. Last month sent a signal that the tone was about to change, but this month is for reals. Diane did indeed off herself, and Mora tried to save her.
“You and your club!” she’d Continue reading
2014 – October 16 – A Dish Best Served Cold
It’s the 16th, and we’re reading “A Dish Best Served Cold” by James Claffey.
The rusted belt holds his trousers up high on his waist as he searches the cupboards and shelves for a bit of cash. He’s not sure where the money goes every week , but as sure as eggs is eggs the small bit he gets from the welfare manages to disappear well before the next payment can be collected at the narrow post office on the main street.
This is an an installment about spaghetti cold from the can. But my oh my what Mr. Claffey does with spaghetti. It doesn’t stay cold for long.
With the house devoid of finances Continue reading
2014 – October 15 – Tenth Inning
It’s the 15th, and we’re reading “Tenth Inning” by Michael Webb.
My hips silently thank the flexibility training that Athletes Performance Center puts me through as I lower myself to the carpet. It is story time. Angela is making an effort, since the end of the season, to keep me more involved in Madison’s life, noticing the disconnect that my constant absences cause, so when our family’s turn to read a story came up, I was assigned the task.
This series has been remarkable for the ebb and flow of its various tensions, both in-game and in-life. Our protagonist has engaged in sketchy behaviors and flown dangerously close to extra-marital affairs. He’s managed Continue reading
2014 – October 14 – Death on the Freeway
On the 14th day, we’re reading “Death on the Freeway” by Len Kuntz.
This evening, I’m haunted by the road, by its width and narrowness, its endlessness. I feel out of sorts and shouldn’t be driving, but there’s nothing else to do, nowhere else to go. I’ve been away for ten months, untethered and drifting, and while it’s been something of an adventure, it hits me now that I’m a man without a purpose.
October appears to be the linchpin month. These stories reconnect us to key plot elements, and swing us into the final stretch. And that’s particularly true of this one. Until now we’ve been gliding with the protagonist on a Continue reading