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Showing posts from January, 2008

Canceled Date

Up at the festival, up too late, couldn't sleep without writing. Enjoy:

In a hoarse voice better suited to a motor engine than a soft, delicate girl she tells me over the phone, “They sent me home sick from work today.”

“Are you okay?” I wonder, concerned.

“I’m fine. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to make it tonight. I want to so bad, though.”

“I want you to.” As I speak, I imagine her lips coming closer and closer to mine, but, as if it were in a bad dream, they never touch.

She coughs away from the phone, then, “When is the show again?”

“It’s at 9:30, but listen, sweetheart, if you’re not feeling well, you don’t have to come. I’ll just bring someone else. I don’t want you to come out if you’re not feeling well on my account.” It kills me to say that. Of course I want her to come.

“Well…” As she debates with herself, I can almost feel my cheek pressed to hers.

“Seriously, if you’re sick I don’t want you to feel obligated to come out here to see me. I’m not that important.”

“…

Old Mr. Fowler

This short story was an exercise I did for myself. I gave myself an hour to write a phone conversation. About a fourth of the way through, I realized the time period was a bit ambiguous. So, the first 1/3 of the piece seems like it could be today, but then I got the feeling it was set at the dawn of the telephone era.

I don't know....

Anyways, here it is:

“Hello?” he answered into the phone.

“Is Henry there?” came the gravelly, unsure voice of the aged man on the other end.

“Henry? No one here by that name.”

“Is this little Tom Spade?”

“Yes. May I ask who’s calling?”

“This is John Fowler.” A ghost from the distant past.

“Mr. Fowler?”

“Yes, son.”

“Wow. It’s had to have been fifteen years, at least.”

“Seventeen.”

“Golly.”

“I’ve been gone for a long time.”

“You can say that again.”

“Well, I’ve been back now a week and I can’t seem to find anyone I know. They’re either dead or gone. I happened to see your ad in the newspaper for your shop and thought you might be able to point me to your fa…