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The Space between Atoms 46

  Hurriedly tucking himself in, the snuffling behind him caused an urge to do the other kind of evacuation.   Although his eyes were adjusted to the dark, having been awake all night, the moon had completely sunk below the horizon.   Shapes were vague.   Terah knew the fishing hut was directly behind him a few yards.   He’d walked straight here.   Sound in the dark took on a reality of its own, an urgency amplified by the lack of light.   He had to turn and face it. It was a bear.   A black bear.   It was sniffing at the fishing hut door.   The garbage bag of baked goods was in there, and this creature was hungry from hibernation.   It wasn’t a huge bear, but the thing about even a small bear was its natural weaponry and lack of social restraint.   Terah stood as still as the tree he’d watered, although he knew the bear could smell him.   He recalled reading that the scent radius for a human, when it came to bears, was measured in miles.   What must a city smell like to such a nose? Wh
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The Space between Atoms 45

  Lindsey kept them moving.   Analomink was a place Terah was certain he’d never heard of.   Lindsey knew where to find provisions, however.   Enough to get them through the night. “Will Wednesday attack?” Terah asked. “How the hell should I know?”   Lindsey finished off the scraps and had Terah heave the trash bag over his shoulder like a pauper Saint Nick.   He was still impressed that Lindsey knew which places put their baked goods out for garbage collection if they didn’t sell during the day.   Like any unspoiled lake Analomink had attracted developers, but out past the Rod and Gun Club no roads gave access.   It was still cold, but at least the snow was gone. “There used to be fishin’ shanties out here,” she said.   “Places for guys to stick their rods and shit.” Darkness had fallen and they had to make their way carefully.   Terah had left his flashlight at Dickinsheet, supposing they’d return.   A half-moon gave half-light.   The wind had driven the clouds away, but full radiati

Corvus Redux

I like corvids.  Not the disease, the birds.  Often I sit and listen to the jay's strident call and I smile because I know they, among the smartest of birds, are saying something worthwhile. My short story, "The Hput," has just appeared in Corvus Review .  Here's the link: Hput . This story, like much of fiction, is based on actual events.  A hput is a real thing, but I believe, only three other people on the planet know what it is.  Of those three people one of them has lost touch with me.  Hputs are real.  I saw one just over a year ago. Tales exist of children who develop their own personal languages.  Nobody but their twin/friend can understand it.  The idea of a secret vocabulary isn't something I invented, but I do make use of it.  It makes for a good story. The characters in "The Hput" appear also in "Friday before Senior Year" and in The Space between Atoms .  They are part of a diegesis I'm building.  A universe, if you will.  Writ

The Space between Atoms 44

  Terah looked around hungrily for Caileigh.   Instead a massive gust of wind blew a tree down across the abandoned road with a cannon-like thud.   Quick calculation revealed they would’ve been smashed had they kept walking. “My god—how did you know?” Terah asked.   “Did she warn you?” “Who?   Caileigh?   No.   He did.” Heart still clattering like a xylophone, Terah peered ahead and saw no one.   “Who?” “Wednesday.” That didn’t help Terah’s heart.   “Wednesday?   But how?” Tentatively, Lindsey led him forward.   The maple with its still naked branches, covered the entire road and they had to negotiate a way through the tangle.   Terah followed his young leader. “He followed me from the asylum,” she said simply. “But ghosts haunt places, I thought.”   Suddenly he felt ill-equipped.   Not having paid much mind to ghosts, nymphs, and other superstitious things, he’d never read the serious books on the topic.   They weren’t published by university presses. “Often they do,” Lindsey said.  

The Space between Atoms 43

  Windquake.   The concept described what it felt like to be in houses literally shaken by the wind.   The spiteful aspect of the weather often forgotten until it arose, aeolian damage could be heard in real time as the gusts became sustained.   As if the sky were trying to tear civilization itself apart.   Dickinsheet wasn’t built to code. Queequeg and Terah rode out the storm in Cicero’s house with his bones.   The place shook like a frightened old man.   No rain fell, but the violence of the wind rocked everything.   “At least with a thunderstorm you know when its done,” Queequeg called out.   The wind would blow itself out only to begin again with even more rage. Terah felt terror.   “It’s like hurricane Sandy,” he shouted above the din.   He’d been in New Jersey for that. “Least we don’t have to worry about losing power,” Queequeg smiled.   Where had he been during that storm?   It’d left an indelible impression on Terah, although he’d experienced others.   In his fear he began re

The Return of Space

  I’m so excited.   I’ve finally received a report from the data recovery center and it looks, at this point, like I’ll be able to recover The Space between Atoms .   If so, I’ll be able to resume where we left off starting next week. Recovering data is very expensive.   You see, I had thousands and thousands of files on my backup drive that failed.   It cost more than I’d like to think (let’s just say a new computer would be cheaper) to recover it.   There’s no way I could reconstruct literally over a decade of daily writing. The company I used was kind enough to suggest some better storage solutions.   Hell, these machines look serious.   They also cost a lot of money.   I guess most of us would really not like to think how fragile are data are. Speaking of data, one of the English language watchdog groups—I forget which one—has now declared that singular verbs can be used with “data.”   Data is the plural of datum, but we tend to use   the word as a bloc of information, making its m

The Joys of 30

 One of the most difficult parts about being creative is that you get carried away with ideas.  I've had four nonfiction books published and lately I've been taken—I mean really taken—with an idea for a fifth.  I've started writing it even before hearing if I'll get a contract for it. In the midst of the mania behind that writing (and I've got so little time to write that it's painful) I received the good news that fiction story number 30 has been accepted for publication.  Not only that, but it has been accepted in  Corvus Review .  I've published there before, but it's exalted company for me and I'm thrilled they like my fiction. Since my disc is still crashed and since I don't have access to The Space between Atoms (never trust a single disc!), this seems like a good time for a celebratory post.  This particular story is called "The Hput" (yes, a hput is a real thing), but it's a thing I can't tell you what means. This parti