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New Fiction: Dos & Hem in Spain’s Civil War, Part 1

Hemingway and I first crossed paths in 1918 as ambulance drivers in the Great War. I was an ambulance driver on the French side, and he was on his way to drive for the Italians fighting the Austrians. It took six weeks of training to learn how to operate all the levers and cranks in those old jalopies. I graduated Harvard cum Laude in 1916, and it was there that my politics became radicalized. I was the bastard son of a distant, rich New York corporate lawyer, and I felt then that the world could only be made fair for the poor through Communism.

Hem and I met again when we were both expats in Paris. He arrived in the Latin Quarter with his bride, Hadley, eight years his senior, with a small pension from her family that would help a struggling writer. Hem was a strapping matinee-idol with unbelievably straight white teeth and confidence that would make life just too easy. His lack of appreciation for others was going to be hard for the rest of us. I was medium sized with owlish eyes and e.e. always said no one looked more “foreign” at Harvard than did I.

New Fiction: Cain’s Knife

The Detective sat down heavily opposite the suspect.

“We know you did it, we have a witness who saw you throw the knife into the reservoir,” said the Detective. “Why did you do it?”

“Toss the knife into the reservoir? Because it’s dangerous and I thought it was a good idea.”

The Detective frowned. “No, kill Joe Markham.”

The suspect scratched an eyebrow.

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“You killed Joe Markham in the alley next to the Western Auto store last night.”

New Fiction: The Last Pistoleer

Rancho de San Miguelito, Chihuahua, Mexico – May 14, 1916 – High Noon:  “HALT!” yelled the young cavalry lieutenant, as the threehorsemen riding out of the gated archway veered away from the men he had posted on the southeast side of the hacienda and headed at full-gallop towards him. They had apparently been alerted to make their escape by the man skinning a dead cow in the yard that had run into the ranch house as the soldiers approached, and then came back out again, nonchalantly resuming his work.

“Damnit!” The lieutenant dropped the Springfield rifle he held in his left hand – useless with three riders less than twenty yards away and closing fast – and drew the Colt “Peacemaker” he’d picked up on order in El Paso just before deploying south of the border.

New Science Fiction: Why Me?, 1987

In 1984 they arrested me.

In 1987 I got out of reeducation.

I didn’t actually learn anything in reeducation. Of course I could repeat by rote every lesson they “taught” me. It isn’t teaching. It is hearing the same things over and over. Until you cringe in all your being against anything different.

But me, I was overhandled past terror, to numbness. I really don’t care. Yes, I learned my lesson. But I also understand them now and know they have nothing to fear from me because I am broken by the experience of how cunning they are. I know they are reading these writings, these scratchings. I leave them out for them to find.

Caribbean Halloween Killing: A True Story

We never knew some things about my gentle Grandmother Loyd. She kept those things secret. Darkly secret. Black secret.

Halloween stories are ridiculous. And I say that as a man who has had probably four run-ins with ghosts, not including this one. But this all happened.

My earliest memory of her was of her sweet, loving face beaming at me when I was three and leaving with my friends to Trick or Treat down my suburban street in Austin. She wore a 1950s pleated sleeveless, collared dress and waved goodbye to me and said, with music light as a wind-chime in her voice, “I’ll see you again after you go around.” Only years later, after the unlikely deaths in Puerto Rico around our vacation home, her old home, did the prescience in those words strike me.

New Fiction for Halloween: The New Boss

A Halloween Short Story

Texas Governor George W. Bush has just touched down at Portland International Airport. The word is out on talk radio: Bush will hold a rally at Memorial Coliseum at 7 pm. Halloween in the year 2000 dawned with the eternal chance of showers that make a Portland fall forecast, and Kyle Waldenburg wonders why W is bothering. It’s common knowledge that the Rose City is the progressive capital of a state Bush has no chance of winning.

That doesn’t stop the Reagan Republican divorced father of two from rounding up his children, Lance and Lindsey, fifteen and nine respectively, after getting permission from ex-wife Kay to take them out of school early.

“You never want to miss a chance to see a president,” he’d told her.

“I’ll agree to this,” Kay had replied, “but God forbid that man should become the president.”

Gangster Town: The First 2 Chapters from Book 3 in the American Blackout Thriller Series

The action continues in Fred Tribuzzo’s action-packed adventure

Cricket was half awake, and her dream continued to play outside her bedroom window. Her father’s profile, head down, as he was thinking or getting ready to give an answer to her question soon morphed into her great-uncle Tommy, a young soldier returning from World War Two. Other faces appeared, dissolved, people she had known, loved, and lost.

She was filling her lungs with her first conscious breath when the face outside the window turned into a white leopard. The big, wide face peered at her peacefully, eyes warm on the surface yet streaming the vastness of nature.

She quickly lifted herself up on one arm, disturbing her husband’s sleep. The animal had to be on its hind legs.

Purchase Gangster Town here on Amazon. Also check out this sample from Pulse of the Goddess: American Blackout Book 1 and the opening chapters from book 2, Slaves Beneath the Stars.

New Fiction, Chapter 4: Stealing Cars and Co-Ed Bars

Serial installments of the novel ‘A Girl, A Dog, a Boat’ continue

The guys I dated before Todd weren’t anything to write home about – seemingly pleasant company, but not engaging in a lifetime sort of way. And I had zero man-luck in med school. There were too many willing undergrad girls looking to land a doctor so the single males in med school were severely oversexed…

I thought I was modern. A go-with-the-flow kinda girl who wasn’t in a full-on sprint to coupledom. But after being propositioned by far too many drunk partygoers, I concluded that I’m nicer than I put on. Perhaps all of those years of Sunday school stuck because a roll in the hay was of no interest to me.

That, coupled with the fact that I never really had a serious long-term boyfriend kept me in good standing with Flossie and her friends at church who regularly asked God to send me a husband before I gave up and sinned. She said that if she waited then so could I. She also said that the best husbands are friends first.

Editor’s note: Click here for chapter 1here for chapter 2, and here for chapter 3 in this weekly fiction serial.

New Fiction, Chapter 3: Splinters and The Pressure Cooker

Serial installments of the novel ‘A Girl, A Dog, a Boat’ continue

Mom had planned on staying another few days, but after the physicality of my loss was over I kindly asked her to go. I was so confused. I didn’t know why I was mourning someone I never knew. I couldn’t talk about it. As much as I loved Mom’s company, I felt a big cry coming on and wanted to be alone.

The weeks following only further solidified my sorrow. Everywhere I went there were pregnant women and new babies. It was as if the cervically-gifted were breeding with each other. Multiplying
themselves just to mock me. My only solace was food and I was beginning to resemble a tub of salted caramel.

Editor’s note: Click here for chapter 1 and here for chapter 2 in this weekly fiction serial.

New Fiction, Chapter 2: Johnny Hustle

Serial installments of the novel ‘A Girl, A Dog, a Boat’ continue

Mom wanted to stay. She knew exactly what I was feeling: unspeakable loss. She’d had much of that in her life. Much more than mine. She lost both her parents very young, in a car accident. And of course, she lost her best friend, my dear father.

Dad was the most hard-working man of his time and entirely self-made. He ran off and joined the army at seventeen so he could have enough money to marry his high school sweetheart. After being a radio guy for three years and getting some experience in supply-chain management, Johnny left the Army to be a tin-knocker like his old man. He turned their petite carport into a sheet metal fabrication shop that slowly but steadily became a very profitable business venture. After retiring, Dad consulted for his old competitors who knew him by the nickname of “Johnny Hustle.” Nobody worked harder than dad. He could make or fix anything with a pencil, a ruler, a heavy pair of snips, and a Phillips head.

Editor’s note: Click here for chapter 1 in this weekly fiction serial

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