This morning I’m pouring sugar into my coffee and stuffing my fat dumb face with frosted donettes when old Bill Sluice from HR comes up to me. He says, hey Drew, got a newbie in an entry level position, down in Plagiarism. Seeing’s that’s your old stomping grounds, he says, figured you might show her the ropes.
I go: But I’m in Infringement now.
Don’t matter, Bill says. With Marcia out on mat-leave someone’s gotta show her the ropes.
What are these ropes? is what I say. I worked in Plagiarism sixteen years, I don’t remember any ropes.
Bill goes, Very funny—you don’t think I heard that one before? She’s at the front desk and I told her you’re on your way.
I went to the front desk.
She was there, like Bill said. Continue reading “Wholly Original Work”
At some point the orderlies had had to tranquilize Ameer. Not that he remembered the struggle—yanking tubes from his arms, attempting to bust his leg cast with a bedpan. Letting the Get Well Soon balloons out the window. Days later he awoke in his lumpy recovery bed for the second time. He whispered now what he’d screamed then.
“No, no, no,” he said. “Nono.” Continue reading “Doctor Kenworthy’s Jell-O Girl”
My first memory concerns the Haunted Mansion. The Disneyland one. We were –Land People, my family. The -World people, we didn’t like.
The first thing about my life I can remember is screaming. Gramma’s pulling me by the wrist into the lobby of the Haunted Mansion. There’s loud organ music. Between that and all my screaming, my eardrums are crackling. There are candelabras and cobblestones and graves and about a thousand strange kids staring at me.
And there is Gramma. My father’s sweet old mother. In this memory, she has been twisted, distorted into a demonic thing. She is all limbs and peeling sunburn flakes. Shrieking “YOU’LL LIKE IT!” She drags my five-year-old, struggling, chubby body into the cartoonish manor. My feet are an inch off the ground. I’m screaming, “No! No! No!”
But we are going in anyway. Continue reading “Happy Haunts”
Congrats to my amazing friend Rachel Leigh on this aw-shucks shoutout for her cover design of my novel The Man Who Ran for God. Thanks to thebookdesigner.com.
Easily the prettiest thing ever associated with my work.
Ryan E. Felton
Charlie didn’t like it at all when we told him they were building a new house on the vacant lot.
He loves to play out there, you know, with the neighbor kid. Tall grass and rock pits and ditches for hide-and-seek. Big hills to tumble down, dirt clods to throw, lots of space to ride bikes.
But now they’re gonna mow it down, pave it, put more houses back there. I’m a little sad, too. Continue reading “Taken Root”