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”
My novel, The Man Who Ran for God, is now available for purchase.
This story was born here on this blog, posted in first-draft increments for the better part of 2017. Now it’s been edited, rewritten, and improved in a published form.
Enjoy—and remember, Amazon reviews are always helpful and always appreciated!
IV. My Mouth Will Tell of Your Righteous Acts
THE GOD WE DESERVE IS JUST A MAN
by Mary Jetson
When I ask Gideon Dodd, 42, why he wants to be God, his eyes glaze over in that way many would assume means he’s staring straight through them, cooking up some diplomatic, sound bite-ready answer.
But after wandering the plains of the Serengeti with him for nearly a full day without sleep, food, or water, this reporter knows the good reverend. That empty look isn’t the sign of an artful political dodge, or of mistrust in the media. Dodd is searching inward, dissecting his very soul.
He hasn’t, in fact, given any thought to this quandary before.
And it’s in this ten-second pregnant pause that the writer decides she’s going to vote for Gideon Dodd, because there’s an honesty, a truth in that self-reflection. Dodd is impetuous. He’s bull-headed. He has a terrible sense of self-worth and more neuroses than you could ever count. He has irritable bowel syndrome and a fear of flying.
He is, in a word, human. Continue reading “The Man Who Ran for God (pt. 13)”