Archives for category: Fiction

Seven Minutes of Heaven with Margie, determined by a spinning 7-Up, an odd turn at “Indie Junior Non-Prom”, the Youngbloods’ cabin.  She had taken his hand, bypassing the coat closet, straight out into the darkening cornfield.

“Sorry about your mom and Roger.”

“Yeah.  Rough.”

“Sorry.”

She wasn’t pretty.  But her nose and upside-down smile were perfect.  Maybe it was all pattern recognition.  She touched his hand again, but her cell’s buzzing startled them both.  If he Google-Earthed them, right now, there would be velvety softness, deceptively corrugated, from continental ridges to crumbly furrowed fields to the fray of her corduroys.

—J. Michael Kilby

Michael Kilby is a Professor of Medicine, Division Chief, and AIDS researcher. He has a morbid addiction to stamp-collecting, movie matinees, and rock bands incorporating banjos.

Ball meets concrete: cracked, uneven, bleached from heat and exposure. Echo. He remembers years ago, after the hard rains, trying to dribble through patches of debris blown onto the court.

Sky’s the same. Blue heat, cloudless—-always been like that above what drove him out here alone in the first place.

Looking off-court, he surveys The Vehicle—-his roving funhouse, logging highway miles.

No nets on the rims now. He lifts the ball, shoots. Spalding rolls off his middle finger into the habitual follow-through, nearly perfect. He remembers the boy, squared up, obedient to form, listening to echoes at dusk.

—Sharon Rousseau

Sharon Rousseau writes from both city and country New York. She sometimes forgets that she used to practice jump shots on outdoor courts from late afternoon until dusk.

Excerpt from piece published in The Rambler magazine, July/August 2008

It started in the boiler room. Two a.m. The clanking crawled up walls, waking the E line. Melissa reported it, then others: disturbed sleep, frustration, a desire to sue. Once a 1920’s speakeasy-brothel, the building held secret staircases zigzagging behind apartments—a dim maze of unused space. Melissa confided her ghost fears to Ben, the super. Vaporous flappers, lost to jazz and melancholy, banging for freedom. Ben never confessed his nightly jaunts through the building’s hollows, wrench and kitchen spatulas in hand. In darkness, heat, and steam, his symphonies swirled, growing louder. Apartments went up for sale. Melissa started packing.

—Sharon Rousseau

100 Word Writing Contest
 #7 Fiction—
Gotham Writer’s Workshop
—2nd Place Winner

After that first snow, we walked through wood smoke and the weighted arbors of birch trees, our boots heavy from salt and sand. A passing car slowed, stopped, and the driver asked if we needed a ride.

You said, “No thanks, we’re seeking adventure,” and I laughed.

The man in the car laughed, too. He knew you were joking, probably thought we were renting for the week, up from the city shopping for a weekend place. We looked like that.

Today is seven snows since. I walk outside for more wood, glance up—and you’re there in the study, writing.

—Sharon Rousseau