Island In The Sand, Part XXIII

Island In The Sand, Part XXIII

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XXIII Once again, the entire band, from Star, Wren, and Jameson, stopped to stand and stare at the walls of the house in silence. “Did that thing just say the conveyance could fly off the planet? Jameson asked. There was no answer to his...
Island In The Sand, Part XXII

Island In The Sand, Part XXII

 ISLAND IN THE SAND  Part XXII   Star Black walked the short distance back to the living room where her band was once more gathering. “What lower story of the dwelling?” she asked, more to herself than to Jameson who stood by her side. “The lower story is not a story...
TWENTY-SECOND NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

TWENTY-SECOND NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

I stared at Jurgens, waiting for an apology I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear, and damned well knew I didn’t want to accept. The man was the epitome of a phrase I’d never used in my lifetime and had only heard about in occasional passing while I was in college. White...
Island In The Sand, Part XXI

Island In The Sand, Part XXI

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XXI   The single heavy door opened all the way all on its own as if powered by some unseen force. There was no sound which surprised Star. How long since the doors to the house had been open, and if they hadn’t been opened for many many years...
Island In The Sand, Part XX

Island In The Sand, Part XX

 ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XX   The trek through the whispering pines took more than an hour. Star made sure that they stopped along the way, every few yards, in order to reconnoiter and approach the building with extreme care. She couldn’t stop thinking about the pack...
Island In The Sand, Part XIX

Island In The Sand, Part XIX

 ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XIX   Star crouched down, her knees bent to allow her to move instantly in whatever direction might be required. She held the big rifle, a cartridge carefully inserted and locked in the chamber and the little safety lever pulled back to allow...
Island In The Sand, Part XVIII

Island In The Sand, Part XVIII

 ISLAND IN THE SAND  Part XVIII   They ran after the Ninety-One robot, as it accelerated, taking the railroad track passages in bouncing leaps, correcting its’ treads for directional control upon each landing. They made no effort to control the noise of their flight,...
Island In The Sand, Part XVII

Island In The Sand, Part XVII

  ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XVII   They all agreed on two things about the newfound rifles. They were too loud and shooting them hurt the shoulder, and sometimes the hand, of the person shooting them. Some sort of ear plugs would help with the sound, but there was...
THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY, 30 Days Has September

Corporal Mike Riorden was the Ontos Commander, although everyone called him Rio, like the city because his roots were from somewhere down in South America. The Ontos crew loved the Ontos, and I was almost certain their love had little to do with the machine’s armor or...
Island In The Sand, Part XVI

Island In The Sand, Part XVI

 ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XVI   Sol and Tal emerged from the opening carrying what appeared to be long-barreled weapons. Each boy squeezed through the opening carrying one of the weapons vertically. The weapons were almost as long as the boys were tall. “Rifles,”...
Island In The Sand, Part XV

Island In The Sand, Part XV

   ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XV   Star stopped what she was doing and stood still. After a few seconds, she began to get control of both her emotions and her breathing. It was ridiculous to get mad at machines, no matter how sentient they might seem. It was like getting...
Island In The Sand, Part XIV

Island In The Sand, Part XIV

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XIV  Star was leaning against the back door to the operations center, when it opened. Star fell backwards, but her flipping body never hit the floor, as many small hands caught her and brought her to a halt in mid-air. Star didn’t hesitate or...
The Hustle, The Escalator of Life

The Hustle, The Escalator of Life

The Hustle, The Escalator, The Rush of Life. When you put the brakes on, by going on vacation somewhere far away, traveling abroad for a while, or simply holing up and pulling the cords out of the walls with respect to electronic equipment, you discover that life...
Island In The Sand, Part XIII

Island In The Sand, Part XIII

 Island In The Sand Part XIII  Star flipped in mid-air, brought her body around in a twist to land face down, her hands and knees ready to take the impact on the hard flooring. Her mind raced, but like a fast blinking strobe seemed to give her only brief shots of what...
Reflections From Hawaii, 2018, Whales Again

Reflections From Hawaii, 2018, Whales Again

Dateline: Oahu, Hawaii Aprile 12, 2018 The whales. They are dropping off the brats. I have worked out from the early morning calls and crying of the whales, between four a.m. and dawn, that the big pod of parents and relatives have some close-in pool not far from me...
Reflections From Hawaii, 2018, Off the Grid

Reflections From Hawaii, 2018, Off the Grid

Dateline Oahu, Hawaii April 12, 2018 Off the grid. The constant communications grid, that is. I have electricity, cards, gas, water and the rest, but no television and the newspaper available like some sort of grade school thing. It is night once again. Night for you...
Reflections From Hawaii, 2018, Eeyore

Reflections From Hawaii, 2018, Eeyore

Dateline: Ohau, Hawaii April 11, 2018 Eeyore Eeyore of the Forty Acre Woods, of Winnie the Pooh fame, has nothing on the character that has appeared across from my pool at the abode. There’s a bush over there and it looks every bit like Eeyore, either that or I...
Reflections from Hawaii, 2018, More Whales

Reflections from Hawaii, 2018, More Whales

Dateline: Oahu, Hawaii April 10, 2018 A whale.  Just one single whale spume, flying up at 6:52 am about half a mile out or a little bit less. What does that mean? That means the whole whale thing is not the figment of my imagination. So, the adventure of the whales...
Reflections from Hawaii, 2018, Nightfall

Reflections from Hawaii, 2018, Nightfall

Dateline: Oahu, Hawaii April 9, 2018 Last night I was up late.  I go to bed late and I get up early. What is that? Going all the way back to after I got home from Vietnam. Now, I’m not up looking for some enemy who can’t possibly be out in the night....
Reflections from Hawaii, 2018, Whales

Reflections from Hawaii, 2018, Whales

Dateline: Oahu, Hawaii April 7, 2018 Do whales cry at night, or sing, or whatever? I am a couple of miles from pods of passing whales, as they do in large numbers in this part of the world. A beaten rock shore sits right at the edge of my principal abode where I am...
Island In The Sand, Part XII

Island In The Sand, Part XII

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XII   The draw of the storage room was so magnetic and great that Star could not stop herself from surging forward, down the extended steps and into the near end of the giant cavern. “Wren, go and get the kids,” Star ordered, the idea of having...
The Island In The Sand, Part XI

The Island In The Sand, Part XI

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XI   Star pulled the remains of the arrow shaft from Val’s wound gently, but steadily. There was little blood, which surprised her. The boy grimaced with pain but only after she used the alcohol and Kleenex to swab the area clean of congealed...
The Island In The Sand, Part X

The Island In The Sand, Part X

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part X   Star and Jameson stepped carefully away from the end of the plank, slightly distancing themselves from one another. Slowly, they circled the power plant until they could see the tunnel entrance in the distance. They moved together toward...
Island In The Sand, Part IX

Island In The Sand, Part IX

Island In The Sand Part IX   Star awakened at the beckoning of a soft, distant, voice. “Only Star Black, Administrator, please attend,” flowed softly across the floor to her ears. She turned her head, trying to figure out what ‘attend’ meant. “Oh, Jordan,” she...
THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY, 30 Days Has September

The sounds of the Bong Song’s nearby rushing waters, the whap whap whap of the descending chopper’s supersonic blade-tips rotating, and the rest of the valley background sounds all faded into non-existence, as four Skyraiders came down the valley from the north, no...
Island In The Sand, Part  VIII

Island In The Sand, Part VIII

Island In The Sand Part VIII Star stared at the complex design of the underground railroad and power station. She wondered if it was even more than that, but her imagination could barely take in what they’d found already, much less even more. There was one question...
Island in the Sand, PartVII

Island in the Sand, PartVII

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part VII  Star’s eyes popped open and with a start, she sat up. Something had awakened her, but nothing she could identify by glancing in every direction around her. The band had hiked deep into the dark tunnel to avoid the bright light shining down...
Island In The Sand, Part VI

Island In The Sand, Part VI

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part VI   Star continued to move ever downward, feeling more secure with each order of “one step” she called down to the kids roped together below her. The rungs were made of smooth hard metal, but after so many hard grasps of their surface and...
March To A Different Drummer…

March To A Different Drummer…

MARCH TO A DIFFERENT DRUMMER Dateline: Lake Geneva February 21, 2018   You cannot hear my drummer and I don’t always either. My drummer beats two snare drums, one of fiction and one of fact. I cannot tell the difference between the beats and I think the drummer...
Island In The Sand, Part V

Island In The Sand, Part V

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part V Star motioned behind her to keep the children back. The chamber they’d discovered was stunning, not so much for its huge size but even more than that because it had obviously been built by the men and women who’d preceded the impact of the...
Honor Off The Glory of Russia Cape, Part Two

Honor Off The Glory of Russia Cape, Part Two

HONOR OFF THE GLORY Of RUSSIA CAPE Part Two Donald injected the morphine into the muscle of his left thigh, making sure not to hit a vein. It was called skin-popping, and using only muscle penetration he could float like a butterfly instead of passing out and losing...
Honor Off The Glory of Russia Cape, Part One

Honor Off The Glory of Russia Cape, Part One

HONOR OFF THE  GLORY OF RUSSIA CAPE Part One The ship ran hard into the arctic night, beating solidly into each steeply bent swell before being forced up and over, its double steel hull built more for pushing through broken ice than cutting through raging ocean seas....
Island In The Sand, Part IV

Island In The Sand, Part IV

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part IV The tunnel was like nothing Star had ever experienced before, not even close. None of the children had been exposed to anything like it either. When they stood before the black hole of the opening at the railhead, Jameson tripped a switch...
Island in the Sand, Part III

Island in the Sand, Part III

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part III   Star awoke in complete darkness. Opening her eyes was exactly the same as keeping them closed. She felt the embers of a still warm fire nearby, but no light came from them. Star realized that when they had eaten jar after jar of the...
Island in the Sand, Part II

Island in the Sand, Part II

There was no place on earth. The remnants of humanity so decreed, each tribe following in suit, as the proposition in favor of admitting outsider children, no matter their age, fell into unanimous opposition. No orphan, wandering, or strange children of any sort would be allowed entry to any tribe.

Island in the Sand, Part I

Island in the Sand, Part I

Star floated over the top of the packed needle beds, her bobbed ponytail bouncing just beneath the lowest of the dense green branches. Her lope was long practiced, and her gait one of such easy flow she had to continually slow for the other children following in a trance. Running was like breathing to her.

I Don’t Know…

I Don’t Know…

Dateline: Lake Geneva, WI January 21, 2018 I don’t know.  That sentence is so much more important in my life than it was when I was younger. My own inability to know or understand some things is so important to me. I live in a world where such self-analysis and...
THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, Part IV

THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, Part IV

THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, PART IV Short Story by James Strauss   Christmas had come and gone, and then New Years, too. There was nothing to New Years, not even on the television, except for the fact that the ball in New York came down a blessed one hour before...
THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, PART III

THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, PART III

The damned kitten was more than a handful. It was up at all hours, would not sleep in its bed, would not get used to using the cat little box and would only eat one kind of Fancy Feast cat food, that cost almost a dollar each. Oly ate two cans a day. The old man sat...
THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, PART II

THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE, PART II

The old man sat, enjoying the heat radiating out from the half-burned wood in his fireplace. It played hell to find real dry stuff in the summer because people in Wisconsin who sell it don’t even cover it. Pond-dried, the old man knew, but he’d finally found an out of...
THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE

THE OLD MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE

The Old Man’s Christmas Tree A Short Story by James Strauss   The time passed slowly since he’d lost the ability to drive. His daughters had come a month earlier to take the keys and the old car. It had been a classic automobile his eldest daughter said was...
THE TWENTIETH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE TWENTIETH DAY, 30 Days Has September

I came awake to the creaking rumble of the tracks working unlubricated against one another as they carried the Ontos atop the mud alongside the Bong Song River. I blinked my eyes rapidly and tried to straighten out against the cramping pain of what seemed to be my...