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...
Reproducing Dumb Bunnies…..

Reproducing Dumb Bunnies…..

Are we growing a nation of Dumb Bunnies?   Did you know that only seven states require civics or any kind of study of how the U.S. government works of their elementary school students? Did you know that only seven liberal arts universities in the U.S. require any...
Where is God?

Where is God?

It’s not easy. It’s not a road fraught with simply easy decisions. The search for meaning in my or your very tiny universe of things you or I control is very complex and constantly threaded through like a bad plaid blanket with beautiful and awful strains...
THE NINETEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE NINETEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

I tried to relax for a few seconds, so I could get the Heart of Darkness Plan organized in my mind. The night and rain were everything, along with our speed of movement. It had taken me almost three weeks to figure out that the Vietnamese were slow, compared to...
THE EIGHTEENTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

I moved back down the river bank, my mind spinning in contemplation of executing the Gunny’s plan, and feeling a bit sick to my stomach at the idea of it. Zippo and Fusner took their E-Tools and dutifully began to dig holes near where the other radio operators worked,...
Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Eight

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Eight

Arch Patton Adventures THUNDER MARINE Chapter Eight Arch sat in front of the coffee table on the couch, with David at his side and Ilke in an easy chair across from him. He glanced uneasily out the window to where Thunder was moored, barely visible and unmoving, at...
Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Seven

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Seven

Arch Patton Adventure THUNDER MARINE Chapter Seven Arch got up from the table, where the team was gathered, and headed for the front door of the restaurant. The DEA crowd was still present and obnoxious because they felt their turf was being violated, and they weren’t...
THE EIGHTEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

The wait through the rest of the night was wet, dark and conducted mostly under my poncho. It had taken several tries for me to convince the Gunny to get Jurgens’ flashlight from him so I’d be able to lay out what we might do to ensure our return across the...
We are With Child…..

We are With Child…..

Dateline: Lake Geneva September 27, 2017 Opinion/Editorial  WE ARE WITH CHILD   One of the most interesting and informative pursuits of being human is to sit down, contemplate, and then attempt to take in the enormity of man’s inhumanity to man, from the...
Chapter Fifty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-SIX See You Real Soon   I felt Don’s huge presence nearby, before he hunkered down, forearms atop the rail next to me. “Sitka,” he said, his gaze following mine across the extended docks, and beyond, sweeping up into the green mountains. “It’s a...
Chapter Fifty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-TWO “Dust-off”   “Perhaps you’d like to see a bit of the ship?” I presumed on the Captain, to change the subject. I needed time in spades. Time with Maxwell. Time with the radio on board the Coast Guard helicopter. Time to get myself together. The...
Chapter Fifty: Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty: Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY      Crossing the Rubicon The ship’s fantail had been abandoned, in the Lindy’s pell-mell run for the open sea. After a while, heads reappeared over the high lip of its solid steel railing. “Indy, how are you doin’ down there?” I heard Don yell into his...
Chapter Forty, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY Wet Work   On the way to the Lido deck, I stopped at Don’s room, and assured myself that the Basque was going to be on the radio while the rest of us were ashore. I opened Don’s door, unannounced, then greeted his bedmate. She held up her radio. I...