No Passwords

“He wanted a different life, a new life. Which should have been as easy as buying something. As simple as opening a new account. He’d wanted to make a new name for himself and the new password that would access his secrets would be (‘preferably some combination of letters and digits’)—no, no passwords. And noContinue reading “No Passwords”

Puzzle Pieces

“Japanese maples, is that some kinda paradox,” she groaned to me, dumping her full dustpan out the kitchen window. “What do the Japanese want with maples when we’ve got them here like dirt and they’ve got, what, cherry blossoms like puzzles pieces spilled all over the floor.” Between hard stares and emphysemic coughs that shookContinue reading “Puzzle Pieces”

Perchance to Dream

“The beams of the gingerbread house are licorice sticks, cemented with taffy, weatherboarded with gingerbread, and coated with caramel. Peppermint-stick chimneys sprout randomly from its chocolate roof and its windows are laced with meringue. Oh, what a house! and the best thing of all is the door.” —Robert Coover, from “The Gingerbread House” in PricksongsContinue reading “Perchance to Dream”

Spring Evening

“We can read about her life in the factory, learn about the work that’s done there, the processes that are carried out, the rules that are followed, and so on, but the fact that we receive each new detail greedily, always hungry for more, is proof of how little we really know. In that sameContinue reading “Spring Evening”

A Certain Hesitancy (Three for Leiter)

“The yellowish smoke that rose from the glowing coals and never entirely dispersed up the chimney mingled with the smell of carbolic pervading the whole house. I stood for hours at the window, studying the wonderful formation of icy mountain ranges two or three inches high formed above the crossbars by water running down theContinue reading “A Certain Hesitancy (Three for Leiter)”