“You two live in Nerdville,” Dad snapped. “Why doncha play baseball for real steada sitting at that table all day, rolling those goddamn dice?” He was referring to the World Baseball League, that marvelous horsehide fantasy game that I played with my kid brother, Robbie, throughout every summer day.
Dear diary, I’m a ten year old boy who probably won’t make it till eleven. I’ve got a sickness but I’m not sure what kind. All I know is that I’m not as smart as the other kids and I look different too. It’s sad so I won’t think about it now.
While a few math geeks appreciated Joshua Calisto’s obsession with predictability, the general population thought he was just weird. A genius yes, but weird. Like most gifted mathematicians, he spent his life in obscurity, few ever seeing his work, fewer still understanding it.
Now, at last, Calisto’s moment had arrived.
You didn’t say anything as you gripped the bird in your fist. My parakeet, bright yellow like a small lemon, hung there very still, its head just above the knuckle of your thumb. The look on your face spoke your evil.
When I was seven my cousin John put a water pistol in my ear and pulled the trigger, laughing so hard he peed himself while I stumbled around the patio shaking my head and crying. Earlier that morning he’d boasted that everyone in the world was shit, except me, and someday he’d make the shits pay. That summer John was only nine, his arms covered with self-inflicted bite marks and Magic Marker skulls.
The third time Maggie left her husband, she took the dog, but not the cat. She was back in four days with the fury tamped down in her gut and the guilt still a metronome in her head. Simon had sorted every shelf in the apartment while she was gone and put every knife from the kitchen in a Tupperware container in the freezer. “I knew you’d be back.” She had not told anyone she was going, so the failure to stay gone did not chime with criticism through her network of family and friends. In truth, the last few [Read more]
Peter had never seen the ocean, but its crystal image haunted his dreams. At night, after his family had gone to sleep, he lay in his bed, in that space between asleep and awake and felt the water engulf his body. He could feel it curl over his skin as he sank deeper into the depths. Sometimes he would reach toward the sun as it slipped away, spreading over the surface above him, but the whispers of the depths swirled around him, coaxing him toward oblivion as he sank deeper to the soft sand, which parted gently to accept him [Read more]
On Sunday Morning I opened my eyes to an inky void, confirming my latest fears about the cosmos: that it was illusory, existing only in my head. And not just illusory, but a real bastard for making me think I had an “other” joined to me in something called wedlock. I cried out for this other, just in case. “Kathy? Katherine!” “What is it?” she said after a minute. The universe re-materialized, sitting on my face. It smelled of stove gas and her lavender body oil. Her tone, as dry as the windowless-bedroom, had grown progressively drier the more I’d [Read more]
There was a boy who lived on my street until he shot his parents. I wasn’t home the night he was arrested, which is too bad because everyone who was has this big story to tell now. This guy Dennis lives five blocks away and still won’t stop telling everyone about how he heard the sirens and “knew something was up,” like that means anything. My parents kind of know the woman who heard the shots and called the cops. She babysat me once, ten years ago, when my mom had the flu and my dad was out of town. [Read more]
All his life, Aesacus had the ability to interpret dreams. He was barely a young man when his stepmother Queen Hecabe dreamed she gave birth to a smoldering piece of wood. When she asked him its implications, he said her future son, named Paris, would provide warmth during difficult times. He dared not reveal the warmth would come from the burning carcass of Troy.