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The Melon-Breasted Girl

The Melon-Breasted Girl

Desemboque It was close to midnight when I arrived at Desemboque. Desemboque, the mouth of the river. Only there was no river that I could see. And it seemed, even in the middle of the night, that I’d arrived at Dante’s Ninth Ring of Hell. That’s all I could think of at that moment. It was midnight and, with the windows open, still it felt like about 1,000 degrees, and as much humidity, here on the shores of the Sea…

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Try It, Don’t Take It

Try It, Don’t Take It

This story is in the Growing Up New Jersey collection, a series of vignettes slouching their way into becoming a book. See more vignettes in this collection at the Short Stories &c. link above. “Try it, don’t take it.” That’s what the man renting the bicycles on the boardwalk at Atlantic City said as I straddled the wonderful piece of machinery he handed off to me. An adult might know what that meant. The man renting the bicycles for sure…

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The Long Dark Fall

The Long Dark Fall

This story, like many in The Last Word collection, is based on a true incident. See more stories in this collection and others at the Short Stories &c. link above. (for Phoebe) The moon was just past full. What is called a waning gibbous moon. So close to full it could be considered full, for all intents and purposes. Just a single night past full. It was minutes after midnight, and the moon was high in the sky, making the…

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Have I Got a Deal For You

Have I Got a Deal For You

Hope springs eternal, I suppose. At least it’s hope that seems to continue to motivate the senders of those scam messages we’ve all gotten over the years. Hope, and maybe some very, very gullible people who may still fall for these things, which generally reside under the rubric of 419 Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud letters. Of course, they don’t all originate in Nigeria, though they probably started there, and the frauds take several forms, but the “419” refers to the…

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Two Shots

Two Shots

This story, like many in The Last Word collection, is based on a true incident. See more stories in this collection and others at the Short Stories &c. link above. The jungle was not quiet that morning. I don’t remember it being quiet, not quiet like maybe it would be, as they dragged the two of them to the center of us. The boy was just 16, the girl not even. They were surrounded, encircled by the rest of us,…

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