thx Sandy,Aura, Geoff

by David Araki

To my father a device was anything not your hand or body part being used to manipulate anything to your will. Devices, he would say, make you weaker.

His student Armond, always ready to nitpick about words and context, asked him “Why weak-ER.”

He was really thinking, Is this a determination of his strengths? My sisters thought Armond was always fishing for a judgement. I couldn’t see why he would want that, especially from my father. My sisters took to calling him Armond-er or even just ER or E.R. I didn’t understand that an internal battle was always raging in…

by David Araki

“The benefit of old age is that hindsight no longer has teeth to bite you. Only with permission, acknowledged or not, might you bleed hot flowing blood again. All parties are either dead or have long forgotten what may have once occurred! But you must choose not to live with regret.” — Jean LeMedices, 1840–1921

I do my deepest thinking while in the bathtub. I believe the bath stirs up a dimly sensed memory of those primordial waters lapping at the shores of my soul. I was indeed born near the Sea and I hear it in my dreams, but…

Author’s own image

Random Prompt Generator: Door Knob. I chose this because it was the first Weekly Knob prompt and though I wrote some story for that prompt, I was such a newbie at submitting that I didn’t manage to get it submitted in time (a thing I still barely manage). That story is gone, but this one is here.

I’ve got good gums and lousy teeth. My last dentist told me that, to my face, just before she sold the business and retired out west. The replacement dentist hasn’t formed up any opinion yet, or maybe he’s just less verbally inclined.

In any case, my gums have always been pretty good. If they told a story, it’d be pretty dull– the occasional sore, a few ancient memories of cocaine wiped up and rubbed around (just like in the movies) but otherwise, nothing very entertaining, as if gums are ever very interesting. Adventures in flossing, oh whooppee.

My teeth, on…


A True NYC Ghost Story from The Lower East Side

Friends might say that Harry was prone to seeing things before the pandemic lockdown of four months in New York City. Whether they thought his side note style comments were just drunk mutterings and stoned slips, or if they thought he actually meant it when he said stuff like “There’s a ghost!” jabbing towards some dark wall across a street lit by a flickering sodium vapor security lamp, or when he would drop his eyes and purse his lips, frowning, put up a hand as if to further block his vision from a sight too unsavory to un-see once seen…


A True Tall Tale From The Annals of My Family

In 1916, Great Grandfather Pete was pushed out the back door and told to fetch water. Not just to fetch it, actually, but to fill the oak barrel sitting on the porch. It was 7pm, winter, snow on the ground, a bit chilly needless to say, and as he soon learned, the bucket for the well was not attached to the end of the pull rope. He walked back to the porch door, wondering whether it would be wise to ask for the bucket or whether that might not earn a bit of leather, or worse. He stood at the…

A True 21st Century Crime Story…
“This really happened, or I woulda made it up myself.” –Jimmy Dreslind

Marlin Weisberg came to with a start.

It’s not over yet, he thought, trying to count his teeth with his tongue. They’d shoved a golf ball into his mouth and taped it shut, like he was going to scream for help or something. They didn’t know shit about shit, bunchapunks.

Marlin Weisberg, accountant extraordinaire and a minor, though successful as all hell yessss, thief, was no fool. He knew the creek he was up, and the paddles he did and didn’t have. Compared to others, he was hardly worth notice, just one of the many beaks that dipped into a…

A TRUE New York City Crime Story

You could call Sammy Boombah a fat ass slob, but you wouldn’t want to, not in earshot at least, and certainly not to his face, not if you like having teeth or stereoscopic vision. No, kid, last stupid fuck to do that was Jimmy Candrilli, and he was no lightweight himself.

Jimmy always carried an extra long 32 round clip for his SIG Sauer P226, but being a stylish dresser, he couldn’t keep the clip in the gun because it ruined his lines by making unsightly lump in his shoulder holster. He’d always tell the other guy ‘hold on, hold…


A True Sci-Fi Story. “The kind of pale blue dot I would’ve dreamt up.” –Karl Saygen

It’s beautiful. Perfection.

Rose and Blakey were pointing out things Alice knew like the back of her hand. Everything vibrant and saturated with life energy.

Breathing in deeply, she said, “I feel like I haven’t been here in years. Things have changed, grown, filled in.” She smiled at her companions, “It feels really good to be here.”

Rose was the newcomer, but in the final months of hurried production, she’d spent more time inside than Alice. She’d been there as the final touches grew and matured, and she’d helped the process with gentle feedback and, Alice herself had noted, more…

For those of you who look good from…


Chucky, the roof guard, not much bigger than a rat himself, felt the stirring of anxiety when he heard the birds flapping up towards the parapet. Pigeons weren’t so dangerous, except in a mob, but they were spies and it would never do to let them hang around. He got off his belly and limbered up his bark.

Kelsey, the tabby who had lived most of her life indoors (but had caught plenty of mice in her time,) glanced over at Chucky. She despised the chihuahua, but Roof detail was an easy shift and mostly peaceful enough. Not like guarding…

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