Reception Conversations

“Well now, congratulations.  Quite a celebration here,” says an older man in a stiff black suit and dark tie.  He looks funereal, gaunt. “Yes, thank you,” Dance says, looking up sharply.  A cloud of odor hangs around the man, pungent as a cigar-smoker.  Sugary, metallic, stale machine oil.  Dance wants …

Long Day

“Dog, stop it–” Emma says, flinging things down on the chairs and sofa, controlling the dog one-handed until Drin calls the furry tornado away. While he occupies the beast’s attention, she eases her arm out of the straps of a heavy cloth shopping bag–it is full of books–and pauses for …

In the Park with Dance

“So,” Amalia says, looking immensely pleased with herself.  She shifts in her chair, looking at Drin.  “When are you taking Dance out to dinner?” Drin starts to chuckle.  “You know his schedule right off the top, Ms. Yenta?” “Pretty much.  I think he’s got a Monday free next week, but …

Father’s Day

Drin wipes his forehead and says, “Do you think we ought to start hauling burger boxes again–” “I think you need three minutes more rest,” Dance says sternly, frowning up at him. Drin is absurdly delighted by this.  “Yes, Mom.” “Right,” Dance says, and his gaze goes past Drin.  He …

Fiddles at the Metro

“Need another carton, you think?” Drin asks, opening the top box of hamburgers. “In ten minutes,” the grillmaster commands, flinging up one hand in grand dismissal, as if he’s conducting the finale on a Wagner piece.  It pleases Maestro Richard Young to turn brusquely away to a woman in line.  …

Seabirds

It feels silly, mundane, to stagger off the kitchen table, wipe themselves off, and pull up their pants.  Of course Drin cracks jokes and waddles around the kitchen with his ass bare and pants around his knees, pulling them wide and making quacking cartoon noises.  Dance has to tickle him …

Power Box Drain

“Ask him are they alive or dead,” Tee Pom says. “Alive, he says.” Dance can hear the change in his doppelganger’s voice. “They were alive when he left them.” The cracked and urgent voice goes on. “He says he hopes they are still alive.” “Don’t want any more murder charges …

Seung’s Women

A flash of light speared his brain; Seung shut his eyes once more and kept them that way. Everything hurt. He couldn’t remember ever feeling like this, hot and chilled at the same time, every joint either throbbing with a dark ache or painfully on fire. Someone told him to …