For the last fifteen or so years I've been living with a bunch of dead guys at a motel in West Texas. Like the characters in my stories, I'd really like to move on, see the world, go places. But I'm just like them. Anchored by love, worn down by circumstances and fascinated by how much there really is underneath it all. So I keep writing their stories and tell myself that someday, when I've got this all out of my system, I'll write deep, meaningful literature about... something else. In the meantime, this is a place for the short attention spanned. I'm making a commitment to keep it small here. Flash fiction and scenes from the life inspired by, The Bella Vista Motel.
Romeo walked out into the clearing behind the motel, an area of about twenty or thirty yards, a hushed threshold at the edge of the grove. The grove went back a long ways, nearly two acres deep, about an acre wide at the far end, big enough for Romeo to squint his eyes and look out into the trees, imagining central park. The largest trees surrounded the edges of the clearing, their branches spreading out above in a cathedral ceiling of leaves so that it was always shady, even when winter stripped the branches down to a skeletal tangle. On the left side of the clearing, a huge old stone fireplace and its chimney stood completely intact and functional, the cabin it served in 1870 stripped away by hostile fire. On the far right side, a modern cement block incinerator, big enough to serve ugly purposes, with an extra wide metal door and a high chimney of its own, smoked calmly, like a lit cigarette lying in an ashtray waiting for lips. Usually when the guest book came back, Romeo pitched it in the incinerator without pause or remorse, but this time, tired of lying to himself, tired of doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome, he decided to take a seat on the edge of the stone hearth and face what the book had to say, to see if the names written in deep brown ink would come alive long enough for him to understand what he was supposed to do.