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 expected Madge to walk out into the clearing from the way the dogs were stepping from foot to foot, grinning like the fools they were, tails wagging madly, but before he could confirm his idle hunch, he felt a flash of warmth on his hands and had just enough time to drop the guest book and jump back before it burst into flames at his feet. His first instinct was to stomp out the flames, but living at the Bella Vista Motel had taught him that a man needs more than one instinct, and he stood back rubbing his palms on the front of his pants, watching the book consume itself in a ball of blue fire. "Well," he thought, "as many times as I've burned that book, I guess it's only fair it tries to burn me back." A woman's laugh, clear and loud, rang out from the trees behind him, not Madge, but a laugh he'd heard before, and he spun around to peer out into the grove. He saw nothing out of the ordinary in the pathway that lead back through the trees – lazy drifts of tiny, tear-shaped leaves floating down through sun dappled air, flashes of bird wings as they flitted from branch to branch, the two graves off to one side that his predecessor Mack had done a poor job of choosing a concealed location for, and that developed into obvious sink holes every few months – but the urge to walk out into the grove and just keep going was suddenly strong. He heard the hiss and sizzle of water hitting fire and turned around to find Joe, large, dark, and slightly apish, his faded yankees ball cap at a jaunty one o'clock angle on his big head, pissing on the remains of the guestbook, shaking his head and tsking at Romeo as he said, "Only you can prevent forest fires..."