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.
Madge ran into the clearing behind the motel, the afternoon sun marking her body with crisscrossed shadows from the tree branches above. It was quiet and still, but for the birds flitting from branch to branch and the tiny, tear-shaped leaves that always floated through the air like soft rain. She could hear her own heart pounding as she peered out through the trees, down the long irregular path that led out deep into the grove where the light gave up to murky twilight and losing your way was as easy as taking a stroll. She could also hear the girl crying, not hysterically, not wailing, but softly, indistinctly, muffled as though she was still inside somewhere, a pause, a few words in Spanish, then quiet moaning sobs like a child who knows they've lost sight of their mother in a crowd, but aren't yet convinced they've been abandoned. Madge began to walk out toward the path into the grove, but heard the sound grow quieter as she did so, and she stopped to call out, "Maria!" There was nothing for a moment, even the birds went silent, but then the crying started up again behind her and Madge had to clasp her hands together to steady herself, to make herself walk over and press her ear against the wall of the empty room she had just left and listen... though it made no sense at all.