Thursday, September 13, 2007


I felt I had to add something since I had only one post here. This picture is a little blurry because I took it out the window of a moving shinkansen. It just caught my eye, I have no idea what it means.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Flash Fiction

See here for the context.

“The sound rippled across the swamp's surface...”

“It wasn't a swamp, it was a lake.”

“Morons. It was a bog.”

“It was not, it was a marsh. A bog has a solid top layer with water underneath.”

An example of what passes for discourse when you take 14-year-olds out on a canoe trip. At least it wasn't about how to swallow air to belch louder. Or the Guinness Book of World Sex Records.

“Shut up, I'm telling the story! The sound rippled across the surface of the water in the night. It was an eerie, haunting sound, like...”

“In England a bog is a toilet.”


“Shut up!”

Surprisingly, they did.

“It was an eerie, haunting sound, like the creak of the graveyard gate in the wind on a misty moonlight night.”

“It was just a loon.”

Also true.

“Shut up, Jason. You only know it was a loon because Mr. Allen told you. You don’t even know what a loon is.”


“I do too.”

He did not.

“Yeah, then what is it?”

Jason squirmed, came out with, “It’s what made that sound.”

Not yet the dissembler he would become. Time to step in. “We all know what a loon is, it’s a bird. We saw a pair of them on the lake two days ago.” Except for Jason. He had been sitting in the middle of the canoe staring off into space the whole time.

One canoe trip. Ten days. All the time I ever spent with the kid. I hadn’t even met him until the morning of the day we drove up to Minnesota. His mom dropped him off, thanked me again for letting him come along because his troop never did things like this. But somehow I think I should have seen where he was going -- I could have done something different, a little push a different way at the tipping point, and it all would have come out different.