Just Like Magic

Candy's pyjamas were yellow goldfish on pink flannel. She sat on the edge of her bed, a cigarette dangling from her lip, two drinks down, and painting her toenails as best as humanly possible. The clock radio on her nightstand flipped a digit. A fishbowl sat near the bathroom sink where an endless drip stained the porcelain. The bowl was surrounded by crumpled squeeze tubes and scented bottles in a state of hygienic disarray....

December 31, 2021 · 2 min · Warren R. Smith

Troder of the Mish'dee Orb

A Troder is the least promising of all things that live in the hills. Even a rock has more pizazz and huzzah. Troders know nothing of how they came to be. They have no sense of family history. They simply wake up one day — a Troder. The Woman of the forest, ever faithful to her senses, can smell it anytime a Troder is in the neighborhood. And she is seldom long in finding out its business....

December 11, 2021 · 4 min · Warren R. Smith

There Came a Knock

A wreath of nut-bearing branches hung on the door, and bundled stalks of corn stood on either side. A carved pumpkin sat patiently at the bottom of the steps; a master of ceremonies waiting for nightfall. These were the kinds of old-fashioned homespun decorations Hazel took pride in—joyed in—in the hope that their authenticity would speak for her. "Lord save me from myself. Is everything done?" said the old woman. She worked her broom down the front steps, right up to the sidewalk in front of her house....

December 9, 2021 · 9 min · Warren R. Smith

Dotting Tigers

What about you? What about them? What about me? Swings the chimp from tree to tree. Dotting tigers with fruit below, who jump and bite at every throw. Oh monkey, monkey, please take a look! You do no math, never open a book. Hanging up there scratching your tail. Some day your grip must surely... Dotty dot dot! What about you? What about them? What about me?

December 2, 2021 · 1 min · Warren R. Smith

Entertaining Magpies

"Eat an iguana egg. It will keep you strong." I was introduced to a man who worked in the fresh produce department. Denise and I went to the store to get me an over-the-counter cold remedy. Denice is a social person who enjoys hearing the latest gossip. And that's fine with me. I'm all for cultural events like that, but keep in mind that I felt terrible at the time....

December 1, 2021 · 6 min · Warren R. Smith

Purple Hippo

Be it near or in a land far, far, away. Be it short or long ago, as once-upon-a-time ever was. Purple Hippo grew bored with the generous circumference of her purple-ness. As a result, and thanks to second-day free shipping, she had a slew of packages delivered to her door. Purple Hippo turned this way and that in front of the mirror, surrounded by open boxes, tissue paper, packing peanuts, and other intermediary stuff....

November 30, 2021 · 5 min · Warren R. Smith

Let Us Never Say Goodbye

Midnight on a smooth stretch of two-lane the air was crisp, the stars shining bright. Parked in the middle of the deserted country road, Jake's truck engine lumbered and loped through a restless idle. The gages beneath the dash glowed warmly, and the headlights gleamed over a center line that faded straight into the black velvet horizon. The chrome intake jutting through the hood glistened in the moonlight. It was a perfect night to see what she could do....

November 30, 2021 · 4 min · Warren R. Smith

Almost There

In the barn leans some thing almost there. In the very frame, red paint flaking, doors askew, old tires in a heap, and what else? -- lots of mouse nest in the air. Limp lengths of fence line lifted, and wading in through the grass, (how hoppers zig and zag) you felt it then as you do now. Almost there. In the faded corn powder and littered straw, boards creaking under foot, something remains something....

November 28, 2021 · 1 min · Warren R. Smith

The Speckled Egg

I am the speckled egg, a nest in the breeze, your feet on the ground, and the hole in your sleeve.  -- The Lady Velasquez. Once upon a time, a big house stood on the edge of a gloomy wood. The master of the house had two children, Marta and Rico. These children so loved one another that when they were apart, they could only be sad. This pricked the man's heart to see as he still grieved for his own true love....

November 27, 2021 · 4 min · Warren R. Smith