On his twentieth wedding anniversary, and pondering various presents he might acquire for his wife Amanel, Viktor Drovnovich, a land manager in the eastern section of Pskov Province, scanned the offerings in Karpenko’s store front as he headed home from a three-week separation. The trip would take him two days, with a night spent at Madame Estelle’s Inn on the Tver road to halve the journey. He looked forward to that stop, for he left Madame Estelle always carrying good will and good spirits, warming him up for the return home.Continue reading “Midwife Legacy by Tom Sheehan”
Moments linger, trapped in thought. Two things right, then one thing not:
I’m a ghost.
Ghosts live in the memories of those that they touched.
It doesn’t hurt to die.
Port Fairy, Victoria 1859
I am grown now; and the sperm whales and the southern rights that brought the ships here seeking their precious oil and the bones which make corsets for ladies in far-away places no longer visit. But still the people come, and the farming settlement thrives. Port Fairy, named for a sea captain who landed in this spot, part of the Port Phillip District in the great southern land.Continue reading “The Seventh Wave by AJ Lyndon”
For these past 70 years, since 1951 in Korea, I have carried a 1000 Won Korean Banknote in my wallet with the signatures of all my squad members on the face of that banknote, our unit being Headquarters section, First Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, when we were deployed on the far side of Lake Hwachon, and when squad members put their signatures on that bank note, given to me by a Korean worker assigned to our unit, Lee Bong Ha. He was a chief figurehead in his own right when he made a replacement crystal for a comrade’s broken watch crystal out of a plastic spoon, which was carried in many military papers under the title of “Time to Spoon.” Lee Bong Ha had been paid off from his government contract with a basketful of such banknotes, and passed them out like the near-useless paper that they were (some of them used for the most unlikely reasons you might think of.)Continue reading “What’s in My Wallet? By Tom Sheehan”
According to the people at Guinness World Records, the world’s least successful writer (during the paper manuscript era) was named William A. Gold (1922-2001). He wrote eight novels and a vast amount of articles and shorts, but sold just one piece for fifty cents.Continue reading “WEEK 354: The Fine Art of Failure and a Saturday Special”
The official records taken at Fort Indomitable suggest that nothing occurred on July 17, 1861. Initially some reference was made, documenting that a horse race between a soldier at the fort and an unnamed Navajo brave was won by the American. Some weeks later, this record was removed and destroyed.Continue reading “A Fleeting Victory by Jake Kendall”
“Who among you will swear to devote his life to country and crown? Stand you then and be appointed.”
He had stood up on that solemn occasion, had been counted, and subsequently dishonored and disparaged by his entire country, which quickly had gone under a different rule.Continue reading “Odyssey of a French Swordsman by Tom Sheehan”
The 11th of November was a Monday. We were patrolling in dense fog near Mons when at 11 am, Lieutenant Harrison ordered us to halt then glanced at his watch.Continue reading “Just Let Go by Anthony Billinghurst”
The execution notice tacked to a wooden fencepost flapped in the wind as early morning light crept through the tree branches. Soraya tried not to slow her pace or even to glance at it. She already knew the details and her heart grieved for her only son. Pulling the faded cotton scarf tighter around her head, she walked in a hunched-over manner befitting her age, taking a circuitous path to make sure she was not being followed. The Janissaries had posted notices of the execution for today. They intended a very public message that rebellion and insurrection would not be tolerated. The Sultan of the Ottoman empire had spoken.Continue reading “One Last Act by Gail Boling”
Rasputin was wasted again.
From a couch in the corner I rubbed my eyes and watched, amazed, as he lifted another bottle and polished it off . He finished with a growled belch and a rub of his stomach.
I downed a healthy hit from my own bottle . “ And good morning to you, Father Grigori.” With
Rasputin on one of his rages I felt It best to join him.Continue reading “Take the Giants in Five by John Giarratana”