Duke (joined over 7 years ago)
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Duke Kimball has been a slimy car salesman, a reluctant poet, a post-collegiate barista, a Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, a mediocre scholar, a religious zealot, and a wearer of hats. He lives in Lansing, MI with his brilliant and amazing wife Michelle.

Stories


The princess gazed from her tower to the lake, the castle reflected ever so perfectly in the waters. "Nann." She whispered. She could almost see herself in the window of the watery tower. "Look at the castle in the lake."

Her nanny crept behind her, stole a glance over the princess' shoulder. Shuddered. "Come away, child. Away from the window."

"Why, what for, Nann?"

"There's worlds sometimes should not be looked at. There are good castles and bad. Please, m'dear. That lake stole your brother from us. Ain't nothing good to come from it."

So the princess was shuffled to...

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"I shot my butler." I threw the manuscript across the room. Grabbed a scotch. No. Wait. Wanted a scotch, grabbed a bourbon. Drank it anyway. What kind of a piss-poor story ends with "I shot my butler?"

It was Fight Club, that's what did it. I think. All this unreliable narrator business. The publishing world hasn't been the same since, filled with hacks trying to seem clever with these terrible twist endings. It's almost unbearable.

I polished off my bourbon. Still wanted scotch. Rang for Jeffrey. The house is too big, I can't be expected to go all the way...

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They were listening.

"Have you noticed the children?"

"What about them?"

"They seem different, don't they? Since we moved here?"

"Hush. They'll hear you."

"They're all the way upstairs. They can't hear."

They were listening.

"Yes. Yes, I've noticed."

"Timmy asked me about strangulation today."

"What?!"

"You know. And Sally..."

"Yes. The, um. The incident with the-"

"The knife. Where did she get it? She can't reach the counters."

"I don't know."

"Something is wrong here, Susan. Something terrible."

"Dammit, John, these are our CHILDREN..."

"Are they? Are they, though? Look at their eyes, next time."

"What do we do?"...

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The thing about mermaids is, well, that they aren't.

You're thinking seashell bikinis and fish tails, but that isn't it. Not at all.

My cousin Marjorie, this is back in '30, mind you, and the turn for the worse had been taken by all of us. She kept her things, her jewels and her dresses. They became her scales, her fins.

She decided to become a mermaid in the same way that some of us choose to marry. It was deliberate, it took forethought. She knew that she would dive beneath the waves to never return. Perhaps she would give...

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Peasants. They wouldn't understand. Or perhaps couldn't. Yes. I like that. Their brains too small to grasp the magnitude of this installation.

My art has always... eluded those without intellect.

For example, to the untrained eye and mind, my first installation looked like a series of bricks, forming a wall. If you didn't notice the mortar, it looked just like that. A wall. "Oh, hey, is this the wall guy?" That's how the peons remembered me. The wall guy.

My next installation wasn't much better. Televisions playing to televisions, broadcasting video of televisions. This was before Facebook, even. Don't tell...

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We wrote a song for the silver trees. The streetlamps gathered underneath the bridge to hear us. Our band played. Others milled. The night was soft. The river was a metronome.

We wrote a song for the silver trees.

Sylvia wasn't sure she should have been there, never higher than 3rd chair in the symphony, but the viola was for her and her alone. I loved it when she tilted her neck just so. The chains glinting silver in the groaning of the streetlamps.

This was a song for her neck.

We wrote it in a hurry, gathering musicians out...

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"It's called a goldfish."

"Goldfish? Not much of a name."

"That's right. Wasn't much of a fish, either. They used to be so plentiful that we kept them as pets. Put them in bowls."

"Used to be?"

"That's right."

"So you kept fish, but you didn't eat them?"

"Not only that, we fed them."

"You had THAT much food?"

"Yes. Yes, son, we did."

"That must've been swell."

"That's right. It sure was. Careful, now. Don't fiddle with the cords, keep the net still. We don't want them to know we're up here. Mama needs us to be brave and...

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It was midnight in the Temple of the Light, the sun was shining, and the Guru Akiva was smiling up at the man with the gun.

"Go ahead, child. Do it."

The man glanced around. Nobody to see him, tall, trench coat, barrel of the revolver pointed at the serene little monk as he sat, lotus-style, in the pavilion.

"Nothin' personal, old-timer." he managed to grunt. He didn't usually speak to the mark, but this guy, well, he figured the old man deserved an explanation. "The Council wants war, you see. The Temple, yer planet, it's... uh..."

"Sacred. Yes. You...

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Malcolm's coo became a cry. The big hands came, to sweep him up, into the dark, cradled, into the big arms. And his cries, despite himself and the rage that swelled within him, subsided.

The big arms swayed, the soft sounds soothed, and Malcolm rocked, he swum, he spun. His arms too small too tired, his legs useless and swaddled up. He liked the rocking, it eased the ache of his anger. It reminded him of the wheel.

The spinning wheel of endless endless, the wheel of flame, where his candle was relit, where his heart was reforged. From the...

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