Neil's Fiction

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Country Mile (Part 4)

Our next day is your first day on the range, the cowboy range. You get on a horse. But is is a slow going. Uncle asks you repeatedly after breakfast, “So, you've never been on a horse?” “Never been on a horse.” “Never been on a horse?” “Never been on a horse.” “Well, then, I guess I have to baby you. I'll put you on Blossom. She's a light cream color, an Appaloosa. Real gentle, too.” We head to the barn, about fifty feet to the right of the driveway. The barn is painted with a reddish brown hue.... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Red Country Mile (Part 3)

The rain pounds hard during the wee hours of the morning. I have a few waking spells, but you seem to sleep right through it. The rain ceases before daylight, but Uncle also rises before daylight and has a notion for breakfast. He merely has to gently nudge me, but into your bedroom he takes two kettles and clangs them together. “Rise and shine! Breakfast! Get your breakfast!” he bellows. He also flickers the light. You raise your arm over your eyes as though that is going to keep the light out.... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Red Country Mile (Part 2)

��������� We are down in a ravine, buttes up overhead. But what we come to is not the lowest plane when we come to Uncle's home, for on either side of it on the far end, the earth drops further down--sharply. �And down below snakes the Little Missouri River through a fertile plain.� To look up at the buttes is not to see jagged peaks like what is found in the Cascades. Rather, the buttes gently square off, and down from them flow bright, mostly reddish hues and earthtones from the�sediment... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Red Country Mile (Part 1)

But you have changed a lot, Philip. I remember the summer after that one school year as roommates. Okay, I will admit you actually did enjoy the ranch experience…in spite of the damp, dank, cramping cave; camping in a rustic cabin; encountering a rattlesnake; having to use the outhouse; stepping in cow manure…and seeing cattle branded for the first time—heck, I thought you might find some perverse pleasure in it, but no, you really appreciated it. But I’m talking about just before then, when I... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Punter (Conclusion)

In the ensuing year, the Simonton Ridge football program was saved. I look back at that now with gratefulness, just as I look ahead to going to college with Audra--she as an education major and I as a philosophy major. Anyway, Audra was instrumental in saving Sentry football, along with Cindy and Brent. Before the the scheduled standardized tests, large groups of students met outside of class at Cindy's house three times and applied themselves intensively to Audra's grammar and composition... Sign in to see full entry.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Punter (Part 4)

I ruffled my paper behind the podium, cleared my throat, and psyched myself to read my essay. I looked aside briefly. Kirkman was gazing at me, eyes askance. Across the room, Audra flashed her eyes at me, gleefully. I began to read: I am a punter. I am a punter who shanked a punt and lost a game. Punters: what are they good for? I am not a quarterback. A quarterback gets to dismantle a defense on a scoring drive. To go for the jugular. When the winning pass is caught, victory, praise, lauding,... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Punter (Part 3)

"Siggy, what's wrong?" I heard Audra ask as I emitted a face of disgust. I was staring at the unsightly glob in my chicken noodle soup. On this occasion, Kevin Cortez had put gum in my soup. This was not the first time, but I decided for once to unload my burden by opening channels to Audra, a homely redhead. She was a geek like me and took an interest in me, from what I could tell. I appreciated her for her brain and dreamed of later asking her to the prom. After returning with a fresh bowl of... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Punter (Part 2)

Our team stood at the precipice, on the verge of stepping up to great height or falling headlong to deflating defeat. After countless consecutive losing seasons going back a decade or more, the Sentries had a winning season at 7-2 heading into the district final. Kirkman was deserving of much credit, but it had taken a while for him to turn the football program around. In his first season, the team won only one game even though many games were close. In his second season, the Sentries improved... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Punter (Part 1)

Mr. Kirkman pursed his lips as the school bell rang, as if he had the whistle in his mouth in his role as football coach. Much was on his mind these days, in the year that the Simonton Ridge Academy almost lost its football program. With his eyes, he zeroed in on me, the punter. Before I could pack my composition notebook and English textbooks into my book bag, he waved his hand for me to come to him. "Siggy," he said as I drew close to him, "I want your essay topic to be 'Why do we need... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Musings of Horror

Gus Grenwald turned on the light to the den, and for a flickering moment his life seemed brighter. The light from the ceiling globe illuminated the room’s features: the hewn-stone fireplace, the claw-footed loveseat resting on a brown-and-orange area rug, mahogany bookshelves lining both sides, and a roll top desk in the back. He had slipped out of bed, careful not to disturb his wife Marlene. Hard as he’d tried, he had not been able to sleep. Sitting down now at his desk piled with manuscripts,... Sign in to see full entry.

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