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Beginning Year Number Nine in Chronic 1A (1987)

Posted on Nov 29, 2013 in Developmental Disabilities, Fiction, Magazines, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction, Tales from Chronic 1A

I used to want to ask Johnson how to con­trol things, how to control even my arms and legs, but he would have only laughed. Johnson is convinced I’ve gone the same place as Hewlitt, that we have both surpassed the need for our bodies, that if he is dedicated enough he might someday be like us. Besides, he would have said, had I been able to ask, how was he to know I wasn’t a spy, sitting immobile in my wheelchair for eight years in order to trick him into revealing his methods?

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Bertie Makes it Worse (2011)

Posted on Oct 13, 2013 in Fiction, Humor, Short Stories

If I said this story wasn’t influenced by Mark Twain’s Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning, I would be lying.

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The King Who Did Not Like Cheese (1994)

Posted on Oct 4, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

This is another story for children.

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George and the Dragon (1994)

Posted on Oct 4, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

Most of my attempts to write stories for children have turned out disasters. I like this tale, however, and hope you will, too.

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The Nice Lady (1990)

Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

Ilana told herself that when she grew up, she would be just like the nice lady.

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Four Unfinished Short Stories (2013)

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

Here are four uncompleted works of short fiction. I like each in some way or another, and so decided to publish them here.

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Popular Authors and Characters, Moonlighting (1981)

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 in Fiction, Humor, Short Stories

For the better part of two years I was a child protective services worker for the state of Tennessee. That, and my twisted sense of humor, explains this post.

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Two (Really) Early Stories (1966)

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

I have no excuse for these stories, except to say I was in my teens when I wrote them. Proceed with caution.

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Interlude (1976)

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 in Fiction, Gender, Short Stories

I speculate about the first point of view; it’s my best guess about what might have been happening in the mind of the other party. The second viewpoint is mine, exactly as I remember it. I was perhaps 19 years old when the encounter took place.

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Avendon (1984)

Posted on Jul 13, 2013 in Fiction, Gender, Short Stories

If there were additional changes, they were too subtle to measure. Were the contours of his body different? Did his face seem more feminine than it had the month before? The year before? Was his voice a little less deep? Was his personality changing? Sometimes it seemed so.

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Last Man in on Saturday Night (1981)

Posted on Jul 13, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

Last man in on Saturday night plays the tub.

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The Turnaround Game (1990)

Posted on Jun 15, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

As soon as they were in bed together, he knew there had been another man. He pulled her toward him, and there was a resistance there had never been before. Gently disengaging himself, he rolled away. He put his hands behind his head and stared at the ceiling of rafters and pipes.

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Dear Raggfllad (1972)

Posted on Jun 2, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

I wrote this not-very-good story when I was about 22 years old. I’ve present it here so it can be compared to my later writing to prove I do have the capacity to learn.

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Free Bleeder (1968)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

To the best of my knowledge I wrote this story while still in high school. I might have written it my junior year, but I have dated it to my senior year. Certainly by the time I was in college I would have known better than to create a fictitious type of alcohol in a future that would have undoubtedly preferred single-malt scotch.

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Rules (1973)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

I wrote this story when I was 22 or 23 years old. Needless to say, the Cold War was on my mind.

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A Tale from Whitey’s Tavern (1967)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

I wrote this story, as best I can remember, my senior year in high school. I had heard of but not read Arthur C. Clarke’s Tales From the White Hart, and the concept of fanciful stories told by regulars at a neighborhood bar intrigued me.

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Deep Freeze (1966)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

I wrote this story when I was a junior in high school. At the time I was under the influence of Victorian-era writers like Poe and Verne and H.G. Wells.

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No Good Guys in This Story (1972)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

Several times during the night the driver attempted to start a conversation with his passenger but succeeded only in eliciting stony silence or monosyllabic replies. He gave up, and they drove silently across the Texas panhandle. The driver had a hard time staying awake, and several times ran the passenger-side wheels onto the shoulder as he dozed. The hitchhiker showed no sign of being bothered by this, nor did he offer to drive.

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A Trade is in Order (1990)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

I expected them yesterday, but they didn’t come. I imagine they were looking for Honda in Tokyo, or Weinstein in London. But they came today. I was sitting in the oval office, reading documents which had once been vital to the security of the United States, when I heard them land. I put the documents back on the President’s desk and went out onto the White House lawn.

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Duchess of Diazepam (1990)

Posted on May 11, 2013 in Encylopedias, Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

©1990 by Dallas Denny Source: Dallas Denny. (1990). Entry in Every Entity’s Multigalactic Encyclopedia and Guide, Pocket Edition:...

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Imposter (1990)

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

Zara was a clouded leopard, anatomically, physically, chemically, behaviorally. Her whiskers were clouded leopard whiskers, her fleas clouded leopard fleas. But Zara had not been a clouded leopard forty-eight hours earlier.

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The Unhappy Life of Constance Thornberg (1989)

Posted on Apr 25, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

Miss Thornberg is a desperate woman, and desperate women are different from desperate men. Men, in their desperation, often turn anger upon the outside world; desperate women turn their anger inwards, steaming in the bitter juices of frustration and helplessness until eventually the juices are all used up and only a dry husk remains. But Miss Thornberg is different from other desperate women. Her anger is directed both outward and inwa

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The Bad Kid (1990)

Posted on Apr 25, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

Miss Grant was in somewhat of a dither, because she had just run through the list of reasons why a parent might want to temporarily give up his or her child. But Mr. Johnson wasn’t asking the Department of Family Services to care for the child on a temporary basis. He wasn’t asking the Department to take care of Benjamin until he could get his act together, or until a specific problem was taken care of. He didn’t want to see the child again, ever, or so he said.

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O’Darby and the Ducks (1988)

Posted on Apr 25, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

The bluffs fell away on both sides, and on a spit of land, I could see the aliens. They were lizard-men—Vegans, from the look of them. Our allies. Soldiers, like us, on furlough, looking like crocodiles on two legs. One of them was holding an old Earth-style double-barreled shotgun. He wore an orange hunting vest filled with .12 gauge shells. The other bent down and picked up something small and white and fuzzy. After a second, he tossed it into the air.

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A Gift of the Catacombs (1986)

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories

But the catacombs! My catacombs! The catacombs meander beneath modern-day Paris like the tunnels of a crazy mole. They cut here through the time of the writers of the Lost Generation, there through the reign of Louis XIV, running here through layers which were deposited during the lifetime of Christ, and there through strata more ancient than Moses. The catacombs touch all that Paris is and all that Paris has been, and they are influenced and colored in so doing. They are steeped in the lore and lives of all the inhabitants of Paris throughout all time. They are the true essence of Paris itself! The essence!

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Damned Worm, Part II: Exobiology Lesson (1995)

Posted on Apr 21, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

It is clear symbiosis in the customary use of the term is not occurring here. What is not clear is whether the host species could have managed as well without the peculiar interdependency with the symbionts. Certainly, the civilization on Trill is well advanced, but it is repressive in many ways, much like Earth was until recent centuries. I have asked myself why, if the advantage of the symbiosis is for the host species, the political, social, and economic climate on Trill is so, to use a word that is perhaps not scientific, bad. I am unable to determine the reason.

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Damned Worm, Part I (1994)

Posted on Apr 21, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

At that point, Josanna, overcome by survivor guilt and remorse (she had been somewhat in love with the Allex-Krat Thing), agreed to be the host. And so the Worm Krat had been surgically implanted in her chest. But when she awoke, there was not the blissful pairing she had imagined.

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Next Exit (1990)

Posted on Apr 21, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

Ignoring the speed limit, he accelerated to a pleasant, if illegal, seventy-five miles per hour. He turned to Judy, sitting white-faced beside him, and said, “Sorry about all that.” She didn’t reply, just pulled her seat belt more snugly around her. “Be that way, then,” he growled.

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Mantid (1990)

Posted on Apr 21, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

It wasn’t that Earth was such a backwater. Earth had, after all, some of the best recreational drugs in the known universe, and the highly stylized antics of what passed for intelligent inhabitants were a source of perpetual amusement for the idle rich of the Hundred Hypercivilized Planets. It was just that she was stuck here, and she was hungry.

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Three Lives Lost (1986)

Posted on Apr 21, 2013 in Fiction, Gender, Short Stories

He said nothing until I attempted to take him on an illustrated voyage through Shakespeare. “Tragedy,” I said, in the midst of a harangue his tragedies. “There is no true tragedy in life. Pain, yes; suffering, certainly; unhappiness, in great profusion. But tragedy, as Shakespeare saw it—it just doesn’t exist. No one’s lives could be so tragic as, say, those of Romeo and Juliet.”

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GWillie (1984)

Posted on Apr 16, 2013 in Developmental Disabilities, Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

GWillie is always telling me what to do. I usually do what he says, because he’s awfully smart. He tells me he “makes suggestions.” “I merely point out socially acceptable alternatives to decisions which may not be in your best interest, Willie. I’m like a big brother.” GWillie is like a brother in a way—a nice brother who is always there when I need him

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What I Found in the Basement (1984)

Posted on Apr 16, 2013 in Developmental Disabilities, Fiction, Short Stories

Mr. Evans said please don’t tell anyone, and tried to give me a one hundred dollar bill, but I wouldn’t take it. And then I was running through the grass of the front lawn, and letting myself in the door of our house. I turned around in the doorway, and took one last look at Mr. Evans’ pleading face. And then I went inside and took a long, hot shower.

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A Raid on Donahue’s Bread (1990)

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Developmental Disabilities, Fiction, Magazines, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction, Tales from Chronic 1A

MacManus could have targeted any of the others: Saunders, Kinnon, Ayers, Britton, or Halvington. But Saunders was fleet of foot, with a vindictive nature; Kinnon was bread-wise and kept a close guard on his slices; Ayers was on a diet and got no bread at all, and so was on the prowl himself; and Britton and Halvington operated on the buddy system and were mutual body and bread guards. That left only Donahue. It had to be Donahue.

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I Think of Cindi (1987)

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Developmental Disabilities, Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction, Tales from Chronic 1A

A millipede, seeking relief from the green spray paint insanity, comes inside, where the real insanity is. It bustles over the window ledge, its multitudinous legs working in tandem. All those legs! I wonder if it could spare a pair, What kind of god would give a bug thirty pairs and deny me the use of just one?

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Just Another Year in Chronic 1A (1988)

Posted on Mar 31, 2013 in Book Chapters, Developmental Disabilities, Fiction, Magazines, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction, Tales from Chronic 1A

We’re on the big goddamned yellow and black school bus, on our way to a “picnic,” which means we’ll stop at a roadside park with three trees and two concrete picnic tables and eat extra krispy recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken, bones and all, and maybe even the plastic sporks, the hungrier of us. Then we will be put back on the bus and driven back to the hospital, where we will disembark and be rolled back to the musty, dusty, and always gloomy buildings, back to the chronic wards.

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The Liberation of Uncle Eddy (1981)

Posted on Mar 30, 2013 in Fiction, Magazines, Short Stories

“Nobody rightly knows, Miss Hope, where Uncle Eddy came from. When I bought the salvage barn back in ‘43 I found him in a corner with a lot of other junk. Nobody seemed to know anything about him, so I just moved him out to the center of the floor, dressed him in this tuxedo and wig, and started telling everybody it was my Uncle Eddy.”

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Debtor’s Prison (1982)

Posted on Mar 24, 2013 in Fiction, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

They almost got him that time. The black Mercedes had swerved onto the sidewalk thirty yards in front of Hadley, mowing a swath through pedestrians and parking meters with its cowcatcher.

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I Was Trapped in a Man’s Body! (1969)

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 in Fiction, Gender, Short Stories

I have never read what is popularly called transvestite fiction. I’ve seen it of course, but it has just never interested me. To some readers, this piece might at some level seem to fit that genre, but it’s my attempt to fictionalize how a young woman might feel and behave when she learns she is biologically male. The protagonist identities consistently and entirely as female.

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Night Ride (1993)

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 in Book Chapters, Chrysalis Quarterly, Fiction, Gender, Magazines, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction

Bicycles have changed, and yet they are the same. They are still silent running and breezes in your hair and sweaty palms from holding onto handlebars too long. They are leaning into curves and riding without hands, pumping hard when you go uphill, and coasting when you can find a downhill. Modern bikes only remotely resemble those I rode when I was a kid the first time, but the old-time feeling is still there, fresh as ever it was and ever will be.

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