I really worked hard on polishing a piece of micro fiction I’d written almost five years ago to read in my inaugural appearance at DC’s Noir at the Bar. The story, a criminal’s descent into madness is dark, troubling, a bit macabre. I wanted to flex my writing muscles by creating a story outside of my usual subject matter, and tone. I think I succeeded. I have come to love this story, and am thinking about building it into something more.
But, here’s the good news. That story won the Noir at the Bar Audience Favorite.
And I won a dagger…perfect for this crime-writer’s habit of peeling fruit. Ha Ha. I don’t think it will get much more use than that. Photo of dagger will come later.
Oct. 12, 2019 Noir at the Bar
Thank you to Ed Ayamar for organizing, and hosting, the event. Thanks and admiration to the other presenting writers: John Copenhaver, Erica Wright, David Swinson, James Grady, Art Taylor, Alan Orloff, Kathleen Barber, and Ed.
Like most Americans, my memories of 9/11 invoke deep emotions. I wrote a short piece based on one account of that dreadful morning.
At the 34th floor, firefighters with set chins and mournful eyes carry axes and oxygen tanks up the stairwell. “Keep moving ma’am,” one of them says as I inch downward. My supervisor, Carl, says the opposite: “We’re all clear to return to the office.” He nods and my coworkers retrace their steps to the floor marked 76.
Some instinct keeps me moving away from my desk and out onto the crowded sidewalk where I turn to look back at the cathedral of commerce. Flames lick at its body and plumes of smoke belch from its wounds. The sky fills with shards of glass and shreds of paper and I moan the sound of three thousand human souls.
It is 1943 and America’s involvement in World War II is at its heights. The paths of two young dreamers cross on a segregated army base near Tucson, Arizona where they fall in love, fight personal battles and complete their journeys of self discovery.
Nearly one million black soldiers served in WWII and most never faced combat. Long Way Home imagines the daily lives of these men and women, far away from the front lines, whose struggles and triumphs paved the way for America’s civil rights movement.
Available in the Kindle Bookstore.