Apple & Oranges New Installment

“David remembered something his dad had said once about happier times. He couldn’t remember the adage. Happier times are here again? Happier times committed no crimes? Happier times are dust in the wind? Happier times are snapshots in a family album? They’re rolling stones? They never keep you down? They creep up when you least expect? They are all that we have to hold onto in the end, the adult years, the cold lonely nights spent alone in a cabin in the woods.”

– Taylor & David Chapter 4: How to Pick Fights and Remain Innocent

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Apple & Oranges – New Chapter

David & Taylor Chapter 3 is up and ready for reading at


“David went to the bathroom to nurse his newly irritated wounds and rehearse a look of confident indifference in the mirror. Today, he would have to go back to school, the same school that Knuckes went to, the same school that Knuckles gave him a beating at the day before. Excuses ran rapidly through David’s head. He could be sick. He could be too injured to return for the rest of the week. He could run away and join another school district. He could make friends with the janitor who would proceed to let him spend his days in the school basement. He would make the basement cozy with blankets and books and small battery powered lamps. He would never have to see Knuckles again.”

Apple & Oranges – New Chapter

David stopped cold when he heard that voice behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know who it was. He did anyway, slowly, trying to look brave. Knuckles had always been big for his age. He was wide and solid with huge arms that seemed to hunch forward. His whole body seemed to grow out of the ground like a fat tree, a fat tree that wanted to kill David.

“What’s the matter baby boy? Don’t you want to hit me?”

Of course David didn’t want to hit him. Why would David want to hit him? Why couldn’t they be friends? They could hang out together. They could go get some pizza or play some video games. They could be best buddies and do all of the things best buddies do.

“I dare you to hit me.”

Dare. Dare. What did that word mean again? David couldn’t remember what that word meant. Had anyone ever used that word with him before? They must have. It was such a simple word. Dare.

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Catch up on Taylor & David at–david.html.

Check out the first novella at–sparky.html.

Apple & Oranges Book One is Complete! Read the First Chapter of Book Two

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“Clint was known universally as “Knuckles” because he rocketed to elementary school fame by wearing loose key rings around his fingers when punching some kid during afternoon recess. In reality, the damage was minimal. The key rings were weak and pliable, making them poor substitutes for the brass knuckles they were intended to imitate. But by the time the story had made it around the school, Clint had apparently tore a gash so deep and so wide in “some kid’s” cheek that the kid needed ten stitches. Days, weeks, and months turned ten into twenty, fifty, and a hundred. Regardless of the truth, Clint was quickly dubbed “Knuckles” and nobody was going to argue, least of all the “some kids” of which the elementary school was full.”

Read this chapter here.

Or catch up on Apple & Oranges Book One here.

Apple & Sparky Chapter Three: The Delicacy of Paper

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When the coast was clear, a few of us peaked in her room to see what the paper was about. It read:

1) Suit
2) Haircut
3) Job
4) Apartment
5) Fish
6) Crib

The poker chip read “6 months”.

There in six easy words and a plastic disc was the story of a man looking for forgiveness.

Read the whole chapter and catch up on the first installment at

Apple & Sparky Chapter Two: The Pop-Tart Paradox

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When Apple wasn’t going on and on about her baby and Sparky wasn’t going on and on about his mother, they were together. Apple had opened Matilda again. She and Sparky would sit in the Reading Room at the other end of the hallway from the TV Room and Cafeteria. She would read out loud from Matilda and Sparky would lounge back in a battered old chair to listen. When they did this, they weren’t part of us anymore. They were relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. In one hand, Sparky cradled a cigar between a thumb and forefinger, letting it dip lackadaisically until he was ready to bring it to his lips and drag. His was a long, deep drag. He was a pro, blowing Sunday smoke rings out over the bookcase. Apple read and smiled, pausing now and again to shift flirtatiously in her Sunday dress or gaze out the Sunday window. There were no bars, never bars, on the Sunday window.

We were jealous. That room was never a Sunday room for us. It was always just the hospital Reading Room. It was always no day. We liked to watch though as if it were a deliciously revealing TV show. We liked to watch and imagine ourselves living other people’s lives.

Read the whole chapter and catch up on the first installment at