"Do you see that man over there, the one perched on that park bench fiddling with that envelope in his hand?"
"A ship in a bottle washes up on a beach. It is found by a boy who jumps from rock to barnacled rock...."
A boy on a beach becomes the oldest man in the world. Meanwhile, everything everywhere happens at once. But what is the actual size of the sun?
"For as long as she could remember, Nina Malory had scoured archives and pored over the yellowed manuscripts penned in a madhouse..."
"The blind man picks a five-dollar bill out of his sax case and hands it to her. What does this tell her? He has the radar, she has the presence."
"Hob died at Naseby aged 16, his breast pierced by a Roundhead pike. As he fell he cried three times 'Beard, Beard, Beard,' but such was the din of battle that no one heard him."
Is this story about the unfathomable bond between boys and dogs? Or about the mysterious spiral of time? Let's just say it's our favorite kind of history lesson.
"We took the shuttle to the entrance of the theme park. My father said, Remember our car is in Squiggly section C. The day was thrilling...."
Family life in the suburbs... it can get very, very weird. Would the real "me" please stand up?
"The dream was unwelcome when it came. The bottom of a stone spiral staircase. Air filled with stone dust and settled incense..."
Cathedral, boneyard, locked box... is this a nightmare or something else? And why does it end with an 11-word haiku?
"It was shocking to see Thundrel toss up the ball and drive it over the net with unimaginable force. Unkempt greasy hair flew back from both of his massive heads which towered above the trees behind him."
From convoluted speculations about hidden realities arises a valiant hero who saves humanity from evil giants by wielding a... racket!
"I brought my father’s Belgian-made Browning semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle with me to junior high school...."
If you think you know the line between life and death, think again. A bullet can never point the way to wisdom... or can it?
"Every night for months, ever since Emma’s death, I’d taken the same walk through the park, but this time, I went another way."
Is this how you bring back love? Or is it something much more twisted? By the way, what is coulrophobia?
"Albert slumped forward on his chair in the waiting room at the doctor's office. The floor had just stopped melting."
What do you do if you meet a king? And how do you get to the Land of Perpetual Afternoon?
"I stand in white tennis shoes, as fresh sacrifice, outside double glass doors..."
Commerce or religion? Mundane or mystical? A glossy shrine as a gateway to a higher dimension... or not. Glimpse the true nature of... what?
"Amid fits of laughter and clouds of pot smoke, Dave and I would debate: Do thoughts have density? What is the weight of sadness, the volume of anger?"
Is this story a glimpse of a vast synchronistic web of invisible interconnections, or is it mostly a convoluted but loving tribute to John Lennon? You decide.
"In a land of reclaimed rivers, pulverized minerals and wheeler-dealers, were three men who formed a psycho-anarchic syndicate. They all desired the same woman."
Is there any meaning in the random intersection of lives? And what makes this story English?
"You have come like an arrow to the target, flying towards your unmasking."
A woman's encounter with a strange old painting, and with herself... or selves. Do we all wear masks?
"The Halfway Café was almost empty. You might have thought it was a Monday night, but after you die, there are no Mondays, and no night."
A new angle on the afterlife.... Do our ancestors watch us? Why would they care if we mourn?
"Sunlight glistened across the lower Hudson and made mirrors out of the distant skyscrapers of Manhattan...."
A commuter train... invisible connections between strangers... music, silence, science, faith... a shared destiny. This is a thoughtful, richly observed story about living now -- followed by a compelling author interview.
"I can remember the time when the centaurs still used to come down to the market...."
A beautiful story of an ancient race of beings, told by a woman who has lived for many years in Greece.
"Benson Randall awoke one morning with someone else's memories..."