Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mess Age

“I see you,” I said softly and quickly in an effort not to make a big thing of it, and just to show my gratitude, but as ever, something like a spell was broken merely through the utterance. In other words, I fucked up today by attempting to place myself on top of the situation and stepping on marshy feelings that do not appreciate recognition. Everything that’s manifest around here, and I do mean pretty much everything, is meant to be understood through implication and inference; “it’s the words they don’t want to hear.” Does this make them smug, as if they were parading around with a superior sophistication, or am I just uncouth for wanting to call a shovel a spade and pretending it digs the same hole? In any case, I acknowledged my cohort’s presence, not seeing him as a doppelganger, but more in the way of supportive back-up, a soft container for my shadow, and for my indiscretion, he fled. I don’t know if I am alone now as I say this, though I feel as if I am, but I wish I could hear the air drifting by my ears as I once did, and ascertain my right to be righteous.

© Michael D. Brown 2013

Originally posted at 6S Social Network

Saturday, August 24, 2013


We are like kids ourselves playing with kids, only trying to maintain a superior outlook. We have our jargon to discuss methodology, to be sure, but never resort to cant, except for the managing director. He uses cant all the time. The flavor of the month when I started teaching at this school was Collaborative Learning. Currently, there is a move backwards to something akin to Pragmatics, albeit with high technology thrown in to spice things up. Just the other day, the MD was telling us the age of the textbook was history, and so, I guess, is storytelling of any length longer than this.

© Michael D. Brown 2013

Originally posted at 6S Social Network

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How She Almost Brought Him Home

He did not appear happy she had found him here among the forgotten, in fact, quite the opposite. His rage became incendiary, reddening his neck and the skin on the back of his hands. An acrid odor wafted through the room, and she could not be sure if he had again taken up smoking, or if someone had removed a cheap pair of shoes after walking all over the factory town. She found herself apologizing for doing what she had thought was right. His head bobbed with a palsy she assumed was a recent development. Before she had a chance to say another word, he disappeared completely, so all that was left was a pile of his crumpled clothes lying on the floor beside the unmade bed on which he had been sitting.

© Michael D. Brown 2010

Originally published in 6S Vol.3 – Page 161

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Cassandra and Arthur Fulman argued all the time; the problem being Cassie’s projecting her own guilt onto Art, telling him he was always predicting negative and dire outcomes. She did not appreciate his spending entire nights cruising the Internet, stockpiling digital copies of the world’s classic literature, amassing tens of gigabytes of music files, photographs, and scanned sketches when she wanted to sit and have conversation after working all day in the hospital’s administration office. For months after he had suffered his fatal heart attack, she couldn’t turn on the computer at home without some reminder of Art, even after changing his wallpaper, and dumping his file links in an app folder and hiding it in another location. Then, to celebrate the anniversary of his passing, she cleaned house, deleting all the e-texts, erasing massive amounts of digital photos and songs, obliterating every electronic reminder of the former thorn in her side, and finally she began to feel free of his presence in her life. She called up old girlfriends she hadn’t seen in years, and went to lunch with some of them, bought some new clothes in a larger size, and even began eating chocolate again. However, Cassandra was willing to admit to herself something bad was in the wind when she opened her e-mail client at work a week later and read, in Arthur’s handwriting, a note saying, hey, where's all my stuff - cannot find anything over here.

© Michael D. Brown 2009

Originally posted at Six Sentences

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Chimpanzee Moko sat at a typewriter three hours a day every day except Sunday, when his trainer took him to church and he rested. After three years, Moko had finally tapped out a coherent short story. It was surreal in a way, what with misspellings and skewed syntax because after all chimps see things a little differently than humans do. His trainer, somewhat exasperated by all the clacking it took to produce such a short piece of work, set Moko to the task on a laptop with a silent keyboard, but the chimp became distracted by all the images flashing on the Internet, in fact, developed an addiction to surfing until the trainer darkened the screen. At first, seeming disheartened, Moko would not play anymore, but he must have liked pressing mushy keys because he soon took up typing again, and went at it for six months straight, tap-tap-tapping away, until one day in December when he stopped; just stopped and would not move a hairy digit. The trainer, in checking the printout that evening, found at the end, the words, “wot s tha meeening of it all....i m don heer.”

© Michael D. Brown 2009

Originally posted at Six Sentences

MDJB at GoodReads

Michael D. Brown's books on Goodreads Bastille Day reviews: 2 ratings: 3 (avg rating 5.00...