This article is taken from Stand 216, 15(4) December 2017 - February 2018.

Michael Cadnum Three Very Short Stories
Bone Gossip  
We learned the local dialect, the slangy baby talk that passed for chat, but all along I felt the cops glide by, not the comfy local veterans with their faded jailhouse tattoos, but the new ones, freshly-shaved and just out of the academy, aviator sunglasses and up-armored allure.   

The video of you played on every subway platform, pretending to be dead-gorgeous in the trailer for the story of your afterlife. But like a child learning comportment from old movies, when to take off the fedora, when to slip the hand from the satin glove, it is the taking off you learned, never the putting on again.   

The heat would break soon, shatter and leave the sky cold from river to stars. The lottery tickets would stop fluttering on the kiosk beside the vacant fountain. The sparrows were razors, slicing every which-way, and in the shambles yearling organs were worried forth and weighed.   

Why was our separate joy such a surprise? You were up for the prize, and got it.  The columns of marble in the goat field were waiting for the pluck of the contractor's plumb line, reassembled at last, and the old gods turned into investors watched from the olive grove, faceless behind their allergy guards, paper filters pulsing with their secrets.


Rock Harbour
Front yards of trucks on wooden blocks, axels and half-built ships. Roses were bare and angry, but the eucalyptus grew in ...
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