Thomas Hovering

August 29, 2017


The GPS monitor dug into his ankle and it hurt, all day. Thomas figured out a way to fall asleep with it, but by morning the black metal box with its flashing red and green lights had twisted around and it felt like someone had spent the night quietly sawing off his foot while he slept. I’ll get used to it. Sometime in the next 4 1/2 years of my probation I’ll stop noticing it.

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March 14, 2017

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He’d been getting underground CRISPR treatments for years. Maybe his new friends didn’t suspect, but I knew Elray back in the 90s, when I was in high school and he was pushing 40. He should have been in his late 70s, but with a full head of jet black hair and athletic build, he looked younger than when I hung out with him. Plus he had to be eight inches taller. He was all brilliant white smiles as he walked up to me in his signature black tuxedo, through the crowd of retro-punks and retro-mods.

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March 25, 2015

There is a pair of delicate purple tulips, with just a few inches of stem, in a small glass tea cup with a handle. The cup is filled about one third with water, leaving no doubt as to the authenticity of the flowers. At least the flowers are real. The same can’t be said for the slice of Boston creme pie on my plate. The diner was honest enough to spell it as “creme” since it obviously has no real cream in it. It is quite a beautiful imitation of a dessert. I guess that’s why I got a slice, after seeing its radiant beauty in the display case. But I wouldn’t dare destroy this work of art with a fork. I know that it would taste like artificially sweetened coagulated grease. And besides, just look at it – it’s a perfect, idealized replica of a real Boston cream pie.

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It was chocolate and it was all I needed.

February 17, 2015

The following prompt was given to me by Kim Gifford, a writing teacher in White River Junction, Vermont.

Prompt: The 2015 Grammy Song of the Year was Stay with Me, by Sam Smith. Write a piece based on these lyrics: “Won’t you stay with me, because you’re all I need.”

It was chocolate and it was all I needed. But what’s the point of something after you’ve consumed it? I knew full well that the chocolate would be with me for ever – I would incorporate it into my body. But then, it would no longer be chocolate, would it? My body would process and expel parts of it; other parts would be broken down to their constituent bits and perhaps some of its molecules would end up part of my spleen. That’s no life for a good chocolate bar.

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Darall’s Story

December 11, 2014

Darall stood alone in the crowd, listening to the political speech. The speech was sprinkled with words that he had heard before but whose meaning he couldn’t quite place his finger on. Words like “ineffable.”

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Why I Hate/Love Fall – Two Brief Essays

November 22, 2014

Writing workshops are fun. You should attend them, if you don’t already. The one I occasionally go to gives us a prompt to start writing and then drops in more prompts during our short allotted writing time. Here’s a bit of strangeness I wrote at my last Writers Workshop in White River Junction, Vermont. We were told to write two stories/essays based on the following prompts:

Story #1

First prompt: “The worst thing about this time of year is,” or “Why I hate early November.”

Second prompt: “brown leaves”

Third prompt: “a cat”

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The Old Man and Jonathan

November 19, 2014

It was April 27, 1987 again. The Old Man liked to visit with the residents of the Alzheimer’s Home. His favorite friend at the Home was Jonathan. Jonathan lived in April 27, 1987. The Old Man had been visiting Jonathan once a week for years now. Each visit was the same. He would politely introduce himself and Jonathan would pretend to remember him. Then, they would talk about what was going on in the world in the spring of ’87. Jonathan would talk about how President Reagan seemed to be slipping into dementia, how he hoped that the Vice President and former CIA boss wouldn’t be our next Commander in Chief, and whether CDs would be a passing fad.

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March 1, 2014


The reason I have holes in the right armpits of most of my t-shirts is that I take my shirts off the wrong way. I don’t remember anyone ever teaching me otherwise. I resist changing the way I remove my shirts because I feel like it’s something that makes me me. My habits distinguish me from other people. Without them, who am I?

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