FIRST LINES OF RECENTLY COMPLETED WORK...
Some people are posting the first lines of works in progress. I might get around to that, but in the meantime here are the first paragraphs of a couple of stories recently completed.
I am writing this sitting in the half-submerged lobby of a rotting, half-finished condominium complex surrounded by cavorting fresh water seals, two pearl-handled revolvers in my lap, a bottle of vodka in my right hand, a human body in the freezer in the kitchens behind me, and a rather large displaced rock hopper penguin staring me in the face. Upstairs, on the second floor, is the room I’ve made my headquarters. It has a bidet but no bath. The toilet seat refuses to stay up. The wallpaper has succumbed in places to a grainy black fungus, despite the moderate climate. I smell mold everywhere, and fish. (Because, you know, fish have appeared in the lobby on occasion.) Sometimes the electricity works, but mostly I hope it doesn’t because I’m convinced what with all the water everywhere I’m likely to be electrocuted, perhaps even while I sleep.
A New Face in Hell
What do I know about Terry Tidwell? I know we watched him for over three years. No real suspicions, just general surveillance. "Secrets and scandals of deceitful type proportions," as they say. But there wasn't much to find out, and we've since stopped watching him, for reasons that will become clear. And for one other reason: I was following him so much that I began to think like him, to become him. This could be termed an occupational hazard. My superiors were not pleased.
The Great Bat Expedition
The Great Bat Expedition from Camp Crystal Lakes started out well enough. Nick, his sister Nikki, and their best friend Tom gathered outside Nick’s tent in the mid-afternoon. One by one they went through their list.
“Flashlight?” Nikki asked. She always kept the lists.
“Check,” said Nick. It was one of his favorite words. Sometimes he would say it all day long. Those were the days Nikki and Tom would try to avoid him.
Masha and the Bear
Once upon a time a talking bear found a girl named Masha wandering through the forest looking for wildflowers. Her parents had told her not to go out into the woods, but she'd ignored them. She was very surprised to see the bear—almost as surprised as the bear was to see her.
"Hello to girl," said the bear.