Mickey Mouse at the Courthouse

A Passerby at the Courthouse by RJHoffman The distraught boy sits on his mother’s lap wailing. His little frame shaking, his shoulders and head stooped forward in resignation. His voice quivers on the air like a plaintive bird. “I don’t wanna go. Oh ho ho ho. I don’t want to go.” His mother tries to…

Mowing the Lawn on a Sunday Afternoon

The monstrous and ancient Olds Delta 88 could be heard a quarter mile away, its loud exhaust roaring over the rural two lane highway. It was a sunny Sunday in May in West Michigan and Brock was mowing his lawn. Sunday was his only day off from his job as a parts man at a…

Derek Dufust

Derek Dufust by RJHoffman   Derek Dufust fingered through the books laid out on the table in the old armory building across the street from the library in a small town. It was the annual library book sale and Derek, one of the few patrons of the library who read humanities, was delighted to add…

Jasper Townes

Jasper Townes by RJHoffman Jasper Townes’ face was red and his mind brimming as he took halting steps to the cash register. The beer delivery was late, the fuel truck was late due to a bad wreck on the expressway, a health inspector was arriving later. Jasper was a new store manager at the local…

A View From a Pew

The seats in the church loft were boarded beds filled with human cages with makeshift heads. The cages clasped their hands, whisked lint from their ties, eyed their neighbor’s wives. It was 1975. The forms made a rhythm of triangles standing, kneeling, then sitting. And with these triangles mingled the sound of a chain chinking…

Requiem For a Surgeon’s Son

Barry slows down and approaches the audi parked on the shoulder of the road with the driver’s door open. There is a motorcycle parked behind it and two men are fighting. Or rather, one man is beating up another. On the ground is an old man who appears to be unconscious. His face is badly…

The Controller

“Everyone likes Gwen,” exclaimed Marion, the accounts payable clerk. “I don’t know how anyone couldn’t like her. It would take a mean sort of person.” “For sure,” added Tina whose desk was across the aisle from Marion. In front of Marion sat Jill, who upon hearing the conversation strained her eyes hard to the paper…