Number Two

“Ready to go?” Bork barks as he opens the back door. I am finishing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before hanging out at the music store. Bork’s mom’s boyfriend, Chad is taking us. I have never met Chad, but Bork’s mom’s boyfriends are pretty much all the same. They smell like beer and their…

Mr. Clokchuk

Mr. Clokchuk  by RJHoffman Clockchuk is a substitute teacher who considers himself a writer, only he hasn’t gotten any of his stories published and is too lazy to keep a blog. On a Friday morning Clokchuk is called in to cover for a history teacher who has gotten food poisoning. The class has just completed…

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…

A Glitch in a Subroutine

“Why have I been summoned to Dirtville?” demanded the lord. “Is it so urgent that you cannot email me your petition like everybody else?” “Sorry lord” said Jason. “ I didn’t quite know how to put it into words.” “Then it isn’t the usual petition for money, avoidance of catastrophe, needing help out of catastrophe…