We write. We revise.

Bees, Terrorists and Ballet

UnknownAfter work I detoured to a hardware store and bought the type of spray they never sell at health food stores. Two cans, tall, and heavy, like restaurant pepper mills. On top each nozzle had a black plastic bonnet, and inside that was a spray guide—a black tube—for distance accuracy. The bee spray can said it was accurate from 25 feet, which was closer than I planned on getting to the hive.

I didn’t wait until morning this time—only until sunset. I put on long pants, double socks, a long sleeve shirt, and a hooded sweatshirt. I wore sunglasses, and wanted to be prepared.

The can purred as the stream of foam covered the hive. The bees were upset. Agitated. But, they got the message. I emptied the second can from less than 25 feet.

In the morning, there was no trace of the bees. It was as if they had never been there. The only remnant of the battle was the tipped sage and pine needle can from my first campaign, and a few bee carcasses by the screen door.

That was the last I saw of the marauders in Agua Fría.

~Excerpt from Bad Men Among Whites, a novel-in-progress by Mark Radoff


images-1Harold recalled hearing something about the group having been linked to several violent attacks on animal testing laboratories and conglomerate headquarters.

“This has put me in a delicate situation. The federal government considers the Green Warriors a terrorist group and is actively investigating those funding its activities.” He spread his palms wide. “The Dumont family it seems is now linked to terrorism. Not exactly the sort of ties a gubernatorial candidate seeks to foster.

“Or anyone else with half a mind,” added Alice, pacing behind Nathan.

Harold’s pen came to a stop mid-page. “I’m not sure I understand. Are you asking that Petrinado & Finch conceal evidence?”

Nathan pshawed. “Oh please, nothing like that. We have people who are handling that for us. But we can’t afford a second incident.”

~Excerpt from San Joaquin Suicide Hotline, a novel-in-progress by James Albert


tianCracked plaster and peeling paint betrayed neglect and a waning public interest in traditional ballet. Now the francs were pouring into venues across town featuring popular entertainment like the cancan at the Moulin Rouge, café concert spectacles, and the music hall. The dance company had passed its pinnacle a generation before with the last of the great dance masters like Jules Perrot.

The dance studio’s large wood floor had a dusting of white powder accumulating at the edges from the chalk applied to the dancers’ ballet shoes. Erik introduced himself to the director, Joseph Hansen, a man in his fifties, blond hair turning white, brilliant blue eyes, and a face like crumpled leather. He carried himself with the wide stance of a dancer, toes pointed outward. But he leaned on a tall walking stick, having some unhealed injury or condition in his hip which caused him to limp.

~Excerpt from 38 Umbrellas, a novel-in-progress by Michelle Fogle


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