Month: October 2017

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 7)

Note:  This is the seventh installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


She’d started the fire with the flashlight battery and a foil gum wrapper, something she said she’d seen on YouTube.  Jake was amazed, but more he was grateful for the yellow light that came, driving away the fog and a chill he hadn’t known he’d felt until now.  Carefully they fed birch bark, then twigs and splinters (more…)

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Whitefish: The Unpleasant Truth

You’ve been reading for a couple of weeks about Whitefish Energy, a small Montana company (with all of two full-time employees) that shares a hometown with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

You already know they were awarded a massive contract to repair hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, that the investors are personally acquainted with the Secretary and donated to the Trump campaign, that there’s been massive media outcry against them and a call for Congressional investigation.  You might even be aware that the F.B.I. (more…)

Indictments (After Donne, Meditation XVII)

Indictments are being handed down tomorrow. By the time you read this, there’s a good chance they’ll be out, and someone will be facing charges.

They’ve been oddly public about this, leaving us to speculate over a whole weekend about who the unlucky sod is going to be that’s first into the inquisition. Will it be Manafort? Kushner? No doubt there are a few deluded Trump supporters that honestly think Hillary Clinton is about to get indicted. (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 5)

Note:  This is the fifth installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


It took a little while to explain the joke to Clarice, but when she got it she loved it.  It turned out she’d been a Scooby-Doo fanatic as a kid, and being compared to Daphne delighted her.  The conversation went on merrily for a time, which was a pleasant change.

It was also in stark contrast to the gloom outside.  The night had been dark before, but now with the mist rising it was almost impossible to see past the reflection of the headlights.  Jake slowed (more…)

Maxine Waters, And Other Things I Won’t Write About

Three things happened yesterday with vital importance and lasting impact on the American political, social, and economic landscape.  And Congresswoman Maxine Waters wasn’t involved in any of them.

It’s no shock any longer that our national news media is, to put it plainly, crap.  It is driven inexorably toward sensationalism by the twenty-four hour news format, to the detriment of (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 4)

Note:  This is the fourth installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here and follow the links.


They had just made it back out of the marshy area, and the trees to either side were a bit of a relief.  Sue was saying, “Now, it should be around–” when “Look out!” came from the back seat.  Jake stomped the brakes.  What the hell–?
(more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 3)

Note:  This is the third installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here.


The woods is never completely empty.  Even when you think you’re alone, you’re not; there’s always something watching.  It might even be a predator; there’s coyotes and foxes out there, and every now and then someone spots a lynx.  Even if not, there’s the birds and deer, rabbits and squirrels, and a teeming host of insects that you’ll never see — because they stay alive by hiding.

But whatever it is that’s watching, sometimes you can feel the eyes resting on you, tracking, measuring, making plans in which you’re either prospective dinner or diner.  The old-timers say sometimes it’s not animals; it’s something called the spirit of the woods, maybe even the trees, old and patient and waiting for you to finally go away and let them grow in peace.  But whatever it is, it’s always watching.

It was watching now.

This trip had seemed like a no-brainer in class.  Most everyone had chosen to do a research project in the library, either transcribing hours of old reel-to-reel tapes or tracking down someone else’s transcription and trying to find a story in it.  Dry and tedious; he was falling asleep just thinking about it.

But this sounded exciting!  Ghost hunters at midnight, and never mind that there was no such thing.  A bunch of kooks, sure, but they’d be sitting around telling ghost stories in a graveyard of all places.  And best of all, he’d only need to write one page! (more…)

No Such Thing As Ghosts (Part 2)

Note:  This is the second installment of a ghost story.  It’s not meant to be read by itself.  If you’d care to start at the beginning, click here.


“Whose dumb idea was this, anyway?”

Jake sighed, trying to tune out the voice from the back seat, but without any luck. He’d had a thing for Clarice for over a year now, ever since Comp Two, and she was half the reason he took this folklore class to begin with. Tall, slender, pretty, blonde, and he was beginning to realize she had a whine that could etch glass. Which she used far too much; right now she was going on about all the other things she could be doing instead of taking a long ride to nowhere.

When they’d left campus an hour ago, he’d thought – hoped – she’d sit next to (more…)