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Banana Yellow (13)

UNITED STATES—His bosom buddy, who’d dubbed him “the incredible Yanqui,” the exiled Miguel Padilla, retorted, “Well, compadre. I’ve heard of a White House being turned into a bawdy house, my friend.” Phineas Cox sure had inadvertently done a heap more than any soul to stir up a hornet’s nest, that fussy corporate lawyer and former Attorney General, had been the...

Banana Yellow (11)

UNITED STATES—In 1899, the renowned soldier for hire, Joe Holly, defected to the Honduran Government army, a move that crumbled any semblance of integrity he may have had. Yet this move paid off handsomely, as Joe was commissioned to be a colonel and became police chief of Tegucigalpa by appointment by the current president. Soon thereafter, Joe defected again...

Banana Yellow (9)

UNITED STATES—Like the banana king, Sam Delaney, Joe Holly was fond of Central America. This land had offered Joe a second chance, and it is true that second chances are more often denied than offered in American lives. When Joe was barely out of his teens he helped build a railroad that joined Memphis and New Orleans, by way...

Banana Yellow (6)

UNITED STATES—Lead by curiosity. . . Really Sam’s story began when he had that $8000  burning a hole in his pocket, as they say. Due to his deep conviction that he was fated to make a name for himself, while wandering around the French quarter, he saw a dimly-lit alcove behind a muslin curtain billowing in the hot wet...

Health Inspector #43 (4)

UNITED STATES—The months went by. The days got shorter and colder. There Robbie sat alongside Rolf, the giant black schnauzer, at the outdoor patio table threatened by cold and icy rain. Robbie was trembling under his cardigan sweater. The warm and humid breath from the good old dog's muzzle warmed the stiff joints in his fingers. It was terrifically...

Mary Reno (17)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno once lived in cool, air-conditioned movie theaters. It corresponded to a period of unrequited loneliness and early need. She was young, not yet out of high school. Mother and father were still together, and then father would leave. He would not see her wear a graduation robe. Mother always explained that he had gone to heaven....

Mary Reno (16)

UNITED STATES—Then the boy got up and reflexively pulled down his shirt, so it covered his open fly. He peered out the window onto the gray street and flipped around the CLOSED sign. The bolt in the door made a solid clunking sound as it engaged with the doorframe. Mary pulled herself upright, grasping on of the cold black...

Mary Reno (11)

UNITED STATES—A blistering wind was coming through the glass and concrete towers. It rustled a flag at three-quarters mast. Just before reaching the lower echelons and stirred the hairs on Mary's natural fright wig, the breeze ran out of steam. The stifling stagnation the ruled the city like a wasted metaphor. Mary saw a way out. There it was before...

Mary Reno (10)

UNITED STATES—Mary Reno hurried away from the stall in the Swap Meet, that boasted the sign "We buy gold." The toothy smile of the Mongolian woman was seared in the back of Mary's cranium. In her ears echoed the enthusiastic decree, FAKE...! She was at the end of her rope. There'd be some comfort in knowing there was a...

Mary Reno (8)

UNITED STATES—They had it all wrong. They had it backwards. Suicide is considered a weakness, and even a cowardly act. Balderdash, if I may step in. The fact is: a healthy person may entertain the idea of self-slaughter: a world without me at least once a day. It is humble preparation us for what things may be. Sooner or...