The Monkey in Menswear

“The darker blue looks good with your eyes.” Jenna, back from checking the handbag sale, held a tie up with both hands, draping it across the bridge of my nose.

“Thank you. They’re not usually worn that close to the eyes but if it gets us out of here—”

“There! That’s him!”

The tip of the tie whipped my ear as my wife spun to see what nut was yelling behind us.

“This gentleman?” from the security guard standing next to Old Yeller (okay, young yeller, but that doesn’t flow the same.)

“That’s him.”

The guard took a step back and measured the guy with his eyes.

“Him. Right there. In the suit I know he didn’t buy here because we don’t sell anything that sharp.”

Jenna did semaphore with the tie. “What did my husband do?”

… more … “The Monkey in Menswear”

I Don’t Carry a Gun

bright-light-dark-nightA careful check of my assets revealed a wallet with no cash, no pictures, and no character, a pack of Beeman’s gum, a religious tract, and half a bottle of drinkable water. Where else but California?

No, I don’t carry a gun. The noise scares me, and besides, they don’t seem to be very effective against guys who hit you from behind with John Deere tractors.

The side of the Chevy was cool against the throbbing heat of my brain pan. After another ten minutes my giant intellect came to the conclusion that people with no money, no credit cards, and no friends shouldn’t let their car get assaulted by thugs.

Any Old Apple (excerpt)

AnyOldAppleA snip from the middle of my 4,000-word short story Any Old Apple. Yesterday, newsletter readers got the whole thing, and next month they’ll get the audio version absolutely free (for non-newsies, it’ll be 99¢. Do the right thing. Sign up for the newsletter. I’ll even send a copy of the story so you can finish reading it.)

Any Old Apple: An Excerpt

We join our hero mid-story.

His teacher pronounced his last name correctly, and Milton skated through the first half of his first day in fifth grade without major embarrassment. Last year, the ancient crone who creaked her way into the classroom every day had called him “Milton BOW drucks” no matter how many times he corrected her. … more … “Any Old Apple (excerpt)”

Simplicity Itself (Revisited)

It’s been a couple years since I posted my very first short story (vignette, actually) here: Simplicity Itself.

I wrote it on my first computer, which would have been about 1990. Long before the days of the web. (A computer with no hard drive. Just two 5 1/4″ floppies.)

As soon as it was done, another sentence popped into my head:

It was one of those days when breakfast wanted to be cheap whiskey straight from the bottle.

And we know what that led to, don’t we?

Probably time for Simplicity Itself to turn into the book it never was.

Question is, will it be Phil Brennan’s book, or some completely new character?