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It is the topics of these stories which are forbidden, not the stories themselves; you will find nothing here which you wouldn't find in the pages of The New Yorker--if the The New Yorker's stories featured cold-blooded pirates. The stories are forbidden in the sense that they unveil all which humans wish so ardently to cloak: stupidity and greed, of course, but also the illicit, the destructive, the cruel, the wanton, the most exciting and dark of our desires; all that must be kept hidden lest the truth wreak its special havoc on the hedges we nurture between our secret and our public lives.
Love, of course, tops the list; when it is not forbidden, it is disruptive, foolish, mad, irresistable.
If these themes or dark humor are not your cup of tea, please visit fiction/novels for a wide range of other freely available fiction or the Of Two Minds blog for a vast variety of essays.
How I Fell in Love with a Homeless Woman
"I can faithfully report that one falls in love with a homeless woman in the same manner as one falls in love with any other woman: your eyes meet, and some spark passes between you which is beyond easy description."
A Secret Life
"I discovered my motherís secret life some years ago. But only recently have I come to understand the sense of duty that unified her parallel lives. As my own have fallen apart, I have a renewed sense of respect for her during the years my father served overseas...."
The 29-Year Old and Her Favor
"Poor thing, she thought as Nathan clambered up to the front steps of his building, he could use some cheering up...."
Ambush in Mesopotamia
"As we were chaperoning supplies into what was at least nominally a combat zone, M-16 rifles were scrounged up for the non-infantry among us. I strapped the rifle over my shoulder and wondered if it had been cleaned recently, as M-16s were notorious for jamming in dirty environments."
The Bullies' Comeuppance
"A couple of big ugly white jock types had somehow picked me to spike in junior year."
"A guy with unkept shoulder length-blond hair is sitting in the middle of the big bar that runs across the back wall, and when he turns his head to see who just came in he smiles and nods at Rich. I'm surprised that Rich is friends with some old hippie, but he says, "Let's go sit with my buddy Kyle," and we trail behind him as he walks to the bar."
Copyright 2008 Charles Hugh Smith all rights reserved in all media. No reproduction in any media in any format (text, audio, video/film, web) without written permission of the author.