My Home Is Hnme

      Bernard Fancher
My Home Is Hnme

A young woman returns to the place of her upbringing--to experience the past, present, and future as one.excerpt:The sky is black, the stars pinpricks of light surrounding all overhead. I whistle softly through my teeth for Midnight, wondering if he’ll hear, doubting he’ll come. Yet then suddenly I see his form moving towards me, darker in the darkness, stopping a way away to make sure it is in fact someone he knows and can trust to approach before closing further.He stands so close I can hear the breath escaping his nostrils. He touches his nose to my outstretched fingers, nuzzling my arm next, wanting the halved apple I hold in my other hand. I ask him if he’s been a good horse and does he really miss me, or just the apple, and he snorts once, impatiently, at the delay. So I give it to him, by halves, offering the apple on my upturned palm, feeling his eager lips on my skin as he takes it before backing quickly away, as if suddenly afraid he’s been baited and tricked. Poor Midnight, I think, knowing what he can perhaps only dimly suspect, that something is up. Tomorrow this time he’ll be gone from here.
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    Desire Under the Big Oak Tree

      Bernard Fancher
Desire Under the Big Oak Tree

A short play in one act, in which a couple considers their present and past."There was nothing unusual about the night everything changed. No flashing lights in the sky, no searing fire in my belly; no sign whatsoever to suggest the shift which was to come…Nora Brice did strange things to me. Strange and awful things…" Paul Colt has a problem, and it is not one most teenage boys face. Yes, he likes a girl; one he’s pretty certain he’ll do foolish things for, given the chance. But he can’t go after her, or any other girl for that matter. That’s what he gets for being an Averter; forced to toe the line for the propagation of the collective. He knows some rules are okay to trifle with, and there are some which should never be broken. The gravest of them all? Don’t fall in love. Ever. This is the story of how Paul breaks that rule.This prequel novella to the Mentalist Series can be read before or after Aversion, Book One of The Mentalist Series.
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    Amish Country

      Bernard Fancher
Amish Country

Jacob Mast is for the most part a content man, happy and proud of what his life's work has accomplished. And yet, his thoughts sometimes plague him with doubt. WARNING: This book contains descriptions of an unsettling nature and may not be appropriate for all readers.(This selection is also available in: The Empty House, assorted stories)Story excerpt:“Let the earth cause grass to shoot forth,” Jacob recited quietly to himself, “and vegetation to bear seed, and fruit trees to yield fruit according to kind…” He paused, considering the implications of the words to follow, before continuing, “…the seed of which is contained within, and upon the earth.”Reflecting further upon the Biblical message, Jacob Mast leaned back and felt the sharp table edge press ever more insistently against his spine as he sat with his eyes closed and considered the years, as well the fruits of his labor. He remembered the first time he’d come to explore this place, and how the first time he heard them the words “Genesee Valley” spoke to his mind of Genesis—and so seemed, given his quest and disposition, to suggest the possibility of finding and restoring a lost Eden.
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    A Communion of Water and Blood

      Bernard Fancher
A Communion of Water and Blood

A follow-up collection of poems continuing upon themes dealt with in "Before Dark, and After"--but concentrating more on the element of water than fire.Imagine being born in captivity with a crippling disability. Your life is in the hands of alien creatures that provide sustenance and affection. How much does your happiness mean?***WARNING*** Despite the title, this is a very sad story. Do not read if you do not want to cry.Please also note that Happy is a short story, approximately 7 pages in length and just over 2,100 words.This short story was written to bring awareness and inspiration. You can support this work by donating to your local no kill shelter.
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    The End of the Circus

      Bernard Fancher
The End of the Circus

Boy meets girl after dark, at the conclusion of the circus... for a rendezvous both bitter and sweet.excerpt:“I got you a rum and coke,” he said, “without the rum.”She smiled again as her fingers enclosed the glass and he noticed for the first time her nails, long and perfectly rounded, the color of dark twilight sparkling with starlets.“Oh that’s okay,” she said, still smiling. “I don’t care as long as it’s cold and carbonated, and non-alcoholic.”She lifted the glass and he lifted the bottle and for a moment they watched each other drinking. He noticed the curl of hair dropping down like a long and delicate spring brushing each cheek. And then he noticed her darkly kohled eyes. “Would you like to play some pool?” He asked the question just to say something, and disengaged his eyes from her gaze to look over her left shoulder where the table stood. The triangle rack lay roughly centered upon a lit green velvet field next to the unmarked white ball. “I don’t know,” she said. “How good are you?”“I’m okay.”“Better than me, then; I’m not good at all.”
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    Bed Rock

      Bernard Fancher
Bed Rock

During the course of a long afternoon, Elgin Brick remembers his life and the people he loved.WARNING: This book contains descriptions of a sexual nature and might not be suitable for all readers.(This selection is also available in: The Empty House, assorted stories)excerpt: She would come by once or twice a week to look in on him, though he was nothing to her but a neighbor. Yesterday, her excuse for doing so amounted to no more than the fact she’d just, an hour before, baked up a big batch of cookies. She and Kevin would never eat them all, or at least they shouldn’t, she said; handing over a paper bag tied up with a big blue ribbon bow, she added, to quell any remaining objection, he’d be doing her a favor by accepting the cookies, removing the temptation. Back inside the house, opening the bag, he’d marveled at the treasure of a dozen saucer-size sugar molasses cookies, each one individually wrapped in a square of cellophane pulled smooth across the top and folded neatly together under the bottom. As he turned over and removed the cellophane wrap from one of the cookies, using the same slow age-worn deliberation and care with which he had untied the paper bag’s ribbon the day before, Elgin again wondered why he couldn’t have found at some point, for his own, someone like this neighbor gal Anne. He told himself if he were half a century younger and she were still looking, he’d be all after her—and factually, he’d said as much—directly to her—more than once. But it had gotten to be such an old and familiar joke she no longer even blushed. Instead, she’d learned to just laugh the words off, fluttering her eyes towards the heavens while sighing, “Oh Elgin, if only…”
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    Before Dark, and After

      Bernard Fancher
Before Dark, and After

Poems that explore the interstice between light and dark, day and night, perhaps even good and evil.Tina Storm has never been a normal teenager. She’s a demon hunter with the gift of a lightning vanquish – an inherited power from a long line of Storm demon hunters and researchers.Blessed with a natural gift for finding – and fighting – dangerous demons, and keeping the human populace safe and unaware, Tina also struggles with her daily life:~Keeping an after-school job: check.~Participation in the school play: check.~Getting a date with the cute loner boy from art class: check.All the while, Tina keeps her city safe by fighting a German water demon stalking her boyfriend, facing off with a vampire, and tracking a serial killer murdering her classmates.Storm Front is the prequel to Storm of Blood and consists of five urban fantasy ultra-short stories (under 5k) that trace Tina’s adventures as she moves to a new town and starts a new school.
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    A Trail in the Snow

      Bernard Fancher
A Trail in the Snow

One warming winter afternoon, Will skis with his brother to a secluded and sleepy hamlet, encountering more of the past than the present.excerpt:All right then, said Will. He gripped his poles harder and pushed down on them, anchoring himself as he slid his skis back and forth to loosen them in the snow. When he was ready he sucked in a deep breath and pushed off the little ledge.The run came at him fast; he bent his knees only a little until past the ramp towards the bottom of the hill he crouched into a low tuck, the poles up under his arms and trailing behind like vestigial wings. The momentum from the hill took him all the way to a fence at the far edge of the field at the bottom. To the left stood a tarpaper shack with a windowpane of dull tin with a dark hole where a smokestack had once been. A driveway went down a steep slope behind the last house to the road opposite the shack. Another house of mustard stucco stood directly ahead. He turned to wait for his brother who just then pushed off from the top of the hill and followed, going around the ramp close by the concrete projection. He came across the field and then the two of them stood quiet and watched as a purple snow machine followed down the slope and cut a wide turn, leaving a trail in the snow before going back up the hill.
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    Ghost Lake

      Bernard Fancher
Ghost Lake

A father reconnects with his son on a trip to the lake, resurrecting more than just memories.excerpt:We leave the car and strip behind it. The boy turns shyly away, exposing the pearly white purity of his bare bottom. Safe from view, I enjoy the transitory thrill of standing naked in the world. Before slipping my trunks on, I look beyond the far side of the wired enclosure, remembering a place, now possessed by a cottage, where my father and mother and brother and I once long ago camped in a trailer. As we approach the gate again, I look beyond it, down the length of interlinked wire, towards the dwindling end of beach where my father always set the barbecue grill, away from children carelessly running about. I close my eyes and imagine him still standing there on a sandy crescent of shoreline, enclosed by the now becalmed water and a green profusion of cattails.A cool draft coming off the lake causes me to wonder if we have come too late. The possibility prompts the remembrance of another past summer day when the water proved too cold to go in. As I stood with my toes at the waterline looking out, a tall gangly girl my own age, with skin of shiny ebony and hair kinky black, approached holding in both hands a half-empty bottle of Fresca. Having little experience with unfamiliar girls, even less with black ones, I found her an interesting challenge. My eyes continually drew away from her face to her hair, woven into pigtails tied off at the ends with bits of red yarn. I particularly liked the way she talked, which imparted a slight trill to the words she spoke. But my every gambit to capture her interest failed until, replying, “Tosh,” to a bold hypothetical I expressed in an attempt to impress her, (that swimming would be far more comfortable if only a small piece of sun were to fall in the lake and warm it,) she turned away and went back to sit on the blanket next to her mother, who listened, smiling, holding a cigarette motionless to her lips, while between finishing sips of her Fresca the girl related what I’d said.
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    The Summer Boy

      Bernard Fancher
The Summer Boy

Not only is Kyle Summer's ambition to become a big-league baseball pitcher, the quest defines his entire existence. Nothing else seems as important, until his father takes ill and he is called back home to the farm.(This selection is also available in: The Empty House, assorted stories)excerpt:Now the road north steamed beneath the headlights, illuming a path through a lush growth of small trees and bushes lining both sides. Eventually he turned one last time east, crossing a stream, before heading northward again. By the time he reached the outskirts of Dudley he was ready to stop. And he needed gas anyway. He pulled into the Quick-Fill and stood for a moment in the artificial light holding the palm of one hand to his lower back before lifting the nozzle away from the pump with the other. He let his back go to turn the selector to regular grade and raise the safety switch, after which the pump clicked to life and the gas flowed, cooling the handle. As he held the grip trigger he looked around, noting the empty lot across the road where the Mobil garage had stood before burning. He remembered the red winged horse set in the front gable and reproduced on the white globes atop the gas pumps. Not so long ago he had hung out there with his friends on weekends—washing and polishing cars, changing oil or the occasional tire. But except for the missing garage and the new Quick-Fill everything else in Dudley seemed the same. Adopting a philosophical attitude, he supposed change was either good or bad, depending on how you defined progress.
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