Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nocturnal Tableaux

By Peter Baltensperger

The night was thick with dark clouds, the streets black between uncertain lamps, somewhere the distant hint of thunder. Grayson Wolf was wandering through half-forgotten alleys looking for slivers of light, glimmers of recognition, flashes of direction. Oddly enough, the only thing he came across was a black panther padding its way across a dimly-lit intersection in search of he knew not what. He wasn’t even sure himself. What he did know were the shadows lurking in dark corners pretending to be monsters blocking his way. He waved his arms impatiently, but they never moved.

Once he decided to ride an elevator to the top of a tall building to find out everything he could about high-altitude enigmas. It didn’t help. He lost everything he gained on the way up on the way down, a perfect balance, disillusioning as it was. He never rode an elevator again. When he turned a corner he had never turned before, he suddenly found himself in a sun-flooded street, blinding him. He closed his eyes, shielded them with his hands, then opened them slowly to the coagulating darkness. He might have known.

An all-night variety store at an intersection provided some much-needed relief. He went inside to rest his eyes from squinting into dim alleys, shadowy corners, the clerk eyeing him from dark eyes. When he came to the magazine rack at the back of the store, he leafed through a book of crossword puzzles, but his mind was brimming with words as it was. He went back out into the darkness without buying anything, despite the clerk.

A fire engine howled by, a building on fire somewhere. He would have liked to be there to feast his eyes, find meaning in the flames. He did watch a house burn down to the ground once, but he tried to keep memories like that buried in his mind where they couldn’t bother him. That, and the disappointments of open spaces, especially where houses had once stood. They reminded him too much of other kinds of emptiness, where there wasn’t even any rain.

In a spacious atelier high up in a loft, an artist was working on a large canvass, a study of white on white.

Copyright ©2012 Peter Baltensperger. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission



Peter Baltensperger is a Canadian writer of Swiss origin and the author of ten books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His work has appeared in print and on-line in several hundred publications around the world over the past several decades. He writes, and has been writing all his life, because he has to and loves to do it, and because it adds a significant dimension to his personal quest. He makes his home in London, Canada with his wife Viki and their three cats.


This is the final story that this site will be publishing.  Big thanks to the authors, readers and other supporters of this brief venture!

Note that Microstory A Week will continue to publish update notices regarding authors I've published here - you know, new books, recently published stories, poems and other pieces, et cetera.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dream Catcher

The sickly sweet aroma of summer's fruits gone over-ripe sent me wandering back... reminding me of a fervid summer day that was the last time I could claim my life as my own.

It was the final year of The Thirty Year Drought. Of course, no one knew then that the rains would return in a matter of weeks. The crops weren't worth harvesting and the hard, shriveled fruits were left to rot on the vines. The heavy perfume of the grotesque vegetation was so thick I could see it ~ a blue haze that insinuated itself into the dust that was everywhere.

Both my parents took the day work they could find in town, insisting that I stay on the farm to protect what little of value was left. Though only fifteen, I'd gotten damn good with the old pump-action shotgun. Stupid fucking men thinking I was just a piece of ass they could enjoy before they stripped our place clean of whatever they could eat, drink or carry off. None of the neighbors cared how we kept our pigs fed as long as we shared the meat whenever we slaughtered one.

I hoped that helping others to survive would spare me from eternal damnation but, with every life I took, I felt my future dying as the Earth died all around me. I spent my days sitting on the front porch waiting for the marauders, shotgun hidden in the folds of my skirt, decorating grapevine hoops with felt from our one remaining sheep, as well as found feathers and pretty stones. I hung them all along the porch eaves.

I'd taken to watching a spider spinning its webs inside the hoops, one after another. By the time the spider had wound the last thread, it no longer seemed strange to me that he had started at one end and moved, hoop by hoop, to the opposite end of the porch. I wasn't at all surprised when the wise-looking spider spoke to me.

"I have brought you an opportunity to help Humankind and the Earth" he whispered, "if you have the courage to devote yourself to their needs." "What would I have to do?" I asked hesitantly.

"Between the two of us, we have created dream catchers which hold the destiny of the future within them. They will only work if the People believe in the Great Spirit and in the power of the dream catchers. You must go to each Human and speak to them when they are sleeping, giving them the faith they are lacking. Leave a dream catcher hanging above their bed so that it may filter their good ideas, dreams and visions to them while they slumber. The bad ones will be trapped and will not pass. In this way, they will discover the actions that need to be taken to heal the Earth and bring balance to all Life."

I could not refuse the honour of being chosen for such an important task. It did not take long for Humans to begin to solve the problems of the world. A way to seed clouds to make rain was working in less than a month; new farming techniques were developed which helped to feed everyone. With their newfound faith, violence ceased. All of the deadly sins were vanquished. Those with material goods shared. Those with knowledge taught. Those with hearts full of love and compassion cared for those who were unable to care for themselves. Life flourished as others began to spread the Faith we all need to have in ourselves to succeed.

The spider and I continue to make dream catchers to deliver around the world. His companionship is a treasure I truly cherish.
Working together
Gives individuals strength
United we thrive

Copyright ©2012 dani harris. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.


one history of dream catchers can be found at

This story originally appeared on the my heart's love songs site on August 19, 2012.
If you like this story, check out dani’s other stories, published on this site: Bugged, Camellia, guardian angel {sorta}, haboob {another creepy tail} and Sinnerman.



dani {not a boy} opened her poetry blog my heart's love songs in February 2010 and now includes occasional prose which is often humorous, science fiction/fantasy or horror. she has had five pieces published at and participated in eight rounds of SPARK ~ art from writing: writing from art.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

**Two of my works - a poem and a microstory - were recently published

1.)  “baise moi: San Francisco”: This trashy poem about two road-tripping, homicidal lesbian wrestlers appeared in the fourth issue of Pink Litter. It is, as you probably guessed, a “for mature readers only” read.

I’m also thrilled that, in this fourth issue, I’m sharing space with two writing friends, whose works consistently wow me – Richard Cody, who penned another sweet, brief  poem (“I enter”) and Peter Baltensperger, who authored the sensual, balance-themed microstory “For the Sake of Symmetry”.

2.)   Jailhouse sleepover”:  This 58-word microstory tells the tale of two bloodthirsty, lusty clowns who get thrown in the clink.  Again, this is a “for mature readers only” read.  
"Jailhouse sleepover" will appear on the Erotica Readers & Writers Association (ERWA) site until October 30, 2012.