The Benefit to Breathing

The Benefit to Breathing 300This is a collection of five intense short stories.

In “Pete & Repeat,” c’mon, everyone knows the old non-joke about Pete and his buddy, right? Still, seems like there’s always one more young’un wantin’ to put an old timer to shame. Only it doesn’t always happen just that way.

“The Breath Formed” is a far more sober story from the point of view of the hunted. There is a “big sound,” the explosion that accompanies a gunshot from a high-powered rifle, from the POV of the creature whom it most directly affects. How strange that the gentle creature has more respect for humans than they will ever have for anything but themselves.

In “Harold Nickel’s Last Dime,” for a boy born and bred in Florida, hanging out in the drizzly, frozen northwest is far from ideal, or even possible. Even if he is in witness protection. What will Harold Nickel risk to feel the sun on his face again, smell the salt air. And how far will he go? And go? And go?

“The Brief, Happy Career of Judas Talbot, Circuit Riding Preacher” is a humorous and sobering look at a 22 year old in the 1860s Texas Panhandle who mistakes the primal urges in his gut for a calling to preach the gospel. He hits the circuit where he finds the women amenable and the men bad shots. Thankfully. If you enjoy laugh-out-loud humor, come along.

And in “Death of a Persona” we get a tongue-in-cheek glimpse into the private, personal affairs that go on between a writer and his personas and among the personas themselves. What does a writer do when he realizes his intellectual property is starting to come up missing? And what if he finds out one of his own personas is stealing his ideas? Or even whole stories?

Recommended search terms: humor, fantasy, ghost, hit man, loyalty, yacht, hunting, psychological suspense, Texas panhandle, circuit preacher, laying on of the hands, short stories

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