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The Difference Between a Writer and an Author

The Difference Between a Writer and an Author

Michael K. Gause

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He streaked grease across his brow with the back of his hand as he wandered further from the road, war-painted in search of an honest mechanic. His feet throbbed inside his expensive wingtips, but the singing from behind the wall of trees ahead drew him like a silver wire, deeper and deeper into the wood. Man or woman, he couldn’t tell. It sounded like stained glass melting in the sun.

Working through the thicket, he came upon a clearing marked by a single shack, complete with old man rocking on the porch. The siren notes seem to be coming from here, beneath a pair of eyes staring over his head, into the treetops behind him. Upon closer inspection the "man" could not have been more than fifteen, and it was clear by his gaze he was without sight. The voice was sharp and hollow, the kind that might control snakes, and seemed to emanate from a distant suburb of time itself.

A large floral print slapped open the screen door.

"And what can I do for you?" It barked, partly hospitable, but mostly in warning.

"Afternoon. My car broke down. I need…uh…I heard singing."

"Well…we ain't no garage, and we don’t have no phone."

The woman’s words were almost lost beneath the song, as the boy’s voice cut through them, cut through all thoughts cars and garages and the reasons people might find for having them.

The woman’s words were almost lost beneath the song, as the boy’s voice cut through them, cut through all thoughts cars and garages and the reasons people might find for having them.

"I gotta tell you, ma'am," the man replied, “that young man’s got a set of pipes on him. I haven’t heard anything like that in years. Have you thought about taking him to the city? Maybe cut a record."

The boy continued to wail, oblivious to the man’s words.

"Bobbie? Lord, he ain't no musician." The woman cackled. "He just think he got the blues."

Michael K. Gause lives in Minnesota. No, really. His first self-published chapbook, The Tequila Chronicles, received bona fide honorable mention in The Carbon Based Mistake’s 2004 Art Exchange Program Contest. His second, I Want To Look Like Henry Bataille, was published in 2006 by Little Poem Press and to his knowledge hasn’t won squat. His words can be found in such places as Dew on the Kudzu, Clutching at Straws, Paper Darts, Eclectic Flash, and on tiny slips of paper hidden throughout the Twin Cities. His website is www.thedayonfire.com.

All rights reserved to Michael K. Gause

Proposal for Paper Darts

Proposal for Paper Darts

Canning

Canning