Short Tall Tales

Short Tall Tales

Ups and downs, humor and tragedy are all found here. As in the real world, the lives of the people portrayed in these pieces of fiction don’t always go as desired or planned, but as in the real world, they do find a way forward to face their futures with resolution, with new-found wisdom, and with hope for future days.~ The River Jct. Writers

Tala’s Garden

I did not marry for love. My marriage was arranged when I was fourteen and I never questioned that. When the war ended, and I was released from the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, I returned home to Johor Bahru to marry Tala. I have leaned on her strength and passion during our forty years together, and I have lived with her willfulness.

This morning we enter the temple, the familiar scent of sandalwood and champa flowers steadies me. I take in the pungent scent of tiger balm and the ashes the priest rubs on the leg that never healed properly after it was broken by a prison guard. Sometimes, in this place, memories of Mitsushima lift away as on the wings of a hornbill above the jungle.

Tangled Trawl Lines

Ted Holmes, owner and editor of a small weekly newspaper, The Coastal Chronicle, plunges into a new mystery. He’s been working a feature on the lobster industry in his coastal Maine town but finds the subject of his profile, a seasoned lobsterman, has drowned. Why would an experienced fisherman, cautious and meticulous, end up overboard tangled in his own trap line? And did someone want him out of the harbor? Ted sets aside his profile casting a light on the industry that sustains his community to get at the truth of this man’s death. Ted has had a few successes, like stumbling into the murderer in Volume II of this series and covering that story, but mostly he struggles to sell enough papers to pay Rocko, his ace reporter, and a few part-time columnists. In matters of the heart Ted’s been schooled in the hard knocks of female rejection. But like any real newshound, he considers persistence his virtue. Holmesport may resemble the harbor town where I learned many of the mysteries of life, but the characters and events of this story floated in from somewhere miles offshore.