Thy Neighbor’s Wife by Quinn Tyler Jackson

July 1, 2013 Comments Off on Thy Neighbor’s Wife by Quinn Tyler Jackson

Cement. Cool like ice cream, grey like a West Coast spring, as hard as diamonds under the right feet.

Wood rots. Drywall crumbles. Bricks loosen and fall.

“Mornin’,” he said.

I nodded back.

Three years ago, that. Glass didn’t keep them. Stone was too smooth. Too damned smooth.

“Ever think of trying out a sermon?” he said.

I nodded back a nope.

Started slowly. Sundays started getting closer together. SUV had one fewer passenger.

“Planting early this season?”

Yes, she nodded back.

“Not at church this week?”

Nope, she nodded back.

Coffee. Iced tea. Vanilla and brown sugar perfume. Lace and grace and waiting for Sundays.

Rapture won’t take her. Cold, grey, and hard.

Cement. Build your houses on cement.

© 2013 Quinn Tyler Jackson

Jackson lives on Prince Edward Island with his wife, their two cats, and dog. He is currently working on his fourth novel, tentatively entitled After Lilith Eve.
http://www.amazon.com/author/quinn

Amendments by Quinn Tyler Jackson

May 7, 2012 Comments Off on Amendments by Quinn Tyler Jackson

First, the murder. How he’d ended up witnessing the murder wasn’t important. All that mattered was that he’d seen through the walls as the box-headed man strangled his wife.

Panic and instinct brought him into the past. Only thirty minutes, but enough. His purpose was clear, and he hated that he knew he would have to avoid his coffee at the corner place and run to the house where the deed was going to occur. Fifteen minutes. Like a swimmer, he paddled through the air — maybe eight feet up — but this would get him through yards, over the fences, and give him time to intervene and save her life. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know her; he could save her.

He arrived at the house with minutes before it would happen. He swam to the bay window, looked in, and saw the man. There was still time, but he needed to go to an automated banking machine. It didn’t matter why. Without twenty dollars, he wouldn’t be able to save this maniac’s wife from her fate. So he swam through a few more yards and across the endless miles to the city center, where he found a bank machine. The line was long, but he waited patiently. He had to get twenty dollars. One at a time those before him got their money and left. He was almost next. His turn eventually came, and he was up.

But he had no wallet, no bank card, and her fate was sealed.

He hated amendments. Those amendments self-introduced in midstream. Those little alterations to the clarity of purpose. What use were all those freakishly impossible powers of time and space if it all got amended in the end to be a matter of twenty bucks?

© 2012 Quinn Tyler Jackson

Quinn Tyler Jackson is a poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and computer scientist. His work has been published online and in print internationally. He lives a quiet but passionate life in Canada with his wife and two cats.

Wake Up Steven by Quinn Tyler Jackson

November 10, 2011 Comments Off on Wake Up Steven by Quinn Tyler Jackson

— That horrified screaming you hear is the sound of a book you once read as a child. The one that always haunted you.

No, I never should have read that book. Evil creatures, hangings, and descriptions of things that couldn’t be shaken for some time. That screaming is that?

— You were too young and horrified to scream then. But if I am asleep, how can I hear you?

— Who am I to be heard at all?

— Steven, can you tell me if you smell anything?

Apples?

— Anything else?

The faint … what is that? The faint smell of horse shit.

— Steven, wake up.

* * *

Plastic tubes. Cigarette tubes. My nose is dry. Steven, when did you last take a piss?

“Three blind mice,” Josephine said.

“What the hell does that mean?”

“Contrariness is perspiration under milk lodgings,” she answered. Her lips aren’t moving right to the sounds I think I’m hearing.

“Perfunctory,” she then insists. Again, it’s those eyes doing the insisting, the way they’re wont to do.

Door slamming. Horseback riding. Applecart upon applecart upon applecart.

Steven is wide awake.

—You say that like you mean it.

Josephine, how many fingers am I holding up?

—Wake up, Steven!

I told you I am already.

Playing dead in front of the mirror. Playing. One note at a time. The play is the thing. Curtain! Exit stage up!

“Steven you’re really starting to scare me.”

—Am I? What is it about me that is scaring you? Can I make it clear, or can you hear a word I am saying at all? When I say, “I don’t want to do that,” do you hear “Applecart?” When I say “that really pisses me off” do you hear “horseback riding?”

—Steven, do you know where you are?

I’m in a book I read as a child that I was too young to understand, and now I am lost in the screams I was too young to scream.

—No, you’re horseback riding.

I don’t want to do that.

—It’s not up to you.

* * *

—Steven, are you awake?

* * *

—Are you awake, Steven?

“What day is it?”

* * *

“It’s Sunday.”

“Sunday? Then what made me think it was Saturday?” I ask Josephine as she purrs beside me under the sheets of our bed.

She laughs, glances over at me with those beautiful eyes of hers, and says, “I’ve no clue, silly love. Saturday has come and gone already.”

I lean over to her smooth forehead, kiss her, and say, “That is has, sweetie. That it has. Why did you want to know if I am awake?”

“Just because I am and I was a bit lonely here beside you. Wanted some company.”

I put my arm around Josephine, breathe in, and then exhale, and then whisper, “Well, here I am. Half-asleep, but here with you.”

“Half-awake is good enough,” she assures me.

© 2011 Quinn Tyler Jackson

Quinn Tyler Jackson is a poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and computer scientist. His work has been published online and in print internationally. He lives a quiet but passionate life in Canada with his wife and two cats.

Emancipation Proclamation By Quinn Tyler Jackson

June 23, 2011 Comments Off on Emancipation Proclamation By Quinn Tyler Jackson

After saying to his wife, “I am leaving and never coming back,” Carl managed to rescue himself from the consequences of a decade and a half of unhappiness, and although the going was rough for a while after his departure, he, his former wife, and their children ultimately were the happier for it and his future catastrophes tended to be less drawn out and of milder consequence.

© 2011 Quinn Tyler Jackson

Quinn Tyler Jackson is a poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and computer scientist. His work has been published online and in print internationally. He lives a quiet but passionate life in Canada with his wife and two cats.

Legacy in Lace By Quinn Tyler Jackson

May 30, 2011 Comments Off on Legacy in Lace By Quinn Tyler Jackson

As he exhaled his last breath, Jean Untel, found his thoughts drifting to his friend Karl, the potboiler novelist, a man with a talent for writing tomes as thick as War and Peace but as light, lacey, and inconsequential as a single glove nobody would wear in winter, and so Jean was able to find peace in the epiphany that his own life, while shortened by tuberculosis and certainly brief enough chronologically to qualify for the honor, would never find itself mortalized by his friend’s pen.

© 2011 Quinn Tyler Jackson

Quinn Tyler Jackson is a poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and computer scientist. His work has been published online and in print internationally. He lives a quiet but passionate life in Canada with his wife and two cats.

Beyond Reproach by Quinn Tyler Jackson

May 12, 2011 Comments Off on Beyond Reproach by Quinn Tyler Jackson

Only after those known to be his three closest personal friends did not attend his standing-room only funeral did anyone begin to suspect that Mayor Sinclair’s life had been one of quiet obfuscation.

© 2011 Quinn Tyler Jackson

Quinn Tyler Jackson is a poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and computer scientist. His work has been published online and in print internationally. He lives a quiet but passionate life in Canada with his wife and two cats.

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