A novelette in four chapters

The Net


Read Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter III

It’s hard to keep track of time in the hot glow of the moment. Your heart rate rises and something dark wraps tentacles around you and reaches in and finds your adrenal gland and squeezes. Time dilates. The world burns and glows like the inside of a kiln. You swear that minutes have passed when in fact it’s only seconds.

Or maybe it’s the other way around. What seemed like seconds was really minutes.

In retrospect, I should have planned for it. I could have counted the seconds. I could have played the…

A novelette in four chapters

I like watching you drive


Read Chapter I, Chapter II

Lao Tzu says the way is to be like water. Water finds its way without trying. Somewhere between the stagnant swamp of the traffic jam and the smooth river of the wide-open road, there’s a place where the water can leap down between the boulders like a mountain stream. Getting through on a freeway with three or four lanes becomes a matter of strategy, tactics, of waiting for opportunities, then moving swiftly to take them. Some people would say that seven hundred and seventeen horsepower is wasted driving in highway traffic. I disagree.

After I…

A novelette in four chapters

Just Over The Horizon

Read Chapter I

By the end of my fourth trapeze class, I could hook my knees over the bar, and even let go with my hands and fly upside-down. I wouldn’t have admitted it then, but I was doing it all so Evette wouldn’t think I was afraid. Each time I arrived, she would greet me with that troublemaker smile. Afterward, when the room was still bathed in the arc-light of terror and adrenaline, she’d come and reward me with a warm hand on my arm and tell me how well she thought I was doing. Then we’d go get…

A novelette in four chapters

The Keen Edge

When the doctor told me that I could probably avoid a liver transplant if I never took another drink, I went straight home and emptied out my liquor cabinet. I wasn’t an alcoholic. I mean, I’d never missed work, never showed up drunk or hungover. I went weeks, sometimes, without taking a drink.

But when I did drink, I could hang with the best of them.

Back in college, on weekend nights when nothing much was going on, I’d stay in my dorm room blasting Crystal Method or KFMDM. Hacking. Drinking. Bourbon and Coke. Maker’s Mark. With practice, I learned…


All his life he walked

image © 2020 jp fosterson

all his life he walked

to school and home again
from kindergarten on
siblings for protection
then alone
then with high school friends
who stopped for smokes
and space invaders
and tried not to go home

then to the bus
for college
grad school
work again

and now these last ten years
he’s walked the streets
around his house
a hundred streets?
five thousand walks?
two walks each day
at least
seven thousand three hundred walks

the pace was fast at first the dog pulled out ahead new houses going up foundation frame roof siding windows growing filling…


Photo by Pavel Anoshin on Unsplash

I’m not sure when my dog retired.

Was it before
or after
his eyes and ears got rimed with frost?

I guess it was around the time
he stopped getting up with us in the morning.
Choosing instead
to stay in bed
awhile longer
and get up when he’s good and ready.

Or before he began to hold
that back left foot up off the floor.
Arthritis in the hip.
Or lameness in that ankle
from that infection
all those years ago.

But still he climbs the stairs each day like Kilimanjaro and insists we keep our doors open so…


some dreams come but once

Photo by Peter Mason on Unsplash

they ring the top of the pit
your tormentors
a faceless jeering mass
veins in their teeth
ready to hurl down upon you
you know not what

like you
cower in the overhanging shadow
out of sight
glad it is not their turn
push you back to the center
when you try to hide

you give up
spread your arms
and lie upon your back
one knee raised
in repose

let me have it

sudden peace fills your deepest
shines out like light
and you know
by giving up
you have become

the crowd…

JP Fosterson

fiction author • computer scientist • sometime ai researcher • rock guitarist • jp.fosterson@gmail.com

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