THE THREAT: Heed the Reaper

A DELTA SHORT by William Prentiss WARNING: See end of post! THE THREAT: Heed the Reaper by William Prentiss It started with a threat… While attending Bible college, in another life, I memorized a proverb describing the condition of men with little self-constraint: “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who […]

Casa De Macabre

Flash poetry/fiction by Chilly Billy Windows hazy         bad moon ascending

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Thirteen

Judgment, Intentions and Actions By WILLIAM PRENTISS “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” — Matthew 7:1-2 I often heard in childhood that we are prone to judge others by their actions but […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Twelve

Civilization and the Inner Self By WILLIAM PRENTISS I lie here mortally disconnected to humanity, only God! Sis, not sure if I can hear while I lie in abeyance, a dormant state, cognition unknown but to God and me, still talks to me and shares God’s words and the thoughts of those far brighter than […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Eleven

Where? By WILLIAM PRENTISS My world is obsidian; it was formerly gray splintered by veiny shafts of ochre spasmodically penetrating the unseen with countenance warming spumes of hope, now curtained in blackness, muzzled by stygian lassitude. Rhythms of life disrupted, surface bobbing on an ocean of unreality, unsure where I am or where I am […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Ten

Wealth By WILLIAM PRENTISS I no longer have use for money, material possessions, or tangibles associated with not being in a presumed coma. It costs to keep me wherever Sis is keeping me and I am thankful resources exist for my care. I have not always wanted to live, not since the assault that reshaped my […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Nine

Conscience, God, Others, and Self By WILLIAM PRENTISS Prior to being in a suspended state due to a brutal attack, I thought I possessed a highly developed, acute conscience. Now I lie here, day after day, frozen, conscience growing richer—more aware—possessing tenderness not evidenced prior to my unexpected change in circumstances. I cannot communicate with others, […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Eight

Religion and Intellect By WILLIAM PRENTISS “Real religion cannot be opposed to intellect.” — Leo Tolstoy A perennial question plaguing thinkers, believers and thinking believers concerns the relationship of faith, reason and intellect. Does faith in the unseen require blind trust, or can it be predicated on things understood in the natural? Are faith, reason, […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Seven

Empathy, Compassion and the Root of Both By WILLIAM PRENTISS I lie here only able to hear, and that unknown to others, thinking about empathy and compassion, wondering about the root of both. What compels us to feel the plight of others, to desire to alleviate their suffering? What is the source of empathy and […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Six

Limitations of Pride and Selfishness By WILLIAM PRENTISS Hours on end, thinking yet not seeing, hearing but not feeling, feeling but never expressing, this is my wakened state, unknown to none but me, and God of course, and maybe my sister. Sis read again from Tolstoy. She assumes I can hear but she doesn’t know for […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Five

Fettered by Dysfunction By WILLIAM PRENTISS My mind is a merciless jailor, more so than my motionless frame. I haven’t moved a leg, limb or eyelash for two years; my thoughts hold more of me hostage than does my inert body. 

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Four: Pilgrims

My soul continues its journey By WILLIAM PRENTISS I had already begun contemplating death prior to my present state. When younger, healthy and virtually free of scars and the tissue that remains, death was something far into an unknown, never-to-be-reached future. Death was an occasional thought, sadly affecting others. At some point in my early forties, […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Three

Concentrate on the present By WILLIAM PRENTISS Clarksdale, Mississippi Rough day. I feel no physical pain, but I still deal with and feel mental anguish. This angst is usually a result of painful memories or frustration with being able to do nothing but “be.”

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Two

And Goodness for All By WILLIAM PRENTISS Clarksdale, Mississippi I don’t always understand or agree with what Sis reads to me from Leo Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom, but it sure does make me think. Thinking is about all I can do. I am in a coma: I can’t see, move, blink, or feel pain, nothing. But I […]

Mornings with Tolstoy – The Beginning

A DELTA SHORT By WILLIAM PRENTISS Clarksdale, Mississippi He is God. Why didn’t He protect me? I blamed Him. It wasn’t His fault. Life ain’t fair. That’s that. No more pleas for them to hear. They can’t. Two years, and only Sis hears. Well, she really doesn’t hear. I talk to God about it. Guess […]

Gator Bait: A True Story

By The Poorest of Williams (CLARKSDALE, Mississippi) Folks outside Coahoma County been rather churlish of late, arguing all about alligators caught in the 700-plus-a-few-pounds category. Well, that ain’ nuthin’! Me and Mr. Lil John been wrasslin’ ones bigger than that for years. I ain’ lying. Ask him? Okay, Captain Safety don’t mess with gators, he […]

Coahoma County Chupacabra: A True Story by the Poorest of Williams

By POOR WILLIAM (CLARKSDALE, Mississippi) I swear I saw him. Last night. Skittering under the hedge. Head big as a fire hydrant, body smooth as a Chihuahua. He had been suckin’ blood from a goat. I know he was, ‘cause that’s what they do. They suck goat blood at night when nobody’s lookin’! Well, I […]


DELTA SHORT: A local character of Sun Lake By William Prentiss WARNING: See end of post! Bubba! What a name! It didn’t bother him one iota that the name “Bubba” was often associated with uneducated, white Southern males. He knew two black Bubbas, both smarter than he was, and they were as fine as they […]

Donny, Connie, and the General

DELTA SHORT: A local character of Sun Lake By WILLIAM PRENTISS WARNING: See end of post! Donny, his real name, was a debutante and gay as the day was long. He didn’t come from money, but he sure as hell knew how to marry it. The Deb, as he was known behind his back, didn’t […]

Rickles: The Greendale Arsonist

DELTA SHORTS:   Rickles: The Greendale Arsonist By WILLIAM PRENTISS   Any similarity between the arsonist at work in Clarksdale, Mississippi at present and this sordid tale of one delusional man’s poor understanding of scripture and what constitutes “loving thy neighbor” is purely fictional and coincidental. There are two tales–one real one not. The real […]