55 Fiction

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The Injuries to Tim Dale

Praised by Esquire Magazine, this story demonstrates kids do the cruelest things. But how do childhood memories play out for an adult?

“Not quite a horror story, but perhaps on that edge of horror where literary seriousness can be found,” author Larry Tritten wrote after reading “The Injuries to Tim Dale.”

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

I suppose it was inevitable that I find Tim Dale again later in life. After all, he had been on my mind for more than forty years.

The exact circumstances of that chance meeting might be given in laundry list order. I followed my usual daily routine, breakfasted on cereal and coffee, left the house at 7:45 that morning with plenty of time to take a train into the downtown business district where my offices are on the fourteenth floor of the former Wells Fargo building on Montgomery Street. I say “former” because we still call it the Wells Fargo building even though the bank sold it in the late ’90s when the depreciation schedule and mortgage interest deduction crossed each other on the benefits curve. No matter. Old news. Purely a financial decision. Nothing emotional about it.

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I would have bought a paper, and this is critical, if the rack were not empty. This was the variance in the routine, the change that brought on the episode I am about to describe. Had it not been for the paper being sold out, I never would have glanced in his direction, taken the first step, said word one and my life would be now as it was then, under control, in the proper order, taking the correct direction which is as it should be.

How I recognized Tim Dale is a matter for conjecture. After all, we last saw one another when we were approximately ten years old, could have been younger, which means we no longer looked the same.

This story is 7 pages long, available in PDF format.
  • Read Esquire note
  • Hear “The Injuries to Tim Dale“ audio narration by Robert Bohle:
  • Story is included in the Collected Works 2004 — only $5.

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