Every Story You've Ever Read


A windstorm develops outside Tulsa, OK. Candlemaker Joyce Simms invites Sam Tuttle to dinner at her house, and Sam, a pilot of twin-engine aircraft, accepts. Marinate breasts and loins in prepared sauce.

The windstorm sweeps across Midwestern plains, accelerating past predictions of local weather reports. Sam pilots his Sandpiper toward the airfield near Joyce's house while Joyce prepares dinner. Grill each side four minutes, and remove to roasting pan with potato wedges.

The windstorm upsets Sam's plane and sends him spinning fatally into a local power station, putting out the electrical grid. Joyce, in the blackout, sits at the dinner table by the light of her handmade candles. Serve.


Gerry Masters is a hard-working account manager. Joyce Simms is introduced to Gerry by her younger sister at a trade show. Joyce's younger sister collects German cuckoo clocks.

Gerry and Joyce are engaged in May. Joyce gives her fiancé a cell phone as an engagement present, and he gives her a wristwatch. Many mechanical clocks are hung on the walls of her sister's condo.

On a Saturday, Gerry begs off a lunch date with Joyce by insisting he must go in to work. At 11:59 a.m., Joyce, sitting at home, calls her fiancé on his cell phone, and he answers, "Hello?" A hundred cuckoos sing in Joyce's ear.


Joyce's husband Victor buys her a vintage Mustang for their 25th wedding anniversary, and she buys him a big-screen TV. Her daughter in San Jose gives birth to a girl. The human heart has four chambers.

Victor works on the car, in the garage, constantly, to distraction. Joyce rents videotapes on subjects such as self-defense, auto mechanics, and the landing of the first pilgrims on Plymouth Rock. Her son in Seattle divorces and retains custody of his two sons. Arteriosclerosis refers to the progressive thickening of coronary arteries over many years.

Victor at long last fixes the car and settles with a beer into the sofa before the broadcast of Giants v. Patriots. Joyce has secretly packed her bags and snuck out to the garage and is driving the Mustang across many states toward the East Coast. Exercise can help prevent arteriosclerosis and clear clogged vessels leading away from the heart.

About the author:

David Barringer has written for Nerve.com, Playboy, Details, Mademoiselle, Men's Journal, The American Prospect, The ABA Journal, and others. His short fiction has appeared/will be appearing in Nerve.com, 3AM, Sweet Fancy Moses, Opium Magazine, Dezmin, New Graffiti, Spoken War, and others. He has published a book of stories, The Leap and Other Mistakes: 35 Stories, and maintains a web site at www.davidbarringer.com.