Alan Gold lives in Texas. His novels, Stress Test, The Dragon Cycles and The White Buffalo, are available, like everything else in the world, on amazon.
Stress Test Ch. 42
Death had a lot in common with the surveys Sandy worked with at ATI. Both caught people off guard and gave a slender moment an importance it would have lacked without the intrusion. ATI extracted opinions from thousands of people and then peddled the results as if they held an eternal truth.
Stress Test Ch. 41
Kids knew a lot more about the world than Sandy did in her day, so Saury had no trouble adapting to a fierce-looking dog twice his size. He hugged Suvi around the neck, bared his own teeth and pulled back the dog's gums for the camera. For the rest of the day, he paraded around with his upper lip tucked behind the bottom row of baby teeth, saying "Rrrrhhhh. Rrrrhhhh."
Stress Test Ch. 40
Billey opened his eyes when the rhythm changed. He stretched the kinks out of his arms and legs. He'd slept all curled up like a dog to keep himself warm without a blanket. He smelled old wood and hot grease as he felt the pockmarks the rough floor had left in his cheek.
Stress Test Ch. 38
The sun was rising and Elwood had passed out spread-eagled on the spool by the time Otis dropped Billey off in the bugmobile. Billey felt tired—more tired than he'd ever been—but all the things spinning inside his head wouldn't let him sleep. They wouldn't even let him close his eyes.
Stress Test Ch. 36
By the time Billey and Elwood got home, Otis had already parked the big truck down by the tank. Otis sat high up in the cab with his feet propped against the open door like he thought he was the King of Trucks. When Billey parked the pickup alongside the truck, Otis flicked his cigarette butt and watched it trace a bright orange arc through the night.
Stress Test Ch. 35
It drove Stephen X up the wall that his brother didn't care about things Stephen X would have traded his left nut for. Roscoe acted embarrassed by the way his most casual remarks found a ready audience in Linda who amplified them for the benefit of mankind. Stephen X, on the other hand, took himself so seriously he didn't have a clue why the world ignored him.
Stress Test Ch. 33
The worm has its bird, the bird its cat, the cat its dog. But a woman contends with the male of her own species. The predators hunt alone and in packs. They enforce curfew at sunset, but they strike just as swiftly in broad daylight. They test their skills at an early age, then sharpen them throughout their lives.
Stress Test Ch. 31
One way Thrift Aisles kept prices so low was by letting customers bag and carry their own groceries. Sandy didn't necessarily enjoy that—especially when she had Saury on her hip, but she could scarcely afford to shop anywhere else with the household budget Stephen X had allowed.