Don Paul Martin
Don began writing his first novel in third grade - and had it survived his mother's cleaning habit, it would certainly have been a number one best seller. He lives in New Hampshire with his lovely wife, son, and three hyperactive cats.
The New World
Westarctica had become a tourist destination for biped mammals, and every penguin alive understood that those creatures were deadly tourists. Groups of pink, hairy bipeds came, leaving behind charred ground, animal skin huts, and constructs made from plants and glistening argent bones. Just two mating seasons ago, President Waddle attempted to welcome a group of these fragrant creatures as they approached the capital, sending a team of brave guins bearing krill gift baskets, anchovy snow cones, and the shiniest pebblegems from the depths of Where’d-Bruce-Go Crevasse. Only one guin returned, reporting his comrades had been devoured. It was only by miracle during his own unspeakable torture that he escaped. Each highest hotskyball since, the denizens of Westarctica remember those hero penguins by squawking low ballads about the day known forevermore as “The Really Nasty Hello People Try.”
You've Got it Forever Now
More than a quarter of a century after making your acquaintance, I still find myself in awe of you. I can tell you the day – June 19th, 1995 – as well as the hour. It was one o’clock in the afternoon when I arrived for the first time at the Spruces, the 19th century hotel then being used as the residence for the cast and crew of the Weathervane Theatre. Even before I was parked, I realized that the building was many decades past its heyday, in an era when wealthier Bostonians and New Yorkers could board a train north during the summer months to holiday in the cooler air of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I immediately wondered what I had gotten myself into.
The Revelations of Bones
The morning of Friday, June 11th, 1999 began unlike any other morning in my life to that point. I thought nothing of it at first, but all these years later I remember waking that morning more than I can recall any other awakening in my life.
The Raising of Ambrose
Ambrose was a black lab. My black lab. Radiant obsidian fur everywhere, save a tiny patch of brilliant white in the middle of his chest. The smallest from a litter of six puppies, my dad called Ambrose a million different names over time, but he never let anyone call the dog a “runt,” perhaps, I fathom, because my dad had been the smallest of three offspring himself.
The Promised Letter
Elizabeth, I promised you my story, and I want you to know that I wrote it only for your eyes. You shared with me something tremendously personal, and I am most thankful. I admire people willing to share stories of their most precious moments, and I'm honored to be the one with whom you shared yours.
My 9/11 Socks
I'm one of those men who have a hundred pairs of socks in the sock drawer, some new, some old, most in various states of disrepair. Most men don't spend more than two seconds thinking about holes in their socks as they put them on… they call them their "Sunday Socks" and they move on because no one’s going to see them through their shoes. When I open my sock drawer, I wonder if the pair I take out is one of my 9/11 socks, and if it is possible that I still have any more of them.
How it has tried, but my tortured, everlasting soul cannot forget that sound. I had been living in the house for almost two years without any issue more dire than the shower water running cold just a little bit too quickly for my comfort. I loved the house. I felt entirely comfortable residing there. Then there was the sound, and in one moment my whole life, and everything I believed about death, suddenly changed for all time.
I am Such a Lucky Man
I'm 87 years old, and I find myself waking up for the last time. I'm in a far-too bright hospital suite, and let me just say that even in 2055, the annoying beep-beep machines and clear bags of fluid hanging from sterling hooks still decorate these places. Once upon a time I was young and strong, but now I'm tired. I exist in weakness. And now as I remember where I am, when I am, and even what I am, I know that in just a little while, I’ll stop being. My breathing has changed. My expiration date is here, I think. It won't be long before I finally see what comes next. If anything.