Recommended Read

A Walk in the Desert

What could be more banal than going for a walk?

"A Walk in the Desert" (c) Mike Stone October 8, 2014   Tuvi Ornat put the old concert ticket he'd been using as a bookmark between the two pages he had been reading and laid the dog-eared paperback gently on the table beside his chair. He stood up and stretched his arms. "I'm going for a walk," Tuvi called upstairs but there was no response. He scribbled a short note and slid a...Read On


An Idea for a Short Story

Her long hair spread over my chest and smelled like … like … what was it? Who was she?

Sounds. Voices. Tingling. “I saw a twitch …” “… His eyelids are fluttering …” “How are we doing today Mr. Stavros? You gave us quite a scare, didn’t he Mrs. Stavros?” The young woman addressing him was dressed in a pale blue pajama holding a clipboard with pen poised to note something indicative. Off to the left side of his visual space was an older woman who seemed to stare intently...Read On


Venus de Milo

How does one ever know whether his memories are his or implanted by someone else?

“What can I do for you?” “Well, Professor Palmer, I’ve been browsing the Internet and came across your work on false memories and external indicators differentiating false and true memories,” Axel answered the man sitting behind the oversized mahogany desk. “That was based on research and clinical experience with childhood traumas such as those of rape or incest victims,” the...Read On

Flash Fiction(4)


A Riddle for Shabbat

Did you know that Israel is known for having the most interesting anthills in the whole wide world?

A Riddle for Shabbat Tommy was carrying his grandfather's pale blue silk pouch with the prayer shawl inside. His grandfather was carrying Tommy on his shoulders. Tommy's other job was to make sure that the breeze didn't blow the kippa off his grandfather's head. After a while, the older man sat down on a wooden bench under the fragrant bougainvillea and carefully lifted his grandson off...Read On


How Will I Know When I'm an Adult?

Daniel said, "Sure, everyone my age wants to be an adult already."

"How will I know when I'm an adult Saba?" the boy asked his grandfather. The grandfather looked into his inviting blue eyes, pools of clear water, careful not to fall into them. "Do you want the answer all adults give to their children or do you want my answer?" the saba asked his eleven-year-old grandson, whose name happened to be Daniel, but this saba did not believe in chance. Daniel...Read On


The Café

From where she sat ... a wave of quiet rippled outwards languidly in the heavy heat of ... afternoon

From where she sat at a small round table in the center of the otherwise empty café a wave of quiet rippled outwards languidly in the heavy heat of the midsummer afternoon. I didn’t want to disturb the spell by entering the radius of that quiet, sitting down at a table not too near, and opening my notebook as was my wont in such places to write my own predilections. The book she read...Read On


The Jungle

The jungle slept fitfully at night.

The jungle slept fitfully at night. It dreamt dreams of hunger and satiation, crawling around on its belly, running swiftly on its bare feet, and flying through the moist warm air blindly with only its sensitive hearing to guide it. Under the gibbous moon, the jungle hooted and cawed in its sleep. Ever so little by little the dome of sky would lighten over the sleeping jungle until the sun...Read On



A Journal of My First Experiences in the Israeli Army

How easy boredom dissipates and fear becomes naked.

Basic Training: 13 June to 7 July 1983 Monday, 13 June 1983 The bus took us from Tel HaShomer Hospital to the induction center. There we received our yellow cards, were photographed (front and profile), had our mouths x-rayed (deep throat), were vaccinated (both arms), issued uniforms, fed, and got dental checkups. We waited around for several hours until we were told to board a...Read On


The Mountains Are My Friends

I left feeling that everything was well planned and under control ...

" The mountains are my friends. " (an Iraqi-Kurdish saying) Up until the point of writing this journal, I would have characterized my life as not being particularly interesting, unless you happened to be in the computer programming profession like me. Don’t get me wrong. I have no complaints about my life. It is just that I have had a certain degree of difficulty in persuading other people...Read On



The Two O'Clock

“Stay your hand, kind sir, I implore you! I am your 2:00 o’clock client.

Professor Bartholomew Hartfeld sat in a tall leather-backed chair behind a dark mahogany desk. He looked irritably at the clock on the wall opposite his desk. His 2:00 pm was late. He flicked the button on the intercom. “Has my two o’clock called to say he’d be late?” Professor Hartfeld asked. “No, sir,” Marta answered. “Please let me know the moment he arrives,” the professor requested,...Read On


Investigations of a Kafkaesque Nature

A walk in the park is not necessarily a walk in the park if you know what I mean.

I’m running through a lush field of yellow grass blades after a black cat under a blue sky. The cat jinks this way and that but I’m gaining on him. I’ve never run so fast in my life. It’s like I’m flying over the grasses and through the bushes. It’s like I’m synchronized with all motion and I’m lying still inside the motion while the universe is doing the running and the cat and I are one...Read On



The Hoopoe’s Call

I will carry you on my back, wrapped in a dream.

The Hoopoe’s Call (Harken!) He heard a call from the branches of a tree Somewhere in the woods along the path he walked, Stick in hand to steady his steps Like a shepherd’s staff. But where? He looked around to see Who or what had made that call, Almost child-like, but not quite. (Come!) It called again. He squinted his eyes toward the dappling shadows The trees made with their leaves...Read On


Kneehigh to an Indiana Jigger

Only birds tweeted and their tweets were longer than a hundred and forty characters.

Kneehigh to an Indiana Jigge r (Raanana, January 19, 2018) When I was kneehigh to an Indiana jigger Only birds tweeted and their tweets were longer Than a hundred and forty characters, Posts came in and went out tin boxes With rounded roofs and red metal flags That notified you when you had mail, And when you shared something It got divided among those you shared it with Instead of...Read On


Songs of Youth

Hopes and expectations shot across the night sky ...

Songs of Youth My thin memories were born Among the whispering grasses Of an Indiana field sloping down To drink from a nameless creek.   They were suckled by jiggers And sung to by whippoorwills and crickets Under a weeping willow by the creek And endless summers of warm sunlight.   Hopes and expectations shot across the night sky And sometimes danced real slow Pressed...Read On


The Muse

I couldn't tell whether the sunset streamed Into her eyes or flowed out of them.

The Muse (Raanana, March 31, 2019) I feel a bitter pleasure in remembering that day In the forest outside our small village. I was walking down a leafy path Toward the little lake where I would sit By the water with my back against a smooth rock To make some modest sketches And write what came to me. Down the shore a ways The woman sat as was her wont Without a stitch...Read On


The Lips of Infinity

Because love lifts you up to the lips of infinity ...

The Lips of Infinity ( Raanana, May 16, 2019) And he welcomed them, The children, the old ones, the infirm, The youth, the busy young men and women, The forsaken and excommunicated, The doubters and disbelievers, Agnostics and atheists, The doctors, the scientists, and technicians, And, yes, philosophers and poets, From all over the world, And he spoke to them in the one language...Read On


With Great Finesse

I saw myself coming toward me.

With Great Finesse (Raanana, May 11, 2019)   Walking down a dappled path On my way to the harbor for a cup of tea And the smell of salt already in the air, I saw myself coming toward me. How's it going, I asked myself. You should know, myself responded. What do you mean, I queried, Uncomprehending yet apprehensive. You really have no idea, myself secreted. Look, sir, you're...Read On


Distance and Time

The shadows are long Like our conversations

Distance and Time (Raanana, Israel, July 19, 2017) In the time of the dying light When the distant sun dallies Over the western hills, Its radiant fingers fondling the upper slopes Like expectant breasts to its warm touch, The shadows are long Like our conversations, Careful not to say too much Yet desirous that they not end. In the manicured garden The shadow of the...Read On


The Witness

What did you witness today?

The Witness (Raanana, January 14, 2018) What did you witness today? Was it exceptional or was it like every other day? What was it about the day you found exceptional? Would you have preferred it last forever or Would you have preferred it never were? Was it lovely beyond words or Was the pain more than you could take? Did you want to die? Was there a tree involved? What...Read On


Witness Well

We are Adam or Eve reborn in every generation ...

  " Witness Well " (c) Mike Stone Raanana, February 3, 2019   Nothing in nature is hidden from us; It has no secrets. It is we who close our eyes Or look away And think it magic or unknowable, Unwilling to give up the comfort of our ignorance. When we walk in a forest lush With trees standing and fallen Beheld within the play of sun and shade We must not be daunted That...Read On


We Stand in Awe

We stand in awe of all these things

" We Stand in Awe " (c) Mike Stone (inspired by “A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH” by Maya Angelou Raanana, February 21, 2019) The universe is not the miracle, The flaming suns are but cold-blooded things Nor is this Earth, an uncertain platform Of shifting surfaces underneath our feet And seas flooding our man-made works Or disappearing in distant mirages, Nor the mountains growing to...Read On


Hashem Shaabani

I think I was six years old / When I held my father's hand in the suk / And saw my first hanging

" Hashem Shaabani " (Raanana, February 11, 2016) I think I was six years old When I held my father's hand in the suk And saw my first hanging, God is great. So was the heat of the sun The dust and the gnats, Praised be He. I asked my dad Why that man was dancing in the air, God is great. First he shushed me Then he said The man had waged a war against God, Praised be He. I asked my...Read On


City of Peace

What would he have thought of all the blood spilt in its name by those who would own it?

" City of Peace" (Raanana, January 12, 2018) On days like these with a high-noon sun Shining on a little courtyard, The bougainvillea silent for lack of breeze, I wonder whether David, the shepherd king, Considered the possibility I'd be sitting here Sipping from a cup of coffee, daydreaming Of his pasture not so far from me And lambs long gone, their progeny roaming The...Read On


Sabbath Morning

Here you're just as likely to meet God as anyone else

" Sabbath Morning " (Raanana, January 6, 2018) Sabbath morning Rainwashed and sundazzled A day as fresh as any you'll ever find. Walking Daisy in the promised land, America still sleeps snugly under night. Here you're just as likely to meet God as anyone else Along the tree-arched paths (Just be careful not to look Him in the eyes). The cats in the courtyard form a minyan ...Read On


From Jerusalem to Bethlehem

It's a time when God turns away from us

 From Jerusalem to Bethlehem (Raanana, February 13, 2018) Panthers lick the wild berries by the sea at dusk Soon the moon will rise and dreaming eyes will close, My hands' blind predilection for touching shapes Prefer their coolness to their colors. It's a time when God turns away from us And spirits deafen themselves to our supplications, When all the views of Jerusalem...Read On


Twilight of the Gods

We did not go like lambs to our deaths

Twilight of the Gods (Raanana, May 2, 2019) Liberated from the shackles of human decency And the bonds of fundamental morality, Girded by Thor's hammer and Aryan superiority They rounded us up in the small hours of night When our innocense slept dreaming Of unicorns and stolen kisses Marching us half-dressed or naked Through the streets to waiting trucks and trains To be...Read On



Up until the last few moments, the objectives of the mission had been nominal ...

" Cassini " (Raanana, September 17, 2017) Up until the last few moments The objectives of the mission had been nominal: To receive the project team's requests To see and taste the atmospheres Of planets and their moons And return a steady stream Of digital impressions to the team For their analysis and summation, To make a slow adjustment with one's thrusters, Point...Read On


Red Rover

“Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Opportunity over (to Mars)”

Red Rover (Raanana, February 15, 2019) “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Opportunity over (to Mars)” Was perhaps its final ironical thought As Opportunity's battery ran low, After Martian winds failed to blow off The dust piled thick on its solar panels From that last Martian storm. After fourteen years of plodding exploration Learning every inch of those twenty-eight Square miles of red sand...Read On


Beresheet: a Eulogy

The sons of Adam, like Moses Whose past was prologue, Saw the Promised Landing.

Beresheet: a Eulogy (Raanana, April 11, 2019) As it is written, Beresheet bara Elohim et ha'shamayim v'et ha'aretz, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, And on the sixth day, God made mankind in His image, In His image He created them; Man and Woman He created them. On the seventh day, He rested, As it is written. On the eighth day Man's progeny made a robot arrow...Read On



Rezek has no time for dreams

"Rezek" Three in the morning Jupiter stares through a crack in the ceiling And Rezek has no time for dreams. He gets out of bed fully dressed And walks barefoot to the porch Where his father pours him a small cup Of scalding bittersweet coffee Which he blows on and sips quickly Slips on his shoes and runs through the night To his uncle’s bakery. Rezek works the furnace and...Read On



... And the fires flickered on his father’s face.

"Yuval" Three in the morning A soft blue light emanated under the blanket. His father stared into the darkness at the tell-tale light And whispered, “Aren’t you asleep yet?” “Wait! I’m fighting the Klaxons,” Yuval whispered back. The twelve-year-old jinxed left and downward Avoiding a thorg and racked up survival points Passing safely through an asteroid belt When the sirens...Read On



Me? I died with Omar.

"Jameela" Three in the morning The shuffle of Rezek’s feet wake her from her thoughts, Not that she was really sleeping. Who can sleep with so much to worry about? Her husband’s pillow is empty. Soon Yousef will come to visit us, My husband’s friend from madrasa. These days Yousef is a big-time commander in Hamas. He will ask about Rezek. Why isn’t he in madrasa like the other...Read On



Leave the dog! We have only seven seconds!

"Shebi" Three in the morning It was half-time and she was a cheerleader. All eyes were on her, but especially Those of the team captain. Suddenly she was at the prom Dressed in white like Cinderella When her husband’s voice intruded rudely. “Shebi! Wake up,” he shouted, pulling her up. “It’s another Code Red – run to Yuval’s room!” He was already running to their living room. ...Read On


A Dark Matter

I see you everywhere I go

"A Dark Matter" (Raanana, October 4, 2018) I see you everywhere I go You follow me even into the bedroom And crawl into bed beside me Entering my dreams. You are the dark sun shining your dark photons, Your shadows are my only light. You are every age you've ever been, You are the idea of you Just after I discovered I was pregnant, You are this thing growing in my belly Now, this...Read On

Science Fiction(6)


Little Boy Blue (Part 1)

He’s always one step ahead of me. He’s also one step ahead of the neighbors too, thank God!

A short story excerpted from “The Rats and the Saps” Chapter 1: Mother I guess I’m older’n them hills on this god-forsaken planet. I don’t reckon I know how old those hills are. Come to think of it, I don’t rightly know how old I am neither. No matter. I usta turn a man’s eye. Now I ain’t much to look at. No matter. I’ve had a hard life. I don’t need no man’s pity and I ain’t ashamed...Read On


Little Boy Blue (Part 2)

The door closed and Lem was alone without his parents for the first time in his short life.

Chapter 6: Welcome Wagon It was strange, Evanor thought, that nobody came to visit to see whether she needed anything, not even her best friend Dorka. Not that she needed anything in particular, really. The delivery had not been so bad. There hadn’t been any complications where she was concerned. Lem seemed perfectly healthy. He took his fill of milk at her breasts, God bless him. He...Read On


The Session

A multi-dimensional insane asylum injected into your brain ...

by Mike Stone A short story taken from my third sci-fi novel, “ Whirlpool .” The old man shuffled down the long white hallway in his pale blue paper slippers. Underneath his thin blue institutional bathrobe, he wore the brown striped pajamas that were his hospital uniform. Had he tried to escape by shuffling out of the hospital, they would certainly have caught him because they moved...Read On


Who Weeps for Cadmus? (Part 1)

Sapiens to the left, Rationals to the right, and robots straight ahead...

Chapter 1: Voyage Cadmus preferred flying this old fashioned solar sail ship, to one of the more modern hyper-drive ships, from his native moon’s orbit to Draco.763.3a, the only habitable moon orbiting Draco.763.3. He was well aware he could have made the trip in a couple of hours instead of the two hundred and seventy days, give or take, that this trip would take him, but he didn’t...Read On


Who Weeps for Cadmus? (Part 2 - final part)

Sometimes a walk in the park is not really a walk in the park.

Chapter 7: A Walk in the Park The flashing arrows turned left, as expected, and when Cadmus and Lonesome turned the corner and saw the door of the hyper-vator flashing exactly where he expected it to be, he didn’t know whether to be amused or irritated. “They must think we’re half-blind fools or clueless children with these flashing arrows and doors,” he thought. He tapped “0” on the...Read On


Something Happened

Charlie was beginning to feel pretty mellow when he saw the air in front of him waver.

Charlie Jones attended a party of friends and acquaintances in one of the trendy studio apartments near Washington Square on the lower east side of Manhattan. Charlie brought some beer, one of the girls brought wine. Someone brought some hash and someone else brought some acid to get high on the music. One of the guys rolled a mixture of Cherry Blend pipe tobacco and hashish into a clumsy...Read On

Young Adult(1)


The Chocolate Shop

"What? You don't like chocolate anymore?" he asked them.

"What? You don't like chocolate anymore?" he asked them. "No, Saba," Tommy was pulling away. "I still like chocolate. It's just that I don't want to go here." The older man looked inside at the tables and chairs, the shelves of light and dark chocolates, the cloudy displays of ice creams and sherbets, and the nice looking young girl holding the menus standing in the open doorway smiling...Read On