Short Fiction

Various short works of fiction by Lee Thorn.

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MR. MILLIKEN'S MAGIC NOSE

Kevin was nine and his sister Ursula was eleven when the problem began. Mr. Milliken, their father, was much much older. Just imagine how old he'd have to be to be the father of such old children! He was too old even to be a soldier in case of war, but when he'd been younger he had been in a war so he hadn't missed out on that adventure.

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Annoyance

The boy kept asking himself, "What is this thing that feels just like knowledge?"

It wasn't a feeling. As for feelings, he has feelings ABOUT the thing. First of all, he felt angry that the knowledge, or whatever it was, affixed wrongness to such a commonplace reality. Second, he felt angry that the knowledge of this wrongness had come unbidden and certainly unwanted to him. And finally he felt angry that this knowledge bothered him persistently instead of fading away like normal regrets do.

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The Personality of Dogs

Rudi claims that his first memory is of a woman on a train offering him a coin to stop talking. The way he tells it he took the coin, stopped talking, lost the coin, and starting talking again. He's always had something to say. Once when he was an undergraduate the younger brother of one of his roommates woke him up and asked him to babble half an hour for his girlfriend. And many years later, when he was briefly a part-time lecturer in sociology, Rudi used to be amazed at how little his students had to say about the ideas he presented: "How could they not have anything to say?"

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My Indians

Despite having lived in close proximity to them for over thirty years, I don't know much about Indians. I've only known two personally, Juanita and Mani, and neither of them seemed like a typical Indian, or typical anything.

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Professorial Demeanor

Prisons and grad schools are both interesting little social systems. I've experienced both in depth, working in a prison for two years and going to various grad schools for what seems an eternity.

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