You may have noticed that I've run into a kind
of deficit this week as far as the "Daily Stricks"
go. Fortunately, I've been working a lotbut
unfortunately, it hasn't left me much time for
anything else. I decided a little while back to
allow myself one "rerun" per month, so today's the
day for February. By posting some previously
published material, I'll get back on schedule. So
without further ado, I present a grab bag of oldies
Family Trip to Lake Powell, 1998
Like most memorable experiences, it started with
a bang. No sooner did the houseboat leave the dock
than a first-class thunderstorm rolled over Lake
Powell. Kids were screaming, the Skipper was
stressing, the boat was pitching. And out in point
position, scouting for any port in a storm, the
powerboat fared even worse. It rode the wind waves
like a dune buggy in the desertonly it was
buckets of water, not sand, that flew into the
faces of its occupants.
But, like a taskmaster testing those who would
sail upon her waters, the lake soon calmed, and the
sun shone down brightly for the rest of the week.
And what a magical week it was. Words can't do
justice to the beauty and majesty of Lake Powell.
It's a sight to be experienced, not described.
Wide-open waters for swimming, boating and skiing;
narrow, high-walled canyons barely wide enough for
a powerboat; a majestic yet alien landscape
tailor-made for rock climbers and artists. Crosby
Canyon, Padre Bay, Cornerstone Canyon, Cathedral
Canyon, Gunsight Bay: the week was wonderful, but
much too short.
What made the vacation truly special, though,
was spending quality time with each other. The
opportunities for such a large family to get
together for more than a few hours at a time are
few and far between. When such occasions do come
around, they build memories to last a lifetime.
Excerpt from "Homecoming," 1998
Short story inspired by the Star Trek: Next
Generation episode "The Inner Light"
Picard sat down in the shade of a wall and
reached up to his head. With a sharp hiss, he
vented the air from his suit and removed his
helmet. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath.
Beneath the acrid smell of the dead air, he
detected a faint yet familiar scent. It was barely
noticeable now, but it was there. He picked up a
brick-sized chunk that had fallen from the wall
behind him and held it up to his nose. Yes, there
it was. The earthy smell of Kataanian dirt. Not a
particularly strong nor fragrant smell, not one
that anyone else would notice. But, like the odor
of an old pillow or a musty attic, it was a
familiar scent: the smell of Home.
Two Entries for 55-Word Short Story Contest,
- Hollow Victory
Sparks danced as blades met. So it comes to
this, he thought. His opponent growled and
lunged. Off guard, the man caught a fist in the
midriff. Suddenly sensing an opening, he thrust
his sword through his attacker's gullet.
Victory is ours! But, looking down, he
saw blood. Alas! 'Twas a knife, not a
For in the end, there would only be pain. No
love from fearful friends. No comfort from a
misled society. No eleventh-hour cure from an
uncaring government. He closed his eyes and
retreated into the vortex induced by the latest
round of painkillers. A single tear ran down his
face. He waited, alone.
Development note: I've
noticed that this site doesn't look like it should
in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time
jury-rigging it to look right in a
soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the
cliché "This site best viewed with Internet
Strickland ALL RIGHTS