ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES by Ed Newman
Creating a work of art, whether it be a poem or
story, etching or watercolor, is a personal experience that is
valid in and of itself and, in one sense, needs no audience. The
meaning of that experience is for the creator himself to grasp
-- or grapple with -- alone.
Yet, absurd as it seems, nearly every artist goes on to wrestle
with the next problem of how to share these personal works with
a wider audience.
The wonder of a web site is that the work can remain dynamic,
can grow as one contributes to it, shapes it, adds brush strokes
of color here, highlights there. Unlike a book, which must remain
static and permanent (at least until the second edition) web sites
take on a life of their own, reflecting more fully the qualities
of personality, the heart and mind of their creators.
As the world you discover here evolves, it is my hope that with
each return you shall find new rewards. As in all great adventures,
one never knows where a path will lead until it is explored.
The M Zone
The revelation came suddenly. Like an "Aha!"... only it was
an "Oh no!."
Two Acts That Changed the World
Of the dozen or so German physicists who had been assigned the task of building a super-bomb for Germany, Wilhelm Kurtweil more than any knew the consequences for humanity should the Nazis succeed in being the first to achieve this ultimate quest.
The Unfinished Stories of Richard Allen
impossible to know what is real and what is not.
The crammed little bar sizzled with energy. So much was happening
in the room that it began to unsettle him. He wondered why he
ever said he would meet his friends here.
[Story inspired by an incident that happened to Italo Calvino's
An Unremembered History of the World
This story begins slow, does not follow modern conventions of quick exciting hook etc.
It is old fashioned. It exists because the author believed the story was worth the work
and the reader who worked at it would be rewarded. I would not have it on this site
if it were not important to me.
A Poem About Truth
The opening lines are derivative. The story is original. The message is timeless.
Although I'd been an art major in college -- mostly painting and
drawing -- I became discouraged with it shortly after graduation
and gave it up. I was living with my family on Long Island at
the time and for some while afterwards I still visited the New
York art galleries, making regular tours of the Whitney, the Guggenheim
and the Modern.
What finally got me out of art was the whole directionlessness
of it all....
The Breaking Point
It was a Wednesday when the bill arrived. Cassie Hedberg's birthday
was the following Monday, so it wasn't too difficult to put one
and one together to make two.
Winner of the 1991 Arrowhead Regional Arts Fiction
A Brief Transaction
Untitled Excerpt From a Longer Story
Standing outside in the misty dark, Jess felt unusually quiet.
A rusty pipe propped open the door of the tin shed, its butt end
digging into the gravel driveway. The single dim bulb in the shed
revealed a green John Deere and the dusty clutter of four decades
-- old car bumpers, boxes of paper, pitchfork, rusted garden tools
and engine parts. The haze made the whole scene appear fuzzy and
colorless as if draped in a shroud of gauze.
The Empty Space
I heard this story from Stuart M----, caretaker of an apartment
complex on Stevens Square in South Minneapolis in the early 80's
when I made my living as a painting contractor....
"Will you remember me when you're famous? I know you
There is a little known principle - a secret
law of the universe, as it were - that where two identical things
simultaneously come into existence, one of them must cease to
be, for there can be no two things exactly alike. This principle,
like many spiritual laws, has been lost to our rational, mechanistic
minds, though ancient philosophers and alchemists were aware of
it and respected its power...
Once upon a time there was a lonely man named Lu Lee. He was
a poor man. He lived in a small one room house by himself, and
he was often sad because he had no friends. He had no friends
because he was different from other people and he lived in a land
where people who are different are often made to feel unwelcome...
In the fifteenth century A.D., during the
reign of Yuzmin, King of Mullah-Banin (a now forgotten territory
situated near the mountains of Attain in the Middle East) a famous
decree was made. The young king who made it had a well-established
reputation for his lavish parties and bacchanalian orgies. Incredibly
wealthy, King Yuzmin took such pride in exceeding the renowned
festivities of his forebears that at the height of one of his
most outrageous annual spectacles, the week long Homage to Attis,
the Phrygian god of fertility, Yuzmin declared that the rest of
his reign would be a perpetual revelry....
For Greg and Leslie Moore, finding a home in Stillwater was
more problematic than originally imagined, but at the last they
discovered the Shatterly Place, an enormous hodgepodge of competing
architectural motifs ambitiously stapled together with Victorian
pretensions. Marketed as a handyman's special, the price was most
appealing. Only later did they learn of the strange history of
the house. "People get deranged in that house," the
grocer told Leslie at Thanksgiving. "The place either finds
'em cracked or leaves 'em that way."
Samson and Delilah
From my earliest youth I have wondered - not in these exact words,
of course, but with an earnestness as perpetual as consciousness
itself - how can God, who is perfect, work through man, who is
imperfect, to achieve His immutable purposes?
For One Night of Love
Part One and Part Two.... Tell me what you think. Is it a good
story, or only a good beginning?
Episode on South Street
It was close to ten o'clock when the thought first struck me:
Something terrible is going to happen tonight, and the
dread surged through me. I was painting in my studio late that
night with two deadlines to meet and I didn't have time to work
myself through another episode. No doubt the deadlines set it
We discover ourselves as we interact with others. Through friendships
our true selves find the courage to emerge. Through bitter feuds
we discover our capacity for conflict, or lack of capacity. Through
struggle we define our strength, or -- to our dismay -- learn
of our weakness.
When we speak of history, we must always remind ourselves that
we are speaking only of "history as we know it." The
task of historians to document, revise and debate the events and
meanings of events in human history is a daunting one, even when
simplified to contain only that which is known.....
Blue began when the world was new, but not so new as the very
beginning. The original world was black and white. Eventually,
God decided that color should be added to His wonderful creation.
[a very short story]
[a poem with a message]
[originally published in The Northern Reader]
I herd a wrap on the door. "Come inn," I said. It was
a navel man.
If you are a writer yourself, or
you want to become a writer, check out my page of Quotes