RISKY BEHAVIOR: excerpts from Rick Shelley, Bedford Bentley, Josh Pons, Macie Hall, Maria Garriott


EXCERPTS: Quarterly compilations of excerpted writing from the Deepdene Workshops. You might note the similarity to micro-fiction. …Multiple writing submissions of 2-7 sentences (up to 100 words each) are welcomed on any and all subjects. Selections will be based, primarily, on how well I am able to identify, compile, and “name” themes. Just send your favorite sentences.   -m



Pete and Marley hung around the picnic table, swatting at the yellow jackets buzzing over bowls of coleslaw, beans, and sliced ham. Hot dogs sputtered in the wavy heat of the charcoal grill–and a striped watermelon, stabbed by a knife, sat in the middle of a checkered tablecloth.

RICK SHELLEY, “Infestation” (short story)

Rick is the writer of a short story, “The Monkey Man Escapes,” that won 2nd place in City Paper’s 2011 fiction contest.   


There’s no ignoring her. She’s got long red hair that she wears in a braid piled on the crown of her head.  And she’s usually in a bright sundress and sandals. When we gather at the O Club for happy hour, she’s there.  She huddles with the chaplain at one of the tables. He’s talking earnestly, and she’s listening intently, occasionally nodding in agreement or slowly shaking her head in dissent.  I think the padre is a little in love with her, although he may not know it.

BEDFORD BENTLEY, “The Fighter Pilot’s Wife” (short story)


Messages she sends to him in code, through body language—wife-to-husband messages—confuse him.  The morning they pack the pickup truck for the drive, she walks down the stairs to the kitchen, naked.

JOSH PONS, “Garden of Eden” (short story)     

Josh is the author of  Country Life Diary: Three Years in the Life of a Horse Farm, Eclipse Press, 1999, and Merryland: Two Years in the Life of a Racing Stable, Eclipse Press, 2007


Annie had spent a lot of time with Rooster, and while she knew his innermost thoughts, she couldn’t tell you what the inside of his apartment looked like or whether he liked Brussels sprouts. Their relationship had played on the stage of the operating room theater, in hospital equipment closets, and in darkened offices.  During much of their time together, one or the other had been married.  While Annie was not proud of this, she had no regrets.

MACIE HALL, A Murder of Crows (novel in progress)



Liz and baby Olivia rested in a single, closed coffin in St. Ursula’s Catholic Church, the same sanctuary where high school graduation had taken place six years earlier. At that time, Liz and the other white-robed girls had circled around, outside, between each other’s families, holding cellophane-wrapped roses, hugging, posing for photos, tossing their mortar boards.  Now the old stone church was somber and dim, filled with black-clad mourners and, outside, a news crew waited to interview Liz’s parents and film her brothers lifting her coffin into a hearse.

MARIA GARRIOTT,  A Thousand Redemptions  (book-length memoir in progress)  

Maria is the author of  A Thousand Resurrections: An Urban Spiritual Journey, Riott, 2010






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