The Celtic druids celebrated Alban Heruin, or the longest day of the year.  It was the crowning glory of the seasons--an apex of light--with more sun than any other day.  In the summer ahead, crops would be bountiful and people could frolic at will.

In Oz we don't celebrate the solstice.  We sure don't frolic free.  We want shorter days, not longer.  We'll pass on the light; there's nothing here we care to see.  And as for the crops we've planted, it would be just as well if they didn't flourish.

They've only caused us grief so far.

new  JOHN 8:32

A fair and speedy trial by a jury of one's peers: they say that's the means to find the truth and to arrive at justice for all.

Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Free. That's not how it works for most of the men who arrive—with their truths—in OZ.

For me, in an odd way, I suppose it did. I'll credit Him that much, and I don't hold a grudge. But I do think the Almighty could have been a bit more forthcoming about some tiny details.

Don't you?


"Burr, no!"  Augustus lunged.   There was no pain; his legs were young and alive!

Burr reached for him like a terrified child.  How odd that their roles should be reversed.

There are many ways to escape from Oz, Augustus once thought.  In a coffin, for one.  He just couldn't work out the details.

Now he can.  He sees everything and is--for once--neither sad nor afraid.

He did murder.  He's made good.  An eye for an eye, they say.  The scales are even; he'll claim his reward.  Don't fear the reaper: why should he?  Augustus Hill is finally free.

new   Double Or Nothing
(B/K Double Drabble for a Double Dare)

"Tell the truth," Keller, said as he sopped off his abs with Toby's sheet. "Was it you who shanked me?"

Toby rolled off toward the wall. He laughed—possibly only to himself. "Which time?"

Keller clamped fingers around Toby's balls and squeezed. "Tell me, Tobe. It's all behind us now, but I deserve to know what kind of a man is fucking me."

'It's all behind us,' Toby tried to wrap his brain around that logic. Only a lifer could lie here this way and not consider those words absurd.

Keller's fingers dug harder, relentlessly coercing a response. Toby cleared his throat. "If it's truth time, you go first: tell me, Chris, which answer would make you hate me more?"

Keller's face twisted into that smile that was the last thing many men ever saw. "I couldn't hate you, Tobe; I love you." He let loose the balls, but the psycho gleam remained. "Remember that." He kissed Toby's cheek. "And you're right; it doesn't really matter."

Keller yawned and closed his eyes, apparently content to remain in Toby's bunk. "Sleep well, babe."

"Right. You too…babe." Toby slid one hand down behind the mattress. As his fingertips hit plastic, he smiled.

CURTAIN CALL (Double Drabble)

Coming back to Em City was like never having left.  The only thing that ever changed was the assholes in it.  Everything else was the same:   the paint, the lights, even the smell.  And like always, Chris Keller was watching him.  Toby pulled his belongings a little closer to his chest as he started up the stairs to his new pod.   Keller's eyes followed his every step. 

"Toby!"  McManus leapt up the stairs two at a time.  "Welcome back."  He paused.  "With all he chaos, I never got the chance to say:  I'm sorry about Keller." 

Unbidden, Toby's eyes shot to the last spot where they had stood.  Even the railing was the same.  The blood below--and the body--was gone.

"That makes one of us, then." In six years, Toby's false smile hadn't changed much either.

"You don't mean that."  McManus grabbed his wrist.  Special projects or not, he was too smart to touch many inmates.

Toby jerked away. "Yeah, I do.  It's better this way.  Better for both of us."  The sane and sensible half of  his brain realized that was true; the other half  just wished  that someone would make those fucking eyes stop watching him.

  new Story of Your Life

"Story of your life," she thinks. Though she's been married to God for longer than she was married to man, the loneliness has never regressed.

You can't see God. You can't touch God. He asks you to believe based on nothing. In return, He offers you everything and has the nerve to call that beneficence.

Chris Keller she can see, hear, smell and--oh, God—touch. He is real and near and taunts her every day. She clutches the pillow to her breast and thinks of her husband, but it's Chris's face she sees.

Story of your life, she thinks.