On an island there are either bridges to one place, or ferries to another.

Wait, that’s not right: either bridges to a place or ferries to the same place. One or the other. Never both.

At times airplanes serve a similar function of getting people off islands, but only on special occasions and only on islands worth flying to.

Where there are ferries there are ferry terminals. Terminals are transition areas. They let people stretch their legs if there is a line for a ferry. Babies get wheeled about in strollers, dogs walk around, tethered to their person. Friends get out and buy ice cream or fish’n’chips and get horrible heartburn afterward, but before that stand on the pier in the sun and laugh and think about all the things hope to do that weekend.

On other days, the ones that aren’t the weekend, people stay in their cars. These are the commuters. They pull out their phones, a book, or tilt their chair back and close their eyes after a long days work. They do not enter the Terminal. The Terminal is empty on these days. The Terminal does not echo or have a sound. It is still. Someone pulls the door open, walks in. Her shoes squeak across the concrete floor. She is pregnant and her feet are swollen. She is far along. Everything will be fine.

On weekends, tourists line up and point at seagulls. This happens at an exponential rate in the summer. People from all over visit the Terminal and take pictures to prove they were there and there and there. And here they are. Living life and looking out across the sunny bay and to the mountains that tower up not so far away. They put the pictures on the world wide web and everyone who wants to can see them.

On a day that isn’t the weekend, two dock workers stand in the Terminal. Their voices echo in the stillness. The high ceilings are built to accommodate the wooden statues carved by the contemporary collaboratively consulted artists from the Co-Salish tribes. Maybe the statues were designed to fit. Maybe the ceiling was raised. …left his bag on the seat, says one of the ferry employees. Hate it when they do that, says the other. I mean, he says, read the sign. There is a sign on the wall to their right near the ticket kiosk. The sign is a pair of eyes. See something, say something, it says.


Free write 1/2/21

The first night Dad invited us to a play in the basement, we descended the stairs in trepidation.

He’d moved down here after Mom died, and ever since, he’d been writing a play, his first in years. When he asked to move in, a months prior, Dean was thrilled.

“Sven Holstien, live here? In our basement?”

I reminded Dean that he was just my dad. Just like other dads.

“Not really though,” Dean said. “He’s Sven Holstien–like THE German playwrite. you can’t have Sven Holstien as your dad and think you just had a normal guy for your father.”

I couldn’t help be remember the scenes he asked me to act out for him when I was a child. There we were, my brother and I in our pajamas on Christmas morning, and Dad hadn’t slept a wink as he poured over his newest manuscript. And instead of presents when we first woke up he handed us our scripts and positioned us in the living room and asked us to read.

“He’s just my dad,” I told Dean. “You’ve met him before.”

“Yeah, but you know–I’ve never had like, an actual conversation with him about–“

“About his plays?” I asked.

“Yeah. About his work.”

“He doesn’t really talk about his work.”

And I was right. Dad moved in over two months ago and we’d only seen him at breakfast and dinner. He rarely ate lunch as far as we could tell, and his herky-jerky old-age walk wasn’t conducive to him climbing the stairs more than he had to.

Freewrite 11/2/20

The TV flickered at the back of the room. The vaulted ceiling overhead was supported by metal struts and in the dim light the TV cast altering shadows about. The sound wasn’t on.
“You shouldn’t have come,” said Cogar.
The man’s face was broad, his upper lip dressed with a mustache, and his bald head shone in the glare from the screen.
Behind Rosie, the big person shifted on their feet and Rosie couldn’t help but be aware of how Busher held that hammer, as though to bring it down on someone’s head without a second thought.
“We had to. You know I wouldn’t have come here if I had another choice,” said Carlos.
Rosie noticed he was standing ridged. There was none of that easy swagger about him, none of that assuredness he’d had when he pointed his strange gun at the monster on the train.
“So, they’ve driven you out of hiding? How?” asked Carlos.
Rosie looked to Carlos who had eyes only for the broad, stout figure before them.
When he spoke again with was slow, as though he weighed every word. The girl was a veil.
“That what?” asked Rosie.
Carlos looked at her. That strange shadow that hung over his eyes twisted about his head, making him hard to read. “You were my veil,” Carlos said. “But they still found me. . . somehow. Some one close to you must be a vessel.”
“What are you talking about.”
A bark echoed through the warehouse suddenly.


The sun beat down on the warehouse roof. The talk came from within.

Inside, Cogar is bashed and bruised. Rosie is raging.

Carlos is nowhere to be seen and Busher tries to hold Rosie back.

Rosie demands to know where her brother is.

Cogar doesn’t know.

Behind him the TV is flickering again, and there is an ariel view of police vehicles parked at a departent store mall in downtown Pittsburgh.

A ticker across the screen reads: BOY TAKES HOSTAGES WITHIN BLOOINGDALES.

Cogar’s eyes slowly turn toward the TV.

He explains how there is almost certainly nothing Rosie can do to save her brother.

She doesn’t care. But she does chill out. Carlos flows out of her as and re-establishes himself next to her. He looks shaken.

Rosie demands to be taken to the mall in order to find her brother.

How do they get INSIDE the mall without the police noticing?

Cogar has a magic door.
Carlos uses a magic coin.
Rosie absorbs the power of something and arrives there.
They drive the bus directly into the entrance of the department store, crashing through the police baricade and into the doors of the building. . . . I actually like this one, thematically.

Rosie pulls Carlos back toward the van they’d stolen. She’s been to this mall before and knows the way, as long as she’s on the free way.

They drive to the mall and crash through the police barrier, the whole time the snipers take shots at them. Rosie is identified as the girl who shot a man on a bus the night before.