The late-nineteen-fifties and early-sixties television series, Rod Serling's THE TWILIGHT ZONE, in my opinion, was filled with stories of events that just happened. When that show began I was ten years old. I would glue myself to the screen, and Rod Serling himself was one of my early heroes, and still is. According to the 1996 Oxford Dictionary, the twilight zone refers to .. .any physical or conceptual area that is undefined or intermediate, esp. one that is eerie or unreal. So Rod was right on target in naming his series. The stories in this book are modeled after that great TV show. I'm t saying my stories will come up to Rod Serling's standards; what I am saying is that what he created helped me immensely in what I have created. A list of the short stories: THE LAST UNEMPLOYED MAN (2100 words) Futuristic: Bentley Durant is in charge of computer listings of births, deaths, employment. Joe English is unemployed; there's designation for unemployed. THE QUIET LITTLE TOWN (2000 words) A city couple inherit a house in a very quiet town (seemingly people at all). A strange breeze blows toward an old barn with a gaping black doorway. WHAT WOULD BE HEAVEN (2000 words) Eden Kimball dies and finds Heaven is what he thought, but discovers he can't have everything he wants. DEAD ANIMAL FARM (3300 words) Felix is homeless. Rumors abound of homeless people disappearing. Security Officer Roberts is night gate guard at a slaughter house. There have been visits by Negore Heidenreich, management, except Negore is t even an employee. THE DREAMING GLASS (2400 words) Franklin daydreams of love, and discovers a city street reflection where only certain people appear. A beautiful girl appears and he falls in love, and enters the reflection but finds he cant stay unless he believes in himself. VIANDS (2000 words) Futuristic: People massed, wear and look the same, stand in line for deposits of wastes, withdrawals of food. He believes there is more to life, meets She; together they try to escape through a wall of flame, the only thing different in their world. REQUIEM FOR HOMOGEN (2900 words) Jonas sees a face (t his) in a bar booth mirror, then he feels whatever emotion the face reveals until actual death threatens. THE LEVIGATION OF MCLEOD & MCLEOD (3100 words) Waverly Kingston is somewhat of a jerk, and has a grudge against his work place. He has practiced concentration to where he can look at an image on a photograph, and, with his hands, destroy it, but decides to save Millie. INTERMISSION BLOCK (3000 words) After years of experiencing deja vu Ronnie Burnett has been drawn back to Intermission Block, where that strange, deja vu feeling originated. THE CHAIR (2850 words) Tad's job requires having each male potential employee sit in a specially wired chair while they fill our forms, which will determine whether or t they will work directly with women. FOOD PROJECT (1400 words) Alex, slaughterhouse employee, watches the killing of Torbo, a prize-winning Holstein steer, which wasn't supposed to even be there. TO THE 19TH CENTURY (6300 words) Demolition workers Selby and Rivet see the 19th and 21st centuries at the same time (and a dangerous time warp) from the steps of their next project. Demolition of Matherby Hall must stop. THE COMMONS (8000 words) Wilderness in a man's backyard. Through complaints of animal sounds, smells, loud music, journalist Kari is led to the story. She finds the land as it was before white man appeared...and it's coming back.
James W. Nelson lives among goldfinches, blue jays, crows, cottontails, squirrels, deer, mink, badgers, fox, coyotes, wallflowers, spiderworts, big and little blue stem, switchgrass, oak trees, and cottonwood, in the outback of eastern North Dakota. He was born there in a little farmhouse on the prairie. At seventeen he joined the navy and spent four years riding submarines.