Moderator’s Story Corner: “The Composer’s Son”


By:  Kevin Wallach

In 1939, on their first wedding anniversary, my Papa gave my Mama a piece of music he’d written just for her.  He titled the instrumental piece “Melodie für meine Liebe,” but years later it would come to be known by my sisters and me as “Mama’s Song.” That music represented one year’s work, something he had written in secret whenever there was time.

Between Mama being pregnant with me and all the struggles of that first year I don’t know how he managed to find a piano or a few minutes alone.  Only months after that first anniversary, they left Germany for America, for a chance at life.  Each of them knew that the loved ones they’d left behind in Europe were facing the worst of times, and yet they knew they had to leave when the chance arose. Continue reading

Moderator’s Story Corner: “In Print”


By:  Kevin Wallach

On a messy workbench crowded with computers sat a printer with a secret inside it.  The small, white, rectangular thing looked much like the dozens of others around the dimly lit repair shop.  Most of them had been accumulated for the purpose of being sold, used, in the shopfront.  But as is often the case in life this printer was more than what it seemed and now was waiting for the right person or perhaps just the right time to reveal its hidden treasure. Continue reading

Moderator’s Story Corner: “The Library on 12th Street”


By Kevin Wallach

Introduction – I wrote this in 2013 when I spent my 52 weeks pursuing writing short stories.  Back then I wasn’t looking to be published.  Instead, I was seeking a revelation I believed Ray Bradbury had intended for those he advised to write one short story per week for one year.  I believe I found something, although I suspect the real benefit of the 52 week short story challenge differs from one writer to another.  For me, the resonating feeling I took away from that year of writing is that writing is a process of self realization.  You come out gradually in your works.  That baring of one’s soul can be unsettling for some.  It was certainly that way for me.  And so sharing my short stories was extremely difficult for me to do.

This is one of the longest stories I wrote that year.  I share it here in the hope that others experiencing paralyzing self doubt will find the courage to show their stories to others.  You may find that your most valuable lessons are learned when you open yourself up to criticism.

Part 1 – The Funeral and the Quiet House

The dirt on Timothy Goode’s hands smelled of sun and sea water.  He held his fingers to his nostrils and breathed deeply as he watched the last of the dirt pushed onto his uncle’s grave by the noisy machine.  Now alone among the folding chairs and the mound of freshly moved earth, Tim could grieve and think about his uncle.  He looked up at the slate gray sky and wondered if any of that stuff he’d been filled with as a kid was true.  Was Uncle Vernell watching him from heaven?  He remembered he had asked his uncle about faith and God once. Continue reading