The Bold Investor – Excerpts

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From the short story collection The Bold Investor


The Collector – Perkins is obsessed with art and buys much more than he can afford. Then artists whose work he collects begin to die, driving up the prices of Perkins’ collection.

Exhumation of Edgar Allan Poe – A literary historian discovers the great writer suffered a death as gruesome of any of the characters in his tales of horror.

A Thorough Examination – A man with a family history of colon cancer does not want a colonoscopy. His wife insists.

Fallen Star – Martin Stevens looks like Errol Flynn, the ultimate swashbuckler, but lacks Flynn’s talent and charisma. Like Flynn, however, Stevens is an alcoholic and drug addict.

In the Blue House – Here’s what would have happened if Ernest Hemingway had visited Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in her blue house.

La Zona Rosa – Nebraska farmer Buck Wilson is distraught his wife left him. He can’t find anyone in his community, so he learns Spanish and flies into Mexico City.

The Bold Investor – Economics professor Jack Stevens is tired of academic life. When he inherits some money he decides to become an aggressive investor. He’s already a problem drinker. His wife Martha tries to prevent a crash.

Love in the Hills – No longer aroused by his wife, Robert divorces her and marries a much younger woman, who is soon bored with Robert. Meanwhile the new couple has had a child and hires an attractive nanny.

The Ultimate Power – People struggle to get or stay sober in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that is disrupted by a most unpleasant man.

Lube Job – He doesn’t want to have the baby. She does.

The Perfect Agent – Milford Grider, after many years of writing, is enraged by the avalanche or rejection slips and tired of his wife being the primary wage earner. He packs up his massive manuscript and goes to New York, planning to cold call on literary agents.

The Right Language – Donald, a middle-age bachelor, teaches English as a Second Language for adults. One of his female students is glamorous and disturbed and aware of his availability.

The Young Bride – Louise is boxed in by her much-older husband and their children and her stepchildren and losing her mind on a farm early in the Twentieth Century.

Greatest City in the World – Extraterrestrials conquer the earth and give people an ultimatum: Make Bakersfield the greatest city in the world within three years or face annihilation.

Could’ve Been a Star – It’s the Big Band era, and Debra thinks she can be a star singer and wants her bandleader husband, Lester, to help. He has different goals.

A Warm Coat – During the Great Depression, Al can’t take care of his wife and five children but always has money to drink and gamble.

A Matter of Attrition – Mrs. Jones is quite old but in charge of the house while her son and daughter-in-law are on vacation. Her authority is challenged by an abusive grandson and his friend.

Janet – Janet wasn’t popular in high school or college, and as an adult tries too hard to please an unworthy man.

Sublime Switch – David loves Norma but knows she’s much too young and pretty for him. Only a diabolical act will give him a chance to romance her.

That Kind of Love – Robert Johnson, a successful real estate broker, is divorced and ready when Elena, an employee, attracts him. They seem a good match but she’s married.

The Big Sale – Steve Bernard needs a job and tries to sell insurance. He discovers most of his company’s clients are old and not necessarily in need of his policies.

The Lines of Love – Delbert is so lonely after working in the oilfields that he tries to find female companionship through a telephone dating service.

Cal Tech versus Notre Dame – The great scientific university must build a football powerhouse in order to generate money to pay its top professors.

Super Bowl Party – Garrett and Cody are best friends in high school. One wants to remain close while the other drifts away.

Intervention 12-41 – What would have happened if Hitler had been stopped in December 1941?

Love.Net – Gregory, after leaving his wife, has trouble finding companionship. He’s sure a dating website – Love.Net – will revitalize his social life.

The Athlete – Johnson believes he’s the greatest athlete in the world. Most think he’s not even good. Johnson, having become wealthy, vows to publicly prove his greatness.

Cold City – Professors Herbert and Frances Mattingly join the Battle of Stalingrad. Their motives are academic. The Russians don’t believe them.

Therapy – Jimmy Barton is a high school basketball star, has a girlfriend, and is from an affluent family, yet his deepening depression starts taking everything away.

Michoacán – My wife has taken the children and disappeared. Where could she be? It doesn’t matter. I’ll find her.

Objective: Meg Schadenfreude – A distinguished magazine editor hires three popular writers to separately interview and report on the beautiful young writer, Meg Schadenfreude.

The Collector – Perkins is obsessed with art and buys much more than he can afford. Then artists whose work he collects begin to die, driving up the prices of Perkins’ collection.

The Best Intelligence – President Fred B. Smith sees enemies everywhere. They must be attacked.

Book Tour – The author of Hitler Here, a biographical novel, promotes his book in France and inadvertently insults his hosts when he reads passages regarding the French.

Book Signing – Hirschel publishes his own book and notifies a large chain bookstore when he will be arrive for a book signing. A massive crowd is waiting.

The Resort
– Poor workers in a Mexican valley have so little and simmer about their wealthy neighbors having so much. Are the wealthy also involved in crimes?

Experimental Poll – It’s a presidential election season and Arturo Ali brings a famous retired newscaster to speak to his class. Ali and the newscaster anger their opponents, and in fact all over the nation people are angry and distrustful.

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