By John Thomas Tuft

Her face always portrayed a smile to strangers, but if you looked into her eyes you knew it was raining on the inside. When you never feel at home in the world, or even in your own skin, life can become a tide of tears. And the eternal hope is that this tide will not ultimately drown you in your own sorrows. If pain is the great teacher, then Cree was schooled in the Master class. Born with the ‘Devil’s Mark’ of a deep burgundy birthmark on the skin of the left side…


By John Thomas Tuft

(This is from the last chapter of my latest novel, THE HEALING, sequel to THE HEALER, coming sometime in 2022. This is the story filed to the newspaper, The Testament, by the protagonist, Jason Tribe. This is fiction.)


By Jason Tribe

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, two airplanes loaded with passengers were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. To the south, another loaded airliner was flown into the side of the Pentagon in Washington, DC. And in a field in mountainous rural…


By John Thomas Tuft

Nickleback was in his headphones singing “Far Away” when Johnny, manning the .50 caliber machine gun on top of the up-armored Humvee, looked up at the gloriously blue sky through his combat shades and smiled. It was good to be out in the countryside rocking and rolling, prepped and primed for mayhem. He was outside the wire, patrolling some of the territory that their unit controlled. Word came down that the insurgents were back in the town causing trouble and hopefully a show of mighty force would dissuade. He snuck his cell phone out…


By John Thomas Tuft

“Her only friend was named trouble, and he was back in town,” sang the singer at the piano. Helen sat in the hotel bar, lost in her thoughts. When her grandmother’s mantel clock broke when Helen was a little girl, she wondered if time would disappear, or at least stand still, but that had not happened. Now, with 40 in the rear mirror, when her heart broke, she hoped the pain would drown her, but the hurt was still there and, sadly, so was she. She was tired of being alone and afraid of being…


By John Thomas Tuft

The WIWAW Club (Wish It Was Always Weekends) romped through the hot, rainy forest, heading for their official clubhouse. Three boys and two girls, dedicated to the proposition that life is not defined by anxiety but rather by rising to challenges, ages 9 to 11. They are friends for forever, the kind that no matter what happened and no matter how many years and miles intervened, they would still find pieces of each other in the back of their minds. As the members made their way through the top secret markings that only they…


By John Thomas Tuft

His wife called me late in the evening. Her profound infirmities kept her from getting to the hospital, could I please go and spend some time with her husband during his last hours. “He’s always telling me about you, Preacher Boy. He thinks so highly of you, he really enjoyed coming and talking to you all the time.” So, late at night, I find myself walking through the hushed hallways of the hospital, reflecting on my time knowing Pete. Plucked from a small town in West Virginia by the draft in World War…


By John Thomas Tuft

The small shack sits back off the road a bit, on the near bank of the River Fine’ Dierum. Folks cannot remember when it was not there. It is always open, and travelers come at all hours looking for the ferryman. Folks know that one never goes down to the river alone, you must always be accompanied by the ferryman for he is the guide across the dark waters. No one has ever seen the far bank, though many have traveled with the ferryman on the river. The river is wide, cold and unforgiving…


By John Thomas Tuft

The stranger arrived unannounced, as strangers so often do. He stood in the public square and began proclaiming, “In three days there will come the death of imagination.” People walked on past him, scoffing, “Imagination could never die. That’s preposterous.” At noon of the first day after he had been proclaiming his message for hours, a woman approached. She had a puzzled look on her face. “We don’t need imagination anyway. We have a special book that tells us all we need to know. It has all the stories we need, explains all…


By John Thomas Tuft

Henry was just an ordinary guy. He lived in a modest cottage at the edge of the village, beside the river. Henry and his faithful companion, a mutt of a dog named Petra, roamed the streets continuously struggling to survive on meager means. People tended to ignore Henry or cross to the other side of the road when he and Petra approached. The two of them collected old, discarded bottles and cans to redeem for pennies. They collaborated on dumpster diving for things others considered to be garbage. The two companions could be seen throughout…

credit: Nancy Tuft Kus


By John Thomas Tuft

Samantha possessed a bijou-like spirit, while her thoughts were more like a loveliness of ladybugs, swarming and fluttering, jostling for space. She spent hours at her front window, planning for dreams and losing faith in princes. Her mother had always told her, “Don’t put faith in your imagination. It’s a hard, cold world out there.” But she refused to give up. Out there, in the night, were there angels and demons playing with the lives of the unsuspecting? Ghosts and spirits reveling in the foolishness of those unaware? …

John Thomas Tuft

John is a novelist, retired mental health counselor and minister and sheep farmer, who now lives in North Carolina.

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