Last Shot at Vader

At last, Dillon and Riley get their tickets under the already beating sun, while thousands of other lightly clad tourists swarm through the turnstiles. Especially the day after Christmas, Dillon knows there will be countless more lines to come. He is not good at waiting, regardless of what he brings to distract himself and his daughter will have to be diverted somehow, as they inch their way to the exhibits. Still, just being with her as they enter the park seems worth the whole trip, this fantasy village drawing them into its elaborate mirage. Riley is so entranced at the explosion of shape and color, the wonderful strangeness of the winding streets and arabesque roofs, she seems to hardly breathe. A giant mouse eared billboard asserts “Disneyland-The Happiest Place on Earth.”

This claim strikes Dillon as an awfully ambitious one but for the moment, with Riley beaming at the spectacle of it all, he isn’t about to argue the point.  Maps in hand, they wind past the series of 19th century New Orleans shops where a man in a striped suit plays a lively ragtime. By nature, Dillon is not a planner, an itinerary guy. He likes to think of himself as versatile and spontaneous, even though this is mostly a cover for random and haphazard. Incredibly, there is no line for the Enchanted Tiki Room, and a woman in a Malaysian get-up is beckoning to fill the hard seats of her show.


From Tom's Blog

December 20, 2017

“Home and Castle” coming out in January

The editing and proofreading and thousand other things that go into putting a book together are thankfully finished and my story collection Home and Castle is at last coming out in early January. (see www.snakenationpress.org for the Editor’s statement and further details). Most of the stories in it were originally published in literary journals such  (…read more)

About The Author

THOMAS BENZ graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame. He recently won the 2017 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for a short story collection called “Home and Castle.” The book is to be published by Snake Nation Press in the fall. In the last several years, he has had fifteen stories  (…read more)