Archived entries for Renee Reynolds

Every Age We’ve Ever Been

by Renee Reynolds 

We’d plowed deep into another night of beer, whiskey and chatter. It was two or three or four when the others had gone. There we sat, B and me, the last peopled table, swaying like child-sailors in dread of our imminent docking.
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History of a Future

Renée Reynolds first appeared in Party Like It’s 1984 and, because she is just so darn talented, we decided to include her in our new book. This second publication from HAL is a collection of short stories that are all about the bad things that make life in China kinda worth it! Sadly, you don’t get to see inside the book yet but if you check out Renée’s wonderful poem below you’ll know why she’s in the new book! We think Renée’s poem is almost as keen as Renée herself!

If you’re like us and can’t get enough of this girl’s awesomeness then check out the rest of her work on HAL as well as her new story Satellite American on Unshod Quills.


By Renée Reynolds

Old people walking backward
Posing brides in funeral white
Styrofoam swan feed
Root-ward growing treetops
Million-dollar watches that don’t keep time Continue reading…


Fort Bringham’ere in Brief

by Renée Reynolds

Fort Bringham’ere in Brief July 5, XXXX

Dear Mr. Just Wondering,

Thank you for your interest in the operations of Fort Bringham’ere. Do accept our apologies for requiring 13 months and a day to reply – foreign-correspondence clearance protocol sure can be a time consuming process! You will find all inquiries and concerns classified as non-confidential addressed in this notarized document. I thank you in advance for pardoning the necessary omissions.

Fort Bringham’ere (formerly Fort Gimme) Military Biosphere Reserve (FBMBR) is located in an undisclosed northern township. With a north-south length of 880 m, and an east-west width of 500 m, the FBMBR covers a total area of 440,000 square-meters (44 hectares).

Once known as one of the world’s largest city squares, second only to the Imam Reza Shrine in Old Iran, FBMBR includes the majority of the highest quality hiparian flats remaining in mainland China. Multiple species of hiparian-dependent life-forms, found in Fort Bringham’ere’s flats, are candidates for rare and special species listing at local and national levels, including the Dusty dead-vinehopper (Wuttanowe dustus), the Xi’s Peckerspot (Thatsanot livustus), and the extremely rare, Highway Blue Face (Cyaninan cryptivius).

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Readings From the people’s republic of

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What Happens in Zhongshan Does Not Stay In Zhongshan

by Renée Reynolds

Fact number two: in the rush to catch the plane to Zhongshan that would connect to the family shuttle and deliver us to Xiaolan town just in time for Wei Wei’s cousin’s wedding, I failed to put the single most important object in my bag. Now don’t laugh. My GBS, my Gan Bei Sucker.

It’s a hybrid of two machines: the spit sucker at the dentist, and the catheter system that truckers and pilots use to empty their bladders. A tiny clear tube with adjustable valves irrigates from the edge of my shirtsleeve, hooking onto the lip of a glass instead a mouth, running up my arm, down my torso and leg, and into the medical-grade baggy, securely strapped over a trouser sock. I shave the tape spots or it pulls the hair. The manual pump is a small ball made of soft plastic that can be worn behind the knee (if seated) or in the armpit (if standing).

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Hard Seat from Shenzhen to Shenyang Chapter 2

Go Stop

by Renee Reynolds

He woke with a start. Tingles shot from the bottom of the feet to the center of the brain. From falling usually — or the body’s warning of it. What else. A dull pain in the right cheek. Another fight? Shenyang? The gear shifted to answer and he sat up with a grimace. That’d be a seatbelt in his face, he’d lost his train long ago and was nowhere near Shenyang.

He’d gotten off of the train somewhere in the dark. Baijiu, he whispered it like Rosebud.

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by Renee Reynolds

The more you hit your head, the more likely you are to hit your head again.

He muttered it to his pencil, closed his eyes and tilted his head back.

Each time you hit your head, the chances of hitting your head again… increase.


I was on the bunk above him, peering through the space between the wall and my pillow.

I’m sure Feynman would agree, I said grinning.

Haha! You’re awake.


I am.


You know, I think you’re right.


About what? That I am awake, or about your head-hitting theory?




Thud, ouch

Are you fabricating findings?



I close my eyes. Continue reading…



by Renée R.

It’s that hour again.
Lunchtime in Shanghai, Bedtime in Harbourview Hospital…
Time to collect and recollect…
Memories, stories, the people we were, thought we were –
They flew out of you like a filibuster against death, against time.

Since you closed your eyes forever, went to a better place, passed away, met your maker, went to heaven, returned to the earth… and your favorite — kicked the bucket – I hear you more than ever before.

The last time I saw you (on my computer screen)
your gaze had dimmed,
a hungry snake intent on being.
You died with the verve that you lived: performing 100 yottaFLOPS until the end.
The bucket is probably orbiting an undiscovered Sun by now.


5 Quick Questions for H.A.L. Author Renée Reynolds

Renée Reynolds grew up between Chicago and Los Angeles. She writes short fiction and paints long images while working as a freelance writer in Shanghai.

1. What are you working on right now?
Approximately ten to twelve first-person narratives who have entered late anaphase.

2. Tell us about something in Shanghai that inspires your writing.
Extreme levels of anonymity and distinction ebbing and flowing with subways, bicycles and foghorns.

3. What’s the biggest distraction to writing in Shanghai?
My self.

4. Quick. A reading list. 5 books:
“Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir”  by Lauren Slater

“The Demolished Man” by Alfred Bester

“In Praise of Shadows” Jun’ichiroTanizaki

“Listen, Little Man!” by Wilhelm Reich

“The Epic of Gilgamesh” (Unless you decipher cuneiform, I recommend the Nancy K. Sandars, Stephen Mitchel and David Ferry versions — in that order)

5. Better City Better Life – yay or nay?
Coke. No, Pepsi! Actually…TAB.


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