A collection of short stories by Robert Lerner
“Time, consumer of all things”
Ovid, Metamorphoses, AD 8
The Clock Whispers contains seven short stories centered on the importance of time. In “David’s Cocktail Hour,” an elderly gentleman finds himself in a life-and-death negotiation for more time. “Cleopatra’s Needle” examines a man’s life choices when he learns he has been granted more time than he can imagine. “Johnny’s Sundial” documents the ramifications of bad decisions made by a person with a little extra time on his hands. “Jake’s Hearing Aids” reveals the failure of a widowed husband to use his remaining time to make things right. “Billy’s Bar and Grill” details the “Happy Hour” conversations at an establishment where time can be put to excellent use or foolishly squandered. The book’s final two stories, “Tom’s Ring” and “Tessa’s Sweater,” show how, for some things, there is never a good time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Besides The Clock Whispers, Robert Lerner has published four works of fiction: Contemporary Folktales, The Cinderella Vessel, An Accidental Prophet, and Dog Park Diaries. Lerner has also authored four nonfiction books that interweave ancient Roman business practices with the modern workplace, including a newly released work on ancient Rome’s wealthiest citizen, The Entrepreneurial Thinking of Marcus Crassus. The three others—Entrepreneurship and Ethics in Ancient Rome, Career Turbulence, and Customer Acquisition Strategies—were published as part of Multi-Media Publications’ Lessons From History Series. Lerner is the retired CEO of a multinational computer services company.
In our era of fake news, God is taking sides,
and a modern-day Jonah must save the losers -
Late Night comedians.
A former late night television host perishes in a biblically themed fashion. Although the comic is widely mourned, no one seems to notice, or much less care about the underlying cause of death. But Tim Blake, a retired high school teacher, sees God’s hand in the tragedy. In fact, Mr. Blake could foresee the comedian’s demise and the means by which it would occur. As a second peculiar death follows the first, Blake reluctantly comes to believe he is a modern day Jonah who must save the comics that have wandered into God’s ground zero. Accurately forecasting the wrath of the Almighty via tweets as @Jonah, Tim becomes a social media sensation, is hunted by the FBI, and even appears on a late night television show to carry out his mission, as best as he can understand it, with devastating effectiveness.
The Cinderella Vessel
After a certain age, it seems we all wistfully dream of being young again. But would you willingly trade a year of your remaining life to regain just a single day of youthfulness? Lauren Drake makes just such an exchange with the assistance 2,000-year-old glass goblet in hopes of revitalizing her crumbling marriage. She finds, however, that the benefits of fleeting youth come at a far greater price than she ever anticipated. To help Lauren better understand the source of vessel’s great power, she enlists the aid of Dr. Taylor Simms, a professor of religious studies at Boston College. Dr. Simms is astonished to learn that the ancient chalice constructed for Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor responsible for the appointment of Pontius Pilate to his post in Judea, is not just capable of restoring the body, but regenerating the soul as well.
Four short stories by Robert Lerner
“There is a great deal of human nature in people.”
― Mark Twain
Contemporary Folktales contains four fictional short stories centered on the concept of unintended consequences—be they immediate, recurring, at the end of one’s life, or even in the afterlife. In “Dr. John’s Shuyet,” a resentful ex-husband seeks to inflict one last wound on his former spouse, but instead his misdeeds rebound on himself in a fashion not seen in two thousand years. “Dick’s Apotheosis” details an extraordinary luncheon between a pair of strangers that discover the cost of overreaching tremendous. “Jimmy’s Kiss” shines a bright light on a man who finds himself haunted by a simple college prank that went wildly off the rails. In “David Pitman’s Journal,” an old man’s obsession for vengeance leads him on a dangerous journey–—but his destination is not anything like he expected.
Two One-Act Plays by Robert Lerner
Two One-Act Plays
In the one-act play "Cocktail Hour" an elderly gentleman finds himself in a life and death negotiation for just a bit more time.
The one-act play "Apotheosis" details an extraordinary luncheon between a pair of strangers that discover they have much in common.
More Fiction by Robert Lerner
“[Druids believe] that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another.”
Julius Caesar (The Gallic Wars)
When Professor David Pitman realizes that the accelerating symptoms of Alzheimer’s prohibit him from seeking revenge for a devastating personal loss, he decides to pursue a most improbable course - his reincarnation into a younger, healthier body. His desperate plan is born from an obscure quote of Julius Caesar’s, a mysterious business card, and an ancient amulet. But Pitman’s actions create great risk, not only for the professor, but also the unsuspecting victim of his selfish scheme – a fellow patron of his neighborhood’s dog park. As revealed in the diaries, emails and notes of key participants in David Pitman’s perilous quest, a tranquil dog park for the elderly and their beloved little dogs is transformed into a high-stakes battleground between the living and the dead.