I Am She; She Is Me

onulponzkup

The woman bent over, peering into the combination stroller/pram, saying soft things the way a person does with a tiny baby. She straightened, and with shining eyes looked at me intently, saying, “He’s a blessing. Give thanks for him every day because he’ll be grown before you know it.” To be honest, she scared me a little, but I’ve never forgotten her, and I can still almost picture her face. Shoulder length brown hair, slender build, maybe mid-to-late fifties. Her children, I assumed, were grown. She had a story, anyway, one that involved longing and lost childhood...

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StoryRhyme After Dark: Wherever I Go There Will Be A Piano

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“Artists were appreciated in those days! I had an apartment with a doorman. Now I live in my uncle’s basement!” He walked to the edge of the river. “I should throw my flute in the river and get a job as a taxi driver. You will see, Alexis – at the concert tonight the audience will sit with their coats on. They will not even take off their gloves to applaud. Furthermore, all the women will wear house dresses. We are playing for peasants...”

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Bad, Bad Doctor... No Cookie for You!

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Because of my breast cancer history, I’ve accompanied a few friends to their appointments. Either for consultations with their surgical oncologists or to their G.P.s to hear their results, mostly to listen and see if everything they’ve said seems normal and sounds okay. I’m not an expert. Not even close. I have learned a few things, though, from my own experiences. And while I usually don’t write blog posts motivated by fury--I’m an easygoing person most of the time--on this day, I’m seeing red...

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StoryRhyme After Dark: The Purple Isles of Shoals

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"The sunglasses soften her normal, everyday bleak outlook of life on the islands, so does the whiskey sour. In fact Angela plans to have another as soon as she is finished with this one. It is a poor substitute for what’s really bothering her of course, but it’s better than no substitute at all..."

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StoryRhyme After Dark: Westward Ho!

yiowqryewi

"Well, we counted out all our money and it came to about fourteen dollars between us and we began to wonder if that was enough to get us out of Brooklyn, let alone out to the purple sage country in Montana. Even Bunco, the brains of the group, began to wonder if we had given enough thought to the financial side of our plan.
 
"We stood on the corner of Ryerson Street and McKibben watching the vegetable trucks from New Jersey roll by. "There's our ace in the hole," Bunco said. "There's the answer! We hitch a ride with them going back to Jersey. They go back empty, see... They'll be glad to give us a lift."
 
"It sounded like a good plan to us. All we had to do was wait for them to dump their load at the vegetable market in Brooklyn and we could be in New Jersey by early afternoon... Half way to Montana..!"

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Zero Sum Game by SL Huang

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"Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. She can take any job for the right price and shoot anyone who gets in her way. As far as she knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower . . . but then Cas discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master."

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StoryRhyme After Dark: The Picture Book

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"Mae Davenport sat at the curb in a folding chair with a camera in her lap every sunny afternoon watching life go by on Maple Street. This was her home town and, if she ever had to leave it, she wanted to remember it – forever…"

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Our Dog Chance

Chance.

Our hearts are full. Broken bodies; broken souls. The dog block is in the dog door because there is no dog to go in and out. All day long...

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Being Brave(r)

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I’m a worrier, someone who tends to overanalyze things, weighing the risks versus the benefits. This is not a trait that makes me happy. (I don’t always think things through, though. I did jump on Andrew’s skateboard a few months ago, meeting the sidewalk, face first. That was unfortunate). But mostly I’m a thinker. I don’t like this because it limits me, and I have to psyche myself up to do/try new things. After my first bout with cancer, I’d tell myself: If you can get through that, you can do anything. But then I’d forget what I’d been through and have to give myself another pep talk...

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Grappling with Life, and Sadness

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The high school is small, the student body in shock, trying to grasp the death of a friend, their contemporary. I tried to grasp the cruel hand his parents have been dealt. But some things just are not possible to grasp. I looked into the eyes of the teachers and principal and saw the grief. We shared the understanding; no words needed to be spoken...

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