Totally uncharacteristically, he made sure to buy snow chains for the big road trip from warm LA to Salt Lake City, what with the forecasts calling for icy conditions and snow, snow, snow.

Since it didn’t snow the entire time, the snow chains sat in the trunk, forgotten, until the car got a flat and he had to move them to get at the spare, which, of course, he had forgotten to keep inflated.

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She protected me while I was young, and kept me in one piece, loving me unconditionally, handling every situation with total grace, standing guard around my wife when she knew my son would join the human race.

I found her late one night a mile or so from home, searching for a resting place, protecting me from what she knew would come, surrendering her to the vet’s tender and final care was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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Vitamin D

He couldn’t take his eyes off his mother’s breasts as she combed his hair for school. He quickly threw his head under her shirt and began having breakfast.

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The Lost Dog

It was a chilly twenty-three minutes past two in the morning of one late October when Archie, the Johnsons’ progressively arthritic and generally grumpy West Highland Terrier, finally managed to squeeze beneath the fence, evade the gaze of the facility’s security lights and set off down the alleyway as fast as he could carry himself, back to where he’d come from, quite sorry he had ever left in the first place.

He was followed close behind by a great many others – big and small, young and old, stumbling and hobbling – who stuck with him all the way across frosty fields and muddy paths, over New Town tarmac and Old Town cobbles, beneath icy black skies and towards the fire-bitten sunrise that lit up the delighted face of the youngest Johnson as he called out to his parents, looked down from his bedroom window upon a garden of seventy-three brand new pet dogs and locked onto the bright black eyes of one tufty white and decidedly less grumpy face.

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Not Close Enough.

On a craggy hilltop just thinking about fishing, the misty rain over the Coral Sea soaks my thoughts of better times, of the dreams that never seem quite able to touch, the rocks below seeming so far away, the wind so cold, memories diminishing.

Looking up, out of the curtain of wind swept rain the multi story grey monster, a US carrier, its deck stretched out so close, stepping off the hilltop I found nothing, just the wind and rain, following by the sickening thud, snap, and tearing of flesh as the lower legs find the rocks below, trying to grab the grass before bouncing further to the underside (the underworld), finding not a blade, the deck just not close enough.

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Al Dentes

A thousand and five thoughts were whirring through his head, among the most logical, number seventy seven was a wondering about only having felt his heart beat three times in the twenty seconds previous. Number fourteen was less rational considering the cirumstances, ‘pepperoni or capricciosa?’

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He studied her face, thinking how beautiful she was, and thought of all the nights he had left her alone, frantic with worry, while he caroused with his friends. After several minutes, he dialed the number, and with tears rolling down his cheeks, said, “I’d like to report a suicide.”

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