The Dog That Speaks English

Phoebe – a small dog who wasn’t known for her jumping abilities – wasn’t allowed on the furniture but after begging every night, her female owner finally said, “OK, Phoebe, if you can make it onto the bed by yourself, then I’ll let you stay up here.” Moments later Phoebe used all her might and jumped on the bed; her female owner turned to her husband and said, “See, I told you she speaks English.”

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Janes Jump

Jane looked down from the open door of the plane, her heart beating like a bass drum, and her hands grasping the sides of the doorway for dear life while the wind tried to suck her out before she could jump.

“I can’t do it” she screamed above the roaring in her ears and looking back at her jump partner, but it was too late, when she looked back her foot slid over the side and she was sucked out of the plane.

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Alpha and Omega

That morning was like all the other mornings, sludgy and automatic, nothing different about it at all. It wasn’t until he was at work, until the man across the counter raised the gun, that he even realized he’d woken up dead –had always been waking up dead — and that the frozen moment of watching the bullet barrel toward him was going to be the extent of his very short life.

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Two can play that game

Her love for him was as strong as an ocean current, like a riptide pulling her farther away from him and then bouncing her back, only to have him break her heart again with all his infidelities, until she could no longer take it and in a sudden burst of clarity knew what she had to do to inflict an equal, if not greater, amount of pain on her beloved.

So on October 15th, she married him!

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Blood lamingtons

As the sun set on Jacaranda St, Mrs Jones cut sponge cake into squares and dipped each piece carefully into thick chocolate paste and rolled through the coconut, just as her mother once taught her. But as the shrill of the kettle peaked to a new high, Mr Jones collapsed in his chair, his biscuit falling into his coffee: he was gone at last.

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“I’m going to do this and finally show the world what I am capable of, go against all odds and get that elusive prize I keep reaching for that they keep putting out of my reach,” she said in an incomprehensible grumble as she geared herself for the brave attempt.

Lynn was on the phone ten minutes later exclaiming to her husband Ivan,” Yeah and you know what she went for when she just took her very first steps, not mommy no, the cookies up on the coffee table!”

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The Scar

The long 13” scar that curved around her belly button running down her stomach was a painful and constant reminder that she could have no children.

On this wondrous day she carried a beautiful infant daughter out the front door of the beat up old hospital and orphanage, knowing that scar would never be a curse again, but a sign telling her that miracles sometimes come in unexpected ways and that she had been specially marked for this gift she now held in her arms, pressed against her heart.

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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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