Today, tired and exhausted, I stretched and leaned back, hands behind my head, to reach the back of my chair like I always do.
Today, I was sitting on a stool.

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Say That Again?

Determined that her first day as a radio DJ at the oldies station was going to be positively perfect, with no trip ups or faux pas or any umms or ahs, she studied the play sheet with all the artists’ names on it.

Taking a deep breath, her very first one over the air, she proudly announced the forthcoming song by her favorite twosome:Simon and Fargunkel.

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His face is somber, strained, mouth pinched tight as he witnesses the man and woman exchanging vows on this lovely California day, and his eyes shimmer wetly.

I know he’s crying for the happy couple and for us, and as I hear the priest say, ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife,’ I reach for his hand and whisper to him, “We could go to Massachusetts.”

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Elephant In The Parlour

Even in the heat of Summer she is swaddled in layers of clothing, wrapped shut in sleeves and smocks and cardigans, growing ever-smaller within them as time drifts on.

Lazy in her living room, Sunday afternoon stories drifting over me like soup-spill, I wonder what I have often wondered: if her arms are kept covered to hide the tattoo that must be there, the one that we don’t talk about.

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It wasn’t much of a house, with the old wood plank floors worn into grooves from generations of dwellers, thin windows and sagging mattresses and a ramshackle, rundown front porch with bentwood rockers that had held countless dreamers and so much love on their welcoming slatted seats.

He stood alone at a huge window of his 12,000 square foot mansion, looking out at the view of acres of perfectly manicured grounds, the pool, the tennis court, the 5 car garage, the servants quarters, the gated and guarded entrance, and wished he was looking out at the woods and peaceful water from the rocker on that beat up front porch, with nothing to fret over but how many fish he would be able to catch in the lake that day and how he could make his family smile while they talked together and ate the fresh catch that night at supper.

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The Good Mother

She thought herself a very good mother and hated leaving the five of them alone for any length of time, even to go across the street to get food for dinner, for they were typical young’uns always looking for mischief, but what choice did she have?

He didn’t even brake when he saw her, just muttered “damn raccoon” as he sped off leaving her dying on the road, bleeding and broken, and her young babes hungry, motherless orphans.

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Red Hat Ladies

They came into the restaurant, the ladies in purple dresses, decked out in feathery boas, glittering broaches and pins and rings made of rhinestones or zircona, their blonde or gray curls topped with red hats adorned with feathers, ribbons, flowers, fruit, jewels, and whatever else came to mind, talking and giggling and patting their hair with gloved hands, sharing gossip, secrets and pictures of their grandchildren and pets as they made their way to the big round table at Red Lobster, where they would debate at length the merits of various menu items (and afterwards change their order twice after the longsuffering waitress had written it down) before finally settling on the all-you-can-eat soup and salad for their one monthly outing.

Two hours later the petite waitress (a single mother, trying to make it raising two children on tips and no child support from a dead-beat ex-husband) asks, “Can I get you ladies anything else?” as she clears the dishes and picks up her $1 tip from each place.

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They pinned her newly earned pilot’s wings to the front of her uniform on the left side of her chest while she stood at attention, her head held high, proud and dignified.

The composed audience burst into laughter when her smiling husband hugged her in congratulations and whispered into her ear, not knowing the microphone was close enough to hear his teasing, saying to her, “Does the other one fly too?”

Second weekly winner!

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Attention is a click of heels, perfect creases, heads lifted, jaws set, and chests filled proudly with the hope of doing something good and right.
Four months later, heels click again, heads lift and jaws set as we wait for the gun salute in much shorter lines.

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Bird Brains

The chicken didn’t ponder long before venturing out into the heavy 5 o’clock traffic on the busiest road in this country town. All she had wanted was to get to the other side to feast on the sack of corn that had flown off of the feed truck, but she had not really considered, as is the way with chickens, that she might get squashed flat by a refrigerated truck on its way to the local Publix to deliver – what else – chickens.

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This sentence is dedicated to all those unwritten stories, all those unfinished thoughts, hidden facts and coincidences that were unlucky enough to take place far away from human eyes ,therefore loosing any posibility of being recognized, explained or remembered. And this other sentence is only here because of the rules.

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Lost Wisdom

Grandpa always claimed there was a fork at the end of the path behind his house: Candyland one way, the other a nightmarish landscape with monsters.

He could never remember which was which so we promised to go another day, but he died when I was eleven and I still haven’t picked which way to go.

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