500 words

500 words yet unwritten, allowing me to sense their continuous presence, taunting me with their potential and their cleverness just out of reach, blaming me somehow for all the shortcomings of mankind, or at least my own, as if it were my fault that I love them so desperately but forget their order too quickly to put them into the world that expects so much and so little of them.

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This is not who we are…

This is not who we are…

This is not a news story…
This is not a political agenda…
This is not a personal vendetta…

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A portrait without pictures

author’s note: My apologies in advance to those of you arriving here expecting a photograph.  I know that this is a cheat. A portrait in words is not a photograph. However, a portrait in words is still a portrait and because the day ended without a chance to take a picture, I cannot let this day, of all days, be empty.

There are many others that knew her better, or differently, but we were close in a way that only we could have been. I think she had that effect on many that she encountered.

I knew her only in the later years of life. She had already buried her husband and needed a cane to walk safely. She wasn’t quite as tall as she had once been, but my first impressions (and every impression after) were that of a beautiful woman who cared. She cared for family. She cared for friends. She cared for God. She cared for society and the world. There seemed to be no limit for her capicity to love, no matter the circumstance.

In speaking with her, in English or French all the way to her last moments, you found immediately an intelligence possessed by few and a passion envied by all. There was no topic I ever found with which she was unfamiliar, though a few were reserved for more intimate company. The social contract was important to her and all who met her were at least a little (more often than not, a lot) better in her company.

I loved her from the moment I saw her and that love has grown well past the moment she left us. My joy in knowing she has finally rejoined her long lost lover knows no bounds, but her absence is felt and more deeply than could be imagined. Now, more than ever, the world needs more Jacquelines, not less. I only hope that those of us lucky enough to have known her and to have been loved by her can give some of that love and beauty back to the rest of the world.

Ma chère Jacqueline, tu sais ce qui est dans mon coeur. Nous l’avons partagé souvent. La reste est que les mots et la vie. À bientôt.

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The Victrola

This story was originally published in the 7th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection Sunlight filtered through a broken window, barely conquering the dust filled air to land on what was left of the Victrola. Kayla hesitated, just a moment, thinking she could escape before the dust anchored her to the rest of the ruins in the room. Her feet moved forward as her mind considered the possibilities. Her chest and her resolve tightened as she passed quickly through the light without noticing its warmth on her skin. She remembered the room as it had once been – …

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The Thief’s Garden

“A good deep well is worth killing over.” He heard those words going through his head as he looked down at the lifeless body of his neighbor’s neighbor. The blood was still fresh from the wound and the eyes had only just begun to look unconscious.

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