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Human Trafficking


Anisha Dutta

  

© Copyright 2018 by Anisha Dutta
  
 

Photo of a young girl.


Human trafficking is a well- organized International Crime Net Work. Mainly women and children are the targets, but sturdy males are not excluded from slavery.

Trafficking passes through three consecutive stages, the “Source”, i.e., the suppliers of the victims, then comes the “Transit” i.e., the place through which victims are made to pass, and finally the “Destination” i.e., the location, where the victims will be used.

Most shameful is the fact that India serves simultaneously as the Source, Transit and Destination. Women trafficking in India is an organized crime leading to prostitution. . . .

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My Big Fat Greek Adventure


Alice Boerner

 
© Copyright 2018 by Alice Boerner


 

Photo of a brown octopus.
As I walked through the bustling streets of Athens, Greece, I looked around at the small street shops that were adorned with gifts, clothes and toys. Colorful flowers lined the streets and houses. It was our first day in Greece and I was already fascinated by hellenic cities, history and culture. From the train, we walked through a park on our way to the Hotel Delice in the center of Athens. My mother showed us Saint George Greek Orthodox church where her parents were married in in 1965. Sadly, it has graffiti on it. It was amazing to see nonetheless.

It was nearly dinner time, so we decided to walk to a restaurant. On our way to the restaurant we saw traditional Greek soldiers marching at the King’s Palace. My mother told me she too wore the colorful Foustanellas as a girl. I laughed cheerfully as I watched the soldiers march wearing white tights and blouses, orange hats and Tsarouchi shoes. . . .

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Beyond the Reef



Brittany Rohm

© Copyright 2018 by Brittany Rohm
 

 




When I set out to snorkel around a reef in the South Pacific, I expected only to see some colorful fish--not what I ended up viewing.  

Warm water licked my bare feet as I waded into the South Pacific. Sand the color of lightly toasted sugar tickled my toes. Behind me, towering palms swayed in the sea-salt breeze, guarding the tiny island of Lifou. Through the narrow strip of jungle, in the protected bay on the opposite side, swimmers bunched together, thrashing rubber fins and scaring away the marine life. But over here, where the sea extended to the horizon, I was alone. . . .

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Darkness

Alicia Abner


 
© Copyright 2018 by Alicia Abner





Photo of a young girl.

He’s yelling again, that never ends well for anyone. Soon things will break as they hit the walls at full force. Then she will start crying, begging him to stop won’t work. It always starts just like this. One of the neighbors will call the cops when it gets to loud, but by then it will be over and he will be gone. Damage will already be done and nobody will even be aware that while I lay here in the dark I heard everything. . . .

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Back from Berlin

 

Margie Hofman 




 

© Copyright 2018 by Margie Hofman
 
 
     
 

Photo of Friedrichstrasse Railway Station monument to children from the Kindertransport.


. . . .Everywhere in Berlin I am reminded of the awful consequences of being Jewish. A very interesting place for shopping is called Hackescher Markt with various food and craft wares. Just outside the area are four bronze placques on the floor –Here lived the family Schneider and their two children – taken to Auschwitz. There are about 2,000 of these plaques all over the city.

By Friedrichstrasse Railway Station is a wonderful monument to children from the Kindertransport. Rescued and organized by a wonderful man called Sir Nicholas Winton, who, with the help of the Quakers managed to get three trainloads of children from Germany and Czechoslovakia to England. The statue is called The Trains to Life and the Trains to Death, showing two groups of children. . . .

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Jarling's Custard Cup

Nostalgia in an Ice Cream Cup


Avanti Chajed
  

© Copyright 2018 by Avanti Chajed

  
 

Photo of an ice cream cone.

During the summer months sunlight always streams through our kitchen windows, glinting off of the counter tops. On these lazy evenings after our dinner dishes have all been put away, my mother, restless to be outdoors when the weather is so charming, decides that a trip to Jarling’s is in order. My mother, brother and I scramble into the car and my dad slides into the driver’s seat. Our family is ready for another one of our many adventures which have been going on for as long as my eight year old brain can recall. The routine is always the same but there is comfort in the predictability. In the ten minutes it will take to get there, I will try to think of what I want, which flavor will it be this day. But my endeavors to reach a decision usually leave me more confused than when I started. . . .

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The Bitter-Sweet About War

Eunice Andoh


 
© Copyright 2018 by Eunice Andoh



Photo of a battle tank.

 Experience they say is a great teacher but my experience didn’t just teach me lessons but turned my life round and affirmed my trust and faith in God.

My early unexpected exposure to war in a foreign land, threatening my education and my life as well and changing my life forever has been my motivation in sharing this with everyone. Through the trials and confusion I have had a deeper revelation of the God we serve, His wondrous works and dynamic nature of His works. . . .

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Cheese Box Killer
 




Kathryn Lynch




© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch




Drawing of a woman.

The Profilers had it all wrong. They fell all over themselves to get on cable TV as experts to tell the world about the latest serial killer. He was a young male unable to establish relationships with others. He was hidden behind the anonymity of a family or constantly on the move. He fantasized before an encounter with a victim and took away souvenirs to dream about it later. As a child he was neglected by his mother, he was cruel to animals, he wet the bed, and he started fires. What drivel!

The small town in which the Old Lady lived had suffered a series of unsolved murders. All of the victims were elderly. Police doubted that the victims knew each other, but just before disappearing, each one had visited the Senior Center to collect a box of food commodities which featured a two pound block of cheese. All of the victims had eventually been found lying by the side of heavily forested roads. In every case, a gunshot wound to the head was the cause of death. The cheese boxes were nowhere to be found. Authorities were on the hunt for the "Cheese Box Killer." . . .

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Rest In Pieces
 




Kathryn Lynch




© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch




Photo of bones buried in ground.

It did not start out as the Old Lady's idea.

Her nine year old granddaughter wanted to get some goats as a 4H project, but there was nowhere for them to graze. The unused portion of the land was a tangled mass of rotting redwood trunks, long grasses and twisted birch trees held together by aggressive, unyielding blackberry vines. Without substantial clearing, the area could not be used as a pasture.

So it was, that the Old Lady allowed the girl to acquire the goats so they could be staked out in the area to eat their way into the blackberries and the grasses. . . .

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PTSD
 




Kathryn Lynch




© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch




Photo of hogs at a fence.

The Old Lady was breathing heavily. In previous years, she would not have struggled with the saw, but the arthritis in her ankle was slowing her down. The need to dispose of his body had become her number one priority because he was crammed into the shower of her trailer home. The weather was getting warmer and she needed to clean up.

It had been two days since her long-owned .357 Magnum discharged a shot into the back of his head. She was overcome by the immediate fear of discovery because the weapon had shaken the trailer off the Richter Scale. At the same time, when she looked at him, a sense of peace that she had not experienced in 30 years seeped into her soul. No matter what happened now, it was in a very real sense—over. . . .





Raccoon Poop
 




Kathryn Lynch




© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch




Photo of a raccoon in a creek.

This story is just “full of crap.”

The Old Lady knew from seeing dead animals on the busy road that raccoons lived north and south of her property, but she had never seen one on her land.

So it was with some surprise, that after eight years she observed a lone raccoon wander up to the stray cat food dish outside her house, and begin to eat. Raccoons like to wash their food in water. No water had been provided, but a pond and stream were nearby. He came for food every day after that, neither bothering the cats, nor chasing the geese and ducks who gathered in the area to eat. . . .

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Hominy Grits



Kathryn Lynch
 






© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch



 

Photo of a box of hominy grits.

I had a wonderful mom who was often considered “different” because she was caught up in old fashioned thinking about how life should be lived.  As the eldest child, I tried to protect my mom so that others would not realize how different she actually was.  I can finally share that with others.

My mom came from a family of 12 children, who lived through the Great Depression of 1929 above the small grocery store owned and operated by Moses, my grandfather.

You might think that living above and working in a grocery store relieved the children of any worries about necessities. Nevertheless, the toughness of every day living saturated them to the core with insecurities, and all of them grew up with what was later called the Depression Mentality. . . .

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Gator Tails, Trails, and Tales



Frank Mann

 
© Copyright 2018 by Frank Mann

 
Photo of a baby alligator.

Having a father who took my brother and me to the woods from an early age, and showed us an appreciation of His creation was a blessing. A blessing equally as good was to have married a girl who also loved the out-of- doors, though she never had a chance to experience it as directly as I had. But when after being married only ten years, I suggested we buy a place out of town in the “country”, she diplomatically brought out her veto stamp, and said let’s talk about it again when we’re empty nesters. Toting kids ten miles to school was not something she wanted to take on, along with all the other challenges of long distance commuting. . . .

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My Life in Cheese





Allison Wilson Lee


 
© Copyright 2018 by
Allison Wilson Lee


Photo of the cheese farm sign.

Food plays a significant role in our cultures, our families, and our memories. In this story--My Life in Cheese--I take you on a journey using my various experiences with cheese as mile markers, from being allergic to dairy to eating cheese on multiple continents. 

When I was twenty years old, I spent the summer in New York with other college students from around the U.S. working with the physically poor, the homeless, and inner-city children. On the applications we submitted to join this project, we were each asked to share a fun fact about ourselves. I chose to share this one: My favorite food is hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese. But my adoration of cheese began long before I started college. . . .

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Impact of Climate Change


Kavitha  Yarlagadda


 
© Copyright 2018 by Kavitha Yarlagadda


 

Photo of a woman with water jug.

I am a Civil Engineer by profession, apart from my work, I am passionate about reading and writing, a crazy book lover, an aspiring writer and a person who cares about our environment and nature. 

Is the Human Life at a risk of Destruction? Indeed, the rapidly increasing Climate change and global warming is posing a great risk to the very existence of human life. Climate Change is one phenomenon which we cannot dare to ignore as it is growing in a rapid manner which is evident in the many natural disasters worldwide. . . .

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Dazed Dewdrop



Nikita Jain


 
© Copyright 2018 by
Nikita Jain

 

Photo of a field of daisies.
My mom’s dad, that is, my grandfather could never build a home for himself. He always lived in a rented house. Though he was an engineer but his sheer honesty came in between to earn a single penny extra that he didn’t deserve with his work. My grandmother used to curse him a lot, I have witnessed it because I have lived with them. My grandmother was one very emotional woman. She used to think about everything from her heart. She had terribly suffered in her life as she lost her two sons out of bitter diseases and her only son left was doomed to live with a sterile woman. . . .

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Keane Eyes          

 

Judith Nakken 

 

© Copyright 2018 by Judith Nakken     

 

Photo of a Margaret Keene big eyes painting.


I knew nothing about the artist, Walter Keane, when his big-eyed children became the rage of the Southern California art world in the early sixties. I only knew that I was drawn to the paintings’ soul-filled eyes even while I, true art lover that I claimed to be, was bashing them. Modigliani, Monet-before-water-lilies, Van Gogh, even Picasso prints adorned my walls. “I’m sure he has a Henry Ford assembly line somewhere,” I would proclaim. “Art students paint the portraits and, one by one, they flow down to Walter and he paints in the huge, round eyes and makes a fortune. Pfffft!” In truth, I longed for an original Keane. . . .

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A New Dawn





Gbenga Ezekiel Oladosu



 
© Copyright 2018 by 
Gbenga Ezekiel Oladosu




Photo of a sun rise.  (c) 2008 by Richard Loller.

With the progress of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos, I was really happy that my political party was doing great and Lagosians were benefiting from their votes. One of the ways in which the government helped its constituents was by setting up a team of social lawyers to work pro-bono for cash strapped Lagosians. All you need to was to go to the panel and explain your situation. The government’s role in aiding human right advancement announced a new dawn in the state. . . .

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How To Express Yourself In Any Situation


Jean Metuschelah


© Copyright 2018 by Jean Metuschelah

  
 

Photo of the author.


Everyone is different and precisely those differences are the ones that make people so special .if you're trying to be someone who you're obviously not, then you'll never be a happy person. Don’t compare yourself to others! After All, you never know how the others are really like, because you only see what they want to see. Thoses are the things that make you so special and you should realize how lucky you are to have them--just express yourself, your True self! . . .

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Aspects of The Hero


Aidan McCorkle



 
© Copyright 2018 by
Aidan McCorkle
 

Photo of Ender.
Note: the hero is a small, intelligent boy tricked into committing genocide.
Often times, a pressing situation will reveal certain parts of a person's character that would be otherwise unnoticed. These types of situations vary from small person conflicts to total war, but in the case of the beloved hero Ender Wiggin, his pressing situations were games. The games of which Ender participated in reveal his brutality and intelligence. . . .

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Why?



J. Betz


 
© Copyright 2018 by
J. Betz

 

Photo of a stormy sky with light breaking through.

I didn’t get properly diagnosed and treated for my OCD until I was 36 years old.  There isn’t a single area of my life not affected by my OCD and when I look back and see the damage, it’s overwhelming.  It is like turning around and seeing the path of destruction left by a tornado and I often wonder how the hell I ever got through it. . . .

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The Freedom


Gbenga Ezekiel Oladosu



 
© Copyright 2018 by 
Gbenga Ezekiel Oladosu



 

Photo of a Nigerian baptism.

Long before I became a missionary, I was part of the political struggle for the advancement of my home country Nigeria. Survival was hard especially during the military regime when there was a lot of military misconduct. . . .

This was over twenty years ago when the whole nation was at the mercy of dictators, who were only after their own interests and not that of the people. When things finally got too much, there was a protest for a democratic government. I was part of those political struggles which the military tried to stop but didn’t succeed. Many people lost their lives in the cause of these uprisings. Others had to flee the country and offer their support from there.

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Ruperta


Judith D. Galleros



 
© Copyright 2018 by Judith D. Galleros


 

Photo of Ruperta.

She was born on March 29, 1933. She didn’t know where her mother got her name but out of curiosity, it was of German origin and it meant famed and shining. In her younger years according to folks, she was famous in doing lead roles in a musicale show in the locale and other neighbouring places. In her love story, her powerful and siren-toned voice lured the thirty-two years old widower who happened to witness one of her plays. . . .

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Bird Watching: A Famly Activity


Rachel Stierle



 
© Copyright 2018 by Rachel Stierle


 

Photo of a two bluebirds.

My mother has always been interested in creative hobbies. She loves scrap-booking, knitting, drawing, and sewing. But, this story is not about those hobbies; this story is about my mother's love of photography, and how her interest in photographing the birds in our neighborhood impacted our family.

I don’t remember exactly when it started, but one day I came downstairs for breakfast and found my mother’s camera attached to her tripod, which was positioned in front of the sliding glass door that looked out at our deck. Every so often, my mother would stand at her camera, making noises of glee when she had taken a good picture of the birds that visited us. . . .

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Knitting Is for the Soul


Rachel Stierle



 
© Copyright 2018 by Rachel Stierle


 

Photo of a knitting project.

Knitting was never a hobby that I thought I would become interested in. But, after I began to learn, I couldn't put my knitting needles down. I realized that knitting is relaxing, productive, and fun-- all things that college student like myself needs to relax after a long day writing papers, reading academic texts, and taking exams. It got to the point that I wanted to teach others--including my mother. This story details both my learning to knit, my efforts to teach my mother to knit, and the way in which knitting became the best stress-reliever of my life. . . .

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I Turned Down U2


Laura Geall



 
© Copyright 2018 by Laura Geall


 

Photo of Laura and family.

This is a biographical piece Laura wrote about her father.

Three of us lean over his disconcertingly immobile body. Brian’s skin is shining with sweat, matching the newly cleaned floor of the main Student Union bar that half of his face is pressed against. The stench of booze is emanating from his pores, competing with the smell of disinfectant.

His mouth moves and incoherent, drunken ramblings seep out. The floor, the thing he is talking to, has no idea what he’s saying. And it’s not just because it’s inanimate laminate, it’s because he’s making no sense.

Come on mate, there's a show to do, you need to get up.” I try to pull him up by his shoulders, but he’s a dead weight. . . .

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An Unlikely Friend


Spencer Shaak

 
© Copyright 2018 by Spencer Shaak


 

Photo of a PC Bang building.

December 29, 2015

In Suseong-gu’s neighborhood of Daegu in South Korea, the PC Bang room chattered with gamer’s sighs, clicking mouses, soju popping, and lighters snapping. I drowned out the sounds and focused on typing out a lesson plan for my students at the elementary school I was working at.

PC bangs are the local hangout for lunch break Academy students in the afternoons and ajusshis (older Korean men) getting their gambling fix at night. If you manage to stay there for an entire day’s period, you can witness the swapping of youth with age like a life cycle. . . .

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The Whaling Sound



Kathryn Lynch



 
© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch





Photo of a whale on the beach.

The familiar sounds and smells of the shore swirled in the air as the Old Lady removed her shoes for her daily walk. She cherished this beach because in spite of having free public access with no inhospitable cliffs, it still remained relatively unknown, with few visitors.

Sandpipers staged their daily dance at the water's edge, while terns hovered overhead looking for the occasional fish which swam too close to the shore. Seagulls protested the whole performance, flying back and forth, squawking at their winged competitors. An occasional crab scrounged for a bit of food washed in by the last high tide. This ancient choreography played itself out daily, unchanged, no audience required. . . .

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The Wailing Sound



Kathryn Lynch



 
© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch






Photo of a black church choir.
The Old Lady lived in a not-so-nice-anymore trailer on the backside of her daughter's property. It was a lonely existence. She had little to occupy her time and now she had few friends because most of them had died.
She had been told by the doctor to walk some every day, an undertaking she dreaded, but faithfully executed, because she wanted to experience a few more good years.

After two months, she was finally able to walk more than a block where a small market was located. The clerk was a friendly character who let her rest on chair before returning home.

Today she asked him about the wailing sound she heard every time she approached the store. “It's the Pentecostal Church”, he replied. Curiosity consumed he Old Lady. That day, after her rest, instead of heading home, she turned in the direction of the Church. . . .

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Liberty and Justice


Naheem Watson


 
© Copyright 2018 by Naheem Watson


 


Photo of American Flag at a protest march.

My name is Naheem Watson and I am in 10th grade. My short story is titled Justice and Liberty, and is about a boy, named Trayvon, who decided to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and the repercussions he faced. This book is aimed toward a younger audience, for instance middle schoolers or advanced elementary students. I was inspired to write about this topic because my friend, who goes to a different school than me, had a similar experience to Trayvon when she decided to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. She was thrown out of her classroom by her teacher and her education was disrupted. After hearing her story, I knew what I had to write about. . . .

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No Love


Deanna Salser



 
© Copyright 2018 by Deanna Salser


 

Photo of Deanna, her brother, and foster siblings.

I have spent practically my whole life with strangers. Since being taken from my mom after I was burned at age 7 months, I bounced from foster home to foster home, joined by my baby brother when he was taken away as well, it was stipulated we not be separated. Different homes wanted to keep me or him but never us both, so we were moved again. The next home was of a Southern Baptist Preacher and his wife and four kids who were looking for more children to care for. It should have been the ideal situation for us. Turns out it was only ideal for my brother. . . .

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Sentry


Kathryn Lynch



 
© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch


 

Photo of spanish dubloons.

The two year old German Shepherd lived in a small town in Alaska. His bed sat in front of a furnace vent on the second floor, where he spent most afternoons sleeping and dreaming happily about canine adventures, real and imagined. He had another name then, though in later years he could not remember what it was.

He knew nothing, nor did he care, about a failing economy in the area. So when his family stopped at the edge of town to let him out, he was surprised to see their car drive off without him, and he determined to wait until they came back. He sat for several hours by the roadside until darkness fell. . . .

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Hamam



June Calender



 
© Copyright 2018 by June Calender


 

Photo of a woman getting a rub down in a hamam.

One of those glossy travel magazines had an article full of superlatives about the female writer’s experience in a Turkish hamam—a bathhouse fit for the Pasha’s harem. She described a tiled and marbled sanctuary/spa with a blue tiled dome open to the sky above a large, shallow pool also tiled in blue. I recalled the Alhambra that had entranced me many years earlier. She described hefty Turkish women with pails of soapy water who scrubbed her after she had soaked in the pool, they shampooed her hair with wonderful gentle efficiency. . . .

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The Value of Writing


Griselda Sukmoro



 
© Copyright 2018 by Griselda Sukmoro


 

Photo of a womans hands at laptop.

A man types on his keyboard, moving at a speed that produces a rushing sound. The screen in front of him glows with black letters filling an empty canvas. He is a writer. He dives deep into his world and composes a litany of epic stories. Does this remind you of someone? He could be any of us right now or in the past or in the future. . . .

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Online, Offhuman



Donald R. Gallehr



 
© Copyright 2018 by V


 

Group of kids walking with cell phones.

The latest consequence of being so online is the closing of Toys R Us, but it’s not the first and I don’t think it will be the last. Someday I fully expect us to be able to buy cars online by listing our preferences, finances, and measurements, sending them to a dealership, and then waiting a few minutes for them to show up with the car. . . .

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Essay on Bangladesh


Akbor Aziz Susom



 
© Copyright 2018 by Akbor Aziz Sasom


 

Photo of a graduation ceremony at Bangladesh University.

The Present adverse and miserable conditions of our state where we need enough concern to have a forward-looking life for our young generation. . . .”
We all come in this beautiful world as a human but the way of our living considering all the people in the world is so much discriminated and that is constantly increasing day by day among the people .It is a common phenomenon even in some developed countries that some people fly in jet plane while some do not even find a street to walk, some live in a mansion while some do not find a place to sleep and so many cases the distinction is emphatically obvious. In my opinion, it is a great concerning issue that can be a huge threat in future if it continues in this way. . . .

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Roy the Barber


Martin Bressi



 
© Copyright 2018 by Martin Bressi


 

Photo of a young boy and the barber.


During childhood, every occasion seems special in spite of its insignificance in the grand scheme of things. . . .

When I was a kid, going to the barbershop was one of these special occasions. Opening the door and walking past the red and white striped pole was like entering a secret and forbidden temple; a universe where old men gathered to talk about politics and women and complain about how things were never as good as they used to be. . . .

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Peace





Abid Shahriyar





 
© Copyright 2018 by Abid Shahriyar


 

Photo of Abid at college.

Peace is not a distant bird somewhere in some bush. It is often perching right upon our own shoulder. Often we fail to recognize it unless it flies away or gets taken away. Once my little sister was mortified by the disagreements that brought upon her family members.

Our whole family went for a hang out on that day. My sister said with affliction to me, ''Tomorrow will be a new year for us but everyone is not in a jolly mood''. My elder brother insisted on buying a new bicycle. Father, mother and brother were conflicting about that. . . .

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The Importance of the Combahee River Collective


Nathnael Haile



 
© Copyright 2018 by Nathnael Haile


 

Photo of black woman with protest sign.

"If Black women were free it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all systems of oppression," (The Combahee River Collective Statement). This means that if Black Lesbian women were freed, everyone else would be free because that would signify that all forms of oppression would be eradicated. The Combahee River Collective Statement (the CRCS) was essential in the strive for equality between all people. . . .

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Mr. Fox


James L. Cowles



 
© Copyright 2018 by James L. Cowles


 
Photo of a red fox.

My wife and I moved into a new home a few years back and immediately fell in love with our location. It’s in a beautiful part of our city, with a creek running along its boundary and through a densely wooded area. To top it off, there are two beautiful man-made lakes at the entrance of our neighborhood, alive with all kinds of wildlife. . . .

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How Tapirs and Toucans Are Saving Us From Climate Change



Kavitha  Yarlagadda


 
© Copyright 2018 by Kavitha Yarlagadda


 

Photo of a Toucan.

I am a Civil Engineer by profession, apart from my work, I am passionate about reading and writing, a crazy book lover, an aspiring writer and a person who cares about our environment and nature. 

The rapidly increasing Climate change and global warming is posing a great risk to the very existence of human life. Climate Change is one phenomenon which we cannot dare to ignore as it is growing in a rapid manner which is evident in the many natural disasters worldwide. . . .

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Letting Go and Saying No


Linda Elliott-George



 
© Copyright 2018 by Linda Elliott-George


 

Photo of men carrying casket.

1955… Southern Ontario

The graceful spruce trees shade the gravel lane leading to the Century farm. A large yellow brick home sits grandly in the middle of a casually cared for garden. The emerald grass, just tall enough for the robins to hide as, they search for worms. The grass blows quietly in the summer breeze. Grandpa’s farm has been my home for a year. . . .

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Alligator Attack



Bonnie Boerema


 
© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema



 
Photo of large alligator.

After renting a condo in Marco Island, Florida for one year, in June,2015, we bought a condo four miles from Marco Island, in Naples. Our neighbors, Fred and Jane told us an alligator story that happened a few years before we moved here. They’ve been coming down here from Boston for twenty eight years. A man that that lives in Midway Condos across the street, drove over with his dog to visit one of our residents. When he and the dog got out of the car, his dog barked. Dogs are a favorite food for alligators. An alligator raced across the rocks, and came around to the parking lot after the dog, The dog ran off, but the alligator had the man’s leg in his mouth. In minutes, the Florida Fish and Wildlife were here, and beat the alligator to death. . . .

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Zambian Critters

A month of animal tales from a teacher in the Zambian Bush

Anna G. Joujan 


© Copyright 2018 by Anna G. Joujan 

   

Photo a lion's paw print.


It is good”
I am watching the monkeys frolick outside my bedroom window as I ponder the first week of my time here in Zambia. It is a difficult thing to make any sort of coherence out of the scrambled flurry of thoughts, reactions, experiences, and wonderings that are jostling about in my head, but I shall make a valiant effort, I promise. . . .

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The Day I Thought I Would Die (But Didn't)

Karen Kasius



 
© Copyright 2018 by Karen Kasius


 
Photo of two feet in a bed.

February 23,  2015 , the last day of my life.  The last day of my life ,  cleaning  baseboards , chopping celery and tossing out Nutella .  All this in preparation for tomorrow when I go in for surgery.  Surgery I will not survive.  I know, I know, very self centered making it all about me.  Not thinking about the family I am about to leave behind.  I’ve found myself more concerned about what people will say when they come to our house after the memorial  service at the end of the week.  Was she a good mother? ( whaaat?? the French eat Nutella )  Did she keep a clean house? ( mmm...no but she did buy supplies) Did she volunteer for political events or school field trips? (not really but she did bring oranges once to a little league game even though her son was INTENTIONALLY left off the roster)  Did she hold grudges? Not at all  (except little league)....

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Ambush--Gender Modified


Robert Flournoy

 

© Copyright 2018 by Robert Flournoy    

Photo of a female combat soldier.
This is based on a true experience I had in Vietnam. When the debate about women in combat was the story of the day I massaged my experience a little to try and shed some light on the reality of such nonsense.

Our platoon was strung out in a ragged line, concealed in the foliage of a hillside, with a good view and fields of fire of a large terraced farm field about 50 meters across from a trail that ran between it and below us. . . .

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Where Lions Sleep

 

Anna G. Joujan 

   

© Copyright 2018 by Anna G. Joujan 

   

Photo a lions at rest.  (c) 2001 by Richard Loller.


It is a sound unlike any I have ever heard before, and a sound impossible to describe with the written word. But once you have heard it, you can never forget it. So my sleep has been sweet, lulled into slumber each night to the soft and steady hum of the lions.

It has been the week of the lions. A small pride of females moved into the camp—no one knows why, as it is unusual for them to choose such a relatively inhabited spot, humanly speaking, for their hunting grounds. But they are most definitely here. And our daily life has been significantly disrupted. . . .

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A Family's Gift



Robert Flournoy

 

© Copyright 2018 by Robert Flournoy   


 

Photo of Robert's back yard with daisies.

About sixteen years ago I threw a handful of wildflower seeds onto a small sunny slope that comes down out of the woods in our back yard.

When we bought our home in Franklin, TN, after moving here from Denver eighteen years ago, I did not realize (due to a listing error on the part of the selling realtor) that we were getting a lot that was almost three acres in size. Surrounded by a small forest of hardwoods. . . .

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Lesson From Lorraine and Sue


Jo Somerset



 
© Copyright 2018 by Jo Somerset


 

Photo of sunrise.  (c) 2001 by Richard Loller.
 
This work traces the fortunes of two women – Lorraine and Sue (both close to me) – who were vociferous proponents for disabled people’s freedom.  Both had experienced polio in the 1950s epidemic in Britain. In tracing the web of their lives, I had to consider how to essay their lives where my (non-disabled) viewpoint did not drown out their voices. . . .

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Choir Mom
 


Christopher DeCou



 
© Copyright 2018 by Christopher DeCou


 

Photo of Korean lanterns and banners.

Dawn was sitting in the corner at the small table. She has light brown hair, though as she admitted in her smooth drawl, “I just got my hair colored yesterday. I knew I had to get cleaned up before meeting you. I met David and Katherine for lunch on Sunday, and had to apologize so many times for my appearance. I looked awful. I haven’t had it recolored all summer. I’m just vain enough, I have to make sure my hair is colored right.” She is fond of describing herself as “matronly,” and I can’t think of a better description. She commands a room, always prepared for any and everyone, ready to solve any crisis, be a shoulder to cry on, offer a word of advice. She is not tall or imposing, but her presence always impresses. . . .

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Of Books and Fighter Planes




Anne Organista


 
© Copyright 2018 by Anne Organista


 

Painting of a P51 Mustang in combat.

In numerous instances, teaching has made me a private spectator to the breakthroughs in my students’ learning. There is never as much joy in watching a person’s (be it child or adult) sense of wonder awakened and witnessing a discovery found in the most unlikely places. . . .

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Hello My Darling



Rachael McGann



 
© Copyright 2018 by Rachael McGann


 




Photo of Bubbie's 91st birthday party.

Mamashana. As long as you look good, that’s all that matters.”

The literal translation is “pretty mother”, but it’s generally used as a term of endearment for girls in one’s family. One’s Jewish family, I should note (although, come on…you knew that.)

Since childhood, I was convinced it was a nickname reserved just for me. I never heard my grandmother, “Bubbie”, call anyone else mamashana, and after all I was her first - and favorite - grandchild. . . .

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Auld Tom--The Leek Man





Jilly Allison


 
© Copyright 2018 by Jilly Allison

 

Photo of a man with trophy.


Auld Tom did exist in our village. He was a lovely man.  I have tried to explain quite lot. Leek growing and pigeon ‘fancying’ ( breeding of pigeons to fly long distances and win lots of medals as opposed to pigeons used as ‘messengers’ in the First World War.)

Auld Tom was a legend in his own lifetime, primarily because of his expertise with leeks and because that lifetime stretched over 96 years, as opposed to Young Tom, a mere stripling of 72, and John Thomas, the grandson in his fifties, these intrepid folk inhabited our village in the nineties and were a leftover of times long past. . . .

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Aunt Mary



Jilly Allison


 
© Copyright 2018 by Jilly Allison

 

Photo of a parlor chair with antimacassar.
Other families get a ‘femme fatale’ our family got a ‘femme formidable’ in the shape of Aunt Mary.

She was from the beginning an ‘outlaw’ and was not, to say the least, welcomed by the ‘coven’ that represented my Uncle Franks sisters.
She had MARRIED him in 1926 ( I use the phrase advisedly as it was generally thought that when this little ‘gold digger’ and her mother clapped eyes on Uncle Frank his goose was well and truly cooked) after the briefest of courtships they married with small ceremony and even smaller reception. . .

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Your Own Statement.


Fractoluminescence


 
© Copyright 2018 by Fractoluminescence


 

Photo of a girl's hand writing with a pencil.

I am a 16 year old girl that projects to become poet-writer-mangaka someday. My name as a writer and artist is 'Fractoluminescence'. Sorry, I know it's a bit too long :/ but I chose it carefully enough to be ready to keep it my whole life. It does have a significance (and at least I don't think anybody else had the idea to use it).

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The Endless Path


Trey Branom Dylan

 


© Copyright 2018 by Trey Branom Dylan

 
Photo of a sunrise through trees.  (c)2018 by Richard Loller.

Everyone grows up different, some having it worse than others and yes this was my life. Having parents with stability, is all I ever wanted. Luck did not go in my favor, as my parents were worthless. I had dreams I needed to fulfill, but they were holding me back. I had been with this dysfunctional household for eight years now. This is all I ever knew, and it was starting to impact me as a person and the human I wanted to become. . . .

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Ganymede: The Red Moon


Priya Florence Shah


 
© Copyright 2018 by Priya Florence Shah

 

NASA photo of Ganymede.

could feel the fear coursing through me as I looked out over the railing. The Others were going about their work down below. I knew I had to get out, get my family out of here before the moon passed over again. It was a Red Moon, beautiful in appearance, yet sinister in the havoc it would wreak over our seemingly peaceful colony, Ganymede.

Ganymede was all I had known. Since I could remember, we had lived with the Others in Ganymede. It was a fully-functioning living area that we had come to accept as our home. Yet, it was never really home to us. We were second-class citizens, leftovers of a dying race, and the Others took advantage of it. . . .

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Spiritual and Nightly Escapades in Our Country’s 2nd Summer Capital


Jesus Deytiquez

 
© Copyright 2018 by Jesus Deytiquez


 

Photo of entrance to man-made cave under the old church.

This is about my retreat in a dreaded center atop a mountain city during the last year of my college days, and my reflections about it.
*****
When I was graduating in college, we were required to attend a four days and three nights retreat in Tagaytay City. I was the chairman of the electoral board of our college back then, and the schedule of the student government election fell on the same date of our block’s retreat, so I needed to attend an earlier retreat with other blocks from other sections. As a consequence, I was a stranger amidst a bus filled with people that knew each other so well. . . .

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September 29, 2009



Melanie Pimentel Toth


 
© Copyright 2018 by Melanie Pimentel Toth

 

Photo of a distant galaxy.

I decided to write this story, because I felt like it needed to be put down. The words (the guilt) had eaten away at me for so long and they refused to stay cooped up anymore. This is a true, autobiographical story that focuses on my personal struggles growing up, the girl who pulled me out of the slump, and the details leading up to her early death.

Trust can be hard to come by, even for a child. Maybe even moreso for a child, whose skin is tender still so the scars can dig deeper, stay longer. It’s funny, really, how platitudes start to wither as time passes; thinking back, I sometimes wonder how it was that, young as I was, I could feel so alone. . . .

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The Emigration to the USA of One of the Biggest Biplanes in the World



Richard Franklin Bishop





© Copyright 2018 by Richard Franklin  Bishop
 
 
   

Photo of a Michael Manousakis with th Antonov AN-2.
           

Here I will record a modern aerial flight that mirrored Charles Lindberg's trip (but in reverse). It was performed by Michael Manousakis of Germany — A
21st Century Hero. It documents the courage of an Iron Man of the Airways and his Antonov AN-2 Flight from Germany to the USA in the largest biplane in the World. It is also written to keep the Reader “in the know” about what has been going on in the Aviation World, in case he hadn’t heard about it before. . . .

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Pearl Harbor Attack

 

Blue Dunwoody

  

© Copyright 2018 by Blue Dunwoody

  
 

Photo of Japanese plane dropping a torpedo.


The​ ​attack​ ​on​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​was​ ​a​ ​surprise​ ​to​ ​all​ ​of​ ​America,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​a​ ​surprise​ ​to​ ​Japan​ ​that​ ​it was​ ​successful.​ ​Kenneth​ ​T.​ ​Jackson​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Gilder​ ​Lehrman​ ​Institute​ ​of​ ​American​ ​History​ ​claims, "Admiral​ ​Yamamoto​ ​had​ ​every​ ​reason​ ​to​ ​be​ ​proud.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​only​ ​two​ ​reasons​ ​for​ ​immediate​ ​concern.​ ​First, the​ ​three​ ​large​ ​American​ ​aircraft​ ​carriers​ ​attached​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Pacific​ ​Fleet​ ​were​ ​not​ ​in​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​but​ ​were at​ ​sea​ ​on​ ​a​ ​practice​ ​mission,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​aviators​ ​could​ ​not​ ​find​ ​them."​ ​The​ ​article​ ​writes​ ​several ships​ ​were​ ​terminated,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​crewmen​ ​accompanying​ ​them. . . .

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I Want To Be A Scientist

 

Kristen Kay Mohammed

  

© Copyright 2018 by Kristen Kay Mohammed

  
 

Photo of an ad for "Watch Mr. Wizard.


This is a true story, my story about a young sun-kissed girl in a small island in a small part of the world that was told she couldn't attain her dreams. It is a story of hope, belief in oneself and breaking barriers. Hope you enjoy.

 “Many a man would come who would easily dispel your beliefs, laugh and say it cannot be done. Look upon such a man with pity, for he knows not the power that exists within him. Never let a man tell you it cannot be done, never let a man drown your beliefs. You are your own person, you harness great power within you and if you believe you can conquer the world, you can and you will conquer not the world but the entire universe.”. . .

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The Wrong Man

 

Jesse Blakers

  

© Copyright 2018 by Jesse Blakers

  
 

Photo of a Wrong Way sign.


'The Wrong Man' shares my interpretation of hilarious stories my mother has told me over the years about her first husband. She learnt lessons about love and how to prioritise yourself in a relationship, and that even if it takes one embarrassing marriage to learn those lessons, you will end up exactly where you need to be. . . .

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The Wrong Shoes



Kate Howard

 
© Copyright 2018 by Kate Howard

 

Photo of Kate's shoes.
Three days in the life of a gym membership. After many years of a sedentary lifestyle (and several hundred bottles of wine) I decide to go to the gym and lose some weight. But it’s a lost cause from the outset. 

I realise I have been saying this for years, but this time I really am going to do it! I am starting at the gym tomorrow, without fail. . . .

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A No Name Story



Amb Berryman

 
© Copyright 2018 by Amb Berryman

 

Photo of a girl with front teeth missing.

It was midway through the fourth grade when it all happened. No one knew what was going to happen. No one ever knows what’s going to happen until it happens. After all why would they? The day before is always like any ordinary day. It was for everyone involved in my account. . . .

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The Emotional Support Debate Is Tougher Than You Think



Katherine Vallera

 
© Copyright 2018 by Katherine Vallera

 

Originally published by TravelPulse

Photo of dog on airplane.

Some of us might have gotten a good chuckle when a woman tried to bring her “emotional support peacock” on a flight.

All humor aside, however, the incident served to reveal an elephant in the cabin and a far more complicated debate about how airlines treat animals, disabled passengers and those who abuse either. . . .

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Prepare To Let Me Go





Sarah Faith Nwosu

 
© Copyright 2018 by Sarah Faith Nwosu

 

Photo of flowers against a sunset.

It was three years after the cells hibernated inside Aby's walls. The inclement agony changed the weather in our home as we pulled in and out of the car at Doctor Pat's order; the hospital seemed to recognize its debilitated by their handymen as we moved Aby in the room to the offing for her sentence. . . .

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Surviving Irma: ‘We are Caribbean People, We are Strong”



Katherine Vallera

 
© Copyright 2018 by Katherine Vallera

 

Originally published by TravelPulse

Satallite photo of Hurricane Irma. (c) Weather.com

Shock. Sadness. Sullenness. Anger. These are the words Antigua & Barbuda resident Shelaine Henry uses to describe the emotions people are experiencing in the wake of Hurricane Irma.  

Having generated more accumulated cyclone energy than all other hurricanes so far this season combined, Irma is the strongest storm to have hit this island nation in recorded history.

Shelaine was in Antigua with her mother when the mega-storm made landfall, while her cat wandered off and was nowhere to be found. . . .

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Puerto Rico Isolated in Wake of Hurricane Maria



Katherine Vallera

 
© Copyright 2018 by Katherine Vallera

 

Originally published by TravelPulse

Photo of US soldiers aiding civilians after Hurricane Maria.

On Saturday, I received a message from my friend Alex Burgos, who works as an engineer. He wrote that communication was limited and asked me to book a flight for himself, his wife and his three-year-old son out of Puerto Rico. I asked him where he wanted to go.

We’re kind of desperate,” was the message he sent.

His limited communication was an understatement. We didn’t get in contact again until almost 24 hours later, and even then, it was only for a minute. . . .

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#MeToo in the Travel Industry



Katherine Vallera

 
© Copyright 2018 by Katherine Vallera

 

Originally published by TravelPulse

Photo of Katherine at a convention.

It happened the first day of a travel industry conference.

I walked into an elevator at 8:45 am. There were already two large men with menacingly large builds inside. I turned to face the doors as they closed.

You have nice hair,” commented one standing behind me. . . .

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Fiji Resort's Animal Rescue Initiative



Katherine Vallera

 
© Copyright 2018 by Katherine Vallera


Originally published by TravelPulse


Photo of Figi boys.

She emerged from the private island resort’s gardens, cradling a small creature wrapped in a fleece blanket. It definitely wasn’t your typical bundle of joy.

Instead, it was an adorable baby fruit bat that gazed back with glistening wide eyes full of wonder, conveying innocence, vulnerability and curiosity. . . .

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Hitchhiking in Middle Earth



Brittany Rohm

 
© Copyright 2018 by Brittany Rohm


 

Photo of a girl hitchhiking in New Zealand.

I had no plans, no itinerary, no idea, really. But that's what made getting rides from strangers exciting--if also terrifying, at times.

Encumbered by a hefty backpack, I trudged along Highway 1. The aroma of grass cleansed by rain wafted past on a summer breeze, and I paused to drink in the scent. I admired the rolling hills, the sheep bleating their hellos, and the dusk settling over the New Zealand countryside. . . .

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Heartbeats          

 

Mausumi Phukan Baruah

  

© Copyright 2018 by Mausumi Phukan Baruah

   

Photo of the author.


The little girl is running here and there, playing with other children. Her hairs flowing, eyes shining and cheeks glowing. She has a naughty smile in her face just like her father. That smile is infectious. It creates happiness all around. The guy is looking at her with content. “She has grown up so fast!, My Princess”. He murmured and smiled silently. Her mother is sitting next to him, a beautiful lady, calm, quiet, just opposite to the father and daughter. . . .

Read on...




Nosebleed


Shelby Dyer

 
© Copyright 2018 by Shelby Dyer

 
Photo of a girl with nosebleed.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been terrified of nosebleeds. They have always been regular occurrences throughout my lifetime and the bloody inconveniences affect everyone in my family, especially during the dry seasons. The fluctuating Colorado weather that surrounded me was not cooperative to these reappearances, either. But it wasn’t until I was around eight years of age did I develop an unnecessarily dramatic horror to even the smallest scarlet droplets seeping down anyone’s face. . . .

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Autobiography of Michaela Nelson



Michaela Nelson

 
© Copyright 2018 by Michaela Nelson

 


Photo of highland cattle.

I was born on May 26th 1999 at Northern Colorado Medical Center Hospital  in Greeley, Colorado. I lived in Kersey Colorado for only a short five years of my childhood. As far back as I can remember I was always outside doing my own thing, and my mom and dad were always fighting when dad got home from work. I was little, I did not know what the difference was, that was just how life was when dad got home from work. If only I knew what I know now! . . .

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I Am Cigarette





Prateek Jain


 
© Copyright 2018 by Prateek Jain



 
Photo of a man smoking a cigarette.
I AM cigarette And I AM yours…..

This story is about me, I am a cigarette… Everyone wants me… Many people pretend as if I am their first girlfriend, many of them treat me as a bad habit, and yet all of them want me badly and madly.

When I say "Everybody", there is no limit, no boundaries, no category, and no age limit to my fascination.
Because where ever you go, you find me at your SERVICE……………


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No One Ever Left Behind





Christopher Mathai


 
© Copyright 2018 by Christopher Mathai

 

Photo of a WW II American soldier.

JOURNAL 18: “We stormed the beaches of Normandy and have begun our push into the Nazi heartland. We’ve traveled through France and made it about 100 miles from the gates of  Germany. Our platoon is currently stationed in an abandoned town that we found on the way. I read a damaged sign in the front of the town and figured out that the name of it is Dolfenberg.
 
I’ve been with my squad for a few weeks already and I’ve already started assessing each of them. . . .

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When the Old Life Ends a New Life Must Begin

Patricia Pedross

 
© Copyright 2018 by Patricia Pedross


 

Photo of a temple in Bali.

One o'clock in the morning and I found myself to be wide awake, even after a 25 hour journey during which I had hardly slept, choosing to indulge in watching one movie after another instead. The city was still bustling even at this hour and I craned my neck trying to get a look at the enormous statues which hovered above us. They were at the centre of the many roundabouts we navigated and my head spun left and right as my attention was caught by what I was later to realize were the many shrines along the way. . . .

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A Letter to my Rapist

 

Aubrey Grace

  

© Copyright 2018 by Aubrey Grace

  
 

Photo of a girl's hand writing a letter.


My high school English teacher gave us an assignment, and the assignment was to write about a time that changed my life forever. Keep in mind the assignment was supposed to be two paragraphs. Two paragraphs turned into two pages and suddenly I found myself pouring my heart out about the moment that defined the rest of my life; the night I was raped. After my rape I wanted to make a difference, and the perfect way to do that was call attention to it and let people know the real aftermath and healing. Without further ado, A Letter to my Rapist. . . .

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Self Doubt

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2018 by Dale Fehringer

  

Photo of John Steinbeck.



Most writers, even the best of them, experience periods of self-doubt about their writing skills and work.  John Steinbeck, author of "The Grapes of Wrath" and many other novels, was one of the most successful authors of the 20th century.  But even he did not escape self-doubt.

I tried to write this book the way lives are being lived not the way books are written.

John Steinbeck

I’m willing to bet that all writers have experienced a moment, somewhere along the way, when they doubted whether the work they were doing was any good. That seems to happen even to writers who have been successful in the past. No one knows why – it seems to be a hazard of the trade. . . .







Sarojini - A Window to the World
of the Unseen People

 

Shiny Kesavan

  

© Copyright 2018 by Shiny Kesavan

  
 

Photo of the author.


Let me tell you a story today... a real story... a story that hit me so hard that it took me months to put it down on paper. A story that changed the way I looked at life. A story that showed me the different shades of courage, self-respect, sacrifice and dignity.

The story of a person - unseen, unknown, always present among us but never acknowledged. . . .

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The Heir

 

Sreya Sarkar

  

© Copyright 2018 by Sreya Sarkar

  
 

Photo of a man with headset..


The Heir is a story about a young man’s aspiration to make it big in the music World and how that makes him take a complex emotional route to connect to the aging owner of a music company, who is desperate to find a successor. . . .

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Serenity Now

 

Penelope Laurence

  

© Copyright 2018 by Penelope Laurence

  
 

Photo of Spa Eastman.


We all know the type. Those of a particularly hysterical nature whose friends regularly murmur to each other “that one’s got premature heart attack written all over her.” I know this person very well because most of the time it’s me. And I’ve done all the things the experts say to do; the breathing, the yoga, and more calming visualisation exercises than you can poke a chakra stick at, and not much changed. 

This is why I was more than a little sceptical when a friend suggested I spend a weekend at Spa Eastman (895 chemin des Diligences, Eastman), just a few hours east of Montreal nestled in Québec’s Eastern Townships. A place where, according to their literature, I was to “learn how to regain my feeling of well-being and to get back in touch with my inner self.”. . .

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.

.
Happiness

 

Ofelia Torres

  

© Copyright 2018 by Ofelia Torres

  
 

Photo of a woman's hands through jail bars.


What does it mean to be happy? To me happiness is an illusion. The happiness we see in movies, and on social media is nothing more than a front. I mean come on, nothing is that perfect. To be that perfectly happy must be fake. Even if they are happy for the moment, for how long will it last? I guess I will never be happy until I can make myself happy. The problem is that I don’t know what happiness is. I guess most of my life I am fake happy. . . .

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Woman by the Wayside

Akber Ayub 

© Copyright 2018 by Akber Ayub 



Photo of a sunrise.


A few years ago, I was traversing interior Kerala, Southern India, gathering material for a coffee-table travel book. I was in Thirunelly, a green hilly outpost in Wayanad, Kerala, known for its ancient temples and fabulous trekking trails. On a cool Sunday morning, dawn was just breaking over the hills when I stepped out of my hotel room. The air was filled with the trills and cries of dulcet birds. And gnarled old trees whispered under a steady cool breeze. While I tramped over a long-winding track, a pariah dog from the slumbering village tagged along and kept pace.

Coming out of a bend in the rutted track I nearly bumped into the woman by the wayside. Her eyes bored into mine; holding my gaze until I looked away. I blinked, even as my mind registered her doleful eyes. Intrigued, I broke my stride, regarding her warily. Her eyes promptly welled with tears and a thin streak rolled down her cheeks. . . .

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Ghostly Figures

 

Margie Hofman 

 

© Copyright 2018 by Margie Hofman
 
 
     
 

Photo of a British tank crewman smiling.


. . . .Since I was a young child, I think I was five, I always had a vivid imagination.  I would hear people talking about someone, and the next day it was mentioned in conversation. . . .

My father was in the army and we used to mention him in our prayers every night. My mother said “Now your father is in Germany “ One evening at about 7pm I stared at the wall and saw a vision of my father driving his tank, but he turned to me and smiled. I knew he would be all right. I did not know where Germany was . I told my mother that I had seen a picture of my Dad in a tin box (I had never seen a tank) and she said “Don’t ever tell me if you see anything like that again” and I never did. . . .

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The Nostalgia of Durga Puja 

Festival of Chakradharpur

 

Shivaji K. Moitra 

 

© Copyright 2018 by Shivaji K. Moitra 
   

 

Image of the Godess Durga.


The Upanishads mention that the cosmos resonated with the all pervading sound ‘OM’ at the beginning of Time. But Time cannot be perceived without awareness. So God created the human beings to perceive Time and also to wonder at His grand creations.

Ever since, our religious beliefs, sweet and sour memories and our nostalgia have been our companions until death because time never pauses for anybody.

Quite a few of my cherished childhood memories revolve around the DURGA PUJA Festival at the Bengali Association of Chakradharpur. . . .

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Adventures in Pet Sitting




Terri Rimmer


 
© Copyright 2018 by Terri Rimmer

 

Photo of a woman giving a cat a pill.

After pet sitting for years on my own for friends and family I decided to officially try my hand through a local pet service in Sept. 2003. 

I have since gone on to work for two other pet sitting services since that time but these are just some of the interesting things that I experienced before that.

As if I hadn't had enough adventures on my own, I had no idea my new job would involve skinned knees, leash rope burn, jogging after wayward animals, coordinating alarm codes to match my walk around a house, matching personalities to duties, and coaxing jealous furry siblings to at least tolerate one another while the other one ate. . . .

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Things Are Never As They Seem

Robert Flournoy

 

© Copyright 2017 by Robert Flournoy   

 

Photo of Irving by a plane in 1944.

As a young boy, sitting quietly around the dinner table at our family's old farmhouse, my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents shared a wealth of folk and family lore during dinner—and in the idle time after, in front of the fire. With no TV, and unreliable radio reception in rural Alabama of the 1950s, we practiced the age old but now fading art of just plain talking. As a result of those moments, I can appreciate the passing down of stories in ancient cultures that did not have the written word. I also understand how, over time, younger generations, completely spellbound and enthralled by these stories, could and did slowly change the tone and content of what they had heard. I have never retold the story of Irving Reedy, but it has festered in my mind over the years, growing from the seeds of conversations around that old dinner table so many years ago. . . .

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The Train



Karen Osborn

 
© Copyright 2018 by Karen Osborn


 

Photo of a light at the end of a tunnel.
We lay in bed that night, just as we did every night at promptly 9pm, and we talked about our days. I was only four or five at the time,completely unbiased of the world still surprisingly. We talked about daycare and about the upcoming months, we talked about if I wanted to get married or if boys were still gross, we talked about everything under the sun. Except we never talked about my father. In fact, my mother never said two words about him after he left.

But I remember one night when she told me it would all be okay, and I didn’t have to worry as there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when I turned to her and asked a very loaded question for a child, one that I didn’t think was anything to think about. It was child’s logic to me, but yet that question has stuck with my mother everyday. With little tears in my eyes and a heavy heart in my chest, I turned to her and asked very quietly, “mama, is the light at the end of the tunnel another train?”. . .

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Learning to Appreciate the Sport of Curling

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer

  

Photo of a game of curling.


A few years ago in the small town of Naseby, New Zealand, we developed an appreciation for the sport of curling. Prior to this, curling had been one of those sports (like fencing and water aerobics) we saw only on TV during the Olympics. And while we assumed that participants were skilled at what they did, we had little understanding of why grown-ups would chase a chunk of stone down the ice with brooms. . . .

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I Can't Believe I Almost Didn't Go to Oaxaca

Lorenza Seldner

 
© Copyright 2018 by Lorenza Seldner

 

Photo of Lorenza at Santiago Apoala.

While I was working in a Manufacturing Plant at my hometown, a close friend and I decided to utilize our upcoming holiday to take a trip to Oaxaca. Although neither the companionship nor the trip itself turned out to be what I'd expected (especially since Oaxaca was considered a violent place at the time), I cannot help to smile each time I reminisce about the short period of time spent down there. . . .

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Befriending The Lizard Man




Lauren Buss

 
© Copyright 2018 by Lauren Buss

 

Photo of a bearded dragon lizard.

A day in mid-February sees beautiful weather here in Houston. Pleasant temperatures are more common than they are made out to be in this strange place where winter feels like spring, spring feels like summer, and summer feels like the belly of the devil. The mildness of this particular Friday morning coaxes me out of hiding and onto the porch. I am armed with a cup of coffee and my busily annotated copy of Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, a personal recipe for relaxation. . . .

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Franco and Billy


Bonnie Boerema


 
© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema



 
Photo of three old guys.

The first week after we moved to Southwest Florida, Kenny joined Marco Island Fitness Club. The

owner, Bob, introduced him to Franco, another retired cop from Chicago. Franco was the head of the

Homicide Division in Chicago. They hit it off immediately. Another friend he met was Billy from New

Jersey, a sweetheart of a man, with a crazy sense of humor, a real character, and totally uninhibited. A

funny guy, who makes everybody in the room laugh. The three of them together started being great

friends and buddies. They had a lot of fun together, with a great camaraderie between them. . . .

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The Pursuit of Unity in Time of Destruction




Elias Gebru 


 
© Copyright 2018 by Elias Gebru

 

Photo of a world surrounded by many hands.
Currently our population is facing many worldwide challenges such as global warming causing ironical swiping flood for some and a blazing wildfire for others.  Eminent devastating nuclear war threats terrorize humanity. Nature and evil nurture; unveiling the worst out of them! . . .

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It's You




Chessica Luckett

 
© Copyright 2018 by Chessica Luckett

 

Photo from The Graduate where Dustin spoils wedding.
It's You is a romance story about a man that finally realizes that the one he was meant to become one with, was right in front of him
 
And just like that it was over. Christian Smith, like so many other men here in Austin, Texas, was a fool. A fool because he let the only woman that ever set his soul on fire, get away. He splashed water on his face to wash away the truth, to wash away what was so clearly being shown in front of him. Christian ran out of the restroom and into the chapel.

"Stoppp!" He yelled out. . . .

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The Little Red Schoolhouse 



Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2018  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo of the little red schoolhouse.

Not long ago, the last one room school house in my home town closed forever, and a page in local history was irrevocably turned. Looking back on the experience of attending classes at the Little Red Schoolhouse, I sometimes wonder if I lived it or have a false memory from some old TV family drama. In my mind’s eye I walk through the back fields, go down the small road past the large new elementary school, and stand once more in the tiny cleared space before the front door, worn down by many busy little feet over the years. The grass is beginning to encroach, the long tough witch grass that springs up rapidly once a clearing is not often used. . . .

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The Lazarus Effect

Carol Arvo 

 

© Copyright 2018 by Carol Arvo

Photo of aold movie therater.


It was dark, cold, and empty, a lifeless emptiness that seeped into every cell in our bodies, an emptiness that forbade talking. It demanded fearful whispers that vibrated against the walls and crept back at us with eerie boding. Hesitation slowed our steps and looming shadows surrounded us, as if soldiers were incorporating us into their ranks.

We discerned a slight, barely detectable odor of nonexistence around us, but continued to bravely make our way into the pit, down, further, until we were in the center of the lifeless cavity. We sat on stiff leather seats made hard by the cold. We huddled close together and pulled our collars up, hoping for protection from the damp blackness. Due to a fluke of traffic, or rather the lack of it, we arrived before life itself had entered the great hall and now we must wait in its belly. . . .

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Cloaks of Uncertainty


Diwa Shaw

 
© Copyright 2018 by Diwa Shaw


 

Photo of a girl in a mortar board.
The squeaking of the asymmetrical fan had settled in the earlobe as indifferently as the dust who had been the local occupant of the fan since the cleaning break, last summer. The mirror in the center, and our impetuous young lifestyle, required a modest frame and some scrubbing. The disheveled room was a transient set from a movie. . . .




Rising Above Negative Circumstances


Allison McClurg



 
© Copyright 2018 by Allison McClurg

 

Photo of Kent Julian.

Elizabeth Smart was a 14 year old girl in Utah who had woken up to a strangers hand over her mouth and was abducted. A few months before this happened you could describe her family as the “perfect family”. The kind of family that you would see in the movies. One day her family was walking down the street and they saw a homeless guy. He did not ask for money, but instead asked for work. Being that type of family, her dad said that he could come work on their roof. . . .

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Jolie



James Cowles



 
© Copyright 2018 by James Cowles

 

Photo of a Jolie.

It was February when our fifteen-year-old cock-a-poo, Missy passed away and we of course were devastated. She was barely seven-weeks old when we got her and she had quickly become a treasured member of our family. After she died, one of the most difficult things for us was to come home and see an empty window where she used to sit; the one she always watched from, waiting for our return. . . .

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Brave Knight



Cattibrie Chapin


 
© Copyright 2018 by Cattibrie Chapin



 

Painting of St. George and the dragon.
Once upon a time, in a land filled with magic, a brave knight traveled about to lend his services to those in need. He belonged to no kingdom, and had long since left his family and friends behind in pursuit of his own happiness. The knight knew from a very young age that he was only good at one thing: protecting people.

His life dream was to help the defenseless and save as many good people as possible. He roamed the land freely, well loved and respected by most kingdoms. His reputation as a kind and generous protector grew as he assisted elderly people, stopped bandits, and even fought monsters. Indeed, he was a mighty and noble knight. However, as he saved villages and defeated villains, he became sadder and sadder. . . .

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Together Again for the First Time



Rosi Hollinbeck

 
© Copyright 2018 by Rosi Hollinbeck

 

Photo of sisters.

For over sixty years, my mother knew she had siblings who had been given up for adoption. It wasn't until she was in her seventies that she was able to meet her long-lost sister.

They moved around each other in a tight circle, like two aged, heavy fighters looking for the first punch. Then they went into a clinch. A groan came from Helen, the shorter of the two elderly women. Stunned and nearly speechless, she finally croaked out a few words. "I don't know where to begin. I have so much to ask. So much I want to know. Where have you been? How have you been? Who are we? How can we look so much alike and not have found each other before now?" . . .

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16 Lake Avenue, Ocean Park, NJ

 

Matthew Conte

  

© Copyright 2018 by Matthew Conte

  
 


It would be easy to act jaded in a place like the dining room of the Rainforest Cafe on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It's at the bottom of a neon hill, a miniature Vegas strip so bright from the wax museum, the arcade, the miniature golf, the hulking, decaying dinosaur models, that it could never fully be night, and in fact, we did act a little jaded. Less than a week after the fire that took our apartment and our belongings, we stopped in the Amazon-themed gimmick as the last of an all-out tourist blitz of the connection between lakes Erie and Ontario, confronted with the cheeriest of Canadian waitresses. . . .

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Cows of a Lesser Hue




Bob Dunlap


 


© Copyright 2018 by Bob Dunlap


 
Photo of a cow.

This story is true, for the most part.  Embellishment is part and parcel of the nature of this beast. Even though the general synopsis is the simple act of riding a motorcycle through a bunch of cows and the aftermath, it makes sort of a story with a little imagination.
   
Early one summer morning, while heading to work down a country road on my beloved scoot, upon cresting a hill, I saw that the road ahead was, alas, covered with cows.  They were big cows with big horns, and I slowed down in a big hurry.  Weaving through them, I yelled over to the nearby House of Booger People, “Hey!!!  Your cows are loose!” . . .

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Ladies of the Skies



Caroline Jensen


 
© Copyright 2018 by Caroline Jensen


 
Photo of Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie.

   
          Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie

An aviatrix is a woman aviator, a woman pilot, or a woman flyer. Another term, although not commonly used, is aviatress.

In the 20th century (the 1900s) women progressed significantly in the area of aviation. The first pilot’s license issued to a woman was in France in 1910. The United States first issued a pilot’s license a year later. In Canada, Ontario did not have a licensed female pilot until 1928. Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie became the first female Transport Pilot in 1927 and was also the first woman to become a licensed aircraft mechanic. . . .

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Alone at New Year 



Aditi Srivastava

 
© Copyright 2018 by Aditi Srivastava

 

Photo of a sad girl from India.

It was 22:00 when I was done dressing up for New Year’s Eve party. I started dressing up at 21:56 and was done by 22:00. This was the exact time my new year started to screw up. So, the situation was that that our hostel’s owner collected 100 Rupees from every girl who couldn’t make it to their home this New Year’s Eve. I also contributed for the pity party. At that time I thought something is better than nothing.

Well, I was dressed up, I put on a sweet looking beanie, not only because it matched with my clothes but also because I didn’t wanted to comb my hair. My roommate and I went downstairs (at the party venue) and were asked to have dinner, which they shouldn’t have prepared, even for a person dying from hunger (because it definitely not good to be cursed by dying person). . . .

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Como Se Llama, Bonita 



Reagan Brownell


 
© Copyright 2018 by Reagan Brownell




Photo of Shakira album cover.

Hips Don’t Lie” plays all the time in my house. I am seven years old, and I know all the words. I especially like the singer, but I wish he let the girl sing more. I don’t think I’ve heard any other voice like hers before. When my family listens to the song, Mom won’t let us play it too loudly because she is trying to work, but we all dance anyway, and sometimes we even convince her to join us. But the best is when I’m in the car with Dad and we can listen to it as loud as we want and sing as loud as we want. . . .

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Z. J. Loussac



Steven C. Levi

 
© Copyright 2018 by Steven C. Levi

 

Photo of Z. J. Loussac.

Zachery Joshua Loussac. But usually it’s Z. J. Loussac; a name synonymous with Anchorage, Alaska. He was the city’s most colorful mayor, most notable rags-to-riches personal success story and a philanthropist who shocked the city with his largess: $500,000 by the time of his death in 1965, half his personal wealth – about $7 million in today’s dollars. The city library is named in his honor and his personal art collection – donated to the public – is as close to an artistic fingerprint of Alaska as one can find.

But Loussac was more than a local hero. His life was symbolic of the last century. He was an Horatio Alger character in the flesh. . . .

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The Trustworthy 



Shirin Mulla


 
© Copyright 2018 by Shirin Mulla



 
Photo of a sleeping crocodile.

I hear thunder!!

I hear thunder!!

Oh, don’t you?

Pitter patter raindrops pitter patter raindrops….

I am wet through..... !!

Sang little Diana as cloud spelled raindrops on her pinkish cheeks. Today the road seemed to be unusual than the other days. Thunder echoed in the valley. She enjoyed the changing weather although it carried a dark air. Soon she heard something in the bushes to the roadside. A small white-brownish, hairy puppy wailed at her as she looked at him pettily. He had bright, sparkling ambitious eyes. But they were urging for help! It might have met with an accident it seemed…!

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Sometime In October



Richard Wall


 
© Copyright 2018 by Richard Wall






Photo of school children during a atomic bomb drill.

Sometime in October of 1962, my 12 year old self was huddled down in a somewhat muddy, newly dug trench in the cold, clear weather outside my school in East Point, Ga. That part of Georgia is known for its red clay, and I faced a wall of red dirt with the occasional root sticking out. I was not alone. My classmates and teacher were there too.

Somewhere between Florida and Cuba, military men were coming close to a decision which could render the area near that town and school a radioactive cinder. The warning sirens had sounded, my teacher’s face going white with fear, and we students were rushed to the trenches, where it was believed we would be “safe”. Whatever that meant....

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Movie Buff



Bonnie Boerema

 
© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema

 
Photo of James Dean.
In 1951, when I was eight years old, dad started taking my twin sister and me with him to the movies. He was quite a movie buff, and enjoyed them immensely. Most weeks in the 50’s, after their work week was over on Fridays,our family would drive to Springfield on RT 66 Highway from Conway. Mom  would go shopping.

Dad always got himself a large popcorn and coke. He’d buy me a Mound’s candy bar, my favorite, with a Coke, and Connie a 7-Up candy bar and Coke.   It was usually either the Fox or Gillioz Theaters. The Fox was next to the J.C. Penney Store on the square in downtown Springfield, Missouri....

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Old Gray 



Odelia Chan


 
© Copyright 2018 by Odelia Chan




Photo of Ernest and his twin girls.


Odelia Chan is an undergraduate currently studying for her English degree. Passionate about the way words chase themselves across the pages of books, she has decided only a year ago to pursue the lonely and often disappointing path of being a writer. Living in the country side of Canada has inspired her to pick up the pen and explore the brave new world of writing. She lives with her seven boisterous siblings and two wonderful parents.

Hunger tears through me, as painful as the jagged gash on my leg. I can barely lift my head an inch above the gritty forsaken ground. Something pants ahead: I know what it is.

It is a dog gone wild. 

We are fellow sufferers. Enemies. . . .

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The Wallaby Wars

Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2017  by Karen Radford Treanor

   


Photo of a wallaby.

Ignoring almost all the major points on the list of things our new home
must have, we made an offer on an outsize country cottage in rural Tasmania. We were entranced by the sunshine, flowers, swooping swallows, soaring eagles and the view of the nearby d’Entrecasteaux Channel. The cottage sat on the outskirts of Gordon, a town so small it isn’t really there at all—but oh! the views; the crystal air; the balmy temperatures and frisky breezes!

It was a day that any real estate agent would be proud to have ordered in specially: warm but not too warm; Marshmallow Fluff clouds floating over the nearby Channel, everything in the garden looking its best. There were even bumblebees, big story-book bumblebees, something I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years of living on the other side of the big brown island continent of Australia.

It was only much later we discovered our New Found Land was inhabited by monsters....


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Antique World



Bonnie Boerema

 
© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema

 
Photo of a booth in an antique mall.

My dad started dabbling in antiques in the 70’s, buying living room and bedroom pieces that were beautiful. When he died in 1981, they were left  to my mom.

I’ve liked arts and crafts since the 60’s, being a creative woman, who loves to make things. In 2003, after my mom died, I got the antique bug myself. I loved going to all the antique stores in Branson and Ozark, Missouri. It’s a very popular business in that area. I loved browsing in  them, sorting out the quality from the junk. . . .

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Angel and Thunder
 


Bonnie Boerema


 
© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema


 

Photo of Angel.
Angel
Photo of Thurder
Thunder

My husband’s a retired cop, and when we met he was living in Missouri, out in the boonies on his forty two acre place that he’d bought in 1998. He lived one hundred miles from my home in Springfield, Missouri. While he was a cop in Chicago, he took three vacations a year to drive down to his place, and work.

When we met in 2008, in Springfield, he drove me down there to see his place, and what he’d done with it. He’d mowed a large portion of lush green grass in the front and back to make a beautiful lawn, and bush hogged all the fields with his tractor. He also got the driveway paved, and had him a three car garage built.  In it he kept his red Ford Bronco, riding lawn mower, tractor, and his many tools he’d accumulated over the years, hanging on the back wall over his work bench.

When we drove up in the back drive by the garage and back porch, I spotted two horses. Thunder was a male Appaloosa, and a real match for Kenny. He’d tried to ride him twice. Thunder bucked him off both times. He had a personality all his own. He took to me as soon as I walked up to the fence. His two very large, shiny eyes full of mischief, were warming up to me. I’d lived in Springfield most of my life, and wasn’t familiar with horses. . . .

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London through the Eyes of a Cabbie

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer

  

Photo of Dominic Shannon.


There is much to see in London and taxi driver, Dominic Shannon, will help you take it in – from a unique perspective. From the moment you enter his cab you embark on an adventure; not just moving around the city, but observing it. Shannon has been photographing London for years, capturing thousands of moments in time, from vistas to vagrants, and he gladly shares his views with his customers....

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They Will Always Be His Kids

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer

  

Photo of Lee Roberson.


There are many kids that need help finding their way in the world, and there are many ways to help them. Lee Roberson spent a large chunk of his life working with disadvantaged children, and he found it rewarding in a special way. Lee saw a lot of kids go through Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (Tel-Hi) in San Francisco, and he saw a lot of change during his nearly 20 years there, but one thing always stayed the same: "To be successful," he said, "You have to put your heart and soul into the job."...

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Loo-See 


Barry Carver
 
© Copyright 2017 by Barry Carver




 
Photo of a border collie.

On the occasion of visiting Hadrian’s Wall (The ancient Roman dividing point between Scotland and England) I have this day met a fine border collie. I thought her name was “Lucy” but I have since been informed that it is “Loo-See.”

Being a guard dog of the highest order, the name fits her. For I am told, whenever there is a curious noise or action, it’s this lovely black and white canine who is the first to go and have a look see....

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The Sinking Ship

 

Author Unknown...

  

Translation by Hamza Balol

  
 

Photo of an abandoned rowboat.


The teacher was telling his students the story of a sinking ship in the middle of the sea. On board, there was a couple and a lifeboat for only one person. All of a sudden, the man pushed his wife aside, jumped into the boat, and sailed away from the sinking ship, leaving his wife to face her impending death alone. As the ship began to sink in the sea, the woman shouted at her husband..... At this moment, the teacher stopped telling the story and asked the students, "What in your opinion did she say to him?..."

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Glen's Bakery and Restaurant

 

Leslie Soule

  

© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule

  
 

Photo of Stagebusters Domain cover.

Crescent City lies on the California coast, just before the Oregon border. It is by the ocean and also features mountainous regions, and redwoods. For natural beauty, it is one of California’s best-kept secrets. But for all the city’s scenic charm, it also contains that staple of small towns that serves as a gathering place, a location for the acquisition of gustatory pleasures – the diner. This particular diner is called Glen’s Bakery and Restaurant, and its story is unique and inspiring....

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A Teddy Bear Named Timmy         

David Winnie

 
© Copyright 2017 by  David Winnie

 
 
 

Photo of Timmy.


When I hear Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas,” I give a tiny shudder. We had white Christmases growing up in the late 1960’s in Everett, Washington. Decidedly not as romantic as Mr. Crosby’s songs. Our house was old and uninsulated, with a small oil heater in the living room huffing out a halo of heat that rarely would find its way around the corner and up the staircase to the unfinished attic my four older brothers and I slept in....

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Angels Among Us

Linda Davis Biggs

 
© Copyright 2017 by Linda Davis Biggs


 
Photo of heavy rain coming off a roof.
   

Most residents of Middle Tennessee will not forget May 1, 2010. We received around fifteen inches of rain in a little over two days. The ground quickly became saturated. Most rivers began to overflow. Our property is approximately 40 feet from the banks of Mill Creek. Mill Creek is affected by the condition of Cumberland River. The Cumberland River levels are regulated by the authorities employed at the Corps of Engineers....

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Grandmother



Norma Tekell

 
© Copyright 2017 by Norma Tekell


 

Photo of Grandmother and Edith.
     Grandmother           Edith


It was the summer between my second and third grades of school. I sat on the steps and watched as daddy finished attaching his homemade camper to the back of his old blue pickup. Momma and my brothers hurriedly began packing our belongings in the back of the truck. I called out to daddy “Why do we have to move to Kansas?” He responded, “It is our gypsy blood calling us” As I sat there I began to think of all the thing I would miss about this place; all my kitties, our pet pig Onkie, the daily seafood platter, the sunsets over the Inland Water Way, the daily trips to the outhouse, the sounds from Paris Island, the smell of marsh grass, pine trees, and the wide open spaces....

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Silence Is Not Always Golden

My Selective Mutism Story



Nicole Van Zyl


© Copyright 2017 by Nicole Van Zyl
 
Photo of a worried child.

One day in class when I was in grade 3, we had to read to our teacher. When it was my turn to read, I stood next to her and read from the book we were given, very softly. Everyone in class couldn't believe it. "Wow, she's talking!" they said. Now you might ask, whats the big deal with that? Well, what if I told you that I had Selective Mutism?

Selective Mutism is a severe form of anxiety disorder when the person finds it difficult to talk in certain social settings. It was once thought to be rare but now it is believed to be more common than previously thought....

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Single Mom 


Bonnie Boerema


 
© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema


 
Photo of Bonnie's Grandmother, Mabel.

In 1968 my husband’s job changed him from the day shift to the night shift. The guys that worked nights were mostly single or divorced. He started heading to the bars with some of them when his shift ended at 1:30 p.m., and coming home about daylight. Women started calling the house.

In 1971 tragedy struck. A twenty one year old drunk driver from Kansas City, going over one hundred miles an hour, with a horse trailer behind his truck hit us on the left side of our car. Our little middle son, Chris was killed instantly from a head injury. Neither me, my husband, David or Crystal had a scratch on us....

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Country Cafe


Robert Flournoy

 

© Copyright 2017 by Robert Flournoy


 Drove down to a little country cafe this morning with a friend 10 years my senior, a gentle soul who set a needed mood. A cool sunny blustery Autumn morning with leaves swirling,wild eyed horses running in pastures with rolls of fresh hay snuggled between split rail fences and clear running brooks and rills. 10 miles later we arrived in a dirt parking lot which was full of old trucks, and a couple of tractors....

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Reflectons on Snow 

Norma Tekell

 
© Copyright 2017 by Norma Tekell


 

Photo of a cat looking at a snow scent.

Sitting here in the den, in my comfy blue recliner, dressed in my blue fleecy lounging pants that are adorned with snowflakes, my old navy blue tee-shirt, and leopard print slippers, I can see the snow falling. Those big fluffy looking snowflakes that Daddy called “goose down flakes.” In my memories, I remember this type of flakes as the ones that stayed around for awhile. As a child I thought snow was on the ground from late November to early March. However, as an adult I feel there were days, in that span of time, the ground was clear of that white covering. I hear the weatherman from Channel 4 in the background saying we may get up to six inches of snow. As I continue to watch the big fluffy flakes dancing to the ground, memories of snow in my childhood years fills my mind....

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Tony Bennett

Part of San Francisco

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer

  

Drawing of Tony Bennett


It would be hard to find people in San Francisco who haven’t heard of Tony Bennett and can’t sing along with at least part of I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Anthony Benedetto, or Tony Bennett as the world knows him, has sung the ballad thousands of times: At the Fairmont Hotel (where a statue of him now stands), at the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, when the Bay Bridge reopened after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, at the San Francisco Symphony Hall, and at championship games for the 49ers and Giants. It plays at AT&T Park after every Giants victory, and it’s heard in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs all over the city....

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Mabel 


Bonnie Boerema


 
© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema


 
Photo of Bonnie's Grandmother, Mabel.

My grandma Mabel was quite a woman. She was born in 1902. She married grandpa Luther in 1920, at age eighteen. He was five years older than her. He was born in 1898, and he’d been a cowboy out west before they married.

Her dad was Will, and her mom was Bertie. She called them Pa Pa and Momma. They farmed west of Conway, Missouri. They had eight children, five sons and three daughters. Grandma Mabel was their middle daughter. Grandpa Luther farmed, too, as did many in the midwest in the 1920’s 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. He was good at it, and made them a good living with it. Grandma Mabel helped him....

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Autumn Leaves          

 

Judith Nakken 

 

© Copyright 2017 by Judith Nakken   
 

 

Photo of Autumn leaves in the water.



Roger Williams’ most impressive piano solo haunted my mid-1950’s days. It was all over the radio and I tortured myself with the 50 cent sheet music at whatever old piano I happened to be near at the time. Rogerette Williams I was never going to be, and it has only recently occurred to me that that piano music might have been the impetus for my obsession with leaves - gold, red, brown leaves. Autumn leaves.

Although, my stepmother was enamored of the much touted New England leaves. Each late October in those years she wheedled and cajoled until Daddy Bud fired up the old ’39 Ford and drove her round trip from D.C. to Vermont or some such place over a weekend. A whole roll of Kodak Brownie film would be devoted to trees, its output forced upon co-workers and apartment neighbors who didn’t escape in time. And me, when I was in residence. I rather liked the pictures, up to a point....

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Remember to Breathe 



Robin Y. Myers

 
© Copyright 2017 by Robin Y. Myers

 

Woman sitting near window blinds.

I didn’t think that I was going to get out alive. Not just once but numerous times throughout my life. I thought that life itself would kill me, some crazy person who simply hated me would kill me, or I would have killed myself.

Two events occurred early on in my life, when I was too young to remember them.

First, my father was in the Air Force and was stationed in Germany during the Viet Nam War.

Second, when I was just three or four years old, I’m told that my mother left the keys in the ignition of my stepfathers blue Pontiac convertible. The car was parked at the top of the small hill in our driveway. Somehow the car was started and put in reverse. It backed down the hill and across the street—into our neighbor’s beauty shop adjacent to their house....

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Long Goodby 


Bonnie Boerema


 
© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema


 
Photo of Bonnie's mother.
Mom had been a plucky, strong, independent woman her entire adult life.

But all of a sudden we started noticing changes in her. She had a stroke at age sixty seven. The whole left side of her body was shaking, out of control.

An ambulance brought her to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Her face was jaundiced and yellow. After a few days in the hospital, they released her. She was diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV). The doctors said she had too many red blood cells, and her platelets, (blood clotting cells) were starting  to multiply....

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Gifts 



Clay Chesney


 
© Copyright 2017 by Clay Chesney


Photo of mother and baby.

Surfing the channels one night  I came across a documentary about infant birth defects.  I usually avoid those stories set in sterile, white, metallic  hospital rooms where the doctor describes symptoms and treatments and possibilities to new parents who wait intently with desperation in their eyes.  It is the place where innocence meets hard reality, and it can be difficult to watch.  But in this case the story centered on some interesting research in the area of brain disabilities among the newborn and I followed it for a while.  What I found there was unexpected, a revelation for me, and it had nothing to do with medicine or treatment or science.  It was the first meeting between a young mother and her newborn daughter who was severely disabled....

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Saturday with Frederick Ransom Gray

 

Leslie Soule

  

© Copyright 2017 by Leslie Soule

  
 

Photo of Stagebusters Domain cover.



It was Saturday afternoon, around one o’ clock that I arrived at Book Lovers bookstore in Sacramento, California, off of Madison Avenue and Manzanita. I knew that there would be a couple of writers there, and hoped that at some point I might be able to pull one of them aside and speak to them about the process of writing and what techniques they used personally in the process of writing their novels. Upon entering the bookstore, I found that there was a small group of people milling about near the front of the store. That’s where a couple of tables had been set up, with authors sitting behind them, waiting for someone to take an interest or strike up a conversation....

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The Unforgettable Christmas 

Carol Rotta

 
© Copyright 2017 by Carol Rotta

 

Photo of smoke inside the house from a smoking fireplace.

Don and I were married in March 1966 and this would be our first Christmas together. I counted the days with the eagerness of a child awaiting Santa Claus. The kids in our blended family, Hal 16, Vicki 13, Donette 10 and Deanne 7 would be spending the holiday with their other parent, but Don’s dad and mom had accepted our invitation to celebrate the holiday with us. I looked forward to becoming better acquainted with them—and frankly, I hoped to impress them. I wanted them to see that Don had chosen a praiseworthy wife....

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Smaller Dreams

Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2017 by Dale Fehringer

  

Photo of an older lady with a teacup.


 Many of us are faced with challenges as our loved ones age.  Sometimes, there is a way around those problems.

Gina knew there was something wrong as soon as she walked through the door.  Her mother hadn’t put away the breakfast dishes, and the coffee pot was still turned on. That wasn’t usual. And her mother was sitting in the living room, by herself, instead of bustling around the house, as was her usual behavior.

Mom, are you OK?”  she asked....

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Scottish Terrier



Bonnie Boerema

 
© Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

 
Photo of a scotch terrier.

Temperament: Playful,Self-Assured, Alert, Fiesty, Quick, Independent.

In the nineties, I was the proud owner of two Scottish Terriers. We got them as tiny puppies when they were six weeks old. The first puppy that caught my eye was an adorable little female. We named her Joy. We found her at an expert Scottie breeder who knew her stuff, and loved dogs. This was in the spring of 1993. She lived on a farm near to Strafford,
Missouri....

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