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Richard Loller, Publisher
A Nonprofit Publisher Established In 1976
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Publisher Richard Loller's 
Fishing and Farming Journal
For Year 2020
Index to All Journal Years


Flash! 
Latest News! January 9, 2021

News From Our Writers
 

2021-2022 Contests 
New Rules now posted

Contest Judging
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All Contest Winners
(Check the competition)
Winners Circle Winners
(The Winners Circle is a contest category limited to previous first prize winners)

Scroll down for the most recent stories
Successful Stacy-Ann Shows Spunk




Priscilla Cargill




 
© Copyright 2021 by Priscilla Cargill



Photo of Stacy-Ann

Growing up in volatile, depressed areas of Kingston, Jamaica, poverty, and crime were clear. She could hear the deafening sound of gunshots day and night, which left her terrified. Ambitious Stacy-Ann Cargill née Campbell, determined to change the narrative of her life, aimed to improve her standard of living. To succeed in life, she must get a sound education; and a well-paying job. She also wanted to move to a better neighborhood, provide for her parents and two younger siblings. . . .

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I Have My Father's Toes



Michele Moore



 
© Copyright 2021 by Michele Moore




Photo of Michele's toes.

I have a vision, a dream, that one day there will be a peace and harmony that every person will live by and uphold — no matter what race, creed, nationality. A lofty goal by today’s evidence of violence and extremism in the name of religion, or just plain ignorance and fear of the unknown. . . .

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The Haitian - Jamaican Connection
Blood Ties, Support, Alliance and Comradship 




Winston Donald

 
© Copyright 2021 by Winston Donald



Jamaica , The One Love country has been at the forefront as a country compassionate and ready to provide a helping hand especially in times of need and times of economic or political upheaval. . . .

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Pieces of Lydia





Ladona LaPorte



 
© Copyright 2021 by Ladona LaPorte





Pieces of Lydia is a story about a Latvian woman living in the WWII era. A future detoured by the atrocities of war, this is a
story about one woman's struggles and coping mechanisms
. . . .

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Serving My Fatherland
Trip To A Slaughter Slab



Ekoja Solomon


 
© Copyright 2021 by Ekoja Solomon




I just completed my university thesis as I waited eagerly to be engaged in a year service to my fatherland via the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) The Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a sovereign country located in West Africa, the most populous black nation on earth with an estimated population of over 200 million people. In 1996, electoral and political process led to back-to-back military coups. . . .

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The Last Light
A Long But True Story




Nooruldeen Oglah

 
© Copyright 2021 by Nooruldeen Oglah




Photo by Jonas Kaiser on Unsplash.
                                              Photo by Jonas Kaiser on Unsplash

I am a wife and mother to a son and a daughter, and since I started my life with my husband, we have been living a good life. I have used throughout my married life to raise my children with several nannies, and each of them did not stay with me for more than two months and then escaped from my husband’s aggressive cruelty by nature. He was masterful in torturing any nanny who works for us, and I do not deny that I sometimes participated in his crime. . . .

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A Most Spectacular Dream
 



Joyce Benedict



 
© Copyright 2021 by Joyce Benedict


Photo of Kennedy's funeral procession.
                           

On November 20, 1963 I dreamt that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  I described the dream to three people days before the event. Not only was the dream the most extraordinary I  ever had in my life, but it changed my views of reality forever. . . .

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I Grieve for the Woman I Knew Before




Melissa Uchegbu


 
© Copyright 2021 by Melissa Uchegbu




When I was young, I adored my mom and would do everything with her. She was truly the center of my world; I remember this one time my siblings were having a sleepover. Me being the youngest I honestly couldn’t hang with the crowd, so I went into my parents’ room and slipped into their beds. My mom must have sensed me because she snaked her arms around me and held on tight for dear life, like in a moment’s notice we would be separated. . . .

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The Incident


Corbin Bosiljevac




 
© Copyright 2021 by Corbin Bosiljevac




Photo of hands through bars.

. . . .They yelled, mocked, harassed, and altogether annoyed the ever-living crap out of me. I didn’t even know I was being watched while I slowly mopped the dayroom floor. After being in jail for only a few days, I still wasn’t aware that everything you do or say is judged by everyone else in there and any weaknesses observed are exposed for the sake of entertainment. It’s just how things are when you are incarcerated. Inmates are bored and new fish are easy targets. . . .

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A Quiet Kind of Hero



James Osborne


 
© Copyright 2021 by James Osborne




Photo of the Canadian Boy Scout flag.

 Les Marriott endured a horrific childhood, having had the misfortune of being born just a few years before The Great Depression. During the Second World War, he escaped near certain death by coincidence in a naval battle, later becoming a scout master and revered role model to scores of youth. . . .

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Break the Silence


Kelly Maida




 
© Copyright 2021 by Kelly Maida


Photo of sign.

Scattered visions near the clock.   It's 2 am.  Disturbing noises on the other side of the wall! It woke me up!

I thought I heard someone get hit! I thought I heard someone fall! Then I heard him in a loud voice. . . .

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The Assimilated Truth



Dhananjaya Kannali Narayana



 
© Copyright 2021 by
Dhananjaya Kannali Narayana




This story is based on a unique subject and begins with a reunion of two good old friends who had known each other from childhood days, although we are practicing contrastingly different professions, one being an Engineer, of course the narrator of the story and the other being a medical practitioner. There happens an exchange of story between these two friends and as a result of which an unrevealed truth is disclosed to the author. The story sails through interesting phases and is written in a simple and easily understandable language to keep the reader comfortable to grasp, understand and further render the reader satisfied. An element of humor is kept wherever called for. A glance through this story would hopefully be an enjoyable experience to readers of any age group although the middle agers and the old agers might find it most interesting. . . .

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My Back Surgery Experience




Cathy B. Bridges


 
© Copyright 2021 by Cathy B. Bridges



Photo of a back brace.       

No one likes to be in the hospital and, like me, may avoid it if possible. I have been putting it off for several years, but the time has come for me to have lower back surgery. Maybe I should rephrase that. I need to have back surgery and will not be able to function well without it. . . .

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From Bankruptcy to a Perfect Credit Score





Cheryl Ann Farrell



 
© Copyright 2021 by Cheryl Ann FarrellT



Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash
                                                   Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

The pandemic year of 2020 brought considerable hardship to many. For me, it was the year I finally made a FICO score of 850. A perfect credit score! It didn’t happen quickly though, and it may not be the path for everyone. This is my path of financial restoration. . . .

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The Bears of Katmai




Tom Carroll




 
© Copyright 2021 by Tom Carroll


 
Photo of a river with bears fishing.

Alaskan brown bears are merely grizzly bears that live in a coastal influenced environment, primarily where salmon makeup a principle part of their diet, allowing them to vastly outsize and outweigh their inland cousins (The famed “Kodiak” bears are nothing more than brown bears that live on Kodiak Island)   They are all grizzly bears of the genus and species “Ursus arctos”, with various subspecies designations.  Guiding fishermen over the course of twenty seasons in the region, I had the privilege of spending untold days out in the company of these impressive, majestic, and, at times, intimidating creatures on the myriad watercourses where we, and they, were fishing. . . .

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Vovô Was A Badass



Devin Meireles


 
© Copyright 2021 by Devin Meireles



hand holding Canadian coins.

My grandfather, Vovô, was an unyielding man that carried himself with a heavy stick. He was a badass akin to the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, or Tom Hardy in today’s modern age. Staying true to himself, he didn’t need to act tough, he just was but you wouldn’t know it at first glance. . . .

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Two Essays



Modester Phiri






 
© Copyright 2021 by Modester Phiri

Protester with a sign.

In the middle of the road, stranded, tired and alone without knowing what to do or who to tell. Strapped of all the privileges knowingly or unknowingly. Being left with two options, to live or to die, to be a victim or to be guilty, to scream or to keep quiet, to tell somebody or to live with it. Most gender-based violence victims are left with two choices in their minds. Before they even attempt to make a choice, they would like to know if gender-based violence culprits really face justice. Based on the case studies below, with hope they could have their answer. . . .

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Horrid Episode of the 344 Kankarans




Paul Onuh



 
© Copyright 2021 by Paul Onuh


 

Photo of the abducted boys.

Waking up and hearing the sound of gunshots fired by men, who busted into the boarding school premises, during the night time raid was the scariest thing in my entire life. I broke out in a cold sweat, when they rounded up several hundreds of boys, including myself from the dormitory, and then forced us out of school into a nearby forest. . . .

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Travail of the Kagaran Boys




Paul Onuh



 
© Copyright 2021 by Paul Onuh


 
Photo of the abducted boys.
          Freed schoolboy playing football after his return home.

Bandits belonging to a criminal gang kidnapped hundreds of schoolboys from the hostels and some teaching staffs last night. The outlaws dressed up in military gears stormed my school, the Government Science College Kagara, in Kagara town of Niger state, overpowering the security guards on duty. . . .

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A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy





Iris Leona Marie Cross

 
© Copyright 2021 by Iris Leona Marie Cross


Photo of Mummy and Iris.

                                   Photo by Tim Cooper on Unsplash

Growing up in a house with two elderly great-aunts who moaned about their myriad maladies, and compared notes to see who had the greater affliction, cemented in my mind that old age should be feared rather than embraced. Small wonder I dreaded turning 60. . . .

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Addiction
 





Joyce Benedict



 
© Copyright 2021 by Joyce Benedict
Photo by liquor store sign.
                           

The word ‘addition’ for most conjures images of unfortunate people  caught up in alcohol or drugs, that they lack willpower, that they must  all be mentally ill. There is a far more insidious  addiction——an emotional addiction which can be as lethal, destroying, devastating as succumbing to known substances. . . .

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Ultimate Violation




Jacquline Musgrave



 
© Copyright 2021 by Jacquline Musgrave



Photo of a frightened girl.

  The following is a 100% true story that happened to me my freshman year in college. I never even knew this was possible, let alone capable of happening to me. My intentions of telling the story now is that as things get weirder in our world, this story might save at least one person and if so, it is worth sharing. I have not told many people because I know how it sounds. I swear on my life, 100% true. . . .

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Waters that Bind






Tracey Hebért-Seck


 
© Copyright 2021 by Tracey Herbért-Seck


 

Photo by Nick Scheerbart on Unsplash
                                            Photo by Nick Scheerbart on Unsplash

This a non-fictional account of my son’s birth. In 2012 at 41, I anxiously awaited the birth of my first child. It was already considered a miracle, an answered prayer that I had conceived. As I retell the events, the glee and excitement of this birth is juxtaposed with the medical provider’s concern about the implications of preeclampsia at 36 weeks. This composition recounts the events, emotions, and musings I experienced while waiting to meet this child for the first time. This explication is a gift to my son who continues to flood our lives with waters that renew and refresh. . . .

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Moving Abroad

Migel Jayasinghe


 
© Copyright 2021 by Migel Jayasinghe



Photo of Algorfa, Spain.

Strange to think that less than two decades or so ago, we hadn't even thought of visiting Spain on holiday, let alone settle down there to a life of leisure and retirement. I think it was probably when Barcelona hosted the Olympics, that our eyes were opened to the potential of swapping our high season timeshare week in East Sussex, for something similar, in and around Barcelona. . . .

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Not an Ordinary Day in June
   




Lane E. Dooling







© Copyright 2021 by Lane Dooling

  
Photo of newspaper reports of the fir.

For many children, the Christmas season is magical and special with the fragrance of pine and the display of lights along with family traditions. Although I agree wholeheartedly, there was always a special day that came around once a year that had nothing to do with Christmas or any holiday...it was the first day of summer vacation! . . .

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Queen Calafia




Marc Revere



 
© Copyright 2021 by Marc Revere


 

Photo of rough seas from a sail boat.

There ruled on that Island of California, a queen, great of body, exquisite for her race, at a flourishing age, desirous in her thoughts of achieving great things, valiant in strength, cunning in her brave heart, more than any other who had ruled that kingdom before her, Queen Calafia.” Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo, “The Adventures of Esplandián” (1510). . . .

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Holding Hands with an Angel



Christine Marcotte





 
© Copyright 2021 by Christine Marcotte



Photo of Mary and Christine.

After I retired I volunteered as a guardian for adults who could not make decisions for themselves, had no family to do so, and thus were appointed a guardian by the district court. I was Mary's guardian for about six years ~ until her unexcepted death.  It took me another six years before I felt I could write about my experiences with her. . . .

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A Miracle for a Little Boy
 





Joyce Benedict



 
© Copyright 2021 by Joyce Benedict

Photo by Nick Scheerbart on Unsplash
                                      Photo by Nick Scheerbart on Unsplash

In our modern, technological world miracles are seldom viewed as possible. Following childhood polio, difficult health, family issues, marriages ending, I began seeking whether miracles do really occur. After all, the Bible describes many. Why not for me? Others? I heard of none, until a trip to a seminary changed everything. . . .

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Woody
 


Joyce Benedict


 
© Copyright 2021 by Joyce Benedict


Photo of a woodcock.

We don’t forget our childhood dreams. We just tuck them away like old photographs, a crushed flower from a high school prom, a ticket from some long past memorable event.   My dream of having special interactions with the animal world was carefully tucked away in my unconscious to be forgotten through years of high school, college, marriage and children. Little did I know that after my first marriage ended, and shortly into my second, my childhood dream was to be fulfilled. . . .

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The Franklin Roosevelt Home Comes Alive
(through the eyes of a park guide and her visitors)



Joyce Benedict


 
© Copyright 2021 by Joyce Benedict



Springwood, Home of FDR.

Following eight years conducting tours at Montgomery Place, a Livingston home,  in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, I applied to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, NY.  

Even though I was only in third grade when this great man died, I have always felt a deep connection to both the president and Mrs. Roosevelt.  I continued to read about them through the years. Their impact and contribution on and for our country during  those disturbing, tumultuous troubled times was unprecedented. . . .

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Fifteen-Minute Break




Erika Hunter




 
© Copyright 2021 by Erika Hunter


 

Photo of a girl on break.

When I was younger, my dad would tell me that I should work at least one minimum-wage job in my life. As a university-bound, academically-driven, and quite frankly, financially-privileged teenager, I didn’t understand why this was so important to him. . . .

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Tears of the Nature






Georgina Lowole


 
© Copyright 2021 by Georgina Lowole



Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash
                                     Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

The morning rain ball in the mist could be seen from far, those threads of shining light from the rising sun penetrating through a family of different trees only to heat up the moist nutrient well reached soil. Dew from the dawn dropping in every green leaf, wow what a beautiful morning. Winds were blowing from east to west passing through the jungle, all weak ripen fruits dropping from the trees to feed the soil and hungry animals mongering around. . . .

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Thyroid Stories



Purbasha Roy


 
© Copyright 2021 by Purbasha Roy



Illustration of a thyroid.

. . . .About two years back I suffered bloating issues and visited the doctor. The doctor , an obese  human had one of the brightest smiles I have seen in one of the thousand faces I have met or  crossed. She asked with a sweet humility " What do you do to maintain yourself?". How  easy the answer came " Nothing madam , I keep check on calorie intake". . . .

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Targets


Kay Smith-Blum





 
© Copyright 2021 by Kay Smith-Blum



Photo by photographer @enginakyurt at Unsplash
           Photo by photographer @enginakyurt at Unsplash

 It occurred to me quite early on in the pandemic how human we all are. We stumbled, we tripped, we faltered and fell into the morass of fear, barely keeping our heads above the brim of quarantine. We masked up or didn’t. We embraced technology or didn’t. We followed every headline or didn’t. And our foibles were laughable. Truly. And it was good to laugh at myself and along with others. My most self-deprecating friends provided great fodder for a series of “virus” essays that I realized could bring a much-needed smile in a time of great devastation. . . .

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A Transatlantic Lesbian Love Story



Natascha Graham




 
© Copyright 2021 by Natascha Graham



Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash
                        Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash
\
You make a million decisions that mean nothing, and then one day you order take-out and it changes your life.” - Annie Read, Sleepless in Seattle

I didn’t order take out. But I did post online, and moments after that, my whole life changed. . . .

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The Worst Night of My Life



Lydia Waybright




 
© Copyright 2021 by Lydia Waybright


Photo of car keys.

I don’t think about the worst night of my life every day. I don’t even think about it regularly. Most days I live in a reality in which that night never existed. I’ve managed to create a space for myself, in my mind, in my body, in my world, that is detached from that night. . . .

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Aliens Have Names Too







Fancy Goodman


 
© Copyright 2021 by Fancy Goodman




Alien parking sign.

It all starts with a name.

It is 2012. I am eleven years old. I follow my parents to the immigration office to get my international passport. I am quiet as usual. After some two hours, I get impatient and restless. . . .

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The Legend of Molly Tynes and Her Ride





Frank Emerson





 
© Copyright 2021 by Frank Emerson



Molly Tynes.

Throughout history, the accepted view of the role of women during warfare has been one of support. Certainly, in fact and in legend, there have been numerous instances of proactive females during hostilities. Just think of the Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s Pirate Queen of the 17th century, 18th century British buccaneers, Anne Bonny and Mary Reed and the American Revolution’s Molly Pitcher. . . .One further, albeit little-known example of a female coming to the fore in time of a national emergency is the action taken by one Molly Tynes during the American Civil War. . . .

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The Sad, Ironic Fate of Sullivan Ballou



Frank Emerson


 
© Copyright 2021 by Frank Emerson



Sullifan and Sarah Ballou.

Of all the letters associated with the American Civil War, two stand out as arguably the most beautiful and touching – certainly the best known. Abraham Lincoln's poignant, comforting note to a certain Mrs. Lydia Bixby, who had lost five sons to the conflict, is the first.

Perhaps even better known, and certainly as poignant, is the letter from Union Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife, Sarah. Written one week before the First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run – as it was called in the North, the words are all the more heartbreaking when you realize that Ballou did not survive to go home again. . . .

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In Between



Ethel Jean


 
© Copyright 2021 by Ethel Jean



Opened grave.

This life is not the beginning. It is not the end. We’ve been taught so all our lives, and we know it’s true because our dead visit us on occasion. Not in séance-type group settings, but individually and unexpectedly. . . .

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The Journey



Rachel Cann


 
© Copyright 2021 by Rachel Cann






Photo of a blessing box for the homeless.

Yesterday I went with my boss of the food to the needy nonprofit to go horseback riding. It was way out of town, and she insisted on driving her rental van because my car doesn’t have heat, and she says I drive too slow. Vicky was recently written up in the news for a food program in Roslindale that didn’t meet standards of cleanliness that the city forefathers thought necessary. It mentioned she had been doing this food thingy for 30 years and was homeless. Poor people give a small donation for the food, and I don’t think they care about germs as much as the city forefathers. . . .

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A Day Without



Mike Ekunno


 
© Copyright 2021 by Mike Ekunno



Photo of hand holding cell phone.

Leaving the office without my phone at close of work on Friday was initially forgetfulness. It was either the economics of a long retrieval sortie or lassitude that transformed inadvertence to deliberateness. So began a 24-hour phone fast. . . .

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Spilling Your Guts on Paper


Maureen Moynihan
 



© Copyright 2021 by Maureen Moynihan


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels.
                               Photo by Andrea Piacquadio                                   

I attempted to publish my first story during Sunday school. While the other children colored pictures of Jesus Christ resurrecting from the tomb, I penned “Happy Bird Flies Home.” It was a somber tale about a deceased parakeet who returns from the dead to sing songs and march on the head of its 8 year-old mother. . . .

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Bleeding Eyes




Jacquline Musgrave



 
© Copyright 2021 by Jacquline Musgrave



Photo of a woman skiing.

. . . . “Look! I’M DOING IT!” I yelled as I was able to keep my feet straight and my ski’s from crossing and falling as I had on every previous attempt. It was our first ski trip, mine and my younger brother Donnie. We were with my Mom and our stepdad in a nice big rented motorhome. It was a 3 day weekend, and being 16, I had been allowed to bring my best friend Jodi. There were lots of hot guys on the mountain, and we were just trying to ski well enough to stand so we could talk to them without falling as most of them were skilled on their feet. . . .

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Yet Another Statistic
My Unremarkable Eating Disorder






Helen Ruhlin


 
© Copyright 2021 by Helen Ruhlin

Photo of Helen.

. . . .Allow me to save you some emotional buildup and start right in with the bold statement that youd normally find halfway down the page, at the end of a sappy anecdote, or in the final sentence of a cathartic conclusion: I have, and still do, struggle with my body image. Im not in love with my physique, not infatuated with my appearance and I dont think that makes me special. . . .

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9-11: An Alaskan Guide's Tale




Tom Carroll



 
© Copyright 2021 by Tom Carroll


 
Photo of a wilderness cabin in Alaska.

Every American can recount exactly where they were and what they were doing on the morning of 9-11, I was in remote Alaska and have a distinctly unique narrative to relate. Guiding for “wilderness” fishing lodges, or those located in remote locations, accessible only by airplane, far from towns and roads, posed specific challenges and circumstances. . . .

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If You Give A Gerbil A Haircut




Anna Cattar


 
© Copyright 2021 by Anna Cattar



Photo of a young girl.

If you tell your mother what life was like at your dad’s house, she’ll want to keep you quiet. Before you have time to say the word rape she’ll leap to comfort you. Soft deflective words will slip off her lips “the same thing happened to me” and “I know it feels like he took something from you.” She won’t ask you why you are crying. . . .

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The Mini Guides to Life's Journey




Laura Piquette



 
© Copyright 2021 by Laura Piquette



Photo of old man's hands.

Life can get complex. It is not that you are failing, more rather, it is you did not have the information you need when you need it. In turn, that creates us problems overtime. Leaves us wondering why if life is survival of the fittest then why don’t we have answers up to this point. . . .

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One Of Our Planes. . .
WWII Veteran Tom Cox's Unscheduled Trip to the Beach




Daniel Hicks



 
© Copyright 2021 by Daniel Hicks



Photo of Tom Cox (on right) and his Dakota.
        Photo of Tom Cox (on right) and a Dakota.

The gypsy had long been a friend of the family, so when Phyllis Cox visited her mother in the tiny Devon village of Lustleigh she made a point of visiting the old lady’s ornately decorated caravan. But as the gypsy stared into her eyes and held her hand in hers she was wishing she hadn’t come. . . .

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A Summer Twice Visited


Sienna Joshi


 
© Copyright 2021 by Sienna Joshi



Photo of a child at the beach.

. . . .Summers in Argentina will always stand out in my memories in sunshine brilliance; my two younger sisters will agree. We have only ever spent two summer holidays in Mama’s home country - one of which I was too young to remember more than strawberry popsicles, sparklers, and Papa Noel - but they were particularly special. . . .

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High Tension



Daniel Hicks




 
© Copyright 2021 by Daniel Hicks



Photo by Sid Pradhan on Unsplash
            Photo by Sid Pradhan on Unsplash

I had been in Datchet, a few miles west of London Airport, before, but usually below the flight path, never above it. This time I wasn’t so sure. I instinctively ducked as a Boeing 747 thundered overhead.

The most unwelcome present I have ever received was from my wife on the occasion of my retirement. . . .

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Tango of Death
Bullfighting and the International Cheeseburger





Lance Mason

 
© Copyright 2021 by Lance Mason



Gunman and children.
In The Resurrection, Tolstoy said, "People instinctively keep to the circle … who share their views of life and their own place in it." Yet today’s world vividly illustrates the risks of “keeping to the circle,” of reinforcing, rather than challenging, one’s closely-held beliefs. Through the various lenses of history as well as regional cultures, relative ethics, and tolerance, "The Tango of Death" attempts not to justify but to explore and understand Spanish bullfighting, a topic and tradition outside many people’s “circle,” and charged with emotion and politics. . . .

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Where You Can Feel The Earth Breathe



Sienna Joshi


 
© Copyright 2021 by Sienna Joshi



Photo of a sunrise.

This piece is a series of memories and reflections on my transition to adulthood. It takes place during the time I traveled and studied at Aberystwyth University and includes periods from my childhood in San Diego, California. I learned a lot about myself, culture, and place during this time and it has greatly shaped who I am today. Nature has always been a significant part of my life and I wanted to pay tribute to the ways in which it has helped me feel at home, both in San Diego and in Aberystwyth. . . .

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What I Have Gone Through In Spain



George Ivanov Vasilev


 
© Copyright 2021 by George Ivanov Vasilev



Photo of a Madrid road sign.

Soon after the totalitarian system collapsed in Bulgaria at the end of 1989, I enrolled myself in History and Bulgarian Philology at university but I quit within a year. I was bored there. I did not like the manner in which some professors and their associates were delivering the lectures. Some of them were still lecturing the same way they used to do in the past. I disliked it. I could not force myself to study against my will. Yes, I had worked hard and I had attended evening high school classes for four years just to be able to get into university. I was interested in writing, in literature so getting into university was my greatest dream. But I gave up so easily. . . .

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A Girl Who Wore Combat Boots




Rita McDermott



 
© Copyright 2021 by Rita McDermott




Photo of female soldiers.

. . . .When the cattle buses arrived at our destination, the doors opened to find three Drill Sgts. standing there. They were blowing whistles and yelling, “you got five minutes to get off that bus, get your gear in the barracks, and get back down here in formation. Move it.” It was then that I said to myself, “what did I get myself into?” The reception station gave a false sense of easy going cadre and low key schedule. . . .

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place





Desiree Kendrick




 
© Copyright 2021 by Desiree Kendrick



 


 At a time when travel restrictions are in place, we ache for adventure. I flip the pages of my travel journals and photo albums. Italy, shaped like a boot, is my favourite shoe obsession. Here’s some arm chair travel to share. . . .

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Sitting With My Boys




B. J. Thompson


© Copyright 2021 by B. J. Thompson




Punchbowl Cemetary in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This story covers my time visiting the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, aka Punchbowl Crater Cemetery, as research for my epic-length literary novel, entitled, AIR, covering the lives of six U.S. Navy sailors who end up trapped inside the capsized USS Oklahoma after the Pearl Harbor attack. And in their attempts to survive, they discover there are worse things in life, than death. . . .

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Taking a Train in England - An Adventure




Victor Pogostin

 
© Copyright 2021 by Victor Pogostin




Photo of a British rail car.

 A coloured serpent of railway cars may look attractive and even invoke the sweetest of childhood memories, but it can be very annoying, if you risk traveling by train across the green fields of England. . . .

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Coffee and Ideological Maxims in Moscow






Victor Pogostin


 
© Copyright 2021 by Victor Pogostin




Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash
                                   Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash

Coffee in Moscow may be as good as anywhere else, but did you ever try to buy it in the same bar of the same hotel, and yet in two different countries and even in different epochs? Well, I did. . . .

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Pandemic Treasure Hunt





Marcia McGreevy Lewis




 
© Copyright 2021 by Marcia McGreevy Lewis


Photo of a manatee.

Letting off steam during the pandemic can lead to astonishing treasures as I discovered when taking a spontaneous car trip.  The treasure hunt delivered two golden treasures. . . .

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Perception Outside Normal Capability

Cody Short
 

© Copyright 2021 by Cody Short 

 
 

Photo of a wrecked car.


This is a true story. The names are changed because the setting is rural East Tennessee where privacy is precious to this day, and everybody knew their neighbors in the Fifties. . . .

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All The World We Seek



Laura Elizabeth Horgan




 
© Copyright 2021 by Laura Elizabeth Horgan




Photo of hands sharing a joint.
                               

I've never been able to find God. But if the entity exists, I want to walk in the Holy man's shoes and pray to the heavens, become exalted in the sea of belief. My skin will be flushed, the thoughts that come and go will be tethered to the adoration of the self, and each connection we have as individuals to the great being. . . .

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Early Riser/Namaste













June Calender

 

© Copyright 2021 by June Calender


Photo of a horseshoe crab.


The older I get the earlier I wake up. In fact, I often think I need less sleep because I not only wake up early but may spend an hour or two awake, usually between 2:00 and 4:00. I’m usually awake by 5:30 or sometimes earlier but my clock radio alarm is set or 5:50 so that I can wake up to ten minutes of classical music before a brief local broadcast of the day’s news. Local information, not national unless something unprecedented happened overnight, local sports scores and finally — the real reason I have the clock set a little before 6:00, the weather forecast. They are usually correct. . . .

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Open Hearted





S. Nadja Zajdman



 
© Copyright 2021 by S. Nadja Zajdman



Photo of a bottle of mineral water.

It was bitter, the winter of 1959. An epidemic of Hong Kong flu raged through the city. The disease felled Mum, Daddy and me. We were compelled to quarantine. Who would take care of my infant brother Michael? My mother’s sister and her husband weren’t an option. My father’s siblings couldn’t be trusted with anything. Through a network of neighbours, a woman was located on Goyer Street. Her name was Katarina Trautmann. In an audacious dash for freedom, Herr and Frau Trautmann, with their two teenage daughters, escaped East Berlin in 1953. . . .

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Lineage




S. Nadja Zajdman


 
© Copyright 2021 by S. Nadja Zajdman



Photo of a bottle of mineral water.

Of all the grandparents I never got a chance to know, I feel closest to my mother’s father Lucian. Perhaps it was my mother’s vivid storytelling that made him seem accessible. I’ve inherited his talents and his temperament; so I was told. Sometimes I fantasize that I can time travel to Poland in the 1930s and meet my grandfather Lucian. . . .

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Company




Jareen Imam

 
© Copyright 2021 by Jareen Imam


 

Photo of old man's hands.

. . . .After a long stretch of silence befell us, she told me a short story, no more than two sentences, about my great-grandmother’s life. Although, at that moment, I didn’t recognize how important it was because my mother said it so fast, without inflection in her voice, or reflection in her eyes. But those few lines inspired me to write a short story about the last day of my great-grandmother’s life. . . .

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Tackling Terrorism Unarmed





Samir Kumar Jha




 
© Copyright 2021 by Samir Kumar Jha


Photo of old man's hands.

This is the Memoirs of an unarmed soldier. This article has been written with the following four purposes in my mind :
  1. To make Govt. of India and Govt. officials aware what was happening in this area
  2. To make people of Non-north east aware what was happening in North-East India
  3. To provide people the necessary skill to function effectively in this belt
  4. To provide some permanent remedy to these problems. . . .
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The Right To Bare Arms




Joy Mayfield

 
© Copyright 2021 by Joy Mayfield


 

Photo of drooping lower arm.

I never thought about my arms specifically until 2006. That is the year my mother forewarned me, “Your arms will turn on you one day.”. . .

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The Mean Reds




Joseph Michael Webb




 
© Copyright 2021 by Joseph Michael Webb

 
Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash
                                                                     Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

The Mean Reds illustrates the evening of the ‘surprise’ suicide of my sister many years ago; showing the crisis, despite stigma, that is mental health care and what can happen to just about anyone. . . .

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That Special Game



Nikita Jain


 
© Copyright 2021 by
Nikita Jain


 

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash
                                          Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

Never take off your clothes in front of anyone”, my Mom said while cooking in a kitchen. I was standing near her. Those were the days when she had started telling and teaching me about household chores and cooking is anyway an important skill. I was about to turn thirteen four months later. We had invited one of our closest family friends ‘Singhals’ over for a dinner. . . .

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The Wellspring





David Urubshurow

 
© Copyright 2021 by David Urubshurow




Photo by Simon Hajducki on Unsplash
                                    Photo by Simon Hajducki on Unsplash

I’m in the shade of an arbor created by the water from a nearby wellspring that also gives this oasis its Mongolian name: Bulgan.  Notwithstanding the leafy canopy, it’s scorching hot and bone dry! I’m here because an imprudent impulse overcame my usual good sense when traveling through inhospitable environments: I yearned to eat cold watermelon in the middle of an unforgiving desert. . . .

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Butterfly Morning



Judy Zwirblis





 
© Copyright 2021 by Judy Zwirblis




Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash.
                                Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

The flowers swayed back and forth as if music was in the air. It was mid-July and the summer heat was lingering over my garden. I had planted a package of wild seeds that spring, not knowing what would turn up. I was pleasantly surprised as they blossomed into a mixed display of color and kind. Although small, it was a most lovely garden. The red, violet and orange colors brought the tiny visitors that day to taste their fragrant drink. . . .

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Steal This Book






Alan Herman



 
© Copyright 2021 by Alan Herman

Photo by the book.

....There it was! I was rotating the tall upright rack checking out the paperback choices, in a drug store in Provincetown, Mass.

"Steal This Book" That's the book I was looking for. And I did, steal that book. After looking around, I took it from the rack and hid it in my bag....

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My First Day Going to Work During A Pandemic



Emily Howse


 
© Copyright 2021 by Emily Howse



Girl putting groceries into car.

Today is the first day I will be at work where I’m required to get my temperature taken and be required to wear a mask.  Worried about this because what if one of the people I work with ends up with a fever and I’ve worked with them.  Could I possibly get COVID 19? . . .

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Checkered Career Across Three Continents

Migel Jayasinghe


 
© Copyright 2021 by Migel Jayasinghe



Map showing continents of the world.

I resigned my job as a Sub-Inspector of Police, after nearly five years of service in Ceylon, because I considered immigrating to the UK. My underlying motive was to return to my studies and improve my chances of achieving an affluent, enviable, life-style. I applied to the British High Commission in Colombo and was awarded a priority voucher to enter Britain. I was 26 years old. . . .

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Guardian Angels



Rebecca Langley

 
© Copyright 2021 by Rebecca Langley

Photo of a flat tire.


One four degree February morning, I’d been up late finishing a paper for my Russian Lit class and decided to drive home in time for church with my family. I’d pulled enough all-nighters to know: it’s usually better to just stay awake rather than sleep for a couple of pitiful hours. . . .

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A Portrait



Laura Elizabeth Horgan




 
© Copyright 2021 by Laura Elizabeth Horgan




Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash
                                    Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash

. . . .The people I knew worthy of a tale barely had two pennies to rub together to make a third. But they knew how to put together a good time like it was nothing more than a cocktail. I drank them up, intoxicated and drunk on the lives and doings of the people around me who seemed to be all in, all the time. I rode on their coat tails and enjoyed the view. . . .

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Fifth Grade




Etti Hazan

 
© Copyright 2021 by Etti Hazan




Photo of a a little girl with a big pack.

Last fall, my daughter turned 10 and began attending the fifth grade, mask and all.

In Italy, where I grew up, fifth grade is a big deal because it marks the end of elementary school. Students who complete ‘quinta elementaretake a test to qualify for middle school. . . .

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Fear and Fire




Etti Hazan

 
© Copyright 2021 by Etti Hazan




Photo of a grease fire in a pan.

I had neither seen nor smelled the fire. I knew it had been there, because I had been told about it. The woman had survived, but her cat had not. . . .

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A Few Hours in Frankfurt




Etti Hazan

 
© Copyright 2021 by Etti Hazan




Photo of a plane at Frankfurt airport.

In April of 2005, I flew from JFK to Rome, FCO to join my parents for Passover. The flight itinerary included a stopover at Frankfurt airport.

Frankfurt, Germany - 5:45 AM local time

As our plane touches German ground, I immediately experience a wave of conflicted feelings. This is my first time on German soil. Considering I have just spent over 7 hours on a German airline, with ample space and good in-flight service, my sentiments are kind of ironic.

The feelings more or less dissipate once I enter the actual terminal - after all, airports are in a generic league of their own. My ever-dwindling Yiddish allows me to butcher the German language while purchasing a much needed espresso. . . .

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Dodging A Scam





Talara Nolan



 
© Copyright 2021 by Talara Nolan

 

Photo of an angry sea.

My story is called Dodging a Scam. It is something that happened to me before I had a daughter. While this sort of thing happens all the time online now a days, back when it happened to me it was not so common. I did meet my then boyfriend online and this is how he tried to get me to marry his brother in order to bring him from Canada. I am grateful that I was able to get out of that situation, as I now have my daughter. . . .

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Big Foot, Big Deal




Laurel Hendrickson

 
© Copyright 2021 by Laurel Hendrickson


 

Photo of "big foot" footprint.

. . . .Gather round the campfire and let’s freak ourselves out by talking about an Oregon folklore favorite: Bigfoot! Most people have at least one story about something uncanny that they’ve experienced but don’t have a good way to explain. This is the crux of Bigfoot fun- someone heard or saw something strange in the wilderness and a special glee comes from it maybe- just maybe- being Bigfoot. . . .

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Pembera





Eve Levinson



 
© Copyright 2021 by Eve Levinson



Photo of three rhinos.

This story was part of an incredible month trekking and camping across eastern and southern Africa. We had been on multiple safaris, gone up in a hot air balloon, rafted the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls, yet meeting rhinos in Zimbabwe was truly unforgettable. . . .

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Crocodile Tears



Dawn Llewellyn-Price


 
© Copyright 2021 by Dawn Llewellyn-Price



Photo by Joe McDaniel on Unsplash
                                        Photo by Joe McDaniel on Unsplash

There’s a good road, a not so good road, and a bad road’ Bernard our safari bus driver had warned us as we left Nairobi Hilton, its foyer awash with a great white wave of cricket bags. . . .

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A Crow Named Charlie



Shreya Jha




 
© Copyright 2021 by Shreya Jha



Photo by Simran deep Singh on Unsplash
                  Photo by Simran deep Singh on Unsplash

A for Abtoss, B for Bulbul, C for Crow.’

I learnt to recite the alphabet with the names of birds. Abtoss was my baby word for Albatross, not the easiest word for a child to pronounce. I’m not sure if this is a true recollection or a figment of my memory. Probably the latter. It is a fact though, that birds have been part of my life from almost the beginning. . . .

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Encounter with a Young Giraffe




Rachel Friedman


 
© Copyright 2021 by Rachel Friedman



Photo of a giraffe.

. . . .One of the lovely things about living in Los Angeles is that we’ve got a great zoo. It's not quite as famous as the one in San Diego, but we still have a bird show, a petting zoo, and a secluded area for baby animals. During one memorable period, these baby animals included giraffes. . . .

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Swimming With Serpents

Joli Villella


 
© Copyright 2021 by Joli Villella



Photo of a snake on a tree branch.

Just as the two summers prior, I could feel the excitement bubble over in my stomach chasing away the last tendrils of anxiety, my ever present friend, as each mile carried us further away from civilization and closer towards freedom. I knew the moment I stepped from the packed van and breathed for the first time in a year true nurturing air, all my cares would fade away into nothing as mother nature flooded every sense. This was the healing power of the Buffalo river, the sight of our long awaited adventure. . . .

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The Three Snakes



Naputt Thiravorachai


 
© Copyright 2021 by Naputt Thiravorachai



Photo of a snake.


Over the course of my life I have encountered three different snakes, not to  mention various others. I do not know whether it is a stroke of luck to meet such interesting and exotic animals, or a series of unfortunate encounters. . . .

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Jack in the Box


Chloe de Lullington




 
© Copyright 2021 by Chloe de Lullington




Photo of a jackdaw.

I think the day the jackdaw arrived would have stuck in my mind even if it hadn’t been forever immortalised as the day the jackdaw arrived. The main reason for its notability was simple: Mum was having some Me Time. Mum didn’t do Me Time. A full-time carer for a disabled husband and two primary school-aged children (one of whom – yours truly – also had a chronic illness of her own), she never went anywhere without us. . . .

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Photo of a hippo in a glass pool.

My whole life, I have felt intense connections with animals of all types. For hours I would perch on the windowsill to watch and identify the gold finches and black-capped chickadees. If my parents ever lost me, they knew to look outside and find me following a snake or holding a newt. I would wander with the wild hares in Western Washington forests and wade in the icy Pacific ocean to catch a glimpse of the sharks in the waves. My mother quickly called me back out, much to my chagrin. An unquenchable curiosity for all forms of life has filled my whole being for as long as I can remember. . . .

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A Regular Guest in the Guest House



Janis Boguzs


 
© Copyright 2021 by Janis Boguzs



Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash
                                        Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

I adore being close to nature, to get away from the city's rush. Thereby I choose to go to one guest house, owned by my friends and located in the middle of a national park. There can be enjoyed everything there: relaxation beside the sea, late evenings under the stars, all spectre of flora and fauna of nearby forest and the guest house yard itself. . . .

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Caught It For My Father



Ellen Urowitz


 
© Copyright 2021 by Ellen Urowitz



Photo of a white fish.

About twenty years ago. My father was still alive. I don't remember how old. He must have

been fifty five ish. Still working everyday. Never packing a lunch

Always going out for morning coffee afternoon coffee.

I'm sure he's been drinking regular. That's four dollars a day times five.

Wondering why he's short on money. Thank goodness I'm working so I can help out. . . .


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Seven Hundred on the Planet



Bettina Gantsweg


 
© Copyright 2021 by Bettina Gantsweg





Photo of an Uganda gorilla family.

Muggy, hot, sticky. Our group of seven stood at the base of the mountain while bugs swarmed biting naked skin. Excitement stirred within, waiting, waiting to see them. . . .

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So Close I Could Hear It Breathing



Lisa Reily



 
© Copyright 2021 by Lisa Reily




Photo of a Nilgiri langur.
            Nilgiri langur - photo by the author

This is a story about a trip my partner, Ion, and I took to Thekkady, India, to see the beauty and wildlife in Periyar National Park, but we found that nature came to us instead. . . .

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My Dad Was A Smoker



Lew Goddard



 
© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard




Photo of a Lew's dad.                                                        

He sat in a high backed wooden chair that creaked with the slightest move after dinner. Tobacco, in those days was available in packed layers of leaves and fashioned much like a cigarette package and to keep it fresh it was wrapped in cellophane. After carefully cutting the plug into small portions that fit in his pipe, he reached into his front right pocket and extracted a brass colored bullet shaped lighter. The top was removed and with a flick of his calloused thumb it burst into flame. It had to be tipped at just the right angle so it caught the tobacco on fire but he didn’t burn his thumb. The lighter was restored to his pocket. . . .

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The Scent of Tiny Flowers



Pamella Laird




 
© Copyright 2021 by Pamella Laird


Photo by Nikhita Singhal on Unsplash

This story was told to me in the 1950’s by an aunt and uncle who lived in Chertsey, Surrey, UK.  I did actually meet the couple who were close friends of my relatives.  Apart from the horrors and romance of their story I remember particularly how anxious they were that they would care for the dinner dishes to make sure nothing was broken of their now treasured possessions. . . .

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The Apple of My Eye




Lois Liu



 
© Copyright 2021 by Lois Liu



Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash

. . . .I shot up from my limp state and groggily sat up in bed. While rubbing my pink-tinted hand, I let out a deep yawn. I blinked a few times, as though I was in an unconscious state. Staring out the window of our New York apartment, the branches swished around as the wind anonymously wailed to anyone who listened. The weather outside was like someone who just finished crying, leaving everything in a mess. . . .

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The Lost Prophecy



Divine Walker





 
© Copyright 2021 byDivine Walker


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
                                                           Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

He feels a slight tingling touch on his face as if someone is tickling with a shuddering hand. The shivering cold causes the frost to bite on his feet and hands. He could feel the tingling cold as soon as he woke up. There is a man standing in front of him with a hunching back. . . .

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The Senator



Ronald Keely




 
© Copyright 2021 by Ronald Keely



Photo of a politician.

Richard Blunt prefers to be called Rick. He’s a simple man and lives a simple life and he is, for the most part, content. He’s average height, but he weighs two hundred forty pounds and muscular. He regularly lifts weights and exercises his abs and core. He has a graying beard and his balding head is usually covered with a hat. Around town Rick is known as grumpy and anti-social. He doesn’t have a glowing smiling face because he doesn’t see anything to smile about, but he’s not necessarily grumpy, he just doesn’t like people that much. . . .

Into The Lion's Den




Marjorie Keyantash




 
© Copyright 2021 by Marjorie Keyantash



Photo of a mountain lion by Wilson Chen.
                 Photo © by Wilson Chen

. . . .“Just stay calm…stay calm,” I kept telling myself as my heart beat out of my chest. I knew what I was supposed to do. From my years of studying big cats I knew the proper protocol for what to do when encountering a mountain lion but I had never had to put it to the test... until now. . . .

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Not Perfect




Eileen T. Flaherty




 
© Copyright 2021 by Eileen T. Flaherty



Claudio Schwarz  @purzlbaum
                                       Claudio Schwarz @purzlbaum

Today and most days when I think about the holidays, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or the 4th of July, it brings me such joy and makes me smile. We, the Flaherty family, were a small bunch with just the four of us, my mom, dad, brother and me, until my nephews were born. . . .

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Sustenance



Christinia Robertson


 
© Copyright 2021 by Christina Robertson



Photo by Victor Sauca on Unsplash

For that one moment, we were all saved.

I pulled up to the curb and saw my neighbor standing, wrapped in a sweater, outside her house. “Thank god you’re home”, she called as I got out of the car. “I need help.” . . .

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Coog



Ciaran Doran


 
© Copyright 2021 by Ciaran Doran



Photo of a crouching cougar.

. . . .A rainy Sunday we headed into the woods after elk. The leaves were down for the year, creating a rustling red and gold carpet so anything within half a mile could hear us coming. Predators would pick us up too if they got downwind. Coyotes are sensitive. A lot of people say there are no wolves left in Missouri but I’ve seen plenty. They might not roam in packs but nomads do cross the state border pretty often. What’s a line on a map to a wolf?

Mountain lions are the rarest of all in the Ozarks. There’ve only been sixty sightings in the past twenty years. That amounts to a mere handful at any time. Since deer are plentiful the cougars don’t go hungry. It’s illegal to kill them though unless they’re directly attacking livestock or a person. . . .

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Our Owl Friend



Kay DiVerde


 
© Copyright 2021 by Kay DiVerde





Photo of a great horned owl.

We were fortunate to have a baby Great Horned Owl who lived in our suburban yard for several weeks. The little guy seemed to find some comfort having us around, and we admired his majestic beauty. . . .

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Country Living






James L. Cowles



 
© Copyright 2021 by James L. Cowles


 
Photo by of a lamp and book.  Courtesy of Dreamstime.
                      

When a young boy, I remember the shock of seeing my Aunt Annie's house lit only by coal oil lamps.  I had never seen such a thing and as I recall, there were only two lamps, requiring a person to carry a lamp from room to room where light was needed.  How could this be, I wondered?  We were from The City of Louisville, where everyone had electricity, but less than one hundred miles from home, my country relatives were not as privileged. . . .

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The Raptor



Abram Gabriel


 
© Copyright 2021 by Abram Gabriel



Photo of a hawk eating rabbit.

Good things that happened this past year of infamy.  2020 will be pivotal just like 1929 or the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or like the Truman years or 1918 or 1945.  Those years will always be associated with certain images in my brain.  I wonder if they are for everyone? . . .

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Courageous and Coping in a Time of Crisis






Diane McLeish




 
© Copyright 2021 by Diane McLeish



Photo of the hotel door.

. . . . I decided to explore the challenges facing a small establishment on Lamu Island lying off Kenya’s north coast. It had recently changed hands and despite being closed to visitors and having no idea of what the future of travel will be, the young managers have been determined to bring the charming but jaded little hotel back to life. Whilst pondering the obstacles they face, I also learnt of the intriguing history of the architect and previous owner of this tranquil little Swahili retreat. . . .

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Salt Water, Milk, and a Jaguar Cub



Valerie Anne Burns


 
© Copyright 2021 by Valerie Anne Burnes



Photo of a baby jaguar at the Memphis Zoo.

Key Biscayne holds my fondest memories as a teenager during the carefree high school days when I had close friends, and a boyfriend. It gave me a connection I hadn’t felt during childhood, and a big part of it was being surrounded by balmy beauty....

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Michael Manley- Jamaica's Radical Prime Minister and Non-Aligned Nations Protagonist
Legacy of Democratic Socialism and Solidarity With Black Africa 

Winston Donald

 
© Copyright 2021 by Winston Donald



Photo of Michael Manley.

Last week Cabinet members for the new Jamaican Conservative government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness was rolled out. The new government will shape and promote polices that befits the economic and social objectives of a debt ridden island state for the next five years. It is the first time that a conservative government has upstaged the Social democratic party, the Peoples National Party, the party that was led by Democratic and Fabian Socialist firebrand Michael Manley who is now turning in his grave at the massive loss at the polls of the People’s National Party of the island nation of Jamaica and its failure to even secure one third of the seats of parliament. . . .

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Pie First
The Second Course is Observing Abundant Wildlife in Startling Shapes and Sizes




Marcia McGreevy Lewis


 
© Copyright 2021 by Marcia McGreevy Lewis



Photo of a manatee.

A determination to scout out the best Key lime pie in Florida morphed into a rewarding quest to observe wildlife I’d never encountered before. This unexpected experience became a double delight. . . .

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My Snail Hunting Adventure



Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha


 
© Copyright 2021 by 
Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha



Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
                                Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

The nature, and physical qualities of some creatures can be so deceptive; therefore, making us not to believe that there are more to what they are, and what they can do, than what we originally knew them for. This is the case of some underrated animals, like the snails. . . .

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The Unfortunate Hawk



Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha


 
© Copyright 2021 by 
Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha



Photo of a hawk.

Who would have thought that a predatory creature that maintains a very far distance altitude in the sky, a raptor whose normal routine is to soar higher even above the tallest trees could be caught with bare hands without the aid of traps, or struck with any sort of weapon specifically designed for it’s hunt? . . .

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Critters: Part One and Part Two




Jan Callner



 
© Copyright 2021 by Jan Callner




Photo of an owl.

A dollop of peanut butter, check. A monster of a rat trap – two heavy-duty jaws that snap with heavy-duty force – check. The spot on the deck where evidence of animal traffickery has been noted, check.

Somebody or something has been nibbling my succulents. Droppings and nut shells litter the space behind the recycling bin. Last year I trapped six fruit rats after discovering one lounging in the grease pan of the grill. I can handle nibbled succulents, but a rat in my grill is intolerable. . . .

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A Youth Called Brownskin
The Story of a Troubled Jamaican Adolescent Influenced by the Hard Social Conditions of the Late 1970's to Early 1980's

Winston Donald

 
© Copyright 2021 by Winston Donald



Photo of Jamican flag with a marijuana leaf.

Gloom and sorrow shrouded the chilly air of the February 1981 morn. The shrubbery wet from the overnight dew , the tall Weeping Willows and lush Guinea grass that lined the roadway to the old Spanish mortar and limestone Baptist church created an idyllic yet somber atmosphere that complemented the majestic structure perched loftily on the apex of the Dry Harbour Mountains in St. Ann, Jamaica. As I climbed the hill to this rural church positioned like the last outpost in the American mountainous west , I became overwhelmed with grief and pulled a white cotton handkerchief from my inner tweed jacket pocket , then mopped my sodden eyes lamenting the loss of a needy but adventurous adolescent friend. . . .

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Elusive



Diane McLeish


 
© Copyright 2021 by Diane McLeish



Bridge.

This is a story of my encounter and the search for an elusive and very difficult to find wild animal called the Sitatunga antelope in a remote seldom visited national park in Kenya. . . .

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Our Reason To Add An Animal Member To Our Family

An Animal Will Teach Respect and Love and also Bring Protection and Joy To Your Family! 







James K. Aumak



 
© Copyright 2021 by James K. Aumak


 

Photo of a German shepherd.

 I recently read a letter to the editor, in a local newspaper, regarding a reader that just suffered the loss of her family, a pet/dog due to cancer. I often read several local and State newspapers everyday, as I like to be informed as to what’s going on around me. . . .

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Party Crashers





Desiree Kendrick



 
© Copyright 2021 by Desiree Kendrick



 
Photo of an Indian house lizard.

This is an account of me landing in a foreign land, where wildlife and ‘party crashers’ shocked my teenage inexperience. Come along for the ride.

On the tarmac, hot air rammed its way past the passengers and assaulted my face. Discordant voices, transcontinental and indecipherable ricocheted off the airport walls. I understood nothing except the gestures of airport security. The Customs check-in line was like herding cattle to slaughter. . . .

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I Nearly Called My Baby Robin



Rachel Allen



 
© Copyright 2021 by Rachel Allen





Photo of robin.

The late February sunshine was stubbornly pushing through the clouds, blazing low in the sky and threatening to blind Graeme as he drove us through the sweeping Brecon Beacons. He’d done his research before we came, and found a walk that promised to be an easy to moderate route through the woods, taking in no fewer than four waterfalls. It sounded like just what we needed, a good dose of nature to shake us up and blow away the cobwebs. . . .

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Nature's Path



Christine Law



 
© Copyright 2021 by Christine Law





Photo by Sue Thomas on Unsplash
                                Photo by Sue Thomas on Unsplash

My early childhood memories come from the age of seven. When the family decided to up sticks moving from Dudley an industrial Black country town to Kingswinford. Kingswinford, a small village on the outskirts of the towns, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Dudley. It meant that you had the best of both. Rural and town life style. . . .

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Reynard Fox



Christine Law



 
© Copyright 2021 by Christine Law




Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash
               Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

When I first moved from the Midlands to Essex, I was surprised to find how friendly the foxes had become. They would take it upon themselves to follow you along the streets like tame dogs sometimes during the day and mostly at night. People accepted this has the norm. . . .

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Two in the Bush



Sam Smith


 
© Copyright 2021 by Sam Smith




Photo of a boy with a crow.

It was a sunny day in late April. My sister was at after-school swim practice, and I’d made a new friend. . . .

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My Children and Other Animals



Alex Byrd Jones


 
© Copyright 2021 by Alex Byrd Jones






Photo of a gecko on a lamp.

Here in Italy, where I live with my family, the cockroaches are small and crafty things. You almost never see them. They stay well out of sight, and their only desire is to be left alone with those microscopic fragments of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that they might be so lucky to gather here or there. I mean, who could blame them? . . .

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Serendipity



Karen Radford Treanor 

 


© Copyright 2021  by Karen Radford Treanor

Two cats by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen.
            Two cats by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen.
                                      

A nice older couple stopped at my stall at a recent “Trash and Treasure” market in Margate, Tasmania. The man was carrying a block-mounted poster which caught my eye. It was a large semi-abstract floral with the logo of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston across the lower margin. . . .

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The Same, But Different



Zahra Dot


 
© Copyright 2021 by Zahra Dot



Zahra with a lion cub on her lap.

When I say that I live in South Africa many people have images of me living among wild animals and having lions in my backyard. This is not in any way true. Wild animals and humans are, for the most part, separate.

But there are occasions when these two species are allowed to interact. There are several game reserves and farms where these animals are kept and some even allow limited interaction. This is a story of my interaction with one of these wild creatures....

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Be Eager  But Never Forget The Warning



E. L.Teddy


 
© Copyright 2021 by E. L. Teddy



Photo of a wild boar.

. . . .I was 18 years old and I grew to love pastoral life which I grew to find myself with passion. I was so interested in hunting and so I troubled Dad until he educated me on how to use the gun which I understood faster than expected because it was in the blood to know. . . .

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Christmas Yokes



Nnadi Samuel


 
© Copyright 2021 by Nnadi Samuel



Photo of broken eggs in nest.

Winter comes grey & dusty, like another vagabond experiencing it's hangover on Lagos' belly. Every harmattan finds December eating weird dishes in my head & other Christian homes left in my body. Whatever goes into them becomes a fellowship— a wild synagogue of shrimps hailing a boy not so full of grace. . . .

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A Stranger From A Strange Land



Kelly Maida









 
© Copyright 2021 by Kelly Maida




Photo of Kelly.

Did you ever feel different than others? When I was a child I played with lucky rabbits feet and I had lucky charms. My favorite books were on witches and magic. I was also highly intuitive and guessed things about people correctly. I had no idea that I was an empath when I was a child. People around me when I was growing up did not understand why I was so sensitive. People could not understand why we were so different. . . .

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Remembering My Brother
 

   
 

Valerie Byron
 
 

© Copyright 2021 by Valerie Byron    



Photo of Valerie, her brother and her mother, 1948.


Today I learned that my older brother, Dr. Alan Byron, is seriously ill in hospital on the Isle of Wight in England.  He is eight years older than me and we have never lived together.  As children, he was sent away to boarding school and only came home occasionally on holidays.  When I was twelve and he was twenty, my mother and I immigrated to California and my brother stayed in the UK, having joined the army. . . .

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A Saltmarsh Sparrow Named Sal



Susmita Ramani


 
© Copyright 2021 by Susmita Ramani



Photo of a young saltmarsh sparrow.

For five years, I lived and worked as a lawyer in New York City. In 2003, I took off a few months between jobs, lived on savings, and roamed around the city. Every day, I woke up in my high rise one-bedroom apartment on 34th Street and 9th Ave. with a view of boats on the Hudson, kissed my cats (Max and Oscar) bye for the day, went down the elevator, chatted with the building’s doorman, Lee, then wandered the city with one or more of my many friends who had the flexibility to hang out at random times (who were otherwise actors, dancers, personal trainers, restaurant staff, college students, and so on). . . .

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A Tale of Natures Achievement





Anna Boyle


 
© Copyright 2021 by Anna Boyle



Photo of Jack, the magpie.

The day in question was special. A happy day. Jack was home. Back where he belonged.

Jack had been with us for about six weeks. We had been looking after him. He wasn’t well when he came to us. He also came without a name, so we had to give him an identity. After a couple of days, he was named Jack. His gender was in question too – he could even have been a Jacqueline. But for the purposes of discussions about him at the time, and for this story Jack is ‘he’. Jack was a magpie. . . .

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1968 - A Very Bad Year



James Quinn


 
© Copyright 2021 by James Quinn



Minnesota twins players visit hospital.

My name is Jim, and I want to tell you about a very bad year for my family. I am the youngest of seven children. Five boys, and two girls. I was seven years old. Let’s not forget our busy loving parents, trying their best to keep our little boat from sinking....

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Easter Sundays in New Market
When I Was a Girl



Cathy B. Bridges




 
© Copyright 2021 by Cathy B. Bridges



Photo of Cathy as a child in front of her house.       

One sunny Fall Saturday afternoon approximately 10 years ago, my husband and I took our little granddaughter to visit her great-great-great grandparents' old home place. It was a beautiful day to enjoy being outdoors, and childhood memories flooded my mind as we came up the long driveway that ran along the side of a steep drop off. That reminds me of the day my grandfather scared me when he backed up his car too close to the edge. My brother and I were in the car with him, and I just knew we were about to go sailing off into the trees. . . .

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Covid-19 or Not?



Cathy B. Bridges


 
© Copyright 2021 by Cathy B. Bridges




Photo of a person in a mask.
       

One morning in November 2020, my husband and I left the house with the intention of going to Publix to get our flu shots and receive a Publix gift card for doing so. There had been road work in the area for a long time and the morning traffic stretched across the bridge that day. Making a quick decision, we decided to turn around and go back to a nearby pharmacy to get our flu shots. We had gone to that same pharmacy for our shots in 2019.

After receiving our flu shots, and I got a pneumonia shot also, we went on back home. Later that night before going to bed my husband and I both felt achy all over like we would with the flu, but we did not think much about it. Neither of us have ever had a reaction to flu shots before, and we get them each year. . . .

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Coviditis Diary





Paddy Tanton


 
© Copyright 2021 by Paddy Tanton



Photo of the common English kingfisher.

I have been keeping a diary since April 2020 entitled ‘Coviditis’ and am sending in four of the weekly entries two from spring to summer and two from winter to spring, each involving encounters with wildlife. . . .

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The Hawk and the Hare


Christine Stevenson




 
© Copyright 2021 by Christine Stevenson





Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash
                     Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

This story is 100% truth. It was a once in a lifetime moment between me and my overly-active-with-wildlife neighborhood. Large birds from hawks to buzzards hung around my home in South Carolina. It never bothered me until it had a reason to. . . .

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No Fishing



Caroline Travis


 
© Copyright 2021 by Caroline Travis



Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash
                                      Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

I think that’s an osprey,” said Paul, staring ahead into the distance of the deserted coast.

I scanned the sky, but could only see gulls.

There!” said Paul, pointing. When his prize failed to register, he spooned himself in behind me, and with his chin on my shoulder, and his cheek touching mine, he repositioned his finger. “There!”. . .

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The Rocking Chair
 





 

Ruth Truman

© Copyright 2021 by Ruth Truman
Photo of a rocking chair.

 “Granddad,” I called, “It’s time for the Red River Valley Boys!  Hurry!”

 I turned on the prized console radio and pushed the rocking chair next to it, then ran to wake up my grandfather, still in bed recovering from working all night on the railroad.  It was WWII and he was an inspector, keeping the trains running so the soldiers could get to their assignments.  It was an important job. . . .

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Albert Einstein and his Invention






Prakash Rawal


 
© Copyright 2021 by Prakash Rawal



Photo of Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein was born on March 14 , 1879 in UIM,  Germany.  He was not talkative in his childhood,  and until the three , he didn't talk much . He spent his teenage years in Munich, where his family had an electric equipme business. As a teenager,  he was interested in nature and showed a high level of ability in mathematics and physics. . . .

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Wael's Barber Shop




Alan Herman


 
© Copyright 2021 by Alan Herman




Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash.
                          Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash

Wael's barber shop is in the Muristan District of the Christian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. Wael is a Moslem yet he chose to place his barber shop outside the Moslem Quarter, a good business decision.

You see his shop is close to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and he gets heads to reformat among the many visitors to this site, as well as among other visitors, and residents of all the quarters. . . .

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Angel Girl



Rich Courage


 
© Copyright 2021 by Rich Courage



Photo of a girl making snow angel.
                                    Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

There was this shy yet fiery seventeen year old girl named Liza. Her hair and heart were aflame, free, full, delicate and true. A quiet girl, she expressed herself in art and poetry. Breathtakingly beautiful watercolors and moving words. And I loved her completely for one magical day in nineteen seventy nine. It was the best, most honest, happiest day of my life. Why just a day? I’ll tell you. . . .

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Her Voice on the Train to Milan




Alan Herman

 
© Copyright 2021 by Alan Herman




Man looking out train window.

It was a chilly October after midnight morning. I had walked from my hotel laden with suitcase and backpack through dark streets and across a highway before being welcomed by the lit, warm and quiet waiting room of the Verona railroad station. Only a few people were waiting for the rare east- or west-bound train. . . .

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The House That Nature Took





Christine Hand


 
© Copyright 2020 by Christine Hand





Photo of rainbow lorikeet.

Here, in this leafy suburb of Queensland is the house that we decided would be our forever home. Surrounded by large trees and shrubs, it provides us with the seclusion we desire together with the nearness to all amenities and the city centre. We share it with the local wildlife, crows, bats as large as unfurled umbrellas, the laughing kookaburras, magpies and rainforest birds nesting on the large trees and the miner birds, blue-faced honeyeaters, rainbow lorikeets, peewits and butcher birds on the smaller shrubs. Brush turkeys and blue-tongued lizards rummage and ransack the garden while the smaller garden lizards do comparatively little damage. By nightfall, the possums emerge, some carrying their babies on their back, nipping lithely from branch to branch and stealing the show for us all. At first, they are wary of our colony of six cats, then they decide that as fellow mammals they are part of the larger family. . . .

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Nanghala





Francine van den Berg


 
© Copyright 2020 by Francine van den Berg



Photo of an elephant.

Nanghala is never far from my mind. After all, I owe her my life. If the old girl is still alive, I hope she will owe me hers one day. I met Nanghala in the Eastern Cape. She was a star in an amusement park. She put up a show for visitors three times a day, and in between her stage commitments she would take visitors around the premises. . . .

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The Fatigue




Jay Liu

 
© Copyright 2021 by Jay Liu


 

Photo of police car in front of house.

Ever since Connie Owens disappeared from the world with a noose on her neck, a perverse sense of guilt and shame settled over me. It wasn’t like I was that close to her or anything, as she had always been that wayward girl sulking in the corner, biting her nails, but on that fateful day in April I had felt it: a sick constricting feeling over my heart, as if someone had grabbed and squeezed it hard. . . .

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The Suicidal Pigeons of the I-80



Fernando A. Torres


 
© Copyright 2020 by Fernando A. Torres



Photo of pigeons near the road.

Is it a Russian roulette of the air? a macabre air race? The thing is that in an act that looks like suicide, pigeons of all color and sizes fly off parallel to the busy freeway to violently died by the speeding cars in a spectacular explosion of feathers. . . .

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A Child's Prayer with a Side Order of Peas





Desiree Kendrick



 
© Copyright 2021 by Desiree Kendrick



 
Photo of a plate with peas.

When I was barely five, I landed in the hospital with pneumonia. As a child, I didn’t have any concept of how concerned my parents were about my health. I was very ill. Although my parents and older siblings filled me in later about details of this event, my memories are simpler. This is what I remember from a child’s sightline. . . .

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Birthdays Behind Bars: Inside the Juvenile Justice System




Stephanie Wilder

 
© Copyright 2021 by Stephanie Wilder

 


Photo of prison fence.

After a career of teaching students in prep schools, I longed for a career change. Chance took me to the Juvenile Justice System and I got a job in a juvie facility for teenaged juvenile delinquents. It was indeed a career change, and it was an opportunity for me to step out of my world of privilege and I learned much more than my students did. . . .

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Severe Weather Reports






Pavel Filatov




 
© Copyright 2021 by Pavel Filatov


Photo by ZACHARY PEARSON on Unsplash.
                                          Photo by ZACHARY PEARSON on Unsplash.

For Norman, life had always been somewhat complicated. There had always been one thing or another which prevented him from achieving what he wanted, and no matter how hard he tried, he always seemed to fail. You see, there are two things you should know about Norman. The first is that his whole life he’d dreamt of becoming a weatherman. The allure of standing in front of that green screen, letting the country know about the latest and most important weather conditions was overwhelming for Norman, and he did little else but develop his oratory abilities. The second is that ever since he could remember, Norman hadn’t just been Norman. At no one time did he realize this, but Norman had three very distinct personalities. Obviously, jolly, weather-loving Norman was one of them, and perhaps even the main one. The second liked to call himself Emilio. . . .

Norman’s third personality was a giraffe. . . .

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Pater






Pavel Filatov




 
© Copyright 2021 by Pavel Filatov


Photo of monk in monastary.

The man slowly staggered towards the door. The house was large, with intricate designs from the gothic era engraved onto its exterior. Judging by the figure of Jesus with arms spread wide hanging above the door; the man thought that this was a monastery of sorts, a house of God. Even before he looked, he somehow knew that there would be no bell; it was a very old looking house, from a time before such things existed. . . .

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Sunday Morning




Lew Goddard


 
© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard




Photo of a street scene.
                                                       

Leaving his home he stepped onto the cinder and gravel mixed surface of the three block street where he lived with his parents. The air was warm and dry at nine o’clock this July morning contributing to a crackling sound as he continued to walk. There were no sidewalks in this area south of the Western Pacific railway that was parallel to the street... At a point about 30 yards from home he turned to a path leading through the eight foot high slab fence that separated the activity created in the area of the grain elevators and coal bins beside the railway. Two slabs had mysteriously disappeared at some time allowing a shortcut to the down town region. . . .

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Ode to Gleeville - The Town
That Defied Literature

or, The Hamlet That Could Outdo "Hamlet"

or, The Story of Gleeville - A Story Without Conflict

Emmet Kelley

 
© Copyright 2021 by Emmet Kelley


Photo of identical houses.

     . . . . In normal society, the yes-man is an object of disdain , if not  of ridicule  and  vilification,  from “the William Whyte organization man”  to the blindly loyal supporters of autocrats like Donald Trump. But in Gleeville,  a small town located somewhere in Middle America, the yes-man would fit right in and, indeed, even blossom. For in Gleeville,  there was the community-wide  agreement  of the  general   rule of law of “ agreeing not to disagree”. . . .

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Of the Holy Spirit, and Elvis







Carl Winderl

 
© Copyright 2021 by Carl Winderl




Photo of Nixon and Elvis.

Everyone has an “Elvis & me” story, or so it seems. Especially in these glory days of the woeful by-gone past.

And, I have one, too.

Only mine, in the parlance of about every other movie these days, is based on true events. . . .

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Self-fulfilling Prophecy and Maria Ritter



Bonnie Crandall


 
© Copyright 2020 by Bonnie Crandall



Photo of the Dating Game.
                         
Here she came again. Every Sunday she came like clockwork. She was probably in her late sixties, early seventies, under five feet tall, a little round gnome-like person with rough hands, her silver hair pulled back into a severe knotted bun at the nape of her neck with a lined face that spoke of a hard lived life. She spoke with a heavy German accent, and she was closing in for the "kill.". . .

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Surviving a Brother's Suicide



Winston Wight

Introduction by David Wight


 
© Copyright 2021 by Winston Wight



Photo of sunrise by Richard Loller.

At age 18, my elder son Rion enrolled in Cornell University’s School of Architecture with a future full of promise. At age 22, he committed suicide. This story is primarily a letter written by his surviving brother Winston depicting Winston’s search for resolution, healing, and new meaning following his Rion’s death. . . .

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Closure



David Wight


 
© Copyright 2021 by David Wight



Photo of a hand placing rose on tombstone.

In 1955, my mother was stricken with polio and hospitalized for a year. I was only four years old at the time and couldn’t grasp how much her illness and disability would impact my entire family and her for the rest of our lives. In 1996, my mother was stricken again, this time with post-polio syndrome. . . .

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The Kangaroo and the Pocket


Linda A. Dougherty



 
© Copyright 2021 by Linda A. Dougherty






Photo of a kangaroo with a baby.
                    

In early May 2018, my life circled in the same holding pattern as it had been since I was diagnosed in October 2015 with follicular type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was exercising, eating a careful diet and taking natural supplements to boost my immune system. Every day I went into a local middle school where I work as a one to one special education aide. Every six months I saw the oncologist, had blood work drawn and we hoped it would stay that way or a miracle would happen. Cancer steals your life in unexpected ways even before it kills, or almost kills you. But, you learn to live with new rhythms in your life.

That warm spring, my special needs student and I were busy reading books about Australia because that what the seventh grade geography class was studying. We read about koalas, wallabies and kangaroos. He was especially fascinated by how tiny newborn kangaroos, the size of a bean, crawl up their mothers fur after birth and nestle into their mother’s pocket for the next six or so months, growing larger and stronger while suckling their mother’s milk. . . .

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Humor Is The Best Medicine


Linda A. Dougherty



 
© Copyright 2021 by Linda A. Dougherty




Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash.
                            Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

It came packaged in my DNA direct from my dad, who I incidentally look like, this dogged propensity to go to the mats to right wrongs. After years of being the family bulldog, I’ve decided that I will first try humor as in the old adage, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar." . . .

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The Weird Dichotomy

 

Shivaji K. Moitra 

 

© Copyright 2021 by Shivaji K. Moitra 
   

 

the battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata.

          The battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata

India has long been known as the land of Gods and spiritualism. For ages, the mountains, hills and jungles of our country have been the abode of numerous sages and sadhus who practiced penance and meditation in the lap of nature to gain the knowledge of the Gods and to attain spiritual powers. Some of the monks mentioned in the Hindu religious scriptures and epics like Agastya muni, Viswamitra muni, Vasishtha muni, Kapila muni and Valmiki were famed for their immense knowledge and legendary spiritual powers. . . .

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The Summer Petey Bob Turned Fourteen


Paul Marion Fleetwood

© Copyright 2021 by  Paul Marion Fleetwood

Photo of a huge saw.


Just in case the reader is not familiar with my stories; I am an old retired Aerospace engineer writing true short stories of events that happened in my life for the benefit of my great-great grandchildren.  I want them to have some knowledge of their heritage and of old Pawpaw Bob (that is what my kids and grandkids call me).  My real first name is Paul but I was nick-named Petey Bob growing up. . . .

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Babies, Bikes, and Mothers





Maureen Moynihan
 



© Copyright 2021 by Maureen Moynihan


Photo by girl's bike.
                                                             

Ever since I was strong enough to carry a baby on my hip without dropping it on its head, I worked. Growing up, I watched the drama of money play out in my own household. My father made most of the money, so he dictated that we ate Toasted Oats instead of Cheerios and wore sneakers without the Nike swoosh as they were a flagrant demonstration of white collar commercialism. . . .

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Hiatal



Don Shook



 
© Copyright 2021 by Don Shook


Photo of a guardian angel in stained glass.

The flatbed truck braked, but still hit the small boy who had suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. Fifty feet away, rose-trimmer in one hand, three-month-old baby under the opposite arm, Dorothy Ann turned at the sound of the squealing brakes and muffled bump. Her eyes widened in horror as her two-year-old son flew through the air, tiny arms flailing like a ruptured windmill before crashing onto unforgiving asphalt. Dorothy Ann’s urgent scream failed. Her heart stopped She stood paralyzed. The baby wailed.

This was my first experience with pain and injury. I can remember neither. . . .

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No, Not. . .
 





 

Isabel Bearman Bucher   


 
© Copyright 2021 by Isabel Bearman Bucher 


 

Photo of a stream.

      My Nonna Angela Irene Giana at age 15


I’m an outdoor girl. In my earliest memories I’m wandering the unknown reaches of the woods, remote shorelines and hollows surrounding my home in Branford, Connecticut. Those were the days when kids were booted outside and told to not come home till sunset. . . .

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Quail Hunting in Callahan Florida







Gordon Crenshaw




 
© Copyright 2020 by Gordon Crenshaw


Photo of quail hunter.

It was the first week in January 2003 when GG joined his hunting buddies Vince Stevens, Wayne Helms and Steve Billmyer in a big quail hunting trip down in Callahan Florida. Callahan is about 10 miles from the Georgia State Line on Highway I-95 just north of Jacksonville. . . .

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The Gift of the Magi . . .Kinda





John Bourges




 
© Copyright 2021 by John Bourges



Photo of two stockings hung on a mantlepiece.

They all stood outside O’Henry’s Steak House on 6th Avenue and 4th street, while one of the bartenders and one of the staff waitresses watched the owner lock up for the night.

Have a good night you two.” He said and sensing that their relationship had grown over the weeks, left it at that, without further comment or remark and headed home. . . .

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Susceptible Otherworld



Don Shook



 
© Copyright 2021 by Don Shook



Photo of a plane taking off.

Annie’s call had not sounded desperate, just serious. “I’m leaving the country and I may not return.”

Startled, Don could only manage a weak, “What? When?”

“No. Today. In a hour. I’m at the airport. Please, meet me here. I must say goodbye in person.” . . .

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