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  1. Grace, my younger sister , started story telling at the age of 5. As soon as she reached Primary School she began writing in all forms. I have always loved her poetry which has never been published. Perhaps it is too personal and lovely for her to share. More’s the pity. This story is one I like very much and was glad to see it on my computer. Ruth Gannon

  2. A wonderful mix of history, fiction, and genuine emotion.

  3. “I knew her when.”

  4. Loved the detail, brought back old memories of Boston.Karen

  5. St. Anthony’s Shrine…..i remeber it well. The story is wonderful….and so are grandkids.

  6. Dear Kat….What a wonderful present for all of your readers….great job! Looking forward to many more of your delightful stories….Love you and congratulations sweetie!

    Love Always, Your Little Sis

  7. Kat,

    A beautifully spun magical story with intricate and delicate imagery befitting a kingdom of faeries. You have enchanted your readers!

  8. Delightful story, very well told! Your imagery withing the words illuminated the tale quite well — I could ’see’ it all with my mind’s eye…

  9. Nicee… it was good… I learned something about catholics just by reading a little bit of the beginning..

    Your over the shoulder reader always…


    (Ur Wonderful Garnddaughter)

  10. This was a great faery story! I can’t wait to hear more! The beginning, middle and end of story is written perfectly!
    The idea—very, very clever. I am certain the writer of this story is part Fae, and her use of natural imagery woven within her story proves it. That is what true Fae stories do—-connect the natural world to the realm of human thought. Well done!

  11. Once I started I couldn’t stop reading. Great story. Very believable characters. Glad it is on the computer.

  12. Available Soon « salvatore publishing
    August 3, 2008 at 6:51 am

    […] Fiction by Guy Cousins. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Protected: Bird Dog Pups Available […]

  13. Excellent and very effective.
    Very well-written.

  14. You managed to capture the way a parent puts a child before his or her own wishes. Well done!

  15. A powerful story told with strong emotion. An amazing read!

  16. Very nicely written and intriguing, Melinda. Lots of sharp details. Good, natural dialogue. Enjoyed it very much.

  17. It is too short! 🙂
    Nice work, as usual.

  18. Melonie,
    I really enjoyed this story, I’d like to think that it’s the first of many parts. The scenes were vivid and all became real to me as I read.

    There’s as much story in what is unwritten as there is in the words.

    I wait for more…


  19. What a wonderful story!!!! I trully enjoyed it and was totally captivated from beginning to end. What a beautiful place for Sean. Thanks so much for sharing this story. This world’s cares take a toll on my magical memories and I start to forget. Thanks so much for remind me how awesome that magical world is.


  20. I enjoyed your story Melonie—-the dialogue was great! Opening paragraph drew me in and you have some profound thoughts!

    I too hope this story continues!


  21. Dear Kat – What a wonderful take! I have read many of the bestselling authors of the fictional world – of faeries and dragons and other magical beings and can see your stories up there with the best of them. If you’ve been off since 2006 – and have had as deep an interest as you do – I’m assuming there is a novel in amongst allof those short stories somewhere – Let the dust bunnies take care of themselves – of let your faeries take care of them for you and for the sake of the rest of us – get busy and get it published! I never, for an instant – thought my love of wonderful, embelleished clothing – which has always led to introductions to many warm and wonderful people in my life (since many nurses tend to be outgoing and take a more original approach to their wardrobe)- would lead me to a first peek at what cold be the new major fantasy bestselling author! Get busy woman! I can’t wait to read more! Thanks so much for letting me know! – Jill

  22. How clearly our perspective on our own hurt and sorrow changes when that same hurt and sorrow threatens our children. Excellent endeavor that speaks well both of your humanity and yourself as a man able to speak on behalf of men and women facing such heartbreak, now all too common.

  23. Even the least of us has a story; thank you for sharing this one in such a wide-eyed, wondering, wonderful way.

  24. Thanks for reading. It was a pleasure sharing about him. He always had a smile despite his hardships. A real paradox – bill was a sad yet cheerful person.

  25. Loved the way you magically weaved the story so the end is the beginning….very clever….
    Can not wait until part two…
    The story did take me back to our younger days as kids when we explored the caves in Cedar Breaks where
    the Indians used them to keep the food during the hot summers…and those cave ice cyrstals must certainly have been fairies…Love you very much, your little brother.

  26. Well written. I liked it a lot. But did she get the job?

  27. Auntie Betty Lou Cranston Derry
    August 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Dear Kat….as a babe, you I held in my arms in the land of your birth, California, and have oftened wondered how you “turned out!” … Richard put me in touch with this website only today….I love your gift of story-telling! Would you believe that I, myself, have penned a fairytale entitled “A Twice Old Tale” for the 65th reunion of my high school class in September…could this be a family trait? Please get in touch with me, Kat. My crystal ball is glowing!!! Auntie Betty Lou

  28. Auntie Betty Lou Cranston Derry
    August 20, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Hi, dear Kat…another faulty Cranston Irish/fey family trait…we get so excited we forget that sometimes the “devil is in the details!” Correct my title to read: “A Tale Twice Told” (originally dictated by Iamma Imp (nondeplume) to and transcribed by…who else? 🙂 Reading your story for the second time…all that talent being thoroughly enjoyed!

  29. I love the way you reconnected the two women on the train, the young woman in pink gloves and the woman observing her response to the “war of the sexes,” by having the woman purchase her own pink gloves, which indicates to me that after her interview she’s decided that “I really don’t care, anymore, I really don’t. I’m, like, so over it” when it comes to the “war of the sexes” in the business environment (witness the male banter before the elevator and derogatory remark by Shapiro’s “wingman”). So, did she get the job? I think I hear her saying, “Who gives a f***? I’m hungry.”

    I, too, think the dialog was very natural. The changes of perspective and location were a bit of a challenge, but were handled masterfully and added to the essence of the story.

    I look forward to reading more of your work.


  30. I really enjoyed reading this story. Keep on writing!

  31. This is a beautiful and well written story. I loved the imagery……..though a sad story, somehow the nature described is comforting to the reader. The messages about life, love and loss are powerful. I feel honored to have read your story Nathaniel. Excellent job.

  32. This is a disturbing, brilliant piece! Completely gripping, well done!

  33. Good story of a difficult life lesson. Good use of nature to convey the message and similarity between all life.

  34. Great story, Christine!

  35. Nice story, Chris. Congrats to you, girlfriend of mine. I’m glad to see part of your dream coming true, at last.


  36. I really like this one. A good, tender read.


  37. Thank you Jen.

    Thanks Gray, your kind word always lift me up.

    Glad you both enjoyed!

  38. You do have a real gift, Christine. Keep going, sista!!

  39. Do I know you?…

    This is a cracker! Really enjoyed it.

    I’ll remember it the next time I see a pretty lady and Mrs Bomber is with me.

    Well done you.

  40. good story…you have a knack for the scary stuff…


  41. This was very entertaining……I can see why it is published! Great job Chris and congratulations. The ending cracked me up! Bettany17

  42. Heya Chris! i love your story!!!
    Keep going hun, you really got talent !! Hive

  43. Powerful and well-written. Very sad…but such is life sometimes. The last paragraph is especially powerful.

  44. Good story Chris, well done.
    Congratulations on being published here. I can only aspire!


  45. Thank you much little Bomber. 😛
    Ha, Thanks Stonefly, i think. 😀
    Thanks bet!
    Thanks Hive Darling! 😀
    Tony, you know you’re good too! Thanks a bunch. 🙂

  46. This is the perfect example of when “looking the other way” is a good thing.

  47. Way to go, Red. I don’t remember Lake George being in your first draft but that was a nice touch.
    Love the ending. Leaves open the possibliity of a sequel.

  48. Ha! Thanks Usiku.

    Thanks Don! I figured i’d add that since i was craving a trip there and I did need a setting. 😛 Ah, you are too smart! Yes, a sequel is very possible. Cheers Handsome! 😉

  49. This was a terrific story! I enjoyed it very much! Great job and congratulations!

  50. This shows the beauty of how insane most arguments are.

  51. I was worried the story would end in despair as it began. Then I was worried it would be too easily brightened. Thing is, it continued to surprise me.

    I’m still confused about, “It’s just life. Don’t take it so seriously,” how it relates to the rest of the conversation and story. Confused like JB I guess. And I’ll be thinking about it.

  52. I agree=-) It truly is amazing to see it so well put into one short story.

  53. That’s a new twist on the power some women have over some men. Makes me wonder.


  55. Damn man, that was a great piece! Had me laughing, and well being a woman grinning from ear to ear. Nicely done!

  56. Hey Handsome! Glad you liked it, hey, you actually read something! Ha, That’s gotta be a record! 😛

    Seriously though – thanks!

  57. Enjoyed your story very much. It kept my interest to the very end. Good job!

  58. Wow! This is a very special story. Well done.
    I will re-read this again and again……right now I”m just absolutely floored.

  59. You really took me there…on the wings of your story. Thank you.

  60. Will share this gift in the Monthly Update so that others can enjoy it!

    Thanks for sending it

  61. Way to go stonefly! This was adorable! Congratulations on having your flashfiction piece published by SSL. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Bettany17

  62. Nicely done Stonefly! Very cute and perfect timing!

  63. Loved it! Conjured up perfectly times long past … and some not so long past. Nicely written Andrew. btw what did Santa leave you and your sister???

  64. Loved it, I can remember it well. Sue

  65. You captured that heart bursting anticipation on Christmas Eve. Thanks for the story

  66. thanks, gals,


  67. I liked it. It was on the cute side, but I think with the crowds this time of year we need cute.


  68. Very nice Christmas story. Congratulations on your writing piece being published on SSL

  69. What a great story. Though I heard the oral tradition, I’m glad it is shared!

  70. I love that story.


  71. Tweet, but excellent for all that. I don’t remember stone water bottles other those seen in museums!!

    Seasonal whatsits to one and all.


  72. I very much liked this, beautifully balanced.

    Well done and all the best for 2009.


  73. As usual well done! keep them comming.

  74. Excellent! And so, so true. I can just picture myself and siblings lifting back the ‘magic roundabout’ curtains waiting for santa to come. You know who I am and I’m very proud :o) Love it xxx Any more?

  75. A beautiful Christmas story.


  76. I liked the interplay of twins, a very odd relationship anyway, with the two extreme and different opinions as to the Iraq war. Thanks.

    In UK, we mostly regard Tony Blair as badly wrong on that one!


  77. Chris: Another great one. You’re something else, lady! Love to Jack!

  78. A classic short story!

  79. Christine:

    Excellent, my young friend. A nice piece of writing

  80. I was a captive audience thinking how this might affect my twins and the rest of the family in a similar situation.
    Great story!
    Mary Kay

  81. What a powerful story. Thank you so much.

  82. You’re a terrific writer………..this is good. No wonder it is now published on SSL. Congratulations.

  83. Thanks Jen!

    Thank you much Gray!! 🙂

    Aw, thanks Bet!

  84. It is amazing how our lives are shaped by experiences we had growing up. This short story reveals many issues about life and the circumstances we are placed in, not always by choice, to achieve something we want. It certainly got me thinking.


  85. Love the suspense. Sometimes life has just a few moments that impact the rest of our lives. Perfect short story, a glimpse of one family’s moment. Great!

  86. This is an amazing piece of work. well done!

  87. what a great read chris. i love your stories. all the best with your writing future.

  88. Thank you much Serina. 🙂

    Thanks Daryl. 2009 is a new year, may all inspiring writers have some success!

  89. Great piece ! So nice to have you with us at SSL.

    Chris S.

  90. I’ve made such great friends at SSL. 🙂

    Thanks Chris!

  91. I enjoyed the Secret. It was pleasant reading and well written. It was believable.

  92. where can i find the climax, and the summary of the story?
    please help me because this story is my report in my school ^^…
    thank you and GOD bless you and your family ^^….
    take care always ^^ keep it up….

  93. Whooo Hooooo! This was great! Very exciting ! I enjoyed reading this very much and I’m sure I’ll return back to it again and again. Nice Job! Congratulations on getting your story published on SSL. This beats Twilight 10×10! Your words are so eloquent, you had me at the first sentence. Great, terrific, stupendous ending!

  94. Wow bettany17,
    I do not know how to respond. I am flattered I was able to garner such a response from my work. Thank you so very much! I have my first book coming out in March…look for it on AMAZON, LULU and all of your other internet literary outlets. I appreciate you reading my work and your kind words in return.

    David Lee Jones

  95. Lee, this is a good piece. I enjoyed it very much. Congrats.


  96. Good one Christine


  97. Hey David, Congrats on your book!

  98. Thanks Casey!
    It all seems so surreal. I do not think I will truly believe it myself until I hold the first copy within my hands!

    It is an honor to have some of my work here on your magazine.
    Thanks for posting my story.


  99. Chris,
    My old friend. I hope all is well with you.
    Thanks for the nice comment.

    I need to get your address, will you please email it to me.
    Good to “see” you again!


  100. Interesting. I have always been a fan of vampire lore. I must admit, though, I was a little lost in some of the description. But what do I know? I read Specifications all day and have to communicate with people that usually only have a 10th grade education.

  101. I loved the story. Kept me spellbound but, the ending (second to last paragraph) confused me.
    Grce Rudolph

  102. i like it

  103. That was an absolutely wonderful story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  104. Why thank you so much Guin for your comment.

  105. Whooo Hoooo! Congratulations firefly on getting your story published on SSL. I enjoyed reading it very much..

  106. Lee:

    Very reminiscent of Louie agonizing over his tranformation into a vampire in “Interview”. Anne Rice would be proud. This could be developed into a really good story. Keep working on it.

  107. Hey Avis,

    That was marvellous – I enjoyed it greatly. And I was especially pleased by the fact you didn’t let Harry off the hook at the end – loved his appraisal of Dolores tail too!
    Excellent work.


  108. Caregan

    I’m glad you like my moral “tail”!!!

    What goes around comes around.

  109. You won the challenge for a good reason, nicely written!

  110. Thanks Mike,
    Good to hear from you. I am glad you liked the story. Anne Rice really inspired me to write several stories. She is such a descriptive writer with a very romantic style.

    Thanks for the kind comment.


  111. Thanks for reading everyone, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much to Casey for publishing my story, it really gave me a boost to see it in here. 🙂

    x o x o

  112. Perfectly written, almost every line. I thought so the first time I read it and reading it again, after this much time, I still think so. Very enjoyable (again).

  113. I really like this story! One thing in particular – flashbacks can be annoying when not handled well These were great since the reader didn’t forgot where they were in the story and they added to the present.

  114. Great story! I had not read this one before. I’ve always heard that authors write what they know, drawing from their own personal experiences and their individual family history. I never doubted that but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it in action. Seeing as how it is also MY family history, reading it gave me the feeling of familiarity and comfort.

    Congratulations on a job well done!

  115. Wonderful – best word I have, but it is inadequate.

  116. It makes me think of the paintings that depict the sad clowns rather than the happy one.

  117. Great story, Nate! Really enjoyed this one! I liked it quite a bit better than the Bradley Sands short! Keep up the good work!

  118. This story drew me behind the costume into the private world of clowns that most never see. I enjoyed the insiders view of the clown’s frustration as he/she tries to land that big gig; and the twist in the end that was actually quite hilarious even though the clown thought otherwise.

  119. What a tragic tale. Poor Sylvia.

  120. When i finshed reading your story I felt as if I was in a movie theater, sitting, while the credits rolled, absorbing what I’d just watched.

  121. Thank you Rachel & Paul for your comments. Greatly appreciated!

  122. This story is so amazing……….for a moment I was rendered speechless.

    I can say, however, your writing reaches depths that many writers can only aspire. This is a masterpiece, published right here on the SSL forum. How lucky we are……..

    Beautiful story…..well done J.Conrad Guest. This ones definitely a keeper.


  123. Why thank you, Bettany, for your kind words and support. I’m most appreciative. This story caused quite a stir at my monthly writers’ group when we met a few months ago. Discussion of the writing quickly turned into debate on the perspectives of the two characters. I took that to be a good thing!



  124. What an engaging story. Thank you.

  125. Penny, many thanks for such an engaging, sad but vaguely hopeful consideration of the British culture in early 2009.

    Is this a prophesy for the weather due this summer? I am seriously deficient of sunlight and proper wamth so I hope so!



  126. Thank you for the excellent story. You touched me deeply.

  127. This is a very ponderous story for me. I wonder what’s going on beneath it all. I didn’t unfold how I expected and the ending sewed it all together in a satisfying way, but without giving away too much. Good job.

  128. Good story. I liked it. The story develops through quick subtle strokes like a painting and then pushes the reader into the mystery. If the second half was shortened a bit it would have a stronger impact.

  129. Lovely, just lovely.

  130. This is terrific! I hope to see more from you. Enjoy the snowy weather of Buffalo. 🙂

  131. I absolutely love the picture connected with this, I was thinking a crow or raven of some sort would be perfect.

  132. Finish that novel! You have a nice, easy style. I enjoyed your story.

  133. That was a very scary story. It kept me reading till the very last sentence. Good job.

  134. Very excellent dialogue, rhythmical, even poetic — until the banal line and situation: “No,” Charlie lowered his head. “It’s you….”

  135. I don’t usually like romance, but I loved this. The story is loaded with feeling and anticipation. The psychology of the characters was realistic, but still interesting. I wanted to follow them into the relationship. I really enjoyed the strings of uninterrupted dialog. Very well done.

  136. Didn’t I see this in an old movie called “THE BIRDS?’ To tell the truth, the story is better than the movie (as is usual.) A few lines, mostly poorly conceived, have been added to add contemporariness. But it really is a good story, well written.

  137. Well, the crows are not the creatures I refer to in the story…they’re basically like the minions.

  138. You have a very keen ear for dialogue and what is being said, overtly and covertly. Excellent, much enjoyed.


  139. I loved your short story–soft, sweet, moving with great depth. Can’t wait to read more

  140. Your story wasw so romantic and I wanted to learn more about their relationship. Good luck on your novel can’t wait to read it

  141. I can’t wait to read more!!!!!!Job well done…

  142. Story was wonderful – I loved it. Hope to get a chance to read more. Good luck w/your novel!

  143. I don’t know what to say, Ian………..I have goose bumps! I cant wait to see how this love story unfolds. I am very impressed!!!!!!!! What a way with words you have.

  144. Okay three words: I LOVED THIS!

    This story was great. Excellent idea, creepy writing, perfect pace. Absolutely my favorite from you so far!

  145. Congratulations James!

    Absolutely riveting from beginning to end! Fabulous imagery!

    I’m sure you will go far with your writing.


  146. I read this before, I believe on your blog. Read it again and still am in love with this story. This was so well written and a really intense read, Bomber. My favorite part had to be the very last line, it is something I will never forget.

  147. This is a real beauty Bomber. Congratulations on getting it published on SSL. The imagery in A Brief Peace is astounding! I have only to imagine the sound of the planes and I’m there–right in your story. This is as close to time travel as one can get.

  148. Thanks Chris S. !

  149. Beautiful story. Thank you.

  150. Nice story, can’t wait to read more

  151. I say, Bomber old chap, rattling good yarn that. Good to see you still have plenty of lead in your pencil, despite what your Mrs Thing from across the way told my Mrs Dalrymple from Number 42.

    You fly-boy types do tend to bang on as if you won the ruddy War single-handed, but I’ll forgive you on this occasion as it was such a splendid tale.

    Pip pip and tally ho!

  152. Bomber, a hauntingly lovely piece. No crtique from me, but warm thanks for creating the story.

    One slight whinge however, the photo used on the front page of SSL to highlight your work is NOT a Wellington; looks more like an American B17 to me. Maybe get casey to pick another more appropriate one?



  153. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments.

    Buffers, Old Thing.

    One appologises if one has put your nose out of joint vis a vis winning the jolly old skirmish. It’s always in the back of my mind that you old mud rats had a little something to do wth it all.
    I trust you’re still keeping your muzzle clean…

    Chris & Bettany.

    You dear girls, I feel your appreciation deeply. Actually the inspiration for the story was borne from a line that Bettany had used in a post some time ago. So for that alone I thank you. I’ll send you both some nylons in the next airlift.


    I’m glad you liked it…


    Yes, the first thing I noticed was that the picture was incorrect. I let it go, simply because I want the story to do the talking. Also I would imagine that finding royalty free images to use is a bit of an issue for Casey.

    Also credit must go to a chap called Rob, who gave the story a critical once over.

    Thanks awfully to you all.

  154. Thankyou for this touching piece, I enjoyed, if that’s the right word.

    Is Milford Haven the setting by the way?


  155. Great story. You know something is good when you want it to keep going.

  156. Hi Elaine – nice piece!! reminds me of you and I go-carting on Tambark with the gold shag carpet. No helmuts back then eh 🙂

  157. Well What happened?!?!?! Excellent story, really help bring back memories of my childhood escapades!!

  158. Excellent. Touching. Real.
    Thank you.

  159. …the brief details helped create a unique character (one that varies for everyone who reads i’m sure…) The variety of detail you have creatively plugged-in captured an image in my mind probably based on my own childhood experiences. Funny!
    Great work Elaine!

  160. I loved this story.


  161. Super story. So much fun. Brought back childhood memories. Thanks.

  162. A wonderful examination of determination and hope. Beautifully crafted. Bravo!

  163. Thought you really nailed the character of the mother. Could totally see this as a play. Thanks for sharing your always enjoyable writing!

  164. Congratulations on getting your story published on SSL.

    Very well written, excellent imagery. The hair is still standing on the back of my neck!

  165. You are such an amazing writer. Loved it! Thanks for sending it to me!

  166. Glad I found this story. It was fun to read and brings back memories of how I got some of my scars! Keep writing.

  167. Wow Ryan. Just wow. What a disgusting, perfect ending.

  168. Totally unexpected ending, brilliant! The style (in terms of the voice/tone) of the narrative reminds me of Alice Sebold’s ‘Almost Moon’. I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

  169. What a wise Mom. You nailed her alright.

    Nice story. I remember that bike and riding the neighborhood. I remember chanting for the neighborhood daredevil.
    I hope to read more of your work

  170. Creepy. I knew something was off, but that ending was a surprise.

  171. Sick, sick, sick.

  172. Thanks to everybody for reading my stuff and leaving comments. It’s both encouraging and invigorating. This site will be publishing a second short of mine May 10th and I have another short over at Again, thanks.

  173. I enjoyed every sentence, from beginning to end! You are so talented!

  174. This was subtle and pleasent. There wasn’t a word that felt extraneous. Touching but not sappy. Just right. Thanks.

  175. I should have had you killed when I had the chance, you prevert.

  176. Thanks to everyone above for checking in with some really nice comments. How does it end? I think when the mother makes the decision to let her daughter go through with it, that’s the ending really. Never personally owned a Stingray Deluxe bike, but researched the 1966 model it so that the colors and parts were accurate. Was waiting for someone to comment on the background of war in contrast with the suburban ’safety’ zone. Casey, Short Story Library is a beautifully designed site; I feel honoured to be part of it. New online: my story The Atmosphere is Blue, just published by Foliate Oak in its April , 2009 edition. Now working on a new one that takes place in 1939, a tense and interesting year. Will struggle with it tomorrow, if only I can get beyond that blank screen.

  177. Lovely! Well done-good luck on your novel! I’ll look forword to it!

  178. Thanks for the Monday morning belly laugh. I needed that.

  179. Very creative. This one will stick because I’ve never read anything like it and if I do again I will just assume someone else read this story and copied it. Unique. It makes me interested in reading your other work.

  180. As someone who has silently frequented this site for some time, I have seen many quality entries and postings, but never been moved to comment, if only because of my own cocksure prejudices of the non-printed written word, and the nihilistic despair that comes with that.

    And yet, I found my own hardened cynicism rocked to it’s very foundation upon reading this; so much so that I felt I had to make some comment. Mr. Wiswell has shown such amazing talent at capturing the middle ground in the ever-present knife fight between classical Absurdism and the occasionally [and erroneously] reviled paronomasia. His talent with micro-fiction [or the more preferred “Single-serving, Anti-Realistic Nonfiction”] has literally unseated me, and I only hope to continue finding his work here at the Short Story Library.

  181. Wow, that was totally unexpected!!! You do write good 🙂

    Good luck for the future!

  182. John, That was so funny. I really enjoyed it. Wish I could write that tight.


  183. Holy moly! What a scary story and the ending was SO strange! Had me reading everything…up to and including “…three tattoos.” Good job.


  184. Well played, sir. Well played.

  185. Thank you all for the kind words. I’ve never gotten praise quite like Ryan’s, and it’s pretty flattering to think someone would imitate one of my creations at all. If you are interested in my other shorts, I have a blog at, where I post at least one new piece of brief prose a day.

    Thanks to the Short Story library for publishing this, and thank you all again for enjoying it. I love to make people laugh.

  186. that’s such a sad story…very nicely wriiten

  187. it’s great! 🙂

  188. Nice job Ryan……..Steven King-ish ending….great wrap up to a great story

  189. I really really REALLY enjoyed reading this!!!! :D!

  190. Brilliant, captivated me the whole read. 🙂

  191. Anne, just beautiful. Oonah

  192. This is a wonderful story down memory lane; not mine, but my mother’s. I remember so well all the stories she told; the setting clear, the people familiar. I hear the baseball game, the Cleveland Indians I’m sure, as my grandfather listened on the radio, even though the game played on TV. The sensuality goes well beyond the senses, for we are intimately within Christine’s imagined world.

  193. Beautiful dialogue. I can’t wait to read your novel. Your style is easy, seductive and real. Good luck.

  194. The suit held the memories and I felt like I crashed to the ground when Christine put the suit back on the rack. We were back in 2009. What a wonderful story and it lingers even as I write this. Awesome to coin a phrase.

  195. What a nice sentiment.

  196. Excellent mood piece. Yours is a rare skill. Thank you for sharing.

  197. I love this meditation/prayer. I plan to read it many times to keep myself on track. Thank you for this gift.


  198. beautiful, I was there with her, I could smell the clothes, the suitcase…. I wanted more… to be continued… chapter one of many more…
    Thank you for sharing this.

  199. Wonderful detail! It transports the reader, as well as Christine, to another place and time.

  200. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the poem.


  201. Palpable, I felt like I could breath the air Christine was breathing. Wonderful way to critique the busy ‘choices’ we make daily.

  202. Time stood still as I read this wonderful piece. I could smell the musky smells, feel the textures of the suit, unclasp the purse (which I am certain was red leather with a golden clasp). I wanted to stay in that shop with Christine and live in the rooming house, appreciating the simplicities of a time gone by…… thank you Patricia.

  203. I really enjoyed your writing style – the way I was carried step by step with the wanderings of Christine. Wonderfully done!

  204. This is gorgeous. It’s like the poem is enveloping you in its hug/prayer. Beautiful!

  205. Thanks so much for the comment, Cath – much appreciated.

    Hugs back


  206. I liked the narative style. You really got to feel inside the mind of the character. Thourougly enjoyed.

  207. I don’t get it. Is Christine actually the imagination of the burgundy-haired girl behind the counter? Perhaps she is the jealous vintage car parked outside?… Too Steven King?? Really enjoyed it, Patricia. Congrats. It’s no “Captain Dynamic” mind you.

  208. Thank you for keeping everyone educated.

  209. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and comment on “Vintage”. It’s gratifying to know you’ve enjoyed the piece. Long live short stories! And Captain Dynamic, I’d happily be too Stephen King if it meant I could generate his level of income.

  210. That was great! Thanks.

  211. haha, that was funny! Nice stuff! 🙂

  212. Thank you very much.

  213. Lovely, Anne. This poem breathes tranquility.

  214. …Really?

  215. Excellent characterization and an interesting method of moving the plot. Great story! Thanks.

  216. Loved the story. Kept me hooked to the end.


  217. That was gooood. Loved the details – playing along to the skips of old King Crimson records. Nice.

  218. Lovely! Now you really do have to write “The Next Page”, b/c I need to know what happens!

  219. That was CLEVER and I loved it. Yes, we must know how Harold turns out!!!!!!

  220. I’ll bet your ads are terrific…and use humor.


  221. Venture into fiction more often! This story was so unique. Very creative.

  222. That was very nice and unique! 🙂

  223. Excellent!

  224. I liked this poem. Thanks.

  225. Very well written.

  226. Beautiful story.

  227. You are the Man! That is an awesome story and you did not let me down with the ending.

  228. The neighbor from hell! What a story. It kept my interest to the last line.

  229. Lovely story, its so real. Sometimes we think the bad is taking over the good and we pray that the battle is won in favour of the good. Although I couldn’t understand what LL and DD stood for. What are their full names, if any. Please explain.

  230. Wow! A punch in the gut – micro fiction as it should be.

  231. Just a note Nikita, in the story “Luminescent Light wept” and “I am Deepest Dark” is where LL and DD are introduced. Hope that helps –

  232. Wow! You hit the nail on the head, Patricia! If only moreof us were enlightened, maybe we could put a smile on LL’s face.
    You made a very difficult thing to explain look so easy! Thanks Patricia. Its not often I read anything that fits the bill.

  233. Excellent way to set the mood and surround the reader with what the subject is experiancing without using one word too many. It left me wanting to know more and that’s the thing I like about it; just the hint is all the reader needs. Anything more and the story would be too much.

  234. Thank you. This was not the story I thought I was going to write when I began. But this was the story as it emerged. My writing often takes me in directions unplanned.

    Thanks, Casey, for clearing the LL and DD part up. Sorry, I thought I had made it clear. 🙁

  235. Thanks for clearing my doubt Casey, I really hadn’t paid attention to it before. 😉

  236. A sad well written tale, Daryl. Nicely done.

  237. ripping, i jut hope its not a true storey…

  238. thanks for the comments. i fought with this story but glad i finished it.

  239. Very good, story. My attention never left the screen.

  240. “Only the smell of nicotine unified the decor.”

    excellent! great job of setting the mood.

  241. Many thanks, Angel & Jack – much appreciated!


  242. I liked it. Touching, but I thought it was not very thought-provoking to a deep level. Either way, a good short piece.

  243. This peek inside an obsessive mind was indeed a pisser. Thanks for the Monday morning chuckles.
    Bob Burnett

  244. The way you captured him with so few words made me suspect this was based on a real person. Well done.


  245. Of all the thinking one can do in a loo!
    Good piece!

  246. hi grace,

    it was indeed based on a real person. he was a lovely guy too but suffered from the horrors of war.

  247. RD;
    you always hit that nail right on the head.

  248. LOL This is very witty and well done:)

  249. I enjoyed the read,

  250. This provided a laugh out loud moment from the very beginning! –

  251. Good idea for a poem, but it needs more work.

  252. “they’d all grown a little taller, a little braver, a little smarter, at least in the stories”

    Oh, my, yes! I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a story more than this one. It was absolutely perfect. I know those guys (at least the same breed of cats) – I served with them, and I love them still.

    Great story.
    Bob Burnett

  253. You packed a lot of power into so few words. I liked that it was short because it would be like that moment of making a REALLY bad decision. When I go to work I drive over a bridge that has had several suicides and there is always, rain, snow, showers, or sun, a boquet of flowers at the highest point. I liked this poem very much. (Obviouslyl, I can’t capture what you capture in a few words!)


  254. I enjoyed the read. This is a very cute story. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
    Great job with the dialogue.


  255. I like this. It hit me in the face one good time.

  256. Excellent. Thanks.
    Bob Burnett

  257. Re: Poem “24 minutes” – Very fine, well constructed poem, his agonies shared by the reader. Would like to read more of this excellent writer’s work.

  258. I think angels would prefer that you become involved with other people and not have you hide.

  259. Good story. I enjoyed it. So much for pitbull hockey moms!


  260. Sometimes you can do both, Roberta, and that’s fine too though …

    🙂 )


  261. A.M. is talented. It’s not easy to horrify in so few words.

  262. Holy smokes! What a story! I wish he was still alive and writing.


  263. A very moving, heart-breaking tale.

  264. Thank you, Bob and Grace for reading and commenting.

  265. Amazing. Its witty and extremely funny. Crazy and Compulsive disorder written all over it! Cheers.

  266. WOW! One of the best short stories I’ve ever read! I wish he was still alive and writing too.

  267. Touching story, well written. Thank you.
    Bob Burnett

  268. A bit late in finding this. The possibilities boggle the mind. Very amusing.


  269. I really liked this!

  270. Wow, dude, good job! Now can I say I knew you back when?

  271. great. seems like you have a very stylized way of writing. i’d love to read more

  272. Nice social commentary, Scott. Well thought out and, like Emily said, very stylized. It’s a creative and real-to-life way to portray the dialogue.

  273. Wow! Great poem.

  274. Excellent dramatic poem. Well done. Congrats on getting it published here on SSL.

  275. Well done, Effie.


  276. This is a wonderful, poignant story, packed with life lessons. Great writing.

  277. Great poignancy. The tremendous waste of life when sharing bed alone is the point of it and there are no other interests. This poem very well caught the anguish of those caught in such restrictions.

  278. Karla;
    you had me from the first sentence. most writers would start out “joe took the glasses down from the shelf on a crisp, white, wintery day. no, you started out with “I didn’t notice my sister had freckles until she was dying.” that’s a great beginning. it almost rivals the first sentence of Charles Bukowski’s novel POST OFFICE , where he wrote: “It began as a mistake.”
    good job.

  279. Thank you for the comments. This story was inspired by my sister’s own battle with cancer. She had that same surgery and survived for almost a year afterwards. She was 10 years older than me and instilled in me a love of horses. That first sentence popped into my head one night, and the rest of the story unfolded from there.

  280. Excellent work, Effie. Well done. 🙂


  281. Thank you for the comments, all. Drug addiction is a hard place to go in poem or fiction because unless you yourself have been addicted, it feels like too much. Really, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of everything that is addiction. A drug addict’s mind is a frightening and lonely place and as Roberta said, filled with anguish. It is a lonely disease. Thanks to each of you for reading and commenting.

  282. Great story! Very funny.

  283. I really like this sweet story.

  284. Well written horror.

  285. Great read. Couldn’t stop, once I started.

  286. This was so good. I was absolutely captured.

  287. Captivating, beautiful work. Wish it was longer, coulda dropped everithing else.

  288. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Thank you.

  289. Thanks Dennis, Amy, mayamba and Bob for your nice comments. Very gratifying. And a special thanks to Casey for publishing the story. Much appreciated.

    Len Joy

  290. I am a great admirer of John’s poetry and this is a good example of his poetry at its best.

  291. thanks, terry. just think…this is my 40th year in publishing! i’ve officially become a geezer!

  292. I loved this story. I’d like to read more of your work.


  293. Grace,

    I appreciate your comments. I have my online stories linked on a side panel of my triathlon training blog. Thanks for reading, “Casualties.” My Blog is “Dont Go Gentle..”

    Len Joy

  294. I like the story, Paul.
    Thanks for sharing.. 🙂

  295. Good Story.


  296. A nice spin on the Genie story, Matt – the best flash I’ve read in ages.

  297. Nice writing Scott. I liked the hook in the beginning. Send me more links when you do other stuff.

  298. Red.
    Read it.
    Recognised lots of bits and bobs, bits and pieces.
    Not sure that I could fit all the memories back together again, but liked the playful style of language.
    Hope you get lots of feedback.

  299. Nicely done, Scott. Glad you linked me to this. Keep up the good work, don’t put that pen down!

  300. Loved it!
    Reminds me of the ‘hoarder’ too, I am one ,and also love my cowboy boots.
    Like the way the earings tie up with the pillars and the magic ties up with the naughtiness of the affair with the ‘toy boy’.
    You have to have a clear out now and again!!!

  301. This is lovely writing. Ms. Rende has true talent. I love that she allows the reader to piece together what happens in the story as it progresses. There is a ton of heartbreak in this tiny story.

  302. Love it…don’t get rid of that earring board!!!….Love the phrase ‘Sucking In Magic’…love the idea of magic of course..I was settling into the story, wondering what would happen to Connie, when….it finished. More please.

  303. CONGRATULATIONS! Terrific!


  304. Congratulations, John. I enjoyed that story when I first read it.


  305. Elicits true horror. The true horror of bad living baldly written. I hope to hear more from this writer.

  306. Brilliant micro fiction!

  307. That’s why you need to have at least 2 suppliers. You need to diversify the supply to keep one supplier from taking over 🙂

  308. Very well written and interesting mini-story. With a skein of few words the little girl was spun to life and emotions developed to poignancy. Admirable.

  309. Agree with Roberta. Good slice of life story.

  310. Thank you, Grace! I hope you enjoyed it the second time you read it as well.

    Cheers, all. This is quite an honor.

  311. A nice chuckle, clever idea.

  312. Yeah, I loved this!

  313. The most Beautiful nature/spirit story I’ve read.

  314. This story started out with such hope and ended with such darkness. Scary!


  315. What a twist! Loved it!

  316. Made me chuckle! Thanks.

  317. Enjoyed it. Succinct while still conveying a powerful feeling.

  318. Brilliantly written vivid scene of no land AND no employment. Well-wrought terse construction.

  319. I liked this one. You caught her feelings of emptiness and loss of hope with a few well-chosen words. Good job.

  320. Nice piece of work.
    Bob Burnett

  321. wow! great story! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  322. Roberta SchulbergGoro
    May 3, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Did this happen in Texas?

  323. I’m out! It took 15 years for the wooden coffin to decompose and for me to dig my way out but my corner suite in the downtown towers was just as I left it…muahahahaha!

  324. Crazy story…..makes you think!

  325. Roberta SchulbergGoro
    May 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    One of the strangest stories I have ever read. And one of the strangest notions I have come across – that anyone can be considered unflawed and in that way different from the rest of us. As if the two were from different planets.

  326. Very interesting story set in an ambiguous time and upside down.
    But oak trees? Squirrels? Must be in a different part of Florida than the one I’m in.

  327. Why is the character blaming woman #2 and forgetting to mention that he never made delivery to person #1?

  328. LOL Roberta, Yes, I’m not sure which part you live in but there are many oaks and lots of squirrels here in West Central.

  329. Excellent work. Very interesting story! :0)

  330. This extended glimpse into the trials and tribulations of a member of the Manchester family through her private diary is most prolonged.

  331. The original sin was anal intercourse. For the exegesis, google the first scandal Adam and Eve. Then click, read, and comment.

  332. Amusing parody of some of the “sermons” heard around here. But I thought the extremist churches reserved “cream of wheat” for their lashings.

    I always thought “original sin” was Adam’s accepting too much from Eve undeservedly, knowing that pregnant women, although generous, need the apples themselves.

  333. Cheerios to you. As promised I did read. Agree with the hypocrisy presented.

  334. It’s difficult for a writer to write about writing, and even moreso, about a writer frustrated by an inabiity to write, but Mr. Meade, i think you’ve carried “Searching” off very well.

  335. I never agree with hypocrisy. I do like the good cheer of the unity symbolized by one ring, but I also like the three ring sign which symbolizes – in the light of the sun, the light of the moon, and the light of all minds on earth, a pledge of honesty. Maybe we should settle this earth shaking cereal controversy by switching to pretzels (from the root word meaning close to, near).

  336. Interesting use of time and mood.

  337. Strange (and that is a compliment) story. I almost quit on it when ‘Ron noticed that he was sitting on a thrown’. How about the seat of a monarch – a throne rather than a thrown?

  338. Well it seems that Mr. Conley is naming his characters in decreasing order. The first customer is #3, the next is #2, and the poor pizza boy if fired before he can deliver to customer #1.

  339. I really liked the imagey and Ron reminded me of my husband.

  340. Is this what’s known as a shaggy dog story?

  341. All through the story I expected the killing garage door conclusion but was hoping the writer would offer a surprise ending. Alas! Things continued in their mechanically predestined way. But I find the mother distasteful not for her “makeup on her broad forehead,” or her obese obtuseness, or for the coldness toward her unmissed husband or toward her son who she could not understand, and certainly not for expecting him to do some chores around the house and get a paying job, things he should do, but for (1) not doing those chores she herself was good at – mechanical chores and (2) not instructing her son and his girl friend to give time instead to the “cordon bleu with lox,” they having some interest in foodstuffs, a chore which would probably match equal kitchen time to repairing garage door time – fair and square. Whether the son’s chosen interests were as important as hers is irrelevant. Everyone needs time for chosen interests. And since when did she split the world into boy’s chores and girls chores?

  342. Roberta, thanks for the comment. Well-aimed. I am glad that you felt the conclusion was inevitable, although mechanically driven. I don’t like Ivy Feine, either, because she is a snob as well as an abrasive personality.

    Her division of the world was not by gender but by ‘important intellectual pursuits’ such as hers (astrophysics) and everything else. Just as bad as gender bias, I think. She figured the garage door problem was beneath her, albeit not beyond her.

  343. Gail – I know she figured that, but all chores (and cooking is a merely a chore except to special hobbyists and chefs) are beneath everyone yet necessary for everyone. Repairing garage doors was a chore the mother seemed to know about and food preparation a chore the girlfriend seemed prepared to shoulder.

  344. I thought this story is well written and I feel like of the author did his research. I would love to read more of his stories.

  345. Re: GOING FOR A RIDE by Bob Burnett.
    This fascinating story kept me engrossed throughout every tense minute of its reading. A real surprise is its upbeat ending which doesn’t break from a sense of reality. I enjoyed this detailed, well-written story very much.

  346. This was absolutely SUPER!

  347. It would have been interesting to hear the story Pablo told – a story within a story.

  348. A real horror – I suppose in the category of “stolen identities.”

  349. I really enjoyed reading this (albeit incredibly sad). I liked the specificity of each of the characters actions…like Hector putting the bag over his head, or the individual way each of them drinks. It paints a rich color of the character without them having to say anything. And then they follow the trash at the end…TRAGIC!!!

  350. A whole world distilled into the bottom of a bottle. Thanks Darlyn.

  351. This piece is so visual. Specific. The colors. Location of light. Would love to see what happens with the trash barge. That is quite a singular image.

  352. Give me more here. I like this but it seems just too good for micro fiction.

  353. Although well written with an excellent flow and detail, the story strains the “willingness to suspend disbelief” that the characters could maintain themselves for any length of time on drink only and not solid food. It would be easy enough to add some swiped, found, or offered food without much change in the sense of the story as a down-and-out adventure. Is it supposed to be a sort of fairy story highlighting such a mystery? Is that why Pablo was called a “devil”?

  354. “a modest slice of time” – just lovely

  355. I think the real problem in the life of the protaganist – the main character in the story – is that since he is a man, he has not given enough thought to men, only to women.

  356. In AA circles, G.O.D. is abbreviated by some who have not embraced God as a higher, Personal being. The acrostic stands for Good Orderly Design. I don’t know if the author was alluding in the title at this reference as these drunks seek to live their life in a way they think is good but find that the orderly world around them keeps intruding. It is a gripping study of existence and denial where the four, who are unable to see their own filth, are given constant clues of something higher as they “follow the course” of the city trash barge down the river.

  357. I guess that cheater will get the wrong answer he deserves.

  358. scary ghost story writer
    October 7, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Well told. I’m glad I’m not a fan of fast food! It’s an interesting take on the subject and you handled it very well. I wonder what purgatory holds for lust!!!

  359. Yes, David, the G.O.D. is a reference to AA but in this case: Group of Drunks. Thanks for reading everyone!

  360. This was fun! :0)

  361. Hey Theresa,
    Nice short story. Congrats on getting published!

  362. A little strange, but well-written. Thanks for the smile.

  363. Maybe the protaganist should have waited to see some response toward him develop on her face before he started lip action. Impatience has lost a lot of different kinds of things for a lot a people. The resounding coda of the last line is also a trouble maker. What to do? What to do? Suppose instead of single-dating, boys and girls early got together in groups, most would sort out their own responses pretty quickly among themselves.

    Interesting and well written story.

  364. The piece seems so solipsistic, like the work of an overwrought poet.

  365. Well, I am biased for sure. That being said, this is one of the most touching and inspirational stories I have ever read.
    Bob Magruder is a great and funny man, and Melonie Magruder is a tremendous writer and the love of my life. Nice work Beautiful;)

  366. I’m not too worried about Bean. As soon as he gets out with some interesting people his ideas will proliferate. It’s not good for man to be alone.

    When I was a kid we used to play the opposite game: drop a burning match into the bottleneck, quickly place a hard boiled egg on the bottleneck opening and the egg will woosh unbroken into the bottle. Were we playing angels?

    Interesting story.

  367. Lovely, vivid, touching piece, about a man I have the good fortune to know, and regard with love and admiration (and SO much laughter), along with the beautiful-inside-and-out Patsy. Wonderful piece, Melo.

  368. Larry King once stated, “I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” That is precisely how I feel. I am grateful to have learned something new today. – Tenis

  369. Very convincing and affecting story. Well written. It has much in it and I intend to re-read it.

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