Ho Ho Ho

The silence and wonderment that the first snow creates made the early morning crime all the more unsettling. Sticking out from behind the dumpster like a holiday version of the Wicked Witch of the West, […]

A Christmas Cabal

He was just pulling a plum pudding out of the oven when he heard the insistent klacking of his front door knocker. Placing the steaming pudding on a serving table already laden with foodstuffs of […]

Bling

#xmasgunclefab Bling… #christmsmornismyjam Obviously the children had been tinkering with his communications again. The sound that emitted from the communication station was not unlike that of the sprinkling of fairy dust. Nauseating. Vulgar. Totally Inappropriate […]

Lost at Eight – or – The Gift

  The boy was on his first-ever sortie to San Francisco—the “City”—escorted out of necessity by his nearly grown-up sister. The City! Growing up in a California Central Valley town often seemed like torture. Stores […]

Collective: The Forest

Drew McDiarmid contributed this muse photo on November 26th   Drew McDiarmid They sat on the edge of falls watching the water cascade over the edge. While he could hear resolution it seemed the water […]

Collective: Wine & Typewriter

This fun photo of woman drinking with a typewriter at her feet was our muse photo for November 12th   Robert McDiarmid DEAR JOHN, “These letters have gotten a LOT more complicated than they used […]

Bitch

It was two long years ago that Sabrina decided to turn her love of wine into her future. She found a underutilized corner of a strip center. Two days of faux brick applicay, and several […]

Hummingbird Lane

The snow fell down like a dystopian mist. The cold seemed colder. The snowflakes seemed whiter and bolder against the desolate grey sky. She looked out the plate of glass to see the new neighbor […]

Rendered Invisible

I was in an angry, hurried rush. Who calls a 7am meeting on a Monday morning anyway? I was madly sipping a coffee, and rushing to meet the train in the park. That was the […]

Define Sinister

  The 1960s: elementary education was a far cry from today’s versions. I ought to know since I was on the receiving end. Born left-handed, this trait didn’t really take hold until I became a […]

Predation

Once upon a time, not that long ago, there was a boy who was convinced that he would never amount to anything. He was the damaged product of a broken home. The solitary son of […]

Perspective

Questioning: Small things get in the way of the spirit that wants to be big and brave and free, that aspires to greatness. One problem is that life is so daily. Hard to save the […]

Trick

He just wasn’t good with kids. He was pretty sure he’d been a kid, somewhere in the distant past, but even then, in those years before he went away to college, got a job, met […]

Why?

I read a book. More than one. All the way through. Ms. Curtis, she teached—taught me how. She said I should read something every day. So when a lady left this book where I work, […]

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How do you when it is ok to bring the subject up? You remember the date and know it is approaching, right? Does he want to be reminded? Isn’t the headstone at Veteran’s Memorial Cemetary […]

Where do we stand

  In every social group, whether it be ants, antelopes, or apes, one behavior is always constant, one truth: “If you’re not one of us, you are not wanted, you are the enemy to the […]

Discomfort

There are numerous situations that bring me discomfort, such that I find myself momentarily wishing to be anywhere else, around other people, or suddenly invisible. These include: An ex-boss, who ought to be diagnosed with […]

Collective: Lake

this photo of a bench on a dock in the woods on a lake was the Muse photo October 6, 2017   Drew McDiarmid He owned the whole corner of the lake. No one could […]

BFFs

1977 Highland Hospital maternity ward Jane cuddled her newborn son and smiled when a nurse handed the woman in the next bed a blue-swaddled infant. “A boy?” “William. Billy. And I’m Amy.” “This is James. […]

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The man he had spent his whole life with was dying. Marcus stood at the glass looking beyond to his partner in ICU. “We have been partners for over 30 years…” he said calmly. The […]

The Breakup

L: What do you mean, “I need to let you go?” What does that MEAN? T: Sweetheart, I’m sorry, but this has been a long time coming…you know that… L: Are you kidding? We’ve been […]

3am

The phone leapt to life with an unwelcome 3am ringtone. She moaned, and reached for it, leaving her sleeping mask on. “Hullo…” she sleepily stammered into the phone. “Is this Marigold Adams?,” said an unfamiliar […]

Whither Thou Goest

  It began as an innocent trek around the Yosemite Valley rim trail, but began too late in the day and far too late in the season, mid-September. Add in a foolish unfamiliarity with the […]

Always

Dearest Lo, I’ve always come here to write to you, to walk, to remember. Do you remember the first time you kissed me? It was here, the first time. Our first date. Our first kiss. […]

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But nothing? Nothing doesn’t help. And asking for anything, anything, just got so hard, so painful. Why bother? I threw the sign away, and went to find somewhere to just curl up and sleep for […]

Collective: Cornucopia…

This caffeinated cornucopia was the muse photo for September 22nd     Drew McDiarmid He never felt so isolated as he did in the morning. People talking over steaming hot cups of liquid gold as […]

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During my teens through early twenties I spent several Summers on Mackinac Island, a once magical place now shadowed by commercialism. At that time an empty mansion named Stone Cliff stood tucked into the woods […]

Kudzu

Last week, something got into the fields. I don’t know exactly how I know, but it was on Wednesday night of last pannek . I slept quite deeply that night, but still, around 2am, something […]

Tit For Tat

Kaede adjusted the sleeve of her red coat. Despite the sun, it was a little cooler than was comfortable. Of course Hideki was in shirtsleeves, but her grandson was barely 25. He could go out […]

Hard Earth

Everything was different when it was wet. Some things were easier to find and others harder because there was just so much more “world” in the world. That’s when she liked the hard earth best. […]