Wool scarf

As a child she remembered the smell of the winter air through the wool scarf her mother lovingly knit her. Somehow it always seemed fresher with the pink one, with the ivory fringes. By the time she got home from school her eyelashes were tipped in white and her cheeks were flushed, but her fragile lungs were protected against the cold gusts that triggered her asthma. The soft pink was her favourite colour and stood out amongst the dreary black and greys of the season, so she felt quite special when she wore it, never really associating it with her how much her mom loved her and how much creative talent she possessed.

Now, as an adult, she often takes long walks on her lunch hour, this time wearing an ivory scarf with pink fringes, again  lovingly knit by her mother. It still smells wonderful, like a warm bath, and still prevents fits of coughing. Now she appreciates it even more, as she knows that the hands that created it are starting to curl with arthritis and the eyes that carefully followed the knitting pattern are aided by glasses, but still made with love.

#personal essay #family # short story

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Animal justice

ee94cd23-47d3-4c38-9f95-5f7a561eff0bShe did not recoil at the vicious slash marks on his torso, or the deep bites on his neck, but somehow the gnawed off toes made her shiver. Judging by the teeth impressions some very large feline had made them a snack, or a play thing. Maybe the bulletin going to all sanctuaries and zoos would prove fruitful in finding the remains. She turned him over to photograph the words cut into his back knowing that the case would reach the vigilante task force within minutes. She hoped that they would drag their feet and allow a few more animal abusers to meet some rough justice. I guess she could forget to file the report until Monday.

Gaggle outside the gym

At exactly 1155 the ever growing group of girls tried to look nonchalant from their spot on the hallway floor outside the small gymnasium. He always went past at this time and it was important to get a good spot for maximum viewing pleasure, too close and he may not see you, and too far from the door, he would have looked away in embarrassment. Being the inaugural member of the “Deadly Dimples Fan Club” she knew the perfect spot to witness all of his sweaty, shy perfection as he strode past in just his gym shorts after the daily basketball intramural match.

Would today be the day he smiled at her again? The first time was like a drug and she needed her dose of dimples, and now so did the other admirers. Some liked him for his broad shoulders, some for his soft brown eyes, others for his shiny hair, but she was a sucker for the smile and the way he bounced on the balls of his feet when he went past, almost like a dancer. What was the most appealing was the fact he did not seem to realize how magnificent he was and how many crushes he endeared.

How she wished she never shared the secret of his shirtless trek to the locker rooms with the other grade 10 girls, they normally did not come into the senior wing. She could only hope he would remember her from the soccer field, where he practiced next to her own scrimmages.

The girls were suddenly silent, signifying his presence, so she sat up straight and tried her best to look uninterested and yet available. He was with a team mate and seemed deep in conversation but just as he was passing he met her eyes. She smiled and received one in return, almost stopping her heart. She felt her cheeks burning, like she was sitting in front of a fireplace.

30 years later she was sitting in front of a fireplace reliving the warmth of the moment she met her husband. Those dimples were still deadly, as was the smile, but the heat was now more like a long burning ember.

Black socks on the clothesline

β€œHe walked very slowly down the back alley delaying the journey home and the inevitable questions he could not answer. Paul never took this way, he always used the front street, and always in a hurry, never at such a liesurely pace. Maybe he would finally learn something about the neighborhood he had called home for so long but never got to enjoy, as he rushed madly from the downtown skyscraper, to the crowded bus, to the quick walk past all the manicured lawns to his brick bungalow, like all the other suburban homes.”

Opening sentences of a short story I am working on. I want to publish stories to build my profile, though my wish is to publish a novel or novella.

Do other writers work on smaller pieces to pad their resume? If you do, do you try and stay in the same genre, or spice things up?

Do you have any tips for websites or publishers that are open to new writers? I have found quite a few in the horror genre, but not as many in romance. Wisdom welcome……


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