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The Ice-Cream Man

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Maple street. The middle of July. An ideal Saturday afternoon with temperatures at a fairly comfortable 80 degrees, the air permeated with the tantalizing smell of a barbecue or two around the neighborhood. Boys played pick-up baseball at the nearby recreational dugout. Girls played hopscotch and giggled at boys they fancied passing by on bicycles. Neighbors waved to each other as they passed on the chalk-laden sidewalks, and the trees were exuding the pleasant song of birds perched upon their branches. This was it. The perfect summer day.

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Jimmy The Shrew

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The bedroom was filled with a silvery darkness, save for the small pool of light spilling in from under the door. Most of the care homes elderly residents slept quietly, while the hushed whispers and soft footsteps of the night staff drifted down the empty corridors. Although there was no need for anyone to check on Albert at this late hour, the old man was woken by someone tapping on his door. At least it wasn’t another bad dream that that was waking him up, he thought groggily as the knocking came again, louder this time.

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Back in The Day

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The eyesore arrived at our house on the evening of November 22nd, 1963, when I was eight and Joey was eleven.

At school that day, the loudspeaker crackled to life, and Principal Edwards announced that President Kennedy had been assassinated. I’m not sure any of us third graders knew what that meant, but we figured it was bad – especially when Mrs. Green let out a howl and dropped her head in her hands, shoulders shaking with each loud sob. The second that happened, all of us girls and a couple of the boys cried, too. About an hour later, Mama came to my classroom to get me. Her eyes were red and puffy.

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Fairy Charmed Life

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Sarah saw her grandfather in the back yard welding a 55-gallon drum. She knew that’s where she could find him and it would be hard to pry him away. But it was Sunday and this was her time to spend with him, and like every Sunday, she wanted to hear him tell a story. In her eyes, he was the greatest story teller in the world. He took her to unbelievable places. Walks on the beach in southern Spain; hunting lions on the planes of Africa; and once they took a space ride across two galaxies.

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The Gift

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It had been another quiet day; the kind of day most would find boring.

No visitors…

No friends…

No children playing…

Not even the usual insurance agents were stopping by; just a quiet, lazy warm spring day ending with a gentle shower.

The cool raindrops against her windows woke Emily from a long afternoon nap. Unlike most, Emily enjoyed the rain. It always made her feel clean, fresh and shiny new. But she hated the winter. With a shiver, Emily remembered the day she first came to St. Christopher’s.

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Frey's Justice

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Frey

Frey Bethella sat on a small stool gazing blankly into space. The letter he had just read fell slowly from his grasp. He was in shock. There had been whispers and rumours among the other guards but Frey never believed it. Benson Foghearth, Captain of the Guard, was an honourable man Frey told himself. This couldn’t be true. Surely Benson would never harm an innocent. Let alone newborn babies? He felt sick, wishing now he had returned the letter instead of letting his curiosity get the better of him.

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The Ruler in My Head

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“Well then, you’ll have to take them with you.”

I stare hard at my book, but I stumble over the words as if I’m back in reception class.

“It’s not fair,” says Leanne.  “Why do I always have to drag them around?”

“Because I can’t get anything done with the pair of them under my feet all day,” says Mummy.

There ought to be a way of measuring how big an argument is getting.  Like Fahrenheit and Centigrade for temperature.  Or the Richter scale for earthquakes.

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The Blind Hunter

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The early evening took its grim hold of the sky, now a dark purple veil that bled above his world. The gloom was only dispelled by the moon that peeked from behind clouds of polluted air. Night was taking over. It was the hour of his kind.

Hungry The voice whispered in the Blind Hunter as he spread his dark wings. The dusk had crept upon the wood with an icy touch, the hint of a long, dull winter to come. Like the others of his kind, the Blind Hunter couldn’t see very well, but even in his fur, he could feel the cut of the autumn’s wind, and hear the murmurs of the leaves that withered and fluttered off the old cedars.

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Missing Marcy

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Mum got me out of bed in the middle of the night, saying “A policewoman’s here. Just answer her questions,” and she squeezed my arm hard.

In the sitting room, there was a woman on our settee. She didn’t look like the police; she wasn’t wearing a uniform and she didn’t have a crackly radio.

The lady said her name was Vicky. She apologised for getting me out of bed. “You know Marcy Mitchell?” she asked.

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Grandma's Room

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We never slept in here without Grandma, and since she died we did not want to sleep in here now, but Mama said the bed in the other room is too little for me and Richard to sleep in. She is sleeping in that bed, and Daddy is sleeping on the couch in the living room. We had to come down here because of Grandma’s funeral. She was Daddy’s mama, but Aunt Chloe who lives in Chicago with us raised him.

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