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Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent = Narrated

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Deep Relaxation & My Place of Tranquillity CD

Conquer Stress
Deep Relaxation
and your own inner
Place of Tranquillity

- Audio sample -

My Place of Tranquillity

- Audio sample - 

Deep Relaxation

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Breathing Deeply CD - your own personal coach

Breathing Deeply
is the natural and simple path to happiness.
Breathing Deeply

promotes confidence,
and good health.
More Information ...


Making Decision & Future Choices CD

It's easy to
look into the future and
make the right decisions,
by accessing your own
Higher Consciousness.

 - Audio Sample -

Making Decisions

 - Audio sample -

Future Choices

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Self Esteem
and Confidence
with the flick of mental switch.

All of us are conditioned
to keep a series of
emotional triggers - 
which is why people and events can trigger
our emotional buttons.
The Second Trigger is
your own personal release
from all of these buttons.

Take back control of your life now!

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If you want to live up to your potential then you need to learn to love reading now!

Learn to Love Reading
Start improving your life right now!
The person who
does not read
 has no advantage over
 the person who
can't read.
Do you know someone who really needs to
Learn to Love Reading?
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Parenting Myself & Unconditional Love - Love Starts Here

You can now have
the perfect parents
you've always wanted,
living in the
 eternally nurturing
environment for
your emotional and spiritual growth.

With Parenting Myself
and My Spiritual Home
to guide you, you will
always have quick
access to your most
nurturing and
inspirational aspects.
You now have the tools to be the best
person you can be.

More information


Breathing Deeply CD - your own personal coach

Breathing Deeply
is the natural and simple path to happiness.
Breathing Deeply

promotes confidence,
and good health.
More Information ...


Making Decision & Future Choices CD

It's easy to
look into the future and
make the right decisions,
by accessing your own
Higher Consciousness.

 - Audio Sample -

Making Decisions

 - Audio sample -

Future Choices

More Information ...


Speaking of Love - positive and uplifting short stories and poems about Romance, Marriage and True Love.

- Speaking of Love -
positive and uplifting
short stories and poems about
Romance, Marriage
and True Love.

If you're in love with love,
then join the club -
everyone who wants a brighter day and a brighter world belongs to the exact same club
and we're all looking for ways to make our hearts sing and our eyes shine.

LUCKY for us, Speaking of Love
manages to do both.
Give yourself,
or someone you care about,
a real treat and read
Speaking of Love
You deserve it.
You deserve to feel wonderful.
You deserve
to feel wonderful right now.

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Breathing Deeply CD - your own personal coach

Breathing Deeply
is the natural and simple path
to happiness.
Breathing Deeply

promotes confidence,
and good health.

More Information ...


Letters to Michael - Some people have to die to discover what life is all about.

Sometimes Heaven isn't all it's
hyped up to be and sometimes
it's even better.

Two members of the same family die in a tragic accident
but they have very different
experiences of the Afterlife.

Some people have to die
to discover what life is all about.

Prepare to cry and laugh out loud
and feel good all over.

"thoroughly entertaining"

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Married and Loving It! How to have a seriously happy marriage. The authors of Married and Loving It have been married for over three decades and give you wise and easy-to-follow advice about the sometimes rocky road of love.

- Married and Loving It -
How to have a
seriously happy marriage

The #1 handbook on how to live a long and happy life together.

If you want to have
your very own "happy ever after"
then you need the help of those who have successfully travelled the sometimes rocky road of love.

The authors of
Married and Loving It!
have been married for over
three decades
and want to share with you
their expert experience
in the ways to make your love
last a lifetime.

This compassionate and caring couple  give you wise and easy-to-follow advice about the sometimes rocky road of love, helping you to make your relationship smoother and consistently enjoyable.

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- True Love -
songs of love.

Rod Kirkham has been beloved
by Australian audiences for many
decades and he now shares
the great beauty of his lilting and melodic voice with the world.

In True Love he sings
four original songs
all celebrating the glory of love, creating the perfect romantic mood. All you need to do now is open the champers, get out the chocolates and rejoice in an evening of pleasure.

Listen now ...


13 Myths that Murder Marriage CD Cover - don't let them kill your love.

Don't let the 13 Myths that
Murder Marriage destroy
your happiness.
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Bright Light Café Short Stories

1001 - 3000 words

Checkout Chick Secrets  by B. A. Llewellyn   Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent     (1,020 words)

Carl Jung once said the meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.  Which means that all contact has the chance to be a profound and uplifting experience.  I am a regular witness to this fact.  I have found that true love and magical moments regularly touch our days, often in the most mundane circumstances.
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Eye of a Needle by Daniel Gbemi Akinlolu   Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent    (1,036 words)

... Well, Kade was a good cook, a really very good one. So much that everyone marvelled, wondering if he was a woman in man’s skin. You know when a man can cook better than a woman, he could be an aspirant for the throne of a kitchen goddess. Anyway, Jade was worse than Kade, doing far more badly. I mean he was more stupid and lazy than a pig on a vacation.
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Foster Grandmother  by Asther Bascuña-Creo    (1,036 words)

“I miss Lola, Mum,” my five-year-old Anya said woefully, referring to her grandmother who was in another country. 
She was echoed by her three-year-old sister Thea who had gotten bored of her activity book and was looking sadly out the window. Out on the street, the trees swayed as the wind howled. It was not a pretty sight for children who had grown up amidst the tropical climate, where the sun was almost always out, and where everyday was ideal for outdoor play.
“Me too, darling,” I said, swallowing a sob that was caught in my throat. 
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The Click Camera  by Ravi Bedi    (1,043 words)

After having bought a car, a second-hand Standard herald, for the first time somewhere around 1968, my better half and I decided to undertake a trip to the hills.
Frankly, we were very proud of our acquisition. It was the best I could afford as a young Flight Lieutenant. Very few Flight Lieutenants could sport a car in the sixties, two-wheelers being the most common mode of transportation. The Leave-Travel grant that the Government doled out was not generous enough to take care of the estimated expenses so, due to lack of funds, I disposed off a few bank shares (gifted by mother) to raise some dough. 
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A Glance Out of the Window  by Jack Green   (1,055 words)

She was sitting on the tram when she sensed the man by her side.  He stood quite close to her since it was four o'clock in the evening and the tram was packed full of tired people, making the journey home from work.  She considered her luck in getting a seat, one of the perks of having a job on the outskirts of Prague ... perhaps the only one.
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Marking Time  by Dianne Hardwick      (1,021 words)  

The mantle clock sits on my study windowsill because I have no mantelpiece. The regularity of its satisfying tick, smooth and precise, beats out the passing moments as I work. Each second is unrecoverable, spent, passed, and part of the long tunnel that is my history. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. I find it pleasant to pause from my work and note its march or drowse in the night to the chime of the hours.
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Finding Stillness   by Manuela Francesca Yee   (1,147 words)  

In their dilapidated $60 per week flat, Confusion propped the window sash open on an old brick, like a drained eye built of matchsticks. She gazed, not at the grey sky but, at the few lacklustre coins that rested in her palm. Four times, Confusion counted and still only two dollars and ninety seven cents. That’s all she’d saved and tomorrow loomed her wedding anniversary to Stillness. Slumping on the ragged couch that doubled as their bed, all Confusion could do was weep, inconsolably. This was the first time she’d cried since marrying her beloved Stillness.
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Bed and Breakfast   by Shelley Banks   (1,153 words)

The river was dry. Charlie couldn’t remember the last time water had flowed along it. She couldn’t remember the last time it had rained either and the tanks were almost dry. She’d have to order water in again and that cost money, something she didn’t have a lot of. How much longer could they hang on? The property had been in her family for five generations so the thought of selling made her feel physically sick. But everything was dying. And since her brother decided he wanted nothing more to do with the farm and left, she’d been struggling. Her parents were too old now to do the day to day work and it was hard to hire help. People were leaving the country, not moving to it. Charlie had been praying for a solution but, so far, none appeared.
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Meeting Julian  by Nicole West    Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent      (1,212 words)

Moving had been harder then I expected.  You quickly forget the sweat, tiny cuts on your hands, broken possessions and heavy grunting from the last time you endured the task.  However my new “across the hall” neighbour, Julian, at least provided entertainment ...
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I Wrestled a Pith-on  by Ray Malus  (1,213 words)     

I knew this bench. Hard marble. Set against the tile wall of the corridor, outside the Principal’s Office. No back, but who cared. This bench wasn’t for lolling. It was for crying ... and shame … and waiting for your mother to arrive … because the Principal had called her … again.
I knew this bench well. I had suffered its humiliation often, like a Puritan felon in the public stocks.
Why? I didn’t know. I mean, I was just a kid. Seven-year-olds don’t judge; they ARE judged. At least, in The New York City Public School System. At least, in 1950.
Why was I a bad kid? Well, I’d heard words: "Slow”, “Unruly”, “Discipline Problem”. Never directed at me. Directed at my mother about me … by my second-grade-teacher, Mrs. Lang.
I wasn’t quite sure what she was saying, but I knew it to be true. Of course it was true. I was a kid; she was a Grownup.

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Sarah's Rings  by Norma Jean Kawak    (1,247 words) 

After pushing the walker to one side, Jack eased Sarah into a comfortable sitting position on the side of her bed. After placing her overnight bag on the bed opposite, he helped her to take of her "sensible" shoes and put on her well worn but comfy slippers.
"Now don’t worry about the bag," he told her gently but firmly.  "I’ll empty it just as soon as I’ve made you a nice cup of tea. Then you can have a nice little nap."
In the kitchen Mary, was already pouring the boiled water into the fine china teapot, the tell tale teabag strings, Sarah’s only concession when making tea, dangling, over the side. "What are you going to do, dad?" she asked.
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How Did You Know?  by Lisa Fisk  (1,304 words)      

“How did you know?” the man asked the elderly woman seated across the scarred kitchen table from him. They were a juxtaposition at every level. He was tall, muscular, full of life. She was older, a little hunched, flabby, and exuded a quiet energy.
“Know what?” she asked.
“That Uncle Matt was the one.”
“I remember it like yesterday, I noticed him at church sitting with his family. I didn’t hear a word the minister had to say that day.”
The look on her face transformed her and he could see the beauty she was in her youth. She was the eldest of five sisters, the responsible one, the one who never had suitors because she was always looking after the others. She was an old maid when she finally married at age thirty; not old by today’s standards, old by those of the times.
“He looked nice.” She glanced at her hands. It was like she was remembering something special and private.

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Tale Of A Talking Bird (Dedicated to the Tsunami victims) by Daniel Gbemi Akinlolu  (1,338 words)

... It was few days to New Year.  At that time I was young, and we were living in a tent.  There were many people living in tents like us.  Those who survived the storm couldn’t help than to live in tents, and mourn their lost loved ones.
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Lines in the Snow  by Gary Kemble  (1,357 words)  

As the days grew longer, so did the look of longing in her eyes. I’m an old man so I can see these things, but Jack missed it, the poor fool. He was too busy thinking about picking a ring in Jonestown and whether Pip Sullivan’s barn would be big enough for the reception. Lucy, meanwhile, was eyeing the sleigh she’d rode in on, watching the blanket of snow on Main Street growing thinner each day.
I was over at the stables, sweeping up, the morning she left. He ran out of his store wearing nothing but his long johns and jumped out into the street, barely noticing the snow biting his toes. He held his hand over his eyes like a sun visor and stared at those two lines in the snow, like railroad tracks, heading south.

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Christmas in Bethlehem  by Daniel Gbemi Akinlolu  (1,424 words)

Four days before Christmas locusts were about to invade our village, somewhere in Bethlehem province. Everyone panicked at the news. The late rain had caused the locusts to target their invasion towards the Christmas season and at our village. The farmers were confused because the warning came in during a weather forecast in the evening News.
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Christmas Linda - Part 1 - Brief Encounter   by Paul Curtis  (1,425 words) 

Snow spattered, unseen, against the steamy glass
As the train rattled out of the station
It was a fairly crowded train, but not full
With weary shoppers, shopping bags bursting
And commuting workers the weeks work done
Journeying homeward at the dark days end
A cheerful crowd though
Pleased with themselves bright faced and hearty 
Full of seasonal cheer anticipating the holiday
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2 Dogs, A Cat, 9 Fish  by Daniel Gbemi Akinlolu  (1,429 words)

... Fortified with his published novel, “2 Dogs, A Cat, 9 Fish”, and a letter for interview at a reputable publishing firm, Claude felt his dream was sure. That Monday morning he decides to wear a tie-less shirt, with double-breasted suit and a pair of loafers; clean-shaven and smelling of Dior cologne. He wasn’t a novice in the book industry.
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Cat   by Anthony R Pezzula   (1,430 words)      

She popped her head up, instantly alert. Something wasn’t right, a faint odor, but, more than that, a danger she sensed, unseen, but present nonetheless. Her eyes widened, pupils dilated while her head swivelled around looking for the threat and her nostrils flared seeking the origins of the weak odor. She moved her ears forward and back in an effort to hear the thing’s movement, but nothing stirred. Her entire body tensed as the invisible presence grew stronger. She would need to do something and pretty fast.
Her clan mates were not reacting, but that was not unusual. She didn’t know how she came to this clan, but the other members were not like her. The strangest cats she could imagine. They were very big, and they walked on their hind legs only, and not on their toes, like her. They hardly had any fur, especially the alpha male. His mate had some fur on her head, but not much anywhere else. And the poor things had no tails at all. She had no idea how they could balance themselves, what with walking on their hind legs, no tail and no whiskers either, it was a wonder they didn’t constantly fall or run into things.

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Meeting Kathy  by Patrick Coyle  (1,460 words)  

Kathy’s dad is with us from Saskatchewan, Canada. Bill is 84 and we are lucky he can still visit us, as he has most years since we’ve been married. We lost Betty, Kathy’s mom, over ten years ago.
We drove to the Piatti Locali restaurant in Danville in two vehicles - not enough seat belts for all of us in one. Our daughter, Liz, drove our son, Scott, and his girlfriend, Sylvia, in one car. I drove Bill and Kathy. It is her birthday.
I remember when we met. It was the 4th of July 1975. I’d come into Belize City from the ranch.
I’d been in Belize since October 1974, when I arrived with my family, Jay and Jeannie, my sister Erin, and brothers Mike and Matt. I’d agreed to help them relocate to Gold Button Ranch to work on Roy Carver’s 20,000 land development project.
My family had rented a house in Belize City on A Street. Jeannie set up housekeeping there so we had a place in the city.
Jeannie had met a number of people in the city including Jack and Eve Garden. Jack was a retired RAF pilot and ran the USDA certified meat-packing plant, an important asset to market beef production from the ranch.
Jeannie told me, “Pat, when I was at the Gardens, I met a really delightful, young woman - Kathy Scott. She is a Canadian and works on the Canadian Aid project to bring water and sewerage systems to Belize City. I think you’d like her.”

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A Different Love Story   by Lisa Fisk    (1,480 words)  

I remember the day I met my mistress clearly. It was love at first sight. When I spotted her, I did everything I could to get her to look at me. I played it cool, smiled and made eyes at her. Confidence works. She took one look at my sleek, well muscled body, my brown eyes and long lashes, and she was hooked. We went home together twenty minutes later. Neither of us ever looked back. We’ve been committed to each other for six years.
Sure, I know what the others were saying, “Why him? What’s he got that we haven’t got?” Nothing really. It was a matter of picking her out from the crowd and focusing my powers to get her to cross the room and realize she was in love.
When Julie and I became partners for life, as I like to think of it, it was the two of us against the world. Before you could say “Bob’s your uncle” we established territory and routines. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why she named me "Bob". She pays the bills and pampers me to the best of her ability; I do all of the things she won’t do for herself.
Oh, you might think that I’ve got it easy and I don’t take my responsibilities to her seriously. I do. Just because I’m a terrier-poodle mix doesn’t mean that I don’t have responsibilities. For the last six years, I’ve protected her from untold numbers of cats who wanted to use her flowers as a sandbox, numerous newspapers that were in danger of being unopened and unread, and every delivery person who has knocked on our door.

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Forced Writing  by Jessica Edelman    Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent     (1,521 words)

Once upon a time there was a girl. And she was forced to write a story. 
Well no one was forcing her as such. But she felt she had an obligation. 
No one forces parents to love their kids. 
But they kind of have to. 
It’s a bit like that. 
She wanted to be a writer, so she had to force herself to write. 
That was that. 

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Eleuthera  by Lesley Mace    (1,529 words)  

Pete and Ellie teased each other about the conch shell for months, their laughter rippling warmly through the calm waters of their loving relationship.
The huge shell came from the charity shop where Ellie worked as deputy manager. From the state it had been in when she first saw it, she guessed that the previous owner had used it as a flowerpot. Deciding it was unsellable the manager had dropped it onto the forlorn pile of rejects, but later that day Ellie rescued it and brought it home to the flat.
While Pete watched, she attacked it with a bottlebrush and the pearly pink beauty of the shell’s interior emerged - gleaming, from the crust of filth that had covered it. Pete was amazed at the transformation; he told her she was lucky to find it, because conch shells were collectors items and usually very expensive. She placed the shell, carefully, in the middle of the mantelshelf, under the gold-framed mirror and each day her morning face was reflected above it, as she hurriedly made up for work. They got into the habit of tucking their lottery tickets into it for luck.
Pete searched the Web to find out where the shell might have come from and printed out some pages for her. The pictures showed an opulent holiday home in the Bahamas called Conch'd Out, promising views of the ocean, "from every room". The dreaming island of Eleuthera floated, pink-sanded, in the clear sparkling loveliness of Caribbean waters. Ellie laughed at him, and looked at the printout longingly.

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Bob and a Good Night's Sleep  by B. A. Llewellyn    (1,529 words)

Bob was unhappy.  He hated having to sleep.  Every night he was tucked into bed, and away from all the adventures he wanted.  He hated it.  Bob hated being tired. 
Bob couldn’t understand why his wonderful days had to end like this ... in bed.  Being tired meant being away from everyone and everything Bob loved.  Being told to sleep meant he had to go sleep and no shenanigans!  Being asleep meant missing everything for the entire night!
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No Hidden Heart  by Dion J. Crowe    (1,543 words)     

I stared with overwhelming despair through a small glass window in a door.
"The doctors say her catatonia hasn’t improved," said the nurse standing next to me.
I nodded slowly.
"She doesn’t seem to be responding to the drugs we’ve given. There’s a part of her that won’t accept our treatment. There’s new drugs being trialled but our only other option is to try electroconvulsive therapy."
I shook my head, "No, no! We’re not going to hook my wife up to electrodes and shock her body, okay? That’s not an option."
"It’s the only way she’ll recover from her mental degrading," said the nurse.
I raised my index finger up to the nurse and said clearly, "Look, I don’t care what you want to do. The fact is she’s my wife and you are not convulsing her body with electricity."
The nurse sighed. "Well, what do you think we should do then?"
I ran my hand through my hair and thought hard on it.
"Let me talk to her."

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Allure  by Rebekah Lyell    (1,547 words)

Countless infinitesimal glittering diamonds sparkled from the sea like an iridescent paua, swirling in a multitude of colour. The soft breeze hugged the coastline, caressing the bright red flowers sprinkled amongst the pohutukawa's crop of shiny green hair. Skipping over the top of the bush, it climbed the incline seeking out the family that had just poured out of the car. It curled its fragile fingers around her hair, lifting and knotting the long strands with ease. She wrestled with its grip, struggling to tame her hair, ensnaring it into a dark baseball cap.
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The Homeless Angel  by B. A. Llewellyn   (1,548 words)

... She pulled a can of baked beans and half a loaf of bread from her nearest bag and offered to share her meal with me.  It was a simple and genuine offer that shook me to the roots of my being.
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Bill and Coo  by B. A. Llewellyn  (1,559 words)

Bill and Coo were white, fan-tailed pigeons who taught my husband and I to love them, as we also taught them how to fly.  They were supposed to be a Valentines gift, released on that special day as a symbol of our love flying into the heavens, safe with one another.  It was a lovely thought, but the pigeons had no idea that they could be airborne.  They were startled by the possibility.  I think they thought we were being purposefully cruel, throwing them up into the air … and not catching them.
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The Man of Straw  by Dion J. Crowe    Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent  Read Reviews   (1,564 words)

Alva stirred the pot as she gazed out of her kitchen window at the white surroundings, clear sky and frozen ground. Tall trees grew heavy with the weight of snow on their branches. Grey boulders had white caps. Tall grass that grew in summer was now buried under snow. The stream that tinkled over smooth pebbles was now iced over. Everything that once had life was now covered in a bleak colour. Alva couldn’t help but feel the same.
A hand made from straw placed itself upon Alva’s shoulder. Alva patted it as she turned to the man of straw.
"It’s okay, my love. I’m just thinking."

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Hooked  by Ronda Del Boccio   (1,641 words)

When I moved to the Ozarks, I never imagined that the magical land would have magical inhabitants. Nor would I ever have guessed that one of the creatures, right out of myths and fairy tales, would befriend me – and annoy me! 
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A Breath of Fresh Air  by Dion J. Crowe     Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent     (1,708 words)

So, what’s your name?"
"I’m sorry. What?"
"Your name. What is it?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"So I can introduce myself."
I blinked, confounded by this girl’s forthrightness.
"Peter. My name is Peter."
An enchanting young woman with a sparkle of life in her eyes and two braids in her hair offered her hand, "Nice to meet you, Peter. I’m Julie."
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The Kilt  by Debbie McCurry   (1,798 words)

The beam of bright light, created by the sun reflecting through the glass of the window, seems to highlight the colours of the material Maureen is manoeuvring in her hands on the sewing machine.  Her mind keeps telling her that the red, black and white tartan pattern looks familiar, and she starts to rack her brains to recall the memories that seem to want to rush back to the past. 
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Flying Solo  by Willis Whyte    (1,830 words)  

New York City, April 1953
It was a cold, grey, spring day in Manhattan. The dense cloud cover made it impossible to catch even a glimpse of the sun. Wednesday night’s torrential downpour made the sewer run-off drains overflow. This caused the water to back up and cascade into the gutters all along East 82nd Street.
Nancy stood at the corner of Third Avenue and East 82nd Street, her mother close by her side.
“I said ye should have worn yer boots. Look at that water gushing down the street. Ye’ll be coming back with a cold from getting’ yer feet soaked. And besides do ye even remember the things we talked about this morning?”
“I know, I know! Look both ways when I cross the street, and don’t talk to anybody I don’t know, except for the police. Momma, I promise I won’t forget. Can I please go now?”
“I’m not sure I want ye goin’ off like this on yer own. Who’ll be lookin’ after ye? What if somethin’ happens, how would I ever know?” Nan Kelly squeezed her daughter’s hand.
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When Love Strikes  by Jim Wisneski   Speaker broadcasting Showcased Talent    (1,842 words)    

“You don’t look right.”
Bill turned his head to the left, cocked his chin up, tightened his lips, and gave an evil stare at the woman who just said that to him.  Who did this woman think she was?  Talking like that to a complete stranger. 
“This is why I don’t walk to work,” Bill thought to himself, “Nuts.  These people are all nuts.”
 “I know you heard me,” the woman said again.
Bill grabbed his tie and pulled it.  He hated the thought of talking to someone and not having his tie perfectly aligned.
“Do I know you?” Bill said to the woman.  “Now, before you open your mouth again, why don’t you stop for a minute and think.  You shouldn’t talk to people you don’t know.  But since we are talking now, want to know something funny?”
“I’d love nothing more,” the woman replied.
“If I wanted to, I could make two phone calls and have you not only arrested for harassment, but I could sue you for every penny you probably aren’t worth.”
Bill felt great.  He loved talking to people like that.  He was one of the best lawyers in town and took pride in beating people down with words.  He waited a few minutes, staring at the woman, hoping to see tears.  Tears always made him feel even better.
“That’s nice,” the woman replied. She turned and looked forward.  No tears.
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Becky's Secret Joy  by Charity Moore   (1,933 words) 

Becky breathed in the strong scent of pine and wood, her hazel eyes looked forlornly through the sweeping branches out onto the rolling green pastures. The trunk of the towering pine trees offered her a place of safety, of comfort. She swept another tear from her eye with the back of her hand, reliving the nightmare.
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The Unexpected Angel by Caroline Stevenson  (2.028 words)

The silence in the room was palpable; it hung ominously over the slight red haired woman sitting alone in the darkness. Cleo stood behind her shimmered slightly, her wings curved protectively around the small form. The angel could sense the dark tendrils of fear, suffocating and oppressive. She has stood over Kate many times as she cried, her sobs heart rending in the silence of the night. This time is different; the despair she can feel radiating out has never been this strong before. She has been mentally and physically broken.
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The Angels of Mons and Le Cateau  by Paul Curtis  (2,047 words)   

It was August 1914 when Commander-in-Chief, Sir John French ordered the newly arrived British Expeditionary Force under his command to launch an offensive against the German Imperial Army at Mons and so began the BEF’s first major action of World War I and its resulting carnage.
We were heavily outnumbered and, despite the fact we killed or wounded three of theirs to every one of ours that fell, we were forced to retreat to our second line of defence.
Mercifully, the Germans chose not to pursue us immediately but elected instead to lick their wounds.
It was during the respite from the day's exertions that the stories started to spread through the ranks of weary and bloodied soldiers about the "Angels of Mons". It seemed that every man had either witnessed the event or personally knew a man who had.

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My Own Prince Charming  by Lisa Fisk  (2,124 words)      

I have two great loves in my life, I think. There is the man I married and with whom I share the suburban dream. You know the one:  2.3 kids, house, picket fence, dinner by six every night. The man I married loves me more than I have ever thought of loving him. He does anything and everything in his powers to bring me what happiness he can, but it isn’t enough, we both know it but never talk about it.
Then there is the love of my life. We have limited time together, but when we are alone together I know that I love him far more than he loves me. He has the most perfect smile, it lights up his entire face and you can see joy coming out of every part of his body. People have no problem telling when I have had quality time with “him”, but it is hard to get to be alone with him and, when we are, it is stolen time. The kind of time where there are whispers of promises in the dark, sighs and soft touching.
How did I get here? Who is to blame? I blame it all on Walt Disney and the Brothers Grimm; they are both responsible for the state of my marriage. Ok, I know I really can’t blame them for it, but my marriage feels so empty of what every little girl dreams about. We all know the dream, the one of the unattainable Prince Charming, the one true love of my life.

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Violet and the Big Bed  by Hallie Jo Price  (2,142 words)    

I saw her and I was transported back to the first time. The first time I slept in the Big Bed.
I don’t know where Mom and Dad had been. I was only six or seven, not old enough to be left alone. But I had known, instinctively, that they were not in the house. The details are hazy. It could’ve been midnight or nearing dawn. Maybe they had snuck out to an early breakfast, thought they would be back before I woke up.
I remember rolling out of my twin-sized bed, knocking softly on their door. It was as if there was an ellipsis hanging in the air, like the ones in my Manga books that hung over characters heads to indicate speechlessness. Boldly I entered.
And beheld the revered bed.
King-sized. Fit for a king. Forbidden to me.
It was not a curtained canopy bed. There was no frill or mystery to it. But it was a behemoth of a bed, big mattress on a metal frame.
And it was off-limits.

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Christmas Linda - Part 3 - From Eve to Eve  by Paul Curtis  (2,314 words) 

It was Christmas Eve and the house was decorated for the season
A large fresh cut tree stood in the corner and perfumed the room
Adorned by a myriad of assorted baubles and lights 
Christmas cards of all shapes and sizes adorned every surface
And more hung on bright red and green ribbons from the picture rails
Bright coloured Christmas garlands hung gaily criss-crossing the ceiling
While outside through a break in the dark clouds
A shaft of week winter sunlight shone through the window
Reflecting off the garlands and painting random patterns on the walls 
I sat watching TV in my favourite armchair in the front room
Of the house I shared with my wife and soul mate Linda
The woman I loved more then life itself

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Warning: This story is very beautiful but it does involve subject matter that some people might find confrontational and upsetting.

5 Hens and 1 Rooster   by B. A. Llewellyn  (2,388 words)

Our first home came equipped with half a dozen baby chickens.  The previous owner had removed several adult chickens but he’d met the “nice, young couple” buying his house and decided we needed to start our life on the land properly - with these young chicks.  He even left us their rat-infested cages.
We didn’t want chickens.  We didn’t know what to do with chickens.  Especially baby chickens!  And we certainly didn’t want rat-infested buildings standing so close to our own abode.  Our new, and very old, home was already crawling in cockroaches and red-back spiders … rats were not allowed onto that list!  Down came the buildings … smashed, annihilated, taken to the dump.  But one building must stay … because we have chickens.
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More Than a View  by Nicole West    (2,447 words)  

I had two minutes to get to work on time. I opened the front door of my apartment to be greeted by the smiling face of my neighbour, Harry. Not noticing my harassed expression, Harry launched into a detailed story of his upset stomach, brought on by an Indian feast last night.
I smiled, mumbled responses and squeezed past him to the stairwell. Mrs Knightly, from three floors up, was on her way down the stairs. She was carrying a beach chair in one hand and a fluorescent green umbrella in the other, therefore consuming all space on either side.

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Fairy Tales  by Robyn Dormois      (2,497 words)     

"Tell me again about the Fairies, Gran," the tiny girl knelt at her great-grandmother's feet, picking the lavender blossoms that sprung up among the meadow grasses.
A tan doe and her spotted fawn grazed quietly nearby, undisturbed by the presence of the humans encroaching upon their territory. The old woman had always been one to blend in well with nature, being from the Highlands of the Old Country, she'd spent most of her life amongst the wild things. The little girl, too, being cut from the same cloth as her grandmother - or so she had always been told - was as comfortable in the meadow as she was in her own kitchen.
"Which one is it you want to be hearin' about, my wee one?" The old woman asked with a smile on her lips, for there was only one for which the little girl ever asked.
"Tell me the one about the Fairy King," was her reply.
A chuckle rumbled deep in the old woman's throat, as she stroked the spun gold of her granddaughter's hair, letting the silky strands slip through her fingers. "Oh, aye, I'll tell ye then. The Fairy King, he was a grumpy, old codger ..."
"What's a codger Gran?" The tiny girl interrupted with her standard question and her great-grandmother chuckled again.
"It means he was grouchy all the time, with a nasty disposition."
"Weel, he was old as the stars and his bones creaked with his age, ye see. It took him a whole of a half hour to rise from his bed in the morning, his joints ached him so. Now hush until I'm finished, my wee one."

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A Present for Angelia  by Ryan Burdan      (2,515 words)   

“I can’t remember, last I had a present,” Angelia said.
The old rocker wheezed on beneath her. Down the narrow road came a swirl of dust, twisting lazily in the hot August sun. Angelia tilted her head, thinking.
“I know there was something ...”
From across the road, far back beneath a horizontal tangle of hoary old live oaks and eglantine, came the drawn-off cries of children. Angelia straightened and turned her deep-set eyes toward the sound. The rocker paused faintly.
“Well I remember that day down in Rockville, you know when we all got sent on with Mr. Thomas to see the twilight dances. That was when he got the fever, you know. Of course Misses Johnson always did say he weren’t doin’ himself no good at all, stepping down in them ditches with the field hands. I wasn’t so old then, but I know she was right that time. I know she was ...”

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The Green Star   by B. A. Llewellyn   Read Reviews  (2,522 words)

There were too many people in the room.  She had been oblivious inside a magazine article for about fifteen minutes, and now the room was packed.
“Not packed”, her husband would insist if she tried to convey her feelings.  He would demand she view the room, and life, from his perspective.  She would find no safety in love and empathy.  There was none to be given.  She felt the panic rising in her chest.  She knew it would soon travel into her throat and she would want to scream.
There was a door on the opposite side of the room.  The chairs and couches had been pulled to the walls, and she was buried in the folds of one of the many uncomfortable lounge chairs.  Someone had bumped against her, not bothering to apologise for the personal invasion.  It had brought her mind back to the room, and all the people who now crowded its space.
She would have to wrestle her way out of the straightjacket chair, and walk determinedly through the people and out of the door.  Then there would be a corridor where there might be more people, and then the elevator might be another endurance test.  But she had no choice.  Whatever dignity and sanity was still available to her was waiting on the roof. 
The roof would give privacy and peace.  It was her secret garden.  There were plants and fountains and comfortable chairs.  The grounds surrounding the building were compact and shadowed, but the roof held sunlight and starlight.  It had been her sanctuary ever since her husband had joined The Company. 

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When It Rains, It Pours   by Tyler Vinal   (2,573 words) 

The drops of rain fall like acid onto his cardboard house. In the minute and twenty-three seconds you spend stopped at that traffic light, you watch his home, and most of his life, disintegrate around him. The rain seeps through his box and, even though the light turns green, you can’t help but stay and admire the decay.
He’s wearing a black pea coat he probably found on the ground, or stole from one of the other homeless men lining this street. The coat looks almost as old and withered as he. This is the only satisfaction you’ve had in weeks - at least you aren’t him. You manage a weak smile, as you drive a third lap around your block.
You continue to contemplate everything that’s happened in the last year, as each raindrop beats your window like a savage, fighting to obstruct your view of the road. It’s a tempting thought to just shut the wipers off on your silver B.M.W. 320 coup. You wonder what it would be like to finally give up and let the rain just take you in.

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The List   by Ian Smith    (2,652 words)  

Bitter. That was the earliest sensation I could remember. Before sight, sound or smell, there was a bitter taste. Years later, I learned that the bitterness from those earliest memories was my first taste of the Imp’s Milk. It was a foul ichor that burned, first down the throat and then through the rest of the body, through the veins and muscles and bones. A thousand hot needles clawing through me.
The clacking of the train rumbled in his bones as it rolled across the steel rails beneath the undercarriage. The hills and trees ran past the window next to him. Blurs of green, brown, and blue cobbled and mixed as the train shook and rumbled through the land. Noah looked out the window, seeing the world beyond. Forever and ever beyond his reach. He pulled out his pocket watch. Its soft ticks were out of tune with the shudders and shakes of the moving train.
The watch was plain, its cheap brass frame polished yet stark. No marks of distinction to indicate it or its owner as anything more or less than ordinary. The owner, while not short, was skinnier than the rails the steam engine travelled upon. His gangling limbs seemed almost too long for his reclined body. His brown eyes were calm. He turned his gaze from the cabin window and to the watch. He then spoke, out loud, for the only other occupant of the cabin, “We are two hours into the train’s journey.” His voice was controlled and even. He put away the pocket watch and looked across the cabin to the older man seated before him.

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Warning: This story is exciting, well written and ultimately uplifting but it does involve some violence.

Christmas Linda - Part 2 - One Special Night  by Paul Curtis  (2,927 words) 

I found myself stranded in a strange town
With less than a week to go before Christmas
Stranded two hundred miles from home
With a seriously ill car in the garage
And a lack of will to contemplate train travel
In truth I was in no hurry to return home
To the empty soulless house that once was home 
But now held no comfort for me

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Arcadia  by Kerry Lown Whalen  (2,932 words)  Read Reviews   

"Can you meet me at lunchtime, Emma? It's important."
"Love to. See you at the usual place."
Emma sat on the park bench waiting for Brad, enjoying the fragrant pink and white carnation display, the dappled patterns of swaying gums on the path. Why did Brad want to see her? The phone call came as a surprise but, after being together for three years, perhaps he wanted to pop the question.
Brad strode over, grim-faced, his eyes evading hers, and flung himself down beside her.
"I’m sorry, Emma, but it’s over."
She flinched, "What’s over?"
"Our relationship."
"I’ve met someone I want to marry."
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Oh, Carol, I Am But A Fool  by Norma Jean Kawak   (2,980 words) 

"Oh, Carol … I am But a Fool."  I still hear Neil Sedaka occasionally singing that song on the radio, a chord that never fails to delve deep into my memory reminding me of a story about love and courage, but mostly about human endurance in a society which seeks self righteousness from its benevolence. 
It all began many years ago when Brisbane was still struggling with its image of a being just a big country town. My sister, Barbara, and I left our home in Brisbane seeking the excitement of big city Sydney. With suitcases in hand and a head full of dreams we headed straight from Sydney Central railway station to the Salvation Army Hostel for Women in Paddington, a place we knew would provide us with the cheapest accommodation in Sydney. 
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The French Connection  by Rod Gibson   (2,980 words)      

It’s a miserable, annoying sound, the noise of a whipper-snipper. Especially when you’re trying to sleep in, on Sunday morning, and you’re desperately trying to recapture one of the most beautiful, mysterious dreams of your life so far – a sloth, your favourite animal from that wide animal kingdom, is dangling from a tree branch and seems to be undulating in front of your dreaming eyes. Undulating has to be the right word for it; the sloth is like languorous streams of water pulsing through your warm dreams, and his movements appear to be saying something to you; it’s not sexual, but like some sort of indecipherable code about the meaning of life, or something serious along those lines.
Anyway, try as you might, you can’t recapture the dream so, now, you must be officially awake, with only the miserable sound of the whipper-snipper to drive you out of bed and into the day. But you dally beneath the sheets, while the torture continues until, finally, you force yourself to get up.
Who are you? You’re Dr. Cynthia Rowntree, a country G.P., and tomorrow begins another week of fourteen hour days, hospital rounds, and performing surgery all day on Thursday. There will be short consultations, longer consultations, and really long consultations, and scripts to be written. There will be prognosis, diagnosis, and even a bit of halitosis when one of your patients inadvertently breathes on you. There will also be misdiagnosis, possible law suits, and large overheads. All this because you thought working as a G.P. in a country practice might be good for you.

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Summit  by Gary Kemble       (2,996 words)

... Rob sat up in bed, surveying the scene. His bedroom was a mess. His sheets were stiff with sweat, damp yet rigid from a week’s worth of bad dreams. All about the mountain. It was one year since he didn’t quite climb Everest. These days it was all he could do to climb out of bed in the morning and stay vertical for the 12 hours or so necessary to assure his parents he was getting his life back on track.
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