The copper dome above the courthouse had faded to green long ago, testament to the bare fact that new and shiny doesn’t last.
The old writer resolved to fill his page with the first lines of 10 stories and quickly second-guessed himself – “It’s finishing that I need to work on, not beginning” – but then decided a resolution’s a resolution.
In her mind everyone’s eyes were drawn to the mole on her upper lip. “It’s a beauty mark, Shanna, you’re beautiful,” Mother would say, but it made her self-conscious anyway.
She saved the world. Not just my world, the world in general – your world, my world, and the world of a whole lot of people you and I will never meet but we could meet because she ensured they didn’t die.
He remembered being born. His first thought was that it was too bright, and while smiling creatures in masks cooed, “Oh, he’s got a healthy pair of lungs, isn’t he so cute,” all he wanted to do was vent his outrage at the disruption.
It still stung that, rather than understanding that he and his team had developed something special, they laid him off and sent the team to the four winds, but he didn’t feel the sting in a vengeful way, just a wistful coulda-been way.
“They’re coming!” the newcomer said after flinging the tavern door open and racing to the bar without so much as a howdy pardner.
Eight pelicans floated in the sun overhead, lazily turning toward the bay, seemingly not in any hurry, just wafting along in the wind currents.
“Nein!” the commander barked, and everyone froze.
She heard the oncoming rumble and felt the ground shake before she saw what was coming and wished she hadn’t.
“You don’t get eleven chances, son,” the judge said as he gaveled the hearing to a close.
Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.
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