203 Slices
Medium 9781771870641

Undercurrents

Hobsbawn-Smith, dee Thistledown Press ePub

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I WAS CUTTING BACK THE SALAL along the driveway when the old VW made the turn off Black Creek Road. The young woman was the first to climb out, red braids tight-wrapped in a high crown above her forehead. She looked about her timidly before she reached back into the van, a little boy with strawberry blond curls squirming in her arms. An older couple — her folks? — emerged slowly from the VW, the woman’s salt-and-ginger hair and dimmed-down face a pale variation of her daughter. The man gritted his teeth as he swung his hips clear on the driver’s side of the faded Volks. Of course it was raining, that steady flat drizzle that draws in the horizon and absorbs any light. None of them wore rain gear. I leaned my weed-whacker against a cedar tree, went right over and put my hand on the toddler’s chubby forearm. The young woman’s grey eyes widened and she backed away. I took a step closer and rumpled the boy’s hair.

“It’s okay. Little kids like me. What is he, nearly two? Welcome to Miracle Beach Marina. Here, give him to me.” Her arms and face tightened as I pulled the boy from her arms, surprised by his heft. He leaned away, then tilted his face up to look at me, curious. Dark blue eyes the colour of larkspur, eyelashes like a calf ’s. I smiled at him, then turned back to the others. “I’m Peter Merrick. The owner.” I jerked my head toward the office. “You folks look like you could use a little help right about now.”

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Medium 9781771870801

HOW DO WE KNOW BEAUTY WHEN WE SEE IT

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
Susan Musgrave weaves history, language, and imagery relating to stones into a beautiful metaphor for life in “How Do We Know Beauty When We See It: Twenty Meditations on Stones”.
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Medium 9781771870689

Alice Bird

McLellan, Don Thistledown Press ePub

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AFTER DOTTIE’S DEATH, A RESPECTABLE mourning period having passed, I signed up for a creative writing class at the seniors’ centre. Whenever riled I’d always fired off a letter to the newspaper or to a retailer who’d provided poor service. Was I was capable of writing something substantial? A short story maybe, or even a book?

Our instructor, Leanne Davidson, had published a few poems in an online literary journal. None rhymed, and most featured Leanne underneath or on top of a “partner” other than a lawful spouse — free verse about free sex.

My fellow students didn’t seem to mind. They welcomed her that first night with vegetarian snacks and herbal teas. Before dismissing us Leanne recommended we each produce a writing sample for our next meeting. It could be on any subject at all.

“Writers,” she said, “this is your chance to say what’s been on your minds.”

From her poetry I knew what was often on Leanne’s. In the parking lot afterwards I told her what was on mine.

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Medium 9781771870801

THE SNAKE-GRASS HILLS

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
“The Snake-Grass Hills” by Patrick Lane begins with a stolen rifle in the hands of a nature-loving boy who hopes to spot a rattlesnake while exploring in the foothills. Instead he encounters death on a larger scale when he comes across a rotting, maggot-infested steer carcass.
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Medium 9781771870757

SPIDER GIRL

Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
In “Spider Girl” by Tara Manuel, Daisy uses her vivid imagination to pretend she is Spider Girl, a superhero who saves school children and lives in an exotic beach house. Daisy’s reality, however, is far less vibrant, as her father has passed away unexpectedly, leaving the teenager to fend for her mother and sister.
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