203 Slices
Medium 9781771870849

Arul Luthra’s Yard

Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub


FOR FIFTEEN YEARS AFTER my religious and domestic upheavals, I lived a few steps from the bank of the South Saskatchewan River. My apartment was near the Pioneer Cemetery and Diefenbaker Park, the least developed of the city’s parkland, and I could often walk a circuit of five or six kilometres without meeting another human. The riverbank was my sanctuary — its chokecherry bushes, its porcupines and magpies, even an occasional deer within city limits, reminded me of the North Saskatchewan valley that had watered my roots, and was still my favourite place for a getaway.

When I met Larraine, who had been city born-and-bred, she soon observed that I was “a country boy but not a farm boy.” She moved in with me later; and when my daughters and sons-in-law began bringing their own kids to visit, the mile of riverbank remained my refuge from the city, and became a playground for our grandchildren as well.

Then the apartment block was sold to a business consortium whose only motive, it seemed, was to impose rent increases and let the building deteriorate. Larraine and I began looking for new quarters, and at the opposite end of Saskatoon found a townhouse priced within the means of an ESL teacher and a hopeful writer. And when we moved there in the spring of the year, I set out promptly to explore our new neighbourhood.

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Medium 9781771870764


Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
“I Told You When I Came I Was a Stranger” by Susan Musgrave follows a young female narrator as she leaves her lacklustre marriage behind in Canada and travels to South America with an American drug smuggler.
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Medium 9781771870788


Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
In “Requiem” by Harriet Richards a woman reflects on her marriage to an artist who has gone to Japan, doubting – as she reads the letters describing his interactions with other women – that he will ever return.

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Medium 9781771870665

Candy On the Jesus Bar

Fawcett, Katherine Thistledown Press ePub

Candy on the Jesus Bar

A TALL MAN IN A TUX and cowboy boots, shiny black hair, and mirrored sunglasses leaned against the side of a long trailer, sucking on a cigarette. One knee bent, like a number four, he looked just like the guy on that billboard.

I tucked a stray chunk of hair behind my ear, checked my fly and wiped my nose on my sleeve before he saw me.

Back there, behind the scenes, it smelled like mini donuts, cigarettes, sweat, and puke. This was the brain of the midway, extension cords twisted across the stained asphalt like nerves in a bio textbook diagram. You could still hear muffled sirens from the Tilt-A-Whirl, screaming from the Forbidden Palace of Horrors, the blare of carnies asking “pretty ladies” and “big fellas” to step-right-up and try their luck.

The man slid his glasses down his nose. His eyes were Gatorade blue.

“Excuse me. Hi. Hello.” I bit my lip. “Is this 6N? They told me to come to 6N.”

He looked at my runners, then to the rest of me. I had to pee. “You Katherine?” said the man. I didn’t know what to do with my hands.

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Medium 9781771870023


Worrell, P.J. Thistledown Press ePub


Box 98
Kedleston, SK
Feb. 10, 1990

Dear Stewart,

Harvey Sinclair Woods. It’s been years since I’ve seen that name in print. Thank you for sending me a copy of your father’s obituary. It was a surprise to learn that my name was in his address book. Mind you, I haven’t moved since the thirties.

Did you know that Harvey courted me before he married your mother? On Saturdays after the hardware store closed, he would change into a fresh shirt, slick back his hair with pomade, and come calling in a horse-drawn buggy (or sleigh in winter). I’d serve him tea with home-baked cookies in the sitting room. I had been taught that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, which didn’t prove true in this case. My mother never let us out of her sight. Harvey had the gift of the gab and I, like any good listener, had plenty of questions. He would expound on his personal ambitions and on his passion, namely horses.

I fully expected him to propose, but he stopped coming around. In time I learned he was bestowing his favours upon Dorothy Heston, who was prettier than me and had a more abundant dowry. I was heartbroken, as only a nineteen-year-old can be. Harvey and Dorothy’s wedding photo appeared in The Kedleston Times. In the write-up, it said they would be relocating to Swift Current where Harvey had accepted a position at a larger hardware store.

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