Equipoise

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equipoise

  1. an equal distribution of weight; even balance; equilibrium.
  2. a counterpoise.
  3. to equal or offset in weight; balance.

Paul looked like he had been hit by a truck.

He sat slumped in the corner of the room on the armrest of the antique sofa his grandmother had given them, staring out the window, listless. His tie hung loosely around his neck, his shirt untucked and wrinkled now. He had spent the last 45 minutes crying uncontrollably. That was after he threw the crystal vase they had picked up in Venice two years ago during their anniversary trip. He had never done anything like that before.

She sat on the sofa, pondering how much had changed in the last two years.

Shards of crystal reflected the little bits of moonlight filtering through the windows. It was a mess.

The pieces seemed so tiny and fragmented, much like their life now.

She shouldn’t have said anything. Not today. She should’ve waited. All week long she had been working up the nerve to tell him, but the words hadn’t come. Not over dinner, when he talked about the stresses at work, not at night when he wanted to Continue reading

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Duende

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duende

 

  1. Spanish. charm; magnetism
  2. Spanish. a goblin; demon; spirit

The neighborhood seemed extremely quiet for a Sunday. Cars were in driveways, shined to perfection, but the street seemed to be deserted. No children. No laughing.

It was a far cry from Brooklyn.

A slight breeze rolled across the well-manicured lawn, blowing through the limbs of the oak tree in the front yard. The only sound in the neighborhood seemed to be the rustling of the leaves overhead.

“You’re going to be quite surprised by this house,” Pamela said, pulling the keys out of her pocket as they ascended the three concrete steps to the picturesque yellow rambler.  They were new to the sleepy town of Halsfourth, but Mack’s job had given him the chance to scout out the city for potential growth. Apparently all their data on customer trends showed that Halsfourth was going to be the next boomtown. If Mack stuck it out they could ride the wave to the senior-level in the company in half the time it would normally take. It was an opportunity they couldn’t refuse.

“Is it always this quiet,” Katherine asked. The lack of noise gave her an uneasy feeling, and she was starting to feel as if they were being watched. She glanced from house to house, expecting Continue reading

Juvenilia

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juvenilia

  1. works, especially writings, produced in one’s youth: His juvenilia were more successful than his mature writings.
  2. literary or artistic productions suitable or designed for the young: publishers of juvenilia.

“So…any news?”

My mother’s questions are always pointed, speaking volumes. I am hesitant to answer. My response will be the same as it has been for the last two years: No.

No, there are no new job prospects that would advance my career, which astounds my parents–considering how much they shelled out for my tuition–and there are no burgeoning relational opportunities on the horizon, which my mother frequently balks at, given my “outstanding gene pool and pleasant nature.”

The simple question fills the space between us like a heavy curtain, a thick partition separating expectations from reality.

Her eyes search my face, extracting my response from fidgeting fingers and my wavering gaze. She presses her lips together in a thin line, resisting the urge to Continue reading

Syncophant

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syncophant

  1. a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

The unmistakable rattling woke Giuseppe up out of his sleep. Someone was in the shop downstairs, trying to make off with his materials. It had been going on for months now. He was the one of only two cobblers left in his section of the city and someone was trying to push him out of business by stealing from him.

He hadn’t noticed it at first, chalking up the missing items to his forgetful memory, but little by little, he realized it wasn’t his mind that was going, it was his inventory. Although he suspected that his competitor had hired some syncophant to rob him and sabotage his business, he had no way of proving it, until now.

Giuseppe pulled on some pants and grabbed his overcoat. This stealing was ending tonight. He quietly pulled his bat from the hall closet as he headed downstairs.

As he descended the stairs, he paused on each step, patiently listening as the rustling and rattling continued, until he had silently made it to the first floor. Giuseppe crept toward the door that served as his personal entrance to the shop attached to the back of his house. It was cracked open slightly, allowing a sliver of light to escape the shop and illuminate the wooden floor of his foyer.

The old man looked around, inspecting his shop, still hearing the sounds but seeing no one. In a movement so quick he almost missed it, Continue reading

Pleonasm

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pleonasm

  1. the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
  2. an instance of this, as free gift or true fact.
  3. a redundant word or expression.

John wove his way around cars and pedestrians, trying to find an available parking space next to a car free from dents that didn’t have its bumper over the yellow parking space lines.

“I’ll drop you off here, Malina,” he said, eyeing a parking space on his left.

“Thanks, Daddy,” his daughter said climbing out of the SUV slowly. “I’ll be super quick.”

John waited at a stop sign, his patience straining as people ambled in front of the car with carts full of food and appliances, as if it was the end of the world or a record-breaking snowfall was expected to arrive in mere minutes. Elainia rested a gentle hand on her husband’s shoulder, calming him with a gentle touch and drawing a smile. She stroked his tense muscles as he drove past the green Subaru that had claimed his desired parking space, silently counting off the available parking spaces next to angled and dented cars.

Minutes later John found a suitable parking space to wait directly adjacent to the entrance and exit doors.

“Malina didn’t look well; what is she getting again,” he asked, lowering the volume of Continue reading

Frowzy

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frowzy

  1. dirty and untidy; slovenly.
  2. ill-smelling; musty

Patty bit her nails, embarrassed by her frowzy emotional landscape. Now was not the time to panic or feel helpless. Of all the moments in her life, now was the one time she needed to be brave and pulled together.

Instead she felt like a wreck.

What was worse was that she looked every part of what she was feeling. Her hair was askew, her clothes wrinkled, she hadn’t put on her makeup and couldn’t quite remember if she’d brushed her teeth. She looked completely disheveled.

Patty looked at her father, resting somewhere far from her present reality.

Guilt threatened to overwhelm her as she chastised herself for being so self absorbed.  Her father was the one in danger and yet she was mainly thinking about her appearance. The temptation to be grateful that her father wasn’t awake to see her in this state Continue reading

Circumspect

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circumspect

  1. well-considered: circumspect ambition.
  2. watchful and discreet; cautious; prudent: circumspect behavior.

Time was supposed to fix everything. It heals all wounds, was what they said. Everyone knew that. Everyone except for Jackie, it seemed. Most days she existed in a place oblivious to this truth, completely unreachable.

He would smile at her, expecting her to return the gesture, but she never did. Instead her eyes would gleam with a knowing, a suspicion of what might be based on what was.

It wasn’t her circumspect approach that concerned him, but the fact that fear seemed to be controlling her was beyond unnerving. It had been two years. But that just proved that even the most well worn sayings could be popular lies.

He remained hopeful for Continue reading