Katzenjammer

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katzenjammer

  1. uneasiness; anguish; distress.
  2. the discomfort and illness experienced as the aftereffects of excessive drinking; hangover.
  3. uproar; clamor: His speech produced a public katzenjammer.

At some point there was a shift.

It was slight, but its effects were seismic. But neither was sure when they’d hit the point of no return, when anger and hate had diffused into apathy and nonchalant shrugs.

The sound of screaming and splintering china used to be the norm. Now it was always quiet. The fault lines of communication were still disjointed, but there was a preference for eating off of real plates instead of Styrofoam and an ongoing weariness that made screaming feel futile.

It was worse than living with a detestable roommate. Yes, the rent was paid on time, but other than that there were more cons than pros on the list.

There was too much confusion. They both felt it. Their words had laid the path toward Continue reading

Jurisprudence

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jurisprudence

  1. the science or philosophy of law.
  2. a body or system of laws.
  3. a department of law: medical jurisprudence.

The text came soon after their morning conversation. The message was simple, direct: I found someone for you to talk to. Meet me at 809A Cambridge St. in 15.

“Thank God,” Angie breathed, feeling relief flood her body.

She searched her memory, knowing Cambridge Street well enough to direct a tourist there, but unfamiliar with this exact address. Within seconds she’d plugged in the location. She was surprised to find 809A was nestled across the street from her favorite doughnut shop, but understood how she could miss it, given she was usually so enraptured by the aroma of sugar she saw nothing but the doughnut store itself during her weekly visits.

Be right there!, she messaged back.

Things were busier on Cambridge than she’d expected. Her nervousness grew as she searched for a parking space, the minutes ticking away. The thought of losing her chance at funding for lack of a parking space, seemed like Continue reading

Rectitude

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rectitude

  1. rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue: the rectitude of her motives.
  2. correctness: rectitude of judgment.
  3. straightness.

It was hard to believe what she was hearing. Gareth sat there smug  in his suit and tie. His shoes shined to perfection and broad, genuine smile on his face, he looked every part of the persona he showed the media–the savvy businessman with a heart of gold and the unending desire to do good at every turn, one half of the duo that propelled a failing family business to the forefront of the industry.

But Kaylen knew this moment would come, when his true nature would slither out of the nice packaging and be exposed for what he was.

“Everett sacrificed too much for you to just shelve his project,” she argued. “You can’t just stop everything now.”

She knew it was clear she had Continue reading

Willowacks

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willowacks

  1. New England. a wooded, uninhabited area.

The breeze shifted slightly, drawing lose curls across sun-washed skin. Lina shook the strands away, peering beneath her hand into the thrush. Nell was nowhere to be seen.

Overhead the full moon glowed a faint white against the pale evening sky, speaking of things to come.

“Nell!” A sharp whistle revealed irritation.

Another breeze rolled through, cooling the air around her.

This was the first time she’d lived this day, but something in the breeze made her question that fact. She knew this wind. Like the voice of an old friend she hadn’t seen since childhood, it called to her, beckoning her to remember.

If she closed her eyes, she could see herself there, in the tangle of the willowacks, even feel the scratchiness of grass between her toes.

There in the cooling of the day, that’s where Lina learned the meaning of love.

She resisted this painful moment that often tried to sneak out of from under Continue reading

Flackery

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flackery

  1. publicity and promotion; press-agentry.

“Delaney, call us back, for crying out loud!”

The message was short, but the tone conveyed everything. They were tired of waiting for his response. Patience was not a virtue they possessed.

With a quick flip of his wrist, he spun his phone like a top on the wooden mantle over his fireplace, silently wishing it would fly uncontrollably to the floor and shatter into tiny pieces. He sighed deeply. He needed the phone with all its recordings. And he at least needed to talk to his mother.

They’d started calling her too now, hanging outside her flat, taking her photo, yelling questions at her as she scurried inside with her groceries. She handled the flackery better than he did, much to his surprise.

The phone slowed to a stop, just as Continue reading

Draconian

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“Madam Jocylene Depardieu will not be with you today…”

Large pairs of eyes in small faces focused on Mademoiselle Rivka whose hands were growing a paler shade of white from the way she was tightly clasping them. She seemed tinier than usual. Her frame was already slight, but now it seemed gaunt in the Saturday morning light. Her eyes looked tired and red. Never one to handle stress well, she mostly processed paperwork and payments for the small studio, even though she was easily a better ballerina than Madame Depardieu.

Where Rivka was graceful and light, Madam Depardieu was exacting and forceful. They were both talented, but watching them dance was like watching a knight and a fencer in their respective battles. Both moved with passion and precision, but one poured their passion into something more of a physical poetry–light and moving, easy yet strong.

“Mademoiselle Angela will take over for today’s class–” Mademoiselle Rivka’s voice hitched in the back of her throat as she gestured to Angela, her thin frail hands changing from white to splotchy red as blood rushed back into the tips.  She seemed to be debating whether she should say more, Continue reading

Emolument

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emolument

  1. profit, salary, or fees from office or employment; compensation for services: Tips are an emolument in addition to wages.

There were too many customers.

It wasn’t even lunchtime and already the small  alcove bustled with patrons, obscuring the tiny doorway that was seemed to be spewing hungry people into the dining area.

Patti scanned the small eatery while ringing up the mismatched couple with eggs benedict and waffles with the bow tie and the shrimp and grits with the pink buzz cut. The wait time was climbing to around 40 minutes–a first for their small eatery.

“Thank you and come again,” Patti said, with a smile. Secretly she cringed inside.

The hum of conversation was distracting. Parties of threes, fours, and fives huddled together over drinks, some over food, straining to hear each other.

Patti shook her head slightly, ringing up the yogi with the egg whites and gluten-free pancakes.  She silently chastised herself, knowing she should’ve never agreed to allow for a feature on their restaurant. Why had she ever wanted the publicity anyway?

Images of numbers that didn’t add up were retrieved from her short-term memory banks and emblazoned before her eyes.

They needed the money. Desperately.

Everyone seemed to be Continue reading