1. delight; enjoyment

“Oh no!”

A fierce wind whipped Little One to the left and then the right. Every effort to bend against the wind and resists its force seemed worthless.

“My leaves!”

Fear covered Little One’s words. But it was understandable. Every day there were fewer leaves on his branches.

“It’s okay, Little One,” Mama consoled. “Don’t fight the wind. Allow it to blow until you are bare.”

For Little One there was no Continue reading





  1. able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong; as a sin (opposed to mortal).
  2. excusable; trifling; minor: a venial error; a venial offense.

The wind was strong today and it felt like all of it  was concentrated in the small empty park. It howled and blew about autumn leaves and empty swings.

Ricky pulled up the zipper of his zipped jacket and buried the lower half of his face in the high collar, shoving his hands in the pockets. He squirmed on the marble bench, stomping his feet to keep the feeling in his legs. His wife Marie had been right, he should’ve taken a heavier coat.

His dad had a knack for picking the worst days of the year to meet. A couple of years ago, he wanted to meet on a day with some of the worst snowfall in the city’s 100-year history. Ricky had trudged out in the blizzard on foot, despite Marie yelling for him “to have some sense” to meet his dad and get him to the nearest place with heat.

Ricky look around, feeling slightly anxious.

He felt like he was in elementary school again, waiting for his mom or dad to come pick him up… which they never did. Usually Pauly came to get him after basketball practice or something. By that time, it was closer to 5 o’clock and Ricky would be waiting at Gus’ Corner Store, relocating to various aisles to avoid actual paying customers. Once he had to leave the store because an old man kept hounding him, asking if Continue reading




  1. to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at night.
  2. to write learnedly.


Paul shook his head vigorously, straining to stay focused. The lack of sleep was getting to him, but it was the conversation he’d had with his wife that was really stealing all of his attention.

“You okay,” Ed shouted, his voice muffled by his mask.

Paul nodded, wordless.

He had about six hours left in his shift, he hadn’t hit the halfway point and already his energy was waning.

Paul shook his head once more and began fusing together metal with his torch. He silently wished he could do the same thing for his marriage–just apply a little heat and pressure and bind them back together. Instead he felt like they were two Continue reading





  1. steadfastly courageous and resolute; valiant

The rain outside was heavy. It obscured Patricia’s view of her father’s car in the driveway, turning the scene outside into a melting world of blurred colors.  The sound of it forcefully railing against the house was usually comforting to her, but today it did nothing to calm her agitated heart.

She could hear her parents upstairs bickering back and forth. They had been yelling for about an hour. The yelling was normal, she was fine with it. It was the quietness that came after the yelling that worried her.

This afternoon the yelling had started as soon as her father had Continue reading


  1. eerie; weird; spooky

All the lights in the ranch style house were off on the quiet culdesac. It seemed as if the entire neighborhood was sound asleep.

Krista quickly exited her car and made her way toward the front door, checking the windows for any sign of movement from within. She quietly opened the door and crept into the  house, not wanting to wake up her sister.

She had almost reached the landing when a light from the dining room popped on.

“Sneaking in, are we,” her younger sister, Kat said, leaning against the wall.

Startled, Krista straightened her posture, trying not to look guilty.

“I didn’t want to wake you up,” she said, trying to Continue reading



  1. a wild or natural musical tone, as that of a forest bird.

The incessant buzzing of a cellphone was not only irritating, it was distracting Chelsea from what her wedding planner was explaining.

She subconsciously started rubbing her temples, feeling aggravated. Why couldn’t somebody answer their phone?

“I’m sorry, Miranda, I can’t concentrate on what you’re saying, because someone’s phone is continuing to ring and no one is answering it,” Chelsea said, her voice rising in anger.

Miranda gave the bride a quizzical look.

“Chelsea,” Miranda said in a hushed tone, “it’s your phone that’s buzzing.”

Chelsea looked down at Continue reading




  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of an uncle: avuncular affection

Leesa was starting to wonder if having her younger brother babysit her children once a week was the wisest decision. It had been an idea her husband had mentioned two months ago. And she had thought things were going well until their 7-year-old’s teacher left a message saying their daughter was explaining how school really wasn’t for everyone and wasn’t even always necessary.

Without a second thought, Leesa knew her younger brother was to blame.

With his ripped jeans and tight tees, Matthew didn’t appear to have an avuncular bone in his body. His conversations with his niece and nephew didn’t help either. Instead of talking to his sister’s kids about their classwork or play dates, he was often explaining Continue reading