Umbra

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umbra

  1.  shade; shadow.
  2. the invariable or characteristic accompaniment or companion of a person or thing.

It was strange to see a person who was simultaneously there, but not. Eyes open, fully awake, and yet so distant and disconnected.

His smile was virtually the same, just weaker. Even his strange way of lumbering more than walking down a hall remained untouched, but somehow just seemed a fraction slower than usual.

“Hey, Perry…”

Now it seemed to take a lifetime before he responded, slowly looking up from his book to engage in conversation.

“Yeah?”

Even his voice sounded off.

It was like those movies when Continue reading

Ataraxia

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ataraxia

  1. a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity.

The wind picked up, pushing the small red Fit toward the rumble strips.

Patricia gripped the wheel tighter, glancing in the rearview mirror. Cherubic cheeks and a wide grin greeted her from the back seat.

“Are you okay,” she yelled over the wind within the car.

Peyton nodded, strands of blonde hair blowing around his head.

Patricia surged ahead on I-64 enjoying the deserted patch of highway, while reminding herself that she didn’t need a speeding ticket. She sighed happily, realizing that even if she received a ticket, this would be the first time in years she’d actually be able to Continue reading

Kanone

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kanone

  1. a person who is an expert skier.

Kala stared at the swollen mass that no longer resembled her knee. Her skin was a mixture of browns and blues with splotches of purple. Painkillers numbed her senses, but did nothing to diminish the fury swirling inside.

The Times had dubbed her the “Kanone of Kona.” Her family had been so proud. Even her dad had showed the article to his people at his shop. That moment had been the best. But now it seemed like it all happened so long ago.

She was the phenom, the wunderkind from humble beginnings–the slice of Americana that the public drank down like marshmallows and cocoa on a cold day.

And now?

Her career was shot. The first MRI confirmed what Dr. G had suspected. Everything was Continue reading

Shivoo

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shivoo

  1. Australian. a boisterous party or celebration.

The knock on the door is like the crack of a whip at the circus–loud and arresting. This week it bellows a tone of timidity, nauseating me.

Landis and Minnie are incessant. I know it’s them before I even turn around.

This is their Friday night ritual.

I begin to rub my temples, ready to feign some illness worthy of Continue reading

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