1. an equivocal term; an ambiguous expression.
  2. a play on words; pun.
  3. double meaning; ambiguity.

Clint was two seconds too late.

He caught a glimpse of curly red hair exiting the shop just as he emerged from the back with a dozen pair of black orthopedic shoes. With all the strength he could muster, he resisted the urge to give into his disappointment and hurl the boxes of shoes to the floor. He knew this case of “terrible two’s” would pass and his sulking would pass when she returned.

“Here you go,” Clint muttered, angrily as he set the boxes down next to swollen ankles and began his quarterly 90-minute ritual of opening every box as every pair is tested and tried. He struggled to maintain his composure. This was the second time he’d missed her because of their slow-moving patrons.

“What’s wrong with you today, young man?”

Clint scoffed in disgust. He’d had it.

“I’m not that young! And the one time someone my age actually comes in here and I’m Continue reading





  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




  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




  1. a person with an optimistic and confident outlook.
  2. a person who habitually agrees with or is submissive to others.

Faint high-pitched humming cracked through the recorded laugh-track blaring from the television.

Jason strained to ignore the sound disrupting his program, but it was all he could hear. The tune was familiar, but he couldn’t place it.

“What’s with you?” he demanded.

His volume surpassed the TV’s, but did little to deter the humming.

Jason tossed the remote on the couch, tracing the sound to the kitchen.

The microwave beeped to stop. His younger brother swayed rhythmically before clumsily climbing the steps of the small plastic ladder to retrieve his soup.

“Tomorrow’s Continue reading




  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




  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




  1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
  2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.

Everyone was tense. It was the final day of presentation week. All proposals were in and now it was the moment Meredith Williams would respond to the projects that had been present and cast vision for the upcoming year.

It seemed like it should be a calm and normal affair, but Meredith was anything but calm or normal. Yes, this was a routine practice at the company–Meredith had instituted it more than a decade ago–but it still sent chills down the spines of her employees, freezing the creative atmosphere around them.

She was the founder and CEO, their queen of sorts. They, her loyal subjects.

Meredith rose to speak, commanding everyone’s attention at the front of the room. It seemed as if everyone collectively held their breath, awaiting her words. She smiled kindly, tilting her head slightly as if pondering her next words, purposely holding everyone in suspense. Her smile was sweet, it even looked genuine, but everyone knew that behind it was Continue reading