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Soothsayer

spill

"I see lots of challenges for you," said the soothsayer, "Life can only be understood backward; but it must be lived forwards. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. I see a romantic interest in your life, he's handsome, brunette and likes walks on the beach.... in fact I see a beach, a romantic trip to Puerto Vallarta."

"Okay - Morgan Le Faggot. First off, people read TEA leaves, not dramatically spilled cinnamon sugar cookie extra foam double-shot lattes. Second, you are mixing Eleanor Roosevelt and Søren Kierkegaard; finally, Puerto has been booked for months so it's hardly spontaneous."

"I didn't say my magic was high quality - I just said that I'm magical. so different," he said, excitedly looking up, "....and look - more proof - that cute tattooey muscley ginger beardy barista is coming to clean up this mess and flex for us. So I think that's a win-win."

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mystery

biker

....you insist on remaining a mystery. We spent much of the last year with a brave face. I can't live that dream any longer. You think you can bluff your way through life, you need to learn to lie better. The truth you are avoiding is written on your face. It's like an honest, uncomplicated romance is too easy for you like you consider it emotional laziness. You write sonnets searching for it. "We’re livin’ in the same world under the same pale moon, together." Beauty apparently without substance. I fell in love that humid Saturday afternoon many months ago. The crazy searing kind of love that was setting our world on fire. It's hard to walk away from, but by the time you read this, it will finally be over. You claim to love - but it strikes me you've searched the world to find something, you know nothing of...

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Baptism

baptism

Baptismal promises are only the beginning of life as a Catholic. These promises are made to God and to the child itself. We are witnessing the spiritual sunrise for the young spirit placed in my arms. I will kiss them gently and welcome them.

I will always tell people that I enjoy baptisms far more than marriage ceremonies. While the love between two people can burn brightly and beautifully. truly. The softest light we pass onto our children at baptism is the basis for our understanding of love throughout our entire life.

Sin is humankind’s estrangement and alienation from God. But the youngest babe knows nothing of this. They know nothing of the struggles about to be present in their path for decades to come.

Every time I anoint a fussing newborn I am reminded of Thomas Merton: "I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen."

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night colored eyes

shotgun

The force of the shotgun blast blows him clear off his feet into the corner. Most men would be screaming from the agony, but he is not most men.

He sits there matter-of-factly as his life drains out all around him. He reaches down into it, the gushing wound in his groin, his hand lifting away covered in gore.

From that, he looks up at me with his night-colored eyes, beautiful and terrible all at once.

“For a time now,” he says, “I wondered if it was you who would stop me.”

“And what made you decide it was?”

He grins up at me like a five-year-old caught stealing extra sweets after supper.

“When I realized he was your child. It was the only way I knew I'd ever be able to pay.”

He looks away for a moment, and with a small sigh, the last breath escapes his lips.

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Aim

Aim

The phone vibrated in his pocket. Must be his mother, or worse, his ex-wife.

Thanksgiving planning was in full swing - trying to decide who sits next to who, who pissed in whose Cheerios during the year, which young spawn had new boyfriends or girlfriends or non-binary companions or whatever the horse shit one of Jack’s kids had come up with at fourth-of-July

- - and, again the phone vibrated. He reached down and turned it off, and returned to his meeting.

“Technology is next on the list, Jason, you’re up.”

Walking to the front of the room, he flipped up his laptop.

He plugged in and brought up his first slide, “As you can see, revenues from our social sharing…”

The round video conferencing speaker let out a short chirp, “Network connection lost, call ended.”

“Fuck. The network is down.,” said one of the sales directors.

“Today is obvious duh, huh dip shit? Its month end how are we going to get work done?”, said someone.

“Great, Jason, you could have just said your presentation wasn’t ready.”, someone said in the room making the others chuckle.

He stood mournfully in front of the slowly emptying room. He unplugged his laptop and followed everyone else out.

As he turned the corner towards his desk the lights in the office flickered, then went out. The slow whine of everything electric spinning down was quickly replaced by an eerie silence.

The office manager eventually came through and said it was a rolling blackout - and that if you could work from home you should probably do that. He methodically collected up his stuff, giving out a big sigh as left the office.

“Today was supposed to be my big day,” he mumbled to himself, “my big day.”

He got in his car, punched ‘home’ on his navigation and started the drive home when the red engine light came on.

“Perfect.” He mumbled.

He soon found himself walking home, having left his Prius with a dubious mechanic for diagnosis.

“My big day,” he mumbled to himself.

“I’m sorry I ruined your big day,” said a youthful, but apologetic voice.

He looked up to see a little girl standing in the road in front of his house. Was it a little girl? The hood on the coat made him not so sure. She wore a strand of white Christmas tree lights that were curiously plugged into her pocket somehow.

“I’m new at this - and well, my aim is not the best that it could be?”

“Pardon?”

“My aim.”

“I’m sorry - this isn’t making any sense.”

“Death rarely does, I suppose?”

“Death? What about death?”

“Well - I killed your network, then your car - and I was supposed to kill you. But my aim was off.”

“Kill me?”

“Well, your fate was to die of a heart attack this morning at your desk. But- you were so excited about your presentation. 

It didn’t seem fair 

     - so I killed the network instead. 

But my bosses were like - killing a network is not the same. 

'You march right back down there and give that man his heart attack.' 

So I came back - and saw that you didn’t get to make your presentation, you looked so sad, so I killed the electricity.”

“And my Prius?” he said nonchalantly, playing along with the logic of the strange little girl.

“Well, that brings us to right now. I tried to kill you again and managed just a red engine light. so embarrassing - - but at the Toyota dealership, I tried one last time and instead killed the Prius - - which fell off the hoist that belongs to the dubious mechanic, well, and onto you, while you were waiting….

but I couldn’t let you realize I’d killed you by dropping a car on you...

 like something out of looney tunes. 

So I waited to tell you once you’d gotten home.”

“So my body is actually back at the dealer crushed under a broken Prius?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“That’s actually a lot nicer of a death than a heart attack at my desk.”

“You think so? That’s kind of you to say.”

“Tell me, is there powerpoint in the afterlife?”

“Oh dear me, no.”

“I’m liking the thereafter better already….”

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