T his is the season of firsts, eagerly and duly recorded: first robin, first daffodil, first leaf buds, first day above sixty and then seventy degrees. In the northern part of the U.S. where I live, such firsts are savored as incontrovertible evidence, more telling than the date on the calendar, that winter has finally lost the tug of war and spring is winning the battle.
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Sylvia was seven, and prepared to die.Patricia Crisafulli
Sylvia was the first to arrive, twenty-two minutes before the class was scheduled to begin. Scanning the six long tables arranged in a rectangle, she decided to take a seat in the middle along the far wall, her back to the windows overlooking the parking lot. The flyer carried in her purse calmed the buzz of fearful embarrassment that she might have arrived on the wrong day or at the wrong time.
B eyond the rim of snow banks, around the bend where the trail angles into the trees, lies an expanse of white as unexplored as a blank page. No matter that countless sneakered feet and bicycle tires ply this path in every season, on this wintry day all traces of humanity are scoured away by the wind’s husky breath.
Like a mountain, we are strong and unmoved.Khadijeh Elahi-Taleghani
Holiday fiction by
S now sugared the lawn and whitened the balsam wreathes at the twin bay windows flanking the front door painted red as holly berries. Lacy flakes drifted to earth, one tethering itself to the sleeve of the old black wool jacket that Delwyn Edward Morgan wore.
D uring the holiday season, it sometimes seems like the whole world is wrapped up in presents and material possessions. Kids are writing their wish lists to Santa, adults are trying to find the “perfect gift” for their special someone, and mall parking lots are jam-packed with eager shoppers. I had always been just as guilty as the next person of harboring this fraudulent yuletide spirit, until a few years ago when I learned what the holiday season is truly about.