A Tasty Morsel

Fiction
Melodie Corrigall


Photo Credit: Catherine Roy (CC-by-nc-nd)

Photo Credit: Catherine Roy (CC-by-nc-nd)

Linda was determined to prevent her adversary from storming the castle but too cowardly to pull the plug.

Hours earlier, she had sailed down the hospital corridor, a roast beef sandwich and a coffee in hand, and a mystery novel under her arm. The sight of a bony priest black as a crow crouched by the hospital bed, his shoulders high, his sharp eyes focused on the morsel before him had stopped her cold. She had yanked back her head to confirm it was the right room. It was. The morsel was her ex-husband, a very thin meal, his face as crumpled as stale breadcrumbs.

This was all she needed. She had been looking forward to a restful night. Her ex-husband, who had once seemed invincible, would die within a few days. She was back in town to help her two children through this last challenge. Now that Jason was playing silly bugger, her presence was crucial.

Winston, her son, worn to a wisp by his overbearing father, was immobilized by remorse and guilt. He could hardly bring himself to enter the sick room. Her daughter, bitter from years of abuse and neglect, boiled at the sight of her father and resenting the adulation that he received from his adoring fans. Neither could cope with the relentless plodding of their father’s illness.

“What’s happening?” she said, bursting into the room.

“Mrs. Edwards?” the priest lisped, rising and offering a parchment hand.

“Yes. And you are?”

“Father Beauregard. Your husband asked to see me.”

“I think not. He’s not practicing.”

The victim, still as the corpse he soon would be, stared in her direction, his eyes anxious, his face pinched.

“The nurse called me in.”

“Well, I call you out. I’ll talk to my husband.”

“He’s in a weakened state.”

“I know the state he’s in, damn it,” she said pushing the priest aside.

With a restrained smile, he slunk from the room.

“What’s this about,” Linda said, crossly dropping her purse and plopping down in the still warm chair. “What have you to do with a priest?”

Her husband’s thin blue eyelids fluttered. His pupils drifted towards her, like dead fish in water. Was he even there? His voice, when it came, was as taut as silk thread. Linda leaned forward to hear a rasp, “Need a… (sounds like beast, must be priest).” An electric bolt shot up Linda’s legs and burst from her head.

In his death as in his life, her celebrated ex remained egocentric. The effect on his children of his latest flip-flop, if he remembered it by morning, would not have entered his mind.

Having finally escaped years as her husband’s appendage, explaining to all and sundry that his thoughts were not hers, was she once again to be entangled with Jason and mother church?

That was the downside of marrying a celebrity. And Jason was that: not a five-minute celebrity, a longtime runner whose notoriety had been built on his witty and scathing tirades against the Church. And now here he was hanging around death’s door and calling in the clergy.

If she let him go through with this Catholic elastic snap back, the publicity would be vicious. The media would hound her about the role she had or had not played. His editors would rush to add another chapter to his biography, now at the printer. A wry epilogue: After a life profiting from his hatred of the church, he insisted on the last rites.

Linda collapsed into the metal chair. Stop the press. Right now. No way would she let Jason’s family triumph. She had suffered too many years being blamed by his relatives for taking him from the faith. Years of smiling to soften Jason’s vitriolic public outbursts against mother church. Years of rationalizing his defense when one of his young disciples splattered red paint across a church altar or caught the media’s attention with some other anti-clerical outrage.

The ghost mumbled something; Linda crouched forward to hear the scratches, “A Catholic funeral.”

“No way, no way Jose,” she said, lips still. She refused to put up with that mumbo jumbo. The media would descend in droves to pontificate about what had happened and to question all he’d written.

“First you’re not dying,” she said crossly, “Secondly, we paid for our memorial service ten years ago.” That had been five years before their final split. A time when they were still planning an old age together touring Italy not, as it turned out, divorce and her return to Ontario to watch his last gasps.

The breakup had not been convivial, sparked with hurl-against-the-wall fights. But even after the turmoil and a five-year separation, it bruised her to witness her ex-husband’s fading soul.

And where were the doting fans? The nubile young women and poetic men, who had drifted in and out of their lives for years, the acolytes who had sat at Jason’s feet and worked their way through the family’s wine?

Once again, she was in charge of navigating a safe way forward. With the kids in tow, she had to ensure she didn’t rip any arms or legs off on the rocky coastline. What were her options? Who were her allies?

She jumped up and paced the room. The frustrating thing about hospital visits was the time spent sitting; Linda had too much energy to tolerate stillness. She flipped through the get-well cards guarding the windowsill, a few new ones: from Jason’s publisher, colleagues, and the innumerable fans. There’s a laugh, she said, seeing his longtime adversary and critic Peter Southland’s card. “Hope you get back on your feet.” Yes, she bet he did, otherwise who would be his sparring partner.

Retrieving the nail scissors from the bedside table, Linda hacked the deadheads off the resilient mums. She hated mums, so stiff and hearty.

She needed to talk to someone—someone discrete who would help her to navigate this moment. Her daughter would be in after her fencing class but Linda was too twitchy to wait. In any event, Jill would just add to the turmoil by raging about the room shouting, “How dare he?”

As if on cue, her son Winston appeared in the door. Noting her agitation, he beckoned her into the hall. They sidestepped a crumpled body abandoned in a wheelchair.

“What’s up?” Winston whispered, holding up some tapes. “Da asked me to bring these in.”

“Gregorian chants?”

“I guess they’re soothing.”

Soothing for some, she thought.

Winston would be the last one she’d tell about his father’s request. A reed against his father’s wind, he was too softhearted to stomach any conflicts at death’s door. She took his hand and squeezed it affectionately. After a brief update about the grandchildren, her son slipped into the night. Linda wished she could join him, get back outside to the chilled air, but if she left, the crow might return.

Perhaps Jason was hallucinating on the medication and would laugh about it if he regained his senses, but what if he did want a Catholic funeral? What could she do? She pulled out her notebook and listed the possibilities, unsure whether they were, in fact, options.

  1. Pull the plug now. The doctor said Jason had only a week to go; he was medicated to ease the pain. But no, she was not up to playing God, especially when Jason had not asked her to do so. Not asked recently in any event. They had talked about it when they were younger and supported the Dying with Dignity group.
  2. Leave it for him to choose but get out of town fast. That would put Jill in the hot seat, not fair. Her daughter had spent enough of her youth fielding the paparazzi.
  3. Give Jason the right to choose. Give? That showed how far he had fallen. Then what? His family coming on strong to arrange it all. “We’ll have the ceremony at the Cathedral” his brother would announce and she would attend and sit with the kids, head dropped forward, her tail between her legs.
  4. Not tell anyone, just bar the priest from the door, and hope Jason slipped across the river Styx before any damage was done.

The Marseille chimed from her cell phone. “I’m on my way,” Jill cried over the traffic noise.

“I found him talking to a priest,” her mother blurted.

“Bugger it, it’s the damn fundraisers. Grandpa Downs donates so much to the hospital, they’re after more.”

“Apparently your father asked for one.”

Linda almost added, “Worse still, he’s talking about a Catholic funeral” but her mouth snapped shut. Why did Jill have to know? What could she do?

“He’ll have forgotten by morning.”

“Probably. Yesterday he asked for Aunt Bess—dead ten years.”

“There’s a traffic jam, mom. It’ll be another half hour.”

“Never mind coming; he’s out for the night. Come tomorrow.”

“And the doc says?”

“Only another few days.”

This time she would be strong. She would sit outside the door like Cerberus guarding the gate to the underworld. Who needed to know? If they swooped in for last rites, she’d tell the papers Jason hadn’t been tough enough to fight them off.

She perched on the unyielding metal chair near the door and tried to imagine herself as a short stubborn bush with roots firmly planted. It would be a long night, the morning was uncertain, but she would hold firm.

pencilMelodie Corrigall is a Canadian writer whose stories have appeared in Blue Lake Review, Bartleby Snopes, Litro UK, FreeFall, Toasted Cheese, Six Minute Magazine, Mouse Tales, Subtle Fiction, Emerald Bolts, Switchback, and The Write Time at the Write Place. Website: melodiecorrigall.com. Email: mjcorrigall[at]gmail.com

Winter Birds

Fiction
Melodie Corrigall


blue jays
Photo Credit: ekpatterson

Maria studies her family clustered around the table, hopeful not of food but of deliverance. She is stretching her arthritic limbs towards a decision—albeit not in the direction her family anticipates—but the last few inches are excruciating and perhaps the goal is unobtainable.

A peacemaker and the core of a happy family all her life, Maria longs for a new role. But with so few years left, she wonders whether she should upset the apple cart. From her family’s elated faces she realizes that inviting Mr. Walters was a mistake.

Resurrected by the arrival of the unexpected guest, the family celebrates the evening like comrades after uncertain battle—calling for drinks and remembering old songs. The guest, a usually-grim farmer, savours the attention. He hasn’t been treated so well since his wife’s funeral two years ago.

Anxious eyes monitor the old man closely for encouraging responses. Flying gratefully to the weathered face like winter birds to scattered seeds.

Maria—mother, widow, homemaker, and this afternoon, hostess—refills empty glasses and carries in more food.

“You’re a shrewd one, mother,” her son teases, nodding towards their guest.

“The old coot could do with a home-cooked meal,” Maria admits. And a little company she thinks.

She knows what it is to be stuck behind curtains in an empty house watching weekend visitors’ cars drive by. And weekdays when even before lunch, her chores are complete. With only the motley cat to advise on the weather, she busies herself picking leaves off pampered plants and organizing meals in case one of her children visits.

“Sorry, Mom, Buddy has a baseball game.”

“I have to bone up for a Monday meeting.”

“Jenny’s coming down with something.”

“The car is acting up… the weather is bad… it’s a long drive… sure you don’t mind?”

Sunday is the worst. More from habit than conviction, she and her late husband attended church, weather permitting. Then rain or shine, after a midday meal they hiked across the familiar terrain, commenting on the growth of the cedars, the height of the marsh grass, or the work to be done on the back pasture. “Like God on the seventh day,” Paul would chuckle contentedly, snapping off a dead branch to clear the path.

Widowed three years, Maria misses the companionship—the shared ritual of instant coffee and toast before turning in for the night, the Sunday walks, the mutual memories. She misses returning to a warm house after penning the chickens and finding her husband reading the paper. She does not miss her role as chief cook and bottle washer.

Till her husband’s death, Maria had never lived alone. Even when Paul was outside working, she was on call. Now her life is her own or almost. The children still have their say, of course. When she considered moving into town, her daughter protested.

“You’d hate to live anywhere but here, Mom.”

But would she? She pictures a small apartment near the park and the shops. Maybe she’d learn to do something—to paint or speak Spanish. Her sister Bea had started university at sixty-three.

“Fine for Bea, she’s different, Mom. You like looking after people, having your chickens.”

Truth be known, she hated chickens: ugly, noisy ingrates that pecked at your hands. Paul had insisted they were worth the effort but as soon as she got the energy, she’d cheerfully initiate a beheading.

Watching Mr. Walters joke gruffly with the kids even with the false promise he brings, she is glad she invited him. He is no hero, always complaining about something and never lifting a hand to help. But since Peggy’s death he is friendlier—needs must. They both have had to learn new dance steps.

Like her, he has been left to drift, all the routines disrupted, the familiar patterns destroyed. When a few weeks earlier at the local K-Mart Maria noticed him forlornly staring at babies’ wear, she had taken pity and helped him choose a gift for his grandchild.

The following week she had spotted him at the supermarket check-out counter: his clothes needing an ironing, his jacket frayed. He was staring at the frozen meat pie in his basket, “I sure miss her pies,” he sighed, prompting Maria’s invitation to Thanksgiving dinner.

“The kids would love to see you,” she lied. “We’ll be having turkey and pie.”

The old farmer squinted cautiously. “Sunday?” he muttered as if scanning a busy calendar. “Okay,” he nodded indulgently, and then smiled, “I’d like that.”

“Another helping, Mr. Walters?” Sharon encourages, tempting him with a generous slice of blueberry pie.

He declines. “Lord no, I’ve eaten more today than in a month.”

The man nods appreciatively down the table at Maria who looks away, then comments pointedly, “I don’t have much occasion for making pies these days.”

Her children flinch.

“Do I hear wedding bells?” Betsy whispers to her sister.

“They’re pie-eyed,” Sharon giggles.

Later, when the house empties—“Don’t forget to take some turkey.” “Where is Arnold’s hat?” “Are you coming up next weekend?” “Thanks for everything mother”—Betsy and her mother cozy up on the sofa. Outside, the persistent snowflakes bury the footprints to the road.

“I always hate to see everyone leave,” the older woman sighs. “I’m like a skeleton rattling around.”

Betsy squeezes back her impatience and smiles. “You can change all that now, Mom.”

“Move into town, you mean?”

“No, of course not, re-marry.”

“Re-marry? Why?”

“You need someone to look after.”

“I have the cats to look after.”

“Be serious, Mom,” the girl cautions. “You’re not like me; you’ve always had someone to cook for, to care for. That’s what you like.”

“Maybe I don’t.”

The girl winces. “Don’t what?”

“I cleaned and cooked for you kids and Dad but I don’t want to do it for some stranger.”

The girl gasps. They’d pinned their hopes on the old man. After all, her mother had invited him and he’d settled right in. Sharon would be furious. Even Bill wouldn’t be able to hide his disappointment. The future which they had talked of with their mother settled into down with a companion was fading like water colours in the rain.

“You like being a farmwife,” the girl coaxes.

“Would you?”

The girl sighs. “Then you and Mr. Walters?”

“I’m better off alone.”

“But is it fair?”

Turning from her daughter’s crumbled face, Maria slowly rises, takes off her faded apron, folds it, and places it beside the others in the drawer. A certainty is growing inside her. Her heart pumps like a fledgling bird, timid but determined as she meets the cool air for the first time.

She glances out the window at the snow collecting on the bird feeder, then stares through the lacy curtain of snowflakes at the ghostly silhouettes beyond. By morning the smaller birds will have to struggle to get seed. And when she moves into town, they’ll have to fend for themselves.

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Melodie Corrigall’s stories have appeared in Imagining, Room, Kinesis, Horizon Magazine, BC Woman, The Dalhousie Review, Toasted Cheese, The November 3rd Club and Other Voices. Email: corrigall[at]shaw.ca

Going Out

Beaver’s Pick
Melodie Corrigall


Grumman
Photo Credit: DieselDemon

“Eat,” her mother urges, shoving a spatula of home fries at her daughter. The girl recoils. Usually her appetite is as hearty as her younger brother Geoffrey’s but today food sticks like woodchips in her throat.

If she blurts the news out at the supper table, the film will freeze mid–frame: broken faces, arguments, her father’s jaw melting like cheese on a pizza. Better to toss it over her shoulder as she runs across the tarmac—there’ll be less chance for recriminations.

“What’s the problem Jenny? You love the plane ride,” her mother sighs.

“Leave her alone, mother,” insists her heavy-set father collapsed at the end of the table. “I know damn well the problem: going outside—to the city. Even with Aunt Ruth and her school friends, it’s lonely down there.”

Late one night after a few drinks he’d complained to his daughter how home wasn’t home without her. How the house felt hollow, just the sound of the furnace turning on and off. No guitar strumming into the night, no shouting matches between her and her brother, no cackles as she gossiped with friends on the phone, no long walks, and no fishing. “Three isn’t family,” he kept saying.

She knows it’ll be like that tonight. Her father will light the fireplace; her mom, dad and Geoffrey will look at that new sitcom on TV. Then mom will finally start the new 750-piece seashore puzzle she’d bought on sale at the Bay. Geoffrey, confined to the house because the hockey rink is closed over Easter holidays, will pass the time complaining about the TV reception.

“You’ll throw up if you eat all those sausages,” Geoffrey threatens, hoping to jostle his sister out of a link or two.

“I never thrown up,” the girl sneers.

“You did after Trevor’s party.”

“I never thrown up on a plane,” the girl insists, eyes sharp as pins.

Her father leans over, and squeezes her hand with the fingernails polished plastic pink, “Don’t worry sunshine, only a couple of months ’til summer and you’ll be home again. And a grade 12 graduate to boot.”

“We’re putting Geoffrey down the basement,” mother announces from her outpost by the kitchen door.

The boy protests, “Not putting me. I offered. And I get a new bike.”

“I’ve talked to Mr. Robins,” father nods. “It looks good.”

“Maybe she doesn’t want to work at the bank. She could work at the Bay again,” mother suggests.

“No. She’d have to work Saturdays. We couldn’t go fishing.”

“Go Sunday.”

“The bank’s nicer. Cleaner work.”

“Well, I like the Bay,” mother insists.

“It’s Jenny working there not you,” he growls.

She’ll tell them now; why argue about where she’ll work? She hates the bank. It doesn’t deserve the title ‘bank’. It’s a trailer not much bigger than her bedroom. Like a jail cell with only two full–time workers and a part–time clerk in the afternoon. Every day she’d just be sitting there handing out dollars and small talk. At least at the Bay there were young people.

“Is that the door?” the girl asks, jumping up. Through the window she sees Jake, shuffling about on the front porch. Too shy to give a good bang, he hangs about waiting for someone to notice him. Jenny glances at her watch. For once Jake isn’t half an hour early.

“Hi,” she mumbles, leading him towards the kitchen.

Jake pulls off his toque, shakes the snow from his coat, and brushes off his pants. “Hi, all,” he smiles, stationing himself in the corner.

“Sit, sit,” mother insists. “Want some coffee?”

“We don’t have time,” father says, pushing his plate away. “Got your stuff ready, Jenny?”

Her ‘stuff’ has been ready for two days; the hours counted off like penance. Walking back from the store the day before, she had recorded every house. Standing by the river, the ice cracking, a nasty wind abusing the branches, she had placed every image in a box, for later. To be enjoyed quietly, sitting in her own small room, the bed folded for night, a cup of herbal tea warming her hand, her mind savoring the next day in the city.

“Yeah, I’ll get them,” she nods but Jake is struggling to get upstairs first. “Let me carry them down.”

Tumbling awkwardly down the stairs: two suitcases, a plastic bag, the quilt for Aunt Ruth, and the cookies that are better than store-bought, the gangly young man jokes, “There’s enough gear to live in town forever.”

The girl feels powerful in her city clothes—the same long hooded coat she wore the day she arrived. Left in her closet all visit, except for the party. Jenny’s mind hums with how she looks, what she’ll be doing soon.

She’s almost makes it to the car when her father corners her, “I ordered some great new fishing rods for us.”

Now is the moment. She’ll hit him quickly, step around his face, and they’ll all pile in the car. Her father grabs her arm, pulling her to him, as if she were drowning. Laughing gruffly, he walks her along, squeezing her against him, his red plaid jacket rough and worn. “Won’t be long, you’ll be back.” She aches to give him a bear hug, but she keeps moving.

“Laddie wants to come,” Geoffrey shouts wrestling with the mangy collie.

“All the kids will be back,” her mother sings. “The town will liven up. You can have wiener roasts on the beach.”

Wiener roasts? The girl hardens. She’s not a kid.

“Hazel and Barbara are staying in the city this summer,” the girl spurts, hoping to blurt out her news before she can retreat.

“Why’re they doing that?”

“They’ll make more money.”

“They haven’t told their mom. She’d be alone; Jim’ll be in the bush all summer.”

“Anything more for the trunk?” Jake calls, proudly indicating the extra space.

“Sure this car will make it?” Geoffrey asks, kicking the front fender where the salt has eaten through.

“It’s just the body that’s gone,” father offers cheerfully. “It’s a good car.”

“By summer I’ll have a new one,” Jake says. “Not new but without holes. We’ll pick up Jenny in style.”

Passengers and suitcases settle awkwardly into the car: Jenny wedged in the front between her father and Jake, Geoffrey in the back with the dog.

“Thought we were leaving that hound at home,” father grumbles.

“He thinks we’re going to the lake.”

“He don’t think, that’s his problem,” father shrugs, then leans out the windows and shouts, “Mother, hurry up.”

Out she comes, flustered as always, pulling the door behind, dropping the keys in the dried flowerpot near the door.

“God, woman you don’t need to lock her up,” father yells, “We’re only going to the airport.”

The woman waves impatiently, arms clutching her large red purse, a paper bag, and her coat. “Get that dog out of here, Geoff,” she protests, as she squeezes into the back seat.

“He wants to come.”

The woman sighs and stares out the window.

“We’re off,” Jake cries. Checking for traffic along the empty road, he slowly backs out the icy lane into the street. A bony old woman bursts out the door of the bungalow opposite, and hurries towards them, waving her arms.

“Stop, Jake,” mother urges. “Mrs. McIver wants something.”

The old woman hurries to the car and thrusts a package at Jenny. “Something to eat on the plane,” she says, then beams, “Gees, you look good in that coat.”

“Thanks,” Jenny smiles, seeing herself an eagle with hooded eyes.

As they drive off she watches the thin body disappear from view. A strong wind could blow the old woman away, she thinks sadly, suddenly realizing that this could be last time she ever sees the old dear alive.

“Fifteen minutes, folks, and we’ll be there,” Jake announces, proudly checking his digital watch.

The girl studies the dusty dashboard; the broken fuel gauge floats from empty to full with each bump. She sure can’t tell them in the car, trapped there as her father and Jake silently deflate at the news.

Attempting to keep their mind off the inevitable, they gossip on the way to the airport: Will Fred come back from the camp? Who is the new guy at the station? To Jenny, it’s as distant as the newspaper headlines. She has left. Her room, sectioned off from the living room, is now a museum: the half-filled school scribblers, the mementos, the posters of teenage idols, the stuffed animals lined up against the wall. Her thoughts are now on the next bed, tonight.

“We’re here,” Jake announces, proudly wedging the car between dirty piles of snow in the parking lot. Everyone crawls out and stands expectantly as the young man moves purposefully to the trunk. Jenny frowns at the sky: the sun is hidden by heavy clouds; the cover is too low.

Her father shepherds the group into the squat prefab building: the town’s pride, brought in on the barge two years earlier to replace the small wooden shack. There are two washrooms, three vending machines—one for cold drinks, one with bitter coffee, and one with chips and donuts—and a service counter where Tim Preston, when not working at the local store, processes the tickets.

“Back for the last term of school, eh?” Tim says as he carefully reads over Jenny’s ticket. Other passengers move behind her to form a straggling line; one of them is a stranger from outside. Jenny wonders who he was visiting.

The ticket and safety inspection complete, Jenny stands with her parents by the window, peering at the sky. Only ten minutes ’til it’s due and it might come earlier. The girl’s stomach churns fretting how she’ll give her news, and escape.

“The man from the ranger station, ignoring the No Smoking sign, pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and shakes his head, “Real low those clouds, might not make it.”

What an airport, Jenny thinks in disgust. Haven’t they heard of radar? She’ll be glad to get out.

Jenny’s eyes are riveted to the sky. The ticket area soon deserted, the coffee machine brewing its last. Three knee-high kids play tag, pushing against their parents’ legs. “Hey, outside, you kids,” someone shouts.

And then the faint sound, the hum; the crowd sways towards the door, pushing against the glass. The ticket man stands sentinel. Passengers are kept off the tarmac until the plane lands.

The drone swells, like a hungry mosquito, invisible but ready for action. Jenny pulls her suitcase towards her, hugging her carry-on bag to her chest. Now is the moment. Just as it lands, just as they are hurrying out, she’ll call over her shoulder.

“This is it, Jenny,” her father grins at her. “Next time you see this old airport, you’ll be home for good.”

The girl presses to the front of the line. The sound is growing, drowning out the mutters and goodbyes. Those who are leaving mumble final words while their eyes watch anxiously for the plane to break through. Behind the heavy gray clouds the buzz swells.

“I may not be back,” the girl hisses urgently, her arm tugging at her bag, leaning to run.

“What?” her father asks, startled.

Jenny clutches her bag, shoves her suitcase forward, her face rigid. “I’m not coming back,” the girl repeats, throat heavy. “Not to stay.”

Her father’s face collapses.

“It’s not landing,” a woman clutching a baby moans. “We’re socked in.”

Everyone freezes, even the kids hush. The buzz thins, slowly shrivels, and disappears. The crowd leans forward, hoping the plane will turn around and make another attempt. The minutes pass, the sky is silent.

“Sorry folks,” the ticket agent says. “Guess it can’t make it down.”

The crowd breaks into groups, grumbling as they shuffle towards the door. “Where’s grandma’s plane?” a child yells, banging the waiting room window.

“We’ll try again tomorrow,” mother says, pulling her daughter for a hug.

Driving back to town, everyone worries what to say next.

“Can we get a video?” Geoffrey finally offers, “Jenny can choose.”

Jake chuckles, “I said next time I drove Jenny, I’d have a new car. Just shows, eh?”

The girl glances back as the small building disappears behind a snow drift. She senses her father’s bulk pulling away to press against the window. “The forecast this morning promised clear skies,” he mutters. “Now this.”
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Melodie Corrigall is a communication consultant who focuses on strengthening community. Her stories have been published in BC Woman, Kinesis, Room of One’s Own, Fact, Fancy and Fiction, Horizon Magazine and Dalhousie Review. Email: corrigall[at]shaw.ca