Rooftop Saints

I don't venture up onto my roof often. In fact, I only brave that weak-kneed climb if no one else volunteers to help with an annual task. My core tightens as I wobble those initial steps. After I reach the center and grip onto an anchoring structure, my lungs relax for a full…

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Revive in the Fountain

I pry my tongue from the pasty mire on the roof of my mouth. Parting my chapped lips, I heave in a breath of sultry air. Perspiration streams down my legs as I trudge across the parking lot. I struggle with a dizzy urge to hustle out of the August glare. My body…

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No Hidden Cry

She brushed past us in the school hallway. Her shoulders sagged beneath the weight of brimming tears. Flushed cheeks and nose betrayed her struggle to withhold sobs. She avoided eye contact.  The girl continued down the hall in silence, as if she hoped to take cover before the cry burst forth. Did she…

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Fire Starters

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light…

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Power in the Midst of a Prison

Silas twisted on the uneven stone floor and squinted through the cell's dank shadows.The rough hewn stocks chafed at his swollen ankles. Pain raked across the raw flesh of his back as his shoulders rolled into a sticky puddle--his blood mingled with Paul's, no doubt. Sour and metallic odors weighted the air between their bodies. With trembling…

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Listening for Thunder

I grew up among whispering live oaks and pines. I scampered with other kids into the woods or frolicked with them among the tree cluster in our yard. When no one else could play, I climbed into my favorite oak and imagined myself queen of a living castle. In my tropical state, I…

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My Post-Bucket List

Some vow to scale a cliff, visit a world wonder, or learn five languages. Others plan to taste exotic delicacies or indulge in the arts. Aimed toward travel, achievement, or adrenaline-laced adventure, most call these goals a bucket list. This litany of tasks aspires to define the completeness of one's life. Measure the…

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Lightguard

Sinister creatures lurk in the shadows around us. The human eye can see a fraction of the predators surrounding it. Murder, abuse, and slavery despoil the world, yet they wield far less power to commit evil than the forces inspiring them. Mankind yearns to secure its safety by means we can…

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Fire Breathing, a Noble Aspiration

A tremor seized the floor. Mary tumbled onto the cool, gritty surface. She flattened her arms out to either side as the quake rattled up the walls. The ceiling heaved as if it might cave in on their heads. She hugged her knees and studied her friends' gaping faces. Wide eyes…

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Odd Life of Extraordinary Creatures

The odd life of a fairy tale creature begins ahead of our classic "once upon a time" moment. Forest animals pranced among the trees without a musical score and avoided humans until Snow White entered the scene. Attic mice scurried along like common vermin before Cinderella inspired them to sing. A…

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