Note: This story is best enjoyed after reading Pete’s Umbrella Incident/Backtracking & PAIN stories. Backtracking Chapter 7a and P.A.I.N. III Chapter 3a     You know how when you get off a plane through the JetWay thingy you can tell what the weather’s like where you just landed?  That’s what it was like here.  The heat of Tucson hit us like a brick!  It was just like Chicago in July… except the humidity was missing!  So this is what they mean when they say dry heat.  It sure was a big difference from the air conditioned comfort of the cabin.  We followed the passengers ahead of us, just like sheep.  Tim and I had our laptops in hand and we looked for and followed the signs to the luggage claim.   “Mike, I hope we can recognize Mr. Taylor.  Sometimes people send a picture that makes them look good and not one that shows what they really look like.”   “Keep your fingers crossed, here’s the door for theContinue reading »

  Chapter One: Don’t jump! You’ll squash my fort.   He was upside down again—the weird boy that no one spoke to.  No one knew why he did it, nor did they care to ask him.  Speaking to him, after all, was social suicide.  Not that Dustin cared about that anymore.  He had already committed it. Last night was the end-of-year party, down at The Old Mill by the lake, and Dustin was meant to bring the keg.  He had failed, but it was much worse than that.  He also lost the beer money.  It wasn’t his fault.  Kevin and his gang of merry miscreants jumped him.  There was nothing he could do.  Nothing except hide, of course. When he had arrived at the party empty-handed, he was practically excommunicated.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that summer vacation had started, and he’d be stuck at home with his freak brother and sick mother for the next few months.  He knew his sister wouldn’t be there.  She was too busyContinue reading »

by Lil’ Octopus   They were the same sounds Julian last heard when he was 14 years old that summer long ago that made him stop, remember, and hesitantly walk to the tall doors of the old church he used to attend every Sunday with his mother before she died, and then a few more times later with Mrs. Riley and her son, Taylor. Julian suddenly had the painful urge earlier in the day to board the train and take a solitary stroll through his old neighbourhood. He had passed his old house and Mrs. Riley’s, though he didn’t think she lived there anymore. Even though it was dark and getting late outside, Julian decided to make one last stop that evening before heading home. As he stood there, he found himself drawn to the tall and slender synagogue, the warm music emanating from it, the rich choir voices and crystal clear keys on the piano, and was washed over by the fond memories of a time so distant itContinue reading »

by Wolfie   Once upon a time, two boys were born in the same hospital, within just a few days. Their parents lived a very short distance from each other, just a few houses apart. They were even baptized in the same church, on the same day. Those boys could have been the best of friends growing up, but unfortunately things didn’t turn out quite that way. Why? Well, even though they were the same age and lived so close together, they never really spent any time together. First they went to different pre-schools, and when the time came to start elementary school, they were sent to different classes because, technically, they lived on different streets. They moved on to different high schools and made friends along the way, but their circles of friends just never mixed. Then, for a short couple of years, their paths did cross. Both boys were sent to church to prepare for their confirmation, so they had to go to class once a week. AndContinue reading »