Long Time Gone

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His face was scarred, the flesh of his forehead, cheeks and chin ravaged with the lesions of time and self-indulgence. His torso was round and, from where I watched, shrunken, as though it had compressed in upon itself.

He might have been slim once, youthful and full of honest conviction, and that would have given him the stature of a giant on the stages on which he’d acted. But he’d grown rotund, and he held his oversized head atop his soft body with the care of someone aware of his infirmities, a giant reduced to the proportions of an ordinary man.

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Seeing Through the Facade

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The time to choose is approaching
for the one to lead the people,
but with lies and illusion
invading our minds and hearts,
how can we tell the lions from the crows?

Melissa R. Mendelson is the creator of the novella collection, Glass Skies Over Home, and creator of the Sci-Fi Story, “Waken Dream.” Both can be found on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

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The Portrait of Dr. Cenotaph

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The soul’s departure from the body is prearranged; a token of gratitude
for hosting the rabble, ruse and giving toasts to the crass, amused
The rotary bladder screws were supposed to be fastened, tuned
to an engine-metal cast in a steel-cased projection
Bless these rental caps from the free-baser dentist
Meet the portrait of Dr. Cenotaph, and his real grave expression
Heel raising tension – if you feel shaken, lessen
the locomotion of death: the wheels made the flesh grim

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Privilege

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A kid from the projects named Mike Scully sparked Art Foster’s interest in Anna. Mike idolized Art and started the ball rolling when he whispered that she was the most beautiful girl in Rhode Island and maybe the world. He was a jumpy kid, always pacing, rocking or twitching, constantly talking about a lightweight fighter named Jackie Weber. Scully’s family lived in the apartment where Jackie had grown up. Scully wanted to be a Marine. A homemade tattoo of a snake on his arm looked like a worm. The dagger it wrapped around was a sad likeness. The “N” in HONOR was backwards. Whenever Art pitched Pony League ball, Mike was in the stands cheering as if he were his brother. Art thought he might be gay until he revealed his love for Anna.

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Cellar Dawn

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Hi, mom. I’m home. These words echoed throughout an empty house three weeks ago. After that, it was like I never left. Part of me screamed to go, but it finally died down. Then, days just rolled on by, and time was spent under a sunny porch. The only strange thing in such a quiet, beautiful neighborhood was the man living across the street.

He was like clockwork. At eight a.m., he left to do his morning jog. He returned an hour later with a newspaper tucked under one arm. He went inside and would emerge forty-five minutes later.

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Along the Rails

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The train was late again. Commuters muttered with disgust, and time flashed across small, thin screens. An announcement overhead informed those freezing in the winter cold air that the train would be arriving at the station ten minutes later than expected, and the waiting room downstairs was well-heated for those suffering from deep freeze. But by the time the passengers make their way down the escalators to that room, the train would have come and gone, and the next one would not be until another hour or so.

Shoving his hands into his pockets, William stomped his feet against the concrete platform. His toes tingled from the cold, and his hands were becoming numb. White clouds of air escaped his lips, and his ears waited anxiously to hear the train.

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Demons Dance

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Rest a forgotten dream as the demons of your past gather on your grave.
Shades of lost friends try to warn you of impending dangers or temptations.
The time of conscience, neither asleep nor awake, vying to show you the future of your past actions.
Fallen friends defending your grave plot facing in.
Dancing demons crawling out of the same plot, hungry for your soul and ready to feast.
Your conscience tired beyond sleep, stolen naps at odd hours—all that keeps the images at bay.
Sleep, the realm of terrors where friends strive to show you shadows of how you helped
while the demons flaunt your shortcomings and failures.

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