Elyse

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Elyse (502 Words)

“Dear heart, why do you hide yourself?”

He cradled her gloved hand in both his own, his sharp face earnest. The wrappings beside him stirred in sudden discomfort, and the hand he held strained momentarily to free itself.

“I don’t know,” said Elyse.

“Sweet one, tell me. Or better still, let me see and understand.”

His insistence coupled with his choice of words alerted her to the possibility that he was not quite so ignorant after all. The bundle jerked emphatically from him.

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The Odd

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The Odd (139 Words)

“I face odds well enough,” she said, “when they’re easy.”

“Ah,” said he. “And am I easy?”

“Are you odd?”

They glared at each other. It was a humored glare, the irritation and resistance mixed with a joining humor.

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Mad Dogs and Space Fights

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Mad Dogs and Space Fights (753 Words)

Apparently Jack Colton didn’t believe in formalities or protocol. With a slam and a crash, he was in her office, a very flustered and indignant secretary stumbling and flailing after him like a bird caught in the path of a hurricane.

The young lieutenant had never looked so wild. Leaning over her desk, he thrust a sheet of paper at Hailie, inches short of her nose.

“Sign it,” he said. “I don’t have time to play twiddle-thumbs with you kids.”

She looked at him, as dispassionate as he was impassioned. “What is it?” she asked.

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The Patron

sacrifice

The Patron  (275 Words)

There was an artist who was known to paint one picture. Always it was the same, the same distant gray-green mountains and the dark, hilly plateau where the city had once stood. With only that one image to offer, people lost interest in the man’s art and his house would have fallen to ruin if it wasn’t for the attention of one customer.

She visited him every day to see how his new work was coming. Whenever he finished, she bought the piece, giving him a high price without waiting to hear what he asked for. No words were ever exchanged between them. That, like his art, was a ritual never forgotten, never changed. Who the woman was in her rich strange clothes, with her frightening piercing eyes, no one knew. They knew the artist, and knowing what he had lost and the disorder in his mind, they were afraid to ask him.

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