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Golden Quill Writing Contest 2018

Winning Entries




Winners and second place winners for the 28th Annual SLO NightWriters 
Golden Quill Writing Contest

 

Congratulations to all entrants in the 27th annual SLO NightWriters Golden Quill Writing Contest! This year welcomed new and established talent from within our membership
The quality of writing was outstanding, making our wonderful judges’ task very challenging. We are pleased to announce the following First and Second place winners.

 
 
          

WINNERS:


CREATIVE NON-FICTION


            First Place:                   The End            Shirley Povondra


This has got to be the end.   I cannot fathom being able to move another inch.  My bloody feet throb, my head feels like a giant melon about to burst from the punishing heat.  I am five.  I have lost count of how many days I and many other kids from my village have been walking. We walk in the direction a wounded, but still alive, elder in our village told us to go.  He said, “Walk away from the guns”.  But we can hear the guns following us so we walk faster and faster. At night there is no rest as the lions roar nearby…we run.  There is no food…we eat berries, leaves and dirt.  This has got to be the end, I think. Our numbers are less as we approach the mighty raging Gilo River. But we hear the guns behind us. Not knowing how to swim we jump in, many drown and those who survive watch in horror as many children are eaten by crocodiles.  With weak, shaky arms I pull myself onto the bank…soldiers across the river still shoot at us…This has got to be the end.    

  Many days later we are far away from our village and we spot another group of young boys walking also.  Some of these boys are older and tell us they are going to Ethiopia where there is peace not like Sudan where war wages.  Losing count how many days and nights we have walked we finally arrive at a camp where there are other refugees.  We are told to build huts. As we are building our little shacks some days a big white plane with a red cross on it would fly over and drop food. Well one day a plane flew over and as I looked up it didn’t drop food; it 

dropped bombs that blasted our little huts to pieces. This must be the end. War seems to be 

everywhere.  Not knowing what else to do we start walking again…this time back to Sudan.  

   But in Sudan most of the villages are destroyed and food is very scarce.  In these villages we find little help.  So we start walking again.  We walk mostly at night, as not to be seen.  But at night the lions hungrily roam and many boys’ screams are heard as they are attacked and eaten by lions.  This must be the end.  Misery is everywhere.  My stomach is bloated from eating toxic berries and dirt.  My suffering is too great.  My feet are huge open wounds.  Water is hard to find.  Can’t this be the end?

   We were told in the village that there is a refugee camp in Kenya where it is safe. We walk to Kenya not knowing how long it will take to get there. On our journey we meet up with other walking boys. When we arrive we find life at the camp is pretty hash too.  Food is scare we eat mostly wheat flour and corn. Dysentery and malaria plaque the camp. When war broke out in Sudan and I had started walking it was the late 1980’s and when we arrive in Kenya it is 1992.

   In the year 2000 we were told that the world had heard our story and three thousand of us would be given a new home in The United States. We were being called, The Lost Boys of Sudan.  We attended classes to learn about our new life.  Most of us have never seen a television, lights or even snow.  Some of “the boys” were now over six feet tall and weighed only 120 pounds (54 kilograms).  

   When I get to the United States I land in a city called New York.  It is as far from my village in Africa as I could imagine. To my eyes everything is harsh and gray, even the sky.  My sponsor, Susan tries to explain this new world to me.  Boxes that somehow go up and down in buildings, doors that open by themselves and something that jiggles called jello…who would eat that?

    I am grateful to be in America, but I am sad by how I am treated sometimes.  My father was a chief and I had great respect in my village.  I thought I was coming to a place of great peace but I have found wars in neighborhoods and homeless people with no food.  One night I was walking around my sponsor’s neighborhood.  It was after 9/11.  I feel now there is no peace in the world.  Trouble is everywhere.  I turn a corner and see a sign, it says:  DEAD END. I think, “If I walk down that road, will I die? Will this finally be The End?”                                                                                                                                           


 Second Place:                Little Bird         Nancy Moore


I perch at the edge of a cliff, small version of the Grand Canyon, and from the far side I receive a message.  It is not conveyed by a voice.  Kind of like an urge or intuitive suggestion, only it comes from the outside.  I am struggling to breathe.  Not thinking about the reasons, no energy for thinking.  Colors dim with each breath as when lights flicker, about to go out.

You can let go now

 I feel it, rather than hear it, a gentle reassurance, permanent invitation to just stop breathing.  

            On my side of the cliff is the alternative:   Not enough breath but just enough to know it.  Months, maybe years of pain.  Maybe like my aged father—nearly paralyzed, humiliated by the bed pan, refusing to swallow any more of anything.  “Why is this taking so long?” he asks.  Or like my mother, who doesn’t recognize me because she is conducting an invisible choir from her bed.  She knows where she is going, is almost there.  He doesn’t.  Lucidity a cruel fate, at least in Dad’s case.

            Let go.

            I pause in my slow asphyxiation to decide how I will respond.  Try to breathe and think at once.  A kind of body scan takes place, a vast consultation of neurons, molecules, and cells of which I am only dimly aware.  The body, my body, knows what to do.  As in birth, I—my conscious self—assists but does not conduct.  If there were a baby, I, but not I, would now be pushing baby into birth canal.  I could help but not stop the process. Such a small “I” am I.  Incomprehensible the scope of what’s going on without me.

            Now.

            Lately, gold finches have crashed into my windows. Some lie stunned on the deck, apparently lifeless, only to recover in a flash of light when I try to move them. Others never fly again.  In the branches of the pepper tree, I see a sharp-shinned hawk peering down at the birdfeeder below.  No matter how carefully I watch, I only hear what happens next.   I find no little bird on the deck.  Whether or not it got away, I know only the sudden, strong beating of wings.  

            Or, I am driving on the freeway.  Suddenly, a huge truck launches in my direction from the on-ramp.  I hold tightly to the steering wheel and brace myself for the impact.  It doesn’t happen.  I fly away. Another time, I am hiking down a gnarly trail from Salmon Creek.  I think about posting a picture on Facebook.  I trip.  As my hands swing forward to break the fall, I have just enough time to think about how much this is going to hurt.  I sit in the dirt to catch my breath.  I have hit my bad knee on a rock.  But there is only a bruise.  

            I used to wonder how long this would last—the near-misses, the little bird that gets away.  Years go by and despite wars, fatal viruses, and heavy traffic, I am still here.  Then, on a pleasant, sunny afternoon, something changes.  I am a spectator   watching from the sidelines at an automobile race.  The wind comes up, sand blows on the track, and there’s that truck lurching onto the highway in the form of a bright, blue Porsche.  Only this time, the driver has lost traction, coming silently for me as in a bad dream.  Which way to fly?

            You can end it now.

No.  It is a grey, joyless movement but a movement nevertheless.  No to the far side of the Grand Canyon.  No to the pale orange glow on the edge of consciousness, promising total relief.  I will live. It has been decided.  With effort, I draw in a breath that fails to satisfy in its volume.  I leave the cliff for my hospital bed, pain meds losing strength, and now I understand just what I have chosen:  broken bones, lacerated organs, my body a small, helpless world in need of a mother but hooked up to five tubes and a heart monitor instead.  It makes no sense.  I know only this:  I was offered a choice whether to live or die.  And then the hawk let me go.

     

POETRY:

           

First Place                    Scrapwood       Joe Amaral  


Dreaded group text from mom:

Farm has been turned over(sad emoji face)

My first thought is plowed?

but I know what’s being replanted is cement—

wrecking ball replacing tractor.          Goner.

I don’t answer since time doesn’t require

any sort of rapid response. Mom delivers 

an ancient Tupperware bin with mementos:

yearbooks, comics, trophies, artwork.

I sift through these knife-tips of remembrance

but everything exists out of place now. Body 

the yoke I carry; names of dead animals, 

expiration dates on canned tomatoes. Earth— 

fading god of open space slayed by real estate.

In old barns I only hear echoes of tragic timbre. 

Bones picked clean. Birds flown. No front door.           



 Second Place :               We Two            Jody Nelson


The weekly phone conversation - 

Catching up on news -  

We two - solving the problems of the world.             

Why this?

Why that?       

Nobody asked us.

We would have done it better!

How is the baby, the mother, the husband?

Did I tell you?

Here’s something to ponder…

Remember when?


It always includes medical updates.

Age makes for critical news -


In the conversation.

It’s June. 

You’re having daily headaches.

Doctors say…

Four months, maybe five.

Why this?

Why now?

Cards and letters flow.

Tests and updates – 

Now conversations narrow.

Day by day.

Good and bad,

Ups and downs.

Why this?

Why that?

I worry.

This cannot happen.

It’s October.

Treatments have meant nothing.

We two and harp music in the Hospice Center.

Four months.

It wasn’t long enough to say goodbye.


MEMOIR

           

First Place:                   Next Time        Christine Young


Frank’s threat screams in my brain. “I will kill you before I see you with another man!”   

Please, God, let this be the end of my constant terror.

But, no. Frank is hiding right there in the next shadow.  I see neither he nor his gun.  Unknowing, I sprint into the blackest night. I dodge between encroaching trees and grasping branches. I sniff the evening’s breeze. It does not carry the identifiable scent of Frank’s Egyptian cigarettes, his gin.

From the on-site laundromat to my new apartment is thirty terrifying yards. This surgical uniform must be laundered for my new job tomorrow.  The key is grasped in my hand.

This front door is never left unlocked. My eight-year-old daughter, Christy, is inside, soft in a flannel nightgown, bent over her spelling words. Unlocking the door, my home phone rings in the entryway. I pocket my key, shove the door closed behind me and grab the phone.  But, my door has not latched and locked closed. Just behind my right shoulder, this door is standing ajar.  I’m exposed to who is hiding just inches away.

A woman is sobbing on the line.  She screams my name. It is my 25-year-old step-daughter, Renee. I am separated from her father, Frank, and I have recently filed for divorce. Renee shouts, “Dad is on his way to your apartment. He showed me his gun. He says he is going to kill you!” 

There are footsteps outside.  “Renee, call the police! He is here.” 

She sobs, “I can’t. He’s my father.” 

 I cry, “Please!” The line goes dead.

Suddenly, the door flies open. Frank is towering over me in my entry way. He locks the dead bolt, trapping us inside together.  Now, no one is able to save me.

 It is 1979. For three years, Frank has been in my life. When we met, I was a trusting 25 year old single mother. He was my love, my older, tender champion. Now he is my violent, jealous stalker. 

Every other month Frank lives in Tripoli, Libya. He is the superintendent of the oil fields for Occidental Petroleum in Libya.  When he is home in Stockton, I live in constant fear and dread.

He never leaves his house without his gun. Frank carries his gun in his shoulder harness, so even on the most sweltering Stockton nights he wears an elegant blazer to disguise the bulge under his arm. Tonight, he is wearing a light weight black nylon jacket.  I clearly see the outline of his gun in his right pocket.

Frank roughly grabs my arm, but I spin out of his reach. From our history, I am too aware of the intense pain his hands can bring to me. Pressing me against my couch, he demands, “Where is Christy?” 

I gasp as he turns and walks quickly down the hall. He is blocking her door with his body. I am not able to see my little girl. He commands, “Christy, you are not to come out of this room no matter what happens. Do you understand?”  I hear my daughter say, “Yes, Frank, I understand.” He closes her door.

There is no escape. Frank is standing over me, his eyes boring into my face.  Once I had thought his pale blue eyes were the most beautiful, loving eyes I had ever seen. Tonight, I see his eyes are dead. He is unearthly quiet. I cannot hear him breathing. Silence always precedes Frank’s violent outrages. I brace myself for what will come next.

Suddenly, the phone rings. We both lunge for it.  I am closer. I scream, “Yes!” 

A male voice asks, “Is Frank there? Does he have a gun?”  Again, I scream, “Yes!”

Immediately, the room is illuminated by brilliant, blinding light. A spot light has been placed against my window. A man’s voice calls over a loud speaker, “Frank, this is the Stockton Police Department. Lay down your gun. Put your hands over your head. Walk out the front door.”

Frank does not move. He seems oblivious to the bright light and the loud command. He lowers his right hand into his pocket.  I see him fingering his gun. I refuse to react. I do not allow my eyes to break contact with Frank’s eyes.   Tension in this room feels suffocating. I fear the room may implode from the overwhelming pressure.

Then, slowly, Frank turns, unlocks and opens the door. He raises his hands over his head and takes one step out over my threshold. He twists his head back around and looks over his shoulder at me. He smiles.

Now he says, “Next time!”

No, this can’t be true. There can’t be a next time. He must be taken away forever. This has to be the end of my fear. 

My phone rings less than two hours later. I am stunned to hear Frank’s angry voice. “I am going to kill you. I have it all planned.  I am back home and I have my gun.”

How can he be free? There is so much I don’t comprehend about Frank. and I won’t know the truth for another six years.

This is what I did not know that night in 1979. Frank works for the CIA. Yes, he is a superintendent of the oil fields in Libya, but he is also spying on dictator Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli. Tonight, after he is taken from my home to the police department, he uses his one phone call to call the CIA. The CIA informs the Stockton Police that Frank must be allowed to continue his top secret military assignment. He is sanctioned to carry a loaded gun at all times. He must be released and not restricted in any way by the police. 

Frank’s high ranking CIA position gives him complete authority over the Stockton Police. They can do nothing to protect me. 

This is not the end of my horrific nightmare.  This is just the beginning of Frank’s reign of terror.



            

Second Place:               Road Trippin’    Jody Nelson


We took the next exit off the Interstate. 

“Are you sure this is the right way?” I asked.

“Well, let’s see,” Doug said. “What did they say we were supposed to look for?

“A stop sign with three rusty bullet holes,” I said looking down at the paper in my hand.

  I looked up. Doug had stopped the car and there to the right of the intersection was the stop sign with three bullet holes forming a lopsided triangle in the middle of it. I looked around us. There was nothing to see at the end of the off-ramp but the bullet-ridden stop sign and large expanses of brown dusty fields, fenced in by barbed wire that was strung with “No Trespassing!” and “Private Property: Enter at Your Own Risk” warnings.  The highway roared with traffic to the left and above us. 

It was the summer after my first year teaching. I had two entire months off and my husband Doug had amassed three weeks of vacation. We had always talked about a road trip and were so pleased with ourselves when we came up with the idea of driving Route 66: the famous “Mother Road” that stretched from California to Illinois. We joined a hotel’s loyalty program and began reading all the information we could find on the historic byway. In our research my husband found a blog posting from two young men who had driven the route on their motorcycles the summer before and documented all of its good and bad parts and the tourist attractions. These two had found that much of the original road has been realigned over the years. But they were determined to stick, as much as possible, to the original road wanting an authentic journey. We wanted an authentic experience also so we downloaded their exacting driving instructions, made a slim notebook and used it as our travel “bible.” 

Deciding that it would work in our favor to drive the route from California east, our first stop was in Santa Monica. We spent the day there walking the downtown mall, making sure we saw the small stone monument that marked the end of the road when it was built in 1926. We spent that night in a hotel a block from the monument and the next morning we began the drive east, hoping to cover the 2,448 miles to Chicago and back in 16 days. 

The first leg of the trip led us out of California through the back roads of Barstow. We had read in our “bible” that some of the more unusual things to see were not listed in the popular brochures. But the two young men had noted them and so outside of Barstow we found a bottle ranch. 

This attraction was a city block big, out in the middle of ranch lands, and was filled with one man’s idea of beauty. As we parked and entered the metal gate we could begin to hear the whistling, harmonic notes passing past the necks of bottles, every shape and color, stuck on the ends of branches and pipes. In the middle of this glass forest we stood alone for 30 minutes and were engulfed with the soft echoes of the wind. It was hot and late in the afternoon and there weren’t any other visitors. A small information plaque was posted outside the main gate explaining who owned the bottle ranch and why he was building it. You could see on the outskirts of the property his works in progress. But other than that there was no interruption in the simple design. There were no docents, no fees charged, no rules posted except a small handwritten sign that requested, “Please shut the gate when you leave.” The owner and creator of this bottle ranch just wanted to share this small oasis of beauty in an otherwise harsh landscape.

Day by day we traveled east, sometimes following the original road and sometimes using the interstate when the road ended in a farmer’s field or was closed off with fencing. Through Arizona, then into New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and then to Illinois we drove. Always faithful to our travel “bible,” we saw iconic tourist attractions but also many more places one would never know about unless they drove the road. Places like the Shoe Tree. There is a tall, scraggly tree that stands in a gully by the side of a two-lane portion of road in Arizona that is decorated with dozens of pairs of shoes that had been thrown into its branches; shoes of every shape, color and size.

Further on we drove between 10 miles of small hills along the roadway where people had left their individual marks. With painted rocks, pieces of metal, beer bottles, shells, bottle caps and wood previous fellow travelers had spelled out their names, significant dates and sayings leaving them for the enjoyment of subsequent road-trippers, like us.  

Sadly we noticed that many of the small towns and businesses that originally thrived with regular car and truck traffic on Route 66 are now bypassed by the new Highway 40 and left to decay. The Interstate Highway had done its damage. Some of the states have tried to resurrect the small communities and businesses but most of the efforts have been to no avail. Only rusty signage and dilapidated buildings remain and in time, even those will disappear. 

On day seven of our trip we made it to Chicago’s Navy Pier, where Route 66 officially begins. All along we had followed our travel “bible” and taken advantage of the advice our two young motorcyclists had documented for us. 

“So, now what does it say we do now?” Doug asked, wanting to stay true to the guide.

“It says: ‘Have a Chicago style hotdog on the Navy Pier. Enjoy. The End.’”

I closed the notebook. “Well?”

Doug looked at me, smiling. “Let’s go! I’m hungry!”



FICTION:

           

First Place:                    A Promise        Nancy Meyer


“The storm,” my mother said, “will end with a rainbow.” 

     The promise of a rainbow coaxed me out from under the bed. Snuggled securely in her lap, I watched the long crackling fingers of lightning strike the lake. When the thunder shook the windows of our cottage, I hid my face in her breast-less chest.

     “Just wait,” she whispered. “Soon a tired cloud will let a piece of sun peek through and ‘The Rainbow’ will come.” 

     Slowly, as if a hand had reached up from the lake to pull back the curtains on a stage, the clouds parted in the western sky. A ray of sunlight pierced the darkness and a rainbow painted itself across the lake from shore to shore. 

     “See, “my mother said. “There is nothing to be afraid of. I knew the storm would end in beauty.”

     That was my mother, always finding the silver lining where others might find despair. My grandmother said she was ‘touched by angels’. My aunts called her Pollyanna. For me she was pure love and magic.

     When my mother died, I went to the cabin to spread her ashes.  Her watercolor pictures of sunsets and flowers hung on the walls. Her singing bowl sat in its usual place on the mantle over the stone fireplace. The bowl made me smile as I remembered her sitting in the canoe in the middle of the lake ringing in the morning as she deftly rolled the mallet over the edge of the bowl. Taking the plastic bag out of the box from the crematorium, I placed it in the singing bowl. Her bones felt strangely heavy in my hands as I walked out to the dock. 

     A gentle breeze caressed my face as I lowered myself into the canoe and I knew she was with me. The sun was bright, and sparkles danced across the water. When I reached the middle of the lake I poured the remains of my beloved mother’s earthly form into the singing bowl. Lifting the bowl into the sky, I watched the wind blow the light powdery ashes into the universe leaving the dense bone fragments behind. Her bones moved gently against one another. The bowl responded with melodic sounds of release while I sang her favorite song.

     “Playmate come out and play with me. Climb up my apple tree.  Slide down my cellar door. Playmate come out and play with me and we’ll be jolly friends for ever more.” 

     Then the wind stopped, and the lake was eerily quiet for a few minutes until Charlie, our resident Mocking bird, started his musical repertoire. He paused after each song as if waiting for my mother’s response. 

     Every evening during my mother’s last round of Chemo, Charlie perched in the Maple tree beside the porch while he and my mother engaged in a battle of who knew the most bird songs. Back and forth they went in a call and response style. Charlie always started the conversation. My mother would answer then she would whistle a bird song for Charlie to imitate. This banter often went on until dark. On nights when my mother was not well enough to play, Charlie sat quietly in the tree.

     I paddled closer to see him wishing I could whistle bird songs in reply.

     “Hello Charley,” I called. He cocked his head then began to sing.  First came the sweet Chickadee, then the Cardinal followed by the Bob-O-Link. He ended his salute with my mother’s favorite - the Robin.  Tears filled my eyes. I knew I would never hear her whistle again. Never hear the clear beautiful notes of bird songs, classical music or popular tunes. Charlie was silent for a few minutes then he continued his eulogy. 

     Paddling back out to the middle of the lake, I tasted the salt of my tears through my smile. While Charlie sang in the Maple tree, I cast my mother’s bones across the shimmering lake.  Then in a moment of reverie, knowing she would always be with me when I heard the birds singing, I threw the bowl up into the sky. It splashed down near the canoe sending a spray of water up into the sunlight creating a beautiful rainbow.

     

Second Place:                Bread Crusts     Susan Tuttle


It drove Jennelle crazy, the way her fire 

fighter husband, Wayne, made

sandwiches. Not that she cared when he made them at the firehouse for his crew. He

could do what he wanted there. But at home, when he used her homemade bread, it

made her so angry. She slaved over that bread, mixing and kneading—half the time, to

be honest, picturing Wayne’s head as she punched and scrunched and shoved the

dough around—and then he had the nerve to cut off the crusts. As though she’d done

something wrong, somehow.

Maybe for store bought bread, that Wonder Bread kind of crap they foisted off on

people who didn’t care enough, or have enough time, to make their own—or who

couldn’t afford decent bakery bread—it was okay to cut off the crusts. That stuff wasn’t

worth eating, anyway. But to cut off her crusts was an insult, pure and simple. It wasn’t

as though she burned them, or they were dried-out, hard and crunchy. Not with all the

butter she slathered on the tops of the loaves both before and after baking.

No, he paid no attention to how good her bread was. He’d open a bag, pull out

the loaf, grab a knife, cut off a few slices and then—wham! Off with those crusts.

Jennelle could have cried each and every time he did it. Each knife cut was a jab

straight to her heart.

She tried to make sure she was around to cut the bread and make the

sandwiches, but with her schedule she couldn’t always be there. Lunch duties often fell

on Wayne. She’d open hers at work and pull out the most anemic looking sandwiches. It

didn’t matter that what he piled between the slices was fantastic. If the sandwiches

didn’t have crusts, for Jennelle they were ruined.

She finally blew up one rainy day, when they worked together in the kitchen

putting together a faux-picnic lunch to share in front of the fireplace. Wayne had built a

romantic fire, opened a bottle of wine, laid a soft blanket over the carpeting. He’d even

lit a few candles against the dark of the stormy day. Jennelle cut the bread, loaves she’d

made just that morning. Nice thick slabs to cradle the liverwurst, onions, lettuce and

tomatoes.

But before she could begin compiling the sandwiches, Wayne picked up the knife

she’d set down and began whacking off the crusts. And Jennelle lost it.

“Stop!” she screamed at him. “What are you doing?”

Wayne looked at her, motionless as a deer caught in headlights. His eyes

twitched, moved from side to side. His fingers clenched on the knife’s haft.

“Uh, preparing the bread?”

Jennelle almost apologized when she heard his tentative tone, though she had

nothing to be sorry for. He was the one at fault. She tried, though, to modulate her voice

—and failed miserably.

“You’re ruining it.” She wanted to hit him, she was so hurt, so angry. “There’s no

need to cut off the crusts. The crusts are good. They’re fine. In fact, they’re wonderful. I

should know, because I made them!”

She was back to shouting by the end. Wayne looked scared, and totally

confused.

“But—but, I always cut off the crusts,” he said.

Bread Crusts Category: Fiction 825 Words

Page 2

“I know.” Jennelle almost bit her words in two. “You always ruin the sandwiches.”

“Ruin? But, you have to cut off the crusts. They’re dangerous.”

“Dangerous?” She blinked at him, startled. Had she heard him right? He actually

thought bread crusts were dangerous? She barked out a laugh. Once. Twice. Simply

couldn’t help it. Then she got herself in hand. She reached out and patted his shoulder.

“Wayne, darling, bread crusts are not dangerous. If it’s not good bread, they

might be hard, or burned or tasteless. But they’re definitely not dangerous.”

Wayne looked at her a long time. Then he set down the knife and sighed.

“I think I know that, but... well, my grandmother pounded it into us, all of us, how

dangerous bread crusts are. My grandfather cut his mouth on a hard bread crust. He

got an infection from the cut and died, leaving Grandma with nine children. She was

pregnant with my mother at the time, number ten. Grandma never got over losing him;

she insisted that crusts were dangerous, made sure we always cut them from the

bread.”

He looked at the plump loaves on the counter, the bread she’d so lovingly made,

golden crusts gleaming in the overhead lights, and touched one with the tip of a finger.

“I think for me it’s part denial,” he whispered, his face filled with longing, “part

pain and part a way to honor Grandpa. I think that’s why I do it. To honor him.”

Jennelle’s heart broke. She studied Wayne a moment, then handed him the

knife. They feasted that night on crustless sandwiches, and toasted the grandfather

Wayne only knew through missing pieces of bread crust.


 
 
 




Janice Konstantinidis  Contest Director

SLO Nightwriters Golden Quill Writing Contest




       

                        




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