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Showing posts from July, 2019

This Multiverse

It’s been two years since Peter’s son Jacob announced at his college graduation that he was going to move to Chile. “Why?” his mother asked. “There’s a lot more of the world to see.” A month later Peter’s mother moved out of the house telling Peter to expect divorce papers. “Why?” he asked. “There’s a lot more of the world to see.” It’s been a year since Peter saw Jacob’s fifth grade teacher, Ms. Milton (he still thinks of her as Ms. Milton although he calls her Polly to her face) poking squashes in the grocery and asked her if she maybe wanted to have dinner with him. She’s been coming over two or three times a week, and today as Peter lies naked in bed next to her listening to someone in the living room, she rolls over and places a hand on his chest. “What is that?” He’s afraid at first but then says, “It’s Jacob.” No one shuffles their feet just like him. He is handling things in the refrigerator, taking out each one and putting it back with a click when he decides he doesn’t want it, a…

‘Thinking About You'

Deadline looms in frontof him. The assignment has to be completed. It is already the dead of night, but not much headway has been made. Some lines are furiously typed, but instantly deleted. He gives a violent shake to his head, closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, wanting to get rid of the obsession. The wall clock continues to tick. He gives up, thinking that he will restart in the morning. However, he can do no more than toss about in the bed, sleep still eluding him. He gets up, tries to discipline the teasing thoughts, but to no avail. Mind filled, but, at the same time, blank. The loud tweet of a solitary love bird heralds another day. A notification beeps in. The line reads, “A morning text doesn’t only mean Good Morning. It also means I think about you, when I wake up.”
He doesn’t reply. He simply smiles.
Vijai Pant is a freelance writer living in India.

Danger Zone

Every city has one; that invisible boundary that divides the rich and poor and the safe and the dangerous. Often it is just a matter of fifty metres or a couple of streets and the whole neighbourhood changes and usually, you don’t notice until it could be too late. Sue and I had been wandering hand in hand with no particular place to go, chatting and sight-seeing and then we suddenly saw the plush shops of jewellery and designer clothes and handbags had vanished and were replaced by tacky bars, boarded up shops, and rundown discount stores. She glanced at me; I could tell already she was uneasy.
“John,” she whispered. “Is this a good idea?” I had no real reason to be concerned apart from the reputation the district had, particularly for people who were clearly tourists.
“Let’s keep going. Stay close and we’ll keep our heads down.” It might have been my imagination, my paranoia but I got the feeling we had been spotted. Those going past seem to look our way as if assessing us and looki…

Doris Makes My Day

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Among my treasured childhood souvenirs is a 1951 soccer annual which I stole from my brother in 1952.

But my most prized possession is -- or to be more precise, was -- a letter sent to me by Doris Day in response to a fan letter I sent to her.

The missive from Ms Day read: 'Dear David, it is always a pleasure to hear from my young British friends.

'I wish you every success in your endeavours and hope that you, too, will find success in life. Kind regards, Doris.

'P.S. It is very warm here in Hollywood. I hope it is warm where you are.'

Warm? Blimey, it was freezing cold where I was -- a draughty terraced house in a cobbled street in murky Manchester.

But my 12-year-old pumping heart was positively on fire the morning I picked up Doris's letter from the hall mat.

I must have read the thing a hundred times before bolting down my breakfast and belting round to my pal Eric's house.

'Guess who's written to me!' I yelled through the letter box.

Eric, still in his …