#1. Bad Luck by Alan E. Mayer:
I awoke to searing pain all over my body. I opened my eyes and saw a nurse standing by my bed.
“Mr. Fujima,” she said. “You were lucky to have survived the bombing of Hiroshima two days ago. But you’re safe now here in this hospital.”
Weakly, I asked, “Where am I?”
“Nagasaki,” she said.
#2. The Question by Larissa Kirkland :
Starry night. Perfect time. Dinner by candle light. Fancy Italian restaurant. Little black dress. Beautiful hair, sparkling eyes, feminine laughter. Together two years. Wonderful times. True love, best friend, no one else. Champagne. Marriage proposal. On one knee. People stare. So what? Lovely diamond ring. Blush. Beautiful smile. No?!
#3. The Arrival of the Ghost by Charles Enright:
As soon as it happened, I rushed home to tell my wife the bad news. But she wouldn’t listen to me. She looked right through me and poured herself another drink. Turned on Letterman.
Then the phone rang. She picked it up.
I watched her face crumble, heard her wail of grief.
#4. The Window by Jane Orvis:
Since his Rita’s brutal murder, Carter sits at the window.
No television, reading, correspondence. His life is whatever passes outside those curtains.
He doesn’t care to leave the room, or know what furnishes meals, pays bills. His world is joggers, changing seasons, passing cars, Rita’s ghost.
Carter doesn’t realize padded cells don’t have windows.
#5. The Search by Robert Tompkins:
Finally, in this remote village, his quest ended.
There, by the fire, sat Truth.
Never had he seen an older, uglier woman.
’’Are you truth?’’
The wizened, wrinkled hag nodded.
’’What message can I take from you to the world?’’ he pleaded.
She replied, spitting into the fire, ’’Tell them I am young and beautiful.’’
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