fear

Marked for Death

By Edele Winne

Coco was a small yappy black and white Shi-tzu dog with a talent for sniffing out those about to die. She had proven it eight times on dead end Mercy Street where mostly seniors lived, by camping out on the front porches of those about to expire.

As you can imagine the Mercy street residents were uncomfortable around little Coco.  Coco’s mistress, 89 year old Annabelle Coumbs, pshawed the whole business and refused to discuss it.  But everyone else did.  As the older residents passed away with Coco standing guard new younger people moved into the freshly vacant houses.  Mercy Street became an interesting mix of older and newer, seasoned and fresh, those about to die and those with long lives still ahead.

Muriel Robert was thirty one.  Because she was thirty one, she did not think about her health.  She considered herself unremarkable: short and thin with bobbed mousey brown hair.  She had smoked for six years in her teens but that was years ago.  At first she was pleased to find the charming Coco camped out on her porch, and then perturbed as she remembered the death vigil stories.  She petted Coco, who was most appreciative, and then went back into the house determined to ignore the death watch.

Maybe the dog just stopped here for a rest?  Maybe it was chasing a squirrel?  Muriel chewed at her nails.  It’s nonsense.  Coincidence.  Coco wanders everywhere and people only notice when someone passes away.  Besides, I’m thirty one!

            Muriel gave the dog a worried look and a pat on the head as she left for her evening shift at the hospital.  As a nurse she was no stranger to people dying, she’d hardened herself to it.   But now everything was different- she was looking at the possibility of her own death.  Was it going to be a car accident?  A sudden heart attack?  A crazed shooter at the hospitable or maybe even an earthquake?  She was too busy thinking such things and didn’t stop at the red light.  A dark blue pickup smashed into her passenger side and started her car spinning up onto the sidewalk. (more…)

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Snip, Snip  

By Edele Winnie

“These are good quality snippers.” Mark commented. He was a tool guy, so he knew what he was talking about.

They were pruners, the long handled kind, well used, probably fifty years old.

“They don’t make things with this kind of quality anymore.” Mark continued, handing them back to Sheila, his pretty, petite brunette wife.

She accepted them carefully. The pruner blades were shiny and extremely sharp. Someone had taken very good care of them over the years.   Even though her hands were small the pruners seemed to fit her perfectly.

Mark and Sheila had liked the house the first time they saw it. It was small, but they were not planning children. The house was in good repair and the surrounding garden was impressive. It was not fancy but rather well maintained and lovingly cared for. Sheila imagined that the pruner had been used to trim the lilacs and dogwoods. (more…)