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"Lord of the Edge," short story excerpt

Wednesday 7/12/23

There was a woman who also volunteered, and she was beautiful and kind. She had peace at her core, because she’d known pain in her body and her heart, and it’d gone into her soul.

The gentlest people are those who have been hurt the most, did not give in to breakage, and instead replenish stores of fundamental goodness with what they create from within and what they won’t allow to be taken from them from without.

It is they who know what others need. And also what certain deeds do. And certain words. Internally-speaking, where repairs are the most challenging. Just as it is they who most look out for the insides of others.

Her past had been scarred with experiences that made this physical space familiar, if not as a place in which she’d actually been, but one she could have gone to and probably should have at least once or twice.

They had some dates, and the last of them was on a ship that circled the harbor in the summer. It was supposed to be gentle and romantic. Light bossa nova music piped from the speakers. If begonias could have bloomed at sea, the air would have ushered floral notes to the center of the room to dance with the molecules of brine.

A high percentage of people told other people that they loved them here, even if they didn’t. It was kind of like how customers are likelier to spend money in a store that has classical music playing.

They feel smart, sophisticated. They can tell themselves things about themselves that aren’t true, which become easier to believe for a brief period of time.

Among those things might be, “You can afford this, you’re doing well enough, look at you, and soon you’ll be doing even better.”

And somewhere behind the non-human side of a night’s sky, a god drinks a flagon of celestial ale with a fate, and one or both of them goes, “Hardy har har!”


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