Kindred Spirits, fiction

“Let me guess…not one for the turkey and stuffing?”

“No,” Talia responded. “Not really.”

“Me neither.” The librarian handed the books over one at a time.

The girl gathered them up. Headed for the door.

“Drop in for pie, at least!”

“I’ll pass.”

The man removed his bookmark and laughed.

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What Remains, Poetry

Take what you want from me.

I offer it to you, willingly.

My gifts. My conquests. My flaws. And my missteps.

Gather them up like a wad of refuse, for they are meaningless.

Burn them.

They are past.

Now gather me, and what remains.

And love me.

As I am.

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The Lake (flash fiction)

They gathered. It was the way. When the sun dipped below the horizon on the fifteenth day, they gathered. As they assembled, the roar of thunder bounced off the walls of the ruined abbey. They summoned a collective breath, exhaling simultaneously. The dark surface stirred. The beast awoke, ravenous, expectant.

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Holiday Tributes, memoir.

After weeks of cancer stolen appetite, my grandmother was able share Thanksgiving dinner with the family. It was her last meal. At every holiday gathering since, my dad set a glass of red wine for her on the table. This year, I will pour two glasses, and toast them both.

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Nov 17, 2023·edited Nov 17, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

Off Atlantic, poem

You pick me up

on 4th Street

and after hugs

drive us to a restaurant off Atlantic

where we gather

glorious memories

from thirty years’ sleep.

We dust them

with cloth napkins and

season them

with fresh curry.

We giggle the dusk down,

girls again,

our voices

just the same.

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I gather my ancestors around me, a tribe that spans 1,200 years. Viking blood rages in my veins.

I don’t forget my generations of kings and nobles, warriors and crusaders, my humble farmers, fishers, and immigrants. I honor them all.

Only through their great courage and tenacity, do I live.

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Nov 17, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

After (Micro)

This is where we gathered, after the ride back from the cemetery whose name I always forget

and sat on small couches, a chair, floor to talk about the woman who left this world, wordless,

too soon. Nothing like the way she entered. And grieved on in story and silence.

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Gathering Memories, fiction

I hated going to my Aunt’s for Thanksgiving, but there was no choice. He made me go.

“Someday you’ll thank me,” my dad said, “For all the memories.”

I sat between my cousins on the couch, all of us miserable and bored.

Beside us was a pillow that said ‘Gather.’

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Boundaries, Fiction


“No!” Do-not-disappoint overrides his silent proclamation. “What can I bring?”

“We’ll be forty-four a-flutter, fueling for our trip. Can you manage four oranges and four tangerines?”

“Yes” fell… where “no” wanted to stand.

“Four and four.” (Gathers courage.) “Then I head south… solo. It’s time to stretch my wings.”

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Family Gathering-poetry

Why do we do this?

We gather here in what, in any other time,

Would seem too imposing,

Too interruptive of our orchestrated


Now, though, we take this time, make this effort

To regain that which distance has displaced.

We gather to love.

It’s messy, stressful, disruptive,

And necessary.

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An Unseen Soul, Poem

Without a home, she wandered the streets,

This day, as souls gathered 'round,

She kept looking, shuffling her feet,

Until a feast of love she found.

Laughter, melodious joy.

Tables adorned with abundance, grace

Relaxed, she shared her tale, no longer coy,

Each morsel savored, a smile on her face.

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Happy Friday, Justin! Thanks for another 50s adventure :)

The alternate spaces between (Poem)

There's a crowd gathered,

quare, here me in

plain as me am

out round put square-leaved tea

retreatin' undertow boil befor

ascending a sand-circled trunk; burieyed lineage

simultaneous signals like hydra-toed pulsate

intone, intoxicate with Aeolian praising

high and tart and featuresold, futureless

'Three is a magistereal number,' says she.

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Daredevil - Fiction

The tourniquet was strips of shirt, gathered around the end of his now missing arm with a length of white rope becoming progressively crimson.

His vision dimmed, he guessed he would not survive. He tried, in a growing web of shock, to remind himself he lived on his own terms.

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When I am gone, Poem

gathering my words

making an offering of

flowers, poems, color

i wonder if they'll come

i can't wait, i must go

but if they don't

i would still have been here


not a mark just some words

not a sign just a symbol

not a trace just an impression

-reena kapoor

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Now that is one hell of a story. Gritty and gruesome. Thanks a bunch for dropping in and sharing, Jimmy! (Also...if you ever expand on this one, please let me know.)

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You Are Gathered Here Now, CNF

"You've gone out on foot to the far places, the ends of the earth, the four corners of the world from which the winds blow.

You are gathered here now in machines that make time and space your servant.

'Good job! Take the rest of the week off - Happy Thanksgiving!'"

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Offerings (Horror)


We heard the call in our hearts. It pulled us from sleep, beds, houses. To the woods we ran, through the cold and dark to the clearing. Some laughed, some sang Hosannas. We were chosen!

Then the woods were full of eyes. Another call, but not for us.


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The River (Fiction)

The whole town congregated around a fresh grave overlooking the stream.

“Never was a man more loved than Sheriff Goodheart,” Pastor Hardy said. “He was a man of justice but also grace. A true servant to the fine people of New Hope. Let’s sing.”

“Shall we gather at the river…”

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Lookout (Fiction)

We’d been surveilling their gathering place for about a week. Their comings and goings were consistent, which made this afternoon a surprise.

“Get IP on the phone.”


“No fucking questions. Phone now.”

We lost a lot of folks that day. I’m mostly over it, but my hands still shake.

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Hunters and gatherers --Journal

The bitter cold awaits me and my injury is not yet healed. Still, I must go out there teasing my destiny so I can provide sustenance for all.

I'm a Neanderthal and the Sapiens who were my friends yesterday, they're seeking to kill me today. Hard core life, this.

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The Insect Cemetery, Fiction, Horror

The door creaked open;

like a wooden wolf howling at a forgotten moon.

The hut at the bottom of the garden

sat abandoned; filled with dust.

The bodies of wood lice, spiders and ants gathered together.

Insect cemetery.

In his absence, something had grown.

He should have tidied more often.

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“flowers, poems, color”: I love how these three little words burst with living energy. “i wonder if they’ll come”: Ah! What a light touch.

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The five of us frolic in the pecan orchard, picking pecans while grabbing ass and teasing each other. One dime a bucket is what we were promised, but it’s not about that. This is our time, us cousins. I feel for my little brother, not yet included. Next year.

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