Times Change but the Song Remains the Same – Fiction

Melissa remembers when her father tucked her in at night. He read books, told stories, and even sang. “Blackbird” by the Beatles comes to mind. His voice was deep, smoky.

Now it’s her turn. She tucks him in, kisses his bald, wrinkled head, and hums the same tune.

He smiles.

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The Circle of Life - it's certainly something

“What’s for dinner?”

“Can I go play next door?”

“How much do the toys cost?”

“Do I have to do my homework?”

“What’s for dinner?”

“Should I apply to college?”

“Can I marry your daughter?”

“Is it a boy or girl?”

“Mom! What’s for dinner!?”

Seriously though, what’s for dinner?

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Father's Stories | Fiction

The campfire crackled as my terminally ill father shared family stories with my teenage son. The Milky Way above us witnessed the transfer of traditions. My chest puffed up with pride at my son’s rapt attention, until the final story.

That’s when I found out I’m not my father’s son.

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Feb 4, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

Thank you again for another prompt!

The Beholder, CNF

She says you're beautiful and you try to see what she sees.

Your eyes, red and puffy as if you'd been crying all night.

Mouth dry. Skin-- dryer. Stumbling through rooms like a ghost

haunting the wrong house. You touch your face. Check for realness.

It's there. You are beautiful.

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This Again, Fiction

“What did I tell you?” Sandra asked her daughter, who climbed all the way up the tall bookshelf, pushing hardcovers to the floor. “You’re going to fall and hurt your leg!”

“But I’m a kitty,” Emily insisted.

“You’re not a kitty. You’re a human girl in a lot of trouble!”

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Feb 4, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

BED TIME, THREE YEARS OLD - memoir by Sharron at 🍁Leaves

Sing the horsie song, Mommie. Sing the train whistle song. Sing the rain song.

Time to sleep now, honey.

Read me cat in a hat. Read me mister toad. Read me the rabbit book.

Time for sleep now, my little man.

I need a drink of water, Mommie. Please?


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Where Are The Ducks, Fiction

“Dad, how long do we have to sit before we’ll get some ducks?” asks Kenny.

“It shouldn’t take too long.”

“I’m tired of sitting here,” exclaims Bobby.

“Silence”, their father whispers.

He continues, “You don’t want to scare the ducks away.”

“They can hear us?”

“Yes, they can. Now quiet.”

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Girls' Weekend | CNF

In my mind it is still May. My father had not yet begun vehemently dying. I’m mapping a road trip to Quebec—girls’ weekend—and the phone hadn’t yet rung and the nurse hadn’t said, can you come, your father…but then, even then, I knew. There would be no Quebec.

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What’s That? - Fiction

“Dad, what the heck is that?” Corinne asked?

“It’s called a waterspout. It’s a tornado on the ocean.”

“What! It’s coming our way!”

“We’ll be fine, dear. It’s miles away.”

“I don’t know… looks like it’s getting closer!”

“Trust me.”

The boat’s loudspeaker crackled, “Life preservers are under your seat.”

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A Distress Call - Thriller

An unknown number. I almost ignore it, but some instinct tells me to answer.


Ragged breathing on the other end, then a voice on the edge of panic. A voice I hadn't heard in years.


"Kayla? Where are you?"

"Uh, Edwards Fillin' Station?"


"Oh shit, he's here--"

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Feb 16, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

Coming Out

What do you do

when your parents broke you

in one moment’s time

and you realize silence was better than speaking at all

you thought it would be a weight off your shoulders

but it was actually better as the elephant in the room

do you pray like they do?

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River Ritual/CNF

On a cold, wind-lashed March day, we march barefoot onto the sand, heralded by honking geese, on pilgrimage to dip our winter-dry feet into the Hudson. I smile up at my tall son. “When you’re grown, you’ll have to migrate back and dip a toe in, so spring can start.”

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