Short stories continued...
Better than CyberSex!
By Angie Silzer
One day, far from now, Ellen was singing absently to herself in the shower. Suddenly a
hand reached around the corner of the shower curtain and clutched her wrist. She
screamed but it was cut off by a second hand over her mouth. When she looked up, her
eyes brimming with tears, her mouth curled up in recognition. At her recognition, Jack
smiled and from there his eyes drifted down her body. The dark look in his eyes told her
that he wanted her and she returned the same smoldering look. His hand moved away
from her mouth. "Say it Elly, say you need me..." His look was that of a young innocent
schoolboy waiting for praise. "I do Jack." she replied. His hand drifted along with the
other to her waist and he stroked the curve of her hips. As he was occupied with the feel
of her body, her hand tentatively went to his throat and the buttons there were quickly
undone revealing a strong masculine chest. Shaking, she explored the contours with her
lips. Then she met the restraint of his jeans. Shyly, she looked up for permission and it
was quickly granted. Slowly, an eternity for Jack, she undid the clasp and the zipper came
down revealing the strength of his desire. Quickly he was rid of his clothes and with the
water still running over his woman, he began to show her how deeply he really cared.
By Leisha Sagan
The woman sat, surrounded by darkness, in a blue wingback chair by the fire. Its glow illuminated her face, creating shadows on the
richly decorated walls. The slightest strains of Christmas carols could be heard outside the closed window. The woman sat, unmoving,
humming an unknown song. She paused only to glance at a faded photograph on a mahogany table of a man in dark suit, then
returned to her humming, staring absently at the fire.
There was a knock on the door.
"Mrs. Murdoch!" a voice yelled insistently. The rapping continued, accompanied by the ringing of the doorbell. "Mrs. Murdoch!
The woman glanced at the door, then sighed, returning to her mindless task of humming.
"Mrs. Murdoch! Come on! I know you're in there!" The rapping became more insistent. "Open up! It's Christmas Eve!"
The woman sighed once more. The ringing of the doorbell echoed throughout the empty house. She slowly raised herself from her seat
by the fire, giving the photograph one last look, then walked to the door. Opening it a crack, she said, "George, what are you doing
here so late?"
The man at the door gave a sigh of relief at the door being opened, then breathed, "Look out! I'm coming through!" The door
suddenly flew open, as Mrs. Murdoch jumped back in surprise. George burst through the entrance, toting in his arms an enormous fir
tree. Once inside, he flipped on a light switch, scolding, "Get some light in here, woman! Cheer the place up!" He looked around the
room, studying it with a decorator's eye. "I think this beauty should go right over there!" He marched the tree over to the window, then
proceeded to erect it with a simply made wooden stand.
Mrs. Murdoch looked on in amazement, utterly flabbergasted by what had just taken place. "What are you doing, George?" she finally
managed to ask.
"Why, I'm just giving you a little bit of Christmas, that's all!" he answered calmly, opening a box of crudely made ornaments. "Check
these little doo-dads out! The kids made 'em at school! They wanted to help out, too, but I told them they had to go to bed early to wait
for Santa!" He proceeded to adorn the beautiful fir tree with bits of tinsel, popcorn, and paper ornaments.
"George! Stop for just a moment!" Mrs. Murdoch exclaimed, her hands on her hips. George paused, looking up from his task. "Now,
what are you doing? I was perfectly happy here, by myself, without a Christmas tree. Christmas has no meaning for me! Don't you
know that? Besides, you can't afford this tree anyways!"
George looked at her studiously, setting down a gingerbread man. "Just because your husband died, doesn't mean that you have to give
up Christmas. He wouldn't want that for you. He loved Christmas! I remember this house being filled with the scent of Christmas
baking, and lights strung up, and music playing! And about the tree, the kids bought it with their own money. They didn't think that
you should have to miss out on Christmas, either."
Mrs. Murdoch sat down slowly in her wingback chair. She was unable to comprehend what this man and his family had done for her,
a crabby old woman who could easily have afforded to buy a Christmas tree. Yet she hadn't, and this man and his family, with the
little money that they had, had done this for her.
"You are still here, Mrs. Murdoch. And Christmas is the time to rejoice! To celebrate and be happy! You can't miss out on Christmas!"
he paused. "Oh yeah, my wife said to tell you that you're supposed to come to Christmas dinner tomorrow night. She said be at our
house at 4'o'clock on the dot. Don't forget now!" His little speech finished, he returned to his task, humming merrily.
Mrs. Murdoch pondered the situation. Christmas dinner! With his family! His family, who hardly had enough money to feed
themselves, and they were inviting her to share their Christmas dinner. She was beginning to feel like the proverbial Scrooge.
"George, forget that. You and your family will come and join me here in my home for Christmas dinner. If your wife said 4'o'clock,
then 4'o'clock it is. Don't be late, now!" She waved her hand at him, dismissing his objections. "If you and your family are kind
enough to do all this for me, then certainly you can let me do this for you." She mused thoughtfully, "Perhaps it will be quite
enjoyable, after all."
George looked at her, his mouth open in amazement, then burst out laughing. "Well, I guess you're not as far gone as I thought you
were! Now get over here and help me decorate this tree!"
She smiled at him as she picked up an ornament. "Merry Christmas, George."
by Martin Dufficy
The carved legs of wooden stools caught his eye as he entered cautiously through the glass door. His black
leather shoes, dull from lack of polish, scraped against the wood panel floor as he turned his head to see the
menu. With dark, lifeless eyes he casually glanced over the well-worn menu as he headed towards the
counter. Out of habit, he looked at the special of the day but he knew it was a ham and cheese croissant with a
green salad; the meal they served every Wednesday. Behind the counter stood a lean, lanky man who was
wearing a dress shirt with a small brown stain on the sleeve, most likely caused by spilt coffee. When he saw
the man examining the menu, he quickly rubbed the counter with a wet cloth and said, ďHi there, what can I
get for you today?Ē The manís gaze slowly moved down from the menu and he gave a weak smile as he made
eye contact. He then quickly ordered a coffee, black. "Would you like anything with that," came the seasoned
reply. With a slight shake of his head, he gave his answer. "Coming right up." The man stared blankly at the
scratched counter as he reached into the pocket of his suit jacket and produced a clean, crisp two dollar bill.
He laid it down on the counter for the server to collect and nervously shifted about uneasily. "Thanks," said
the server as he picked up the bill and slipped the change into the manís waiting hand.
A nod was his only reply. He walked carefully to a table near the back of the dark room, cautious not to
disturb the contents of his mug. Sitting down, he saw a folded newspaper which had been left behind on
another table and reached over for it. Then from inside his jacket he took out a new package of cigarettes and
a half used book of matches. Gingerly, he pulled out a cigarette and put it gently between his lips. He tore a
match from the book, struck it and brought it to the tip of his cigarette. After inhaling deeply, he reached for
his coffee and allowed the hot fluid to enter his body. The ashes from his cigarette fluttered down lazily onto
his lap as the tip of his cigarette slowly burned. He looked down, closely examining the gray speckles before
brushing them off with his hand. After inhaling again, he unfolded the newspaper and decided secretly that he
would enjoy his last cigarette. He slowly turned the pages of the paper but in his eyes you could tell he wasn't
reading just staring at the spaces between words. His face was blank and his slight movements seemed pained
and tired as he turned the pages. Once he reached the obituaries, he stopped and stared at the faces.
Examining the pictures, he wondered if people actually read the words below or just saw another face, another
death in a society in which death was glamorized everywhere you looked. He stared intently at the page,
thinking about this for a long time. Long enough for someone at another table to become concerned and shout,
"Hey, buddy, you okay?"
"Uhh, yeah, fine, er, yeah," he managed to mumble, looking away from the voice as his face displayed a faint
reddish tinge. Why did that person even care? Why can't they just leave me alone? he thought to himself. He
finished his coffee and painfully rose to his feet. After leaving the paper lying on the table for another patron,
he quietly made his way to the door, tossing his pack of cigarettes into the garbage on his way. After all, he
wouldn't be needing them anymore. As he left, the sensuous aroma of fresh coffee was soon replaced by the
rancid fumes of car exhaust and the stale air of the downtown core. As he joined the crowd on the sidewalk, he
increased his pace to a brisk walk. Keeping his eyes trained on the pavement in front of him, he made sure to
avoid eye contact with anyone passing by. After walking three blocks, he reached his destination. After taking
a deep breath he entered the pharmacy. Glancing around, his walk had suddenly become limp and again his
body seemed lifeless. He slowly walked up and down the rows of the pharmacy, as if he was pondering a major
dilemma. Finally, he went up to the counter and warily gave a prescription to the pharmacist. His face was
expressionless and he al- most felt like crying when he did this. The pharmacist didn't notice and went about
rou- tinely filling out the prescription. He told the man that his prescription would be ready in fifteen to
twenty minutes and that he could come back for it then or have a seat in the corner and read a magazine.
Opting for the latter, he slouched down in the well-worn chair and tried to read a magazine but found himself
unable to concentrate. His mind had left him and was somewhere else. Visions of hospital emergency rooms,
doctors, and pain, excruciating pain, all flashed before his eyes until he felt like he was suffocating. He had to
get out, he needed to end it. Suddenly, the pharmacist's voice broke his trance as he called him to come and
pick up his prescription. He weakly stood up and reached into his wallet, searching for the necessary amount
needed to pay for the pills. As he returned the change to his wallet, he quickly caught a glimpse of a photo
which he always carried with him. Quickly pocketing his wallet, he turned away as a tear formed in the
corner of his eye. Heading back the way he came, he saw one of the many wooden benches which lined the
main street. He sat down on the cold wood and crouched forward, examining the brown paper bag that
contained the pills. Slowly, he opened the bag and peered inside. Then he carefully took out the medium sized,
orange tinged bottle. He stared at the pills and thought to himself, couldn't there be another way to ease the
pain. Turning the bottle, the label came into view and he could see it clearly. WARNING! Caution, toxic if
taken in large doses! He hated himself at this moment. He cursed both God and Satan at the same time. Why
had they done this to him? Was it a punishment from a past life? He grimaced and let out a silent scream,
pleading for help. There was nothing anyone could do to help, it was up to him. He swallowed, gathered up
some courage and rose from the bench. Then he quickly returned to his car which he had parked around the
corner, started the engine and drove home. As soon as he entered the house, he was met by his wife. She could
tell by the pained expression on his face that he was hurting. She rushed to him and embraced him, realizing
with horror what had happened. They silently wept in each others arms and slowly made their way to the
kitchen. He told his wife to sit down and he tried to speak. At first nothing came out as he tried to tell her what
had happened. Then slowly, he managed in a weak voice to tell her that he had just got back from the doctor's
office and fulfilled their daughter's prescription; the tests had been negative, a bone marrow donor had still
not been found for their only daughter.
She cried at the confirmation of the dreaded news and he did his best to try and comfort her. They knew their
daughter's time was almost up and this had been their last desperate chance. She saw him through tear
stained eyes as he went upstairs. She could hear her husbandís heavy footsteps as he ascended the staircase
to try explain this to his daughter. Putting her head in herhands, she begged God to have mercy on her little
She was lying in her bed watching T.V. when he opened the door. With great effort she struggled to sit her
weak body up. A hopeful expression which had adorned her face was quickly washed away when she saw the
sadness in her fatherís eyes. He had done his best to hide it but he could not disguise the incredible pain he
felt at that moment. He sat down beside her and tried to take a deep breath. He grasped her hand and held it
tightly. He looked into her eyes, so beautiful, so innocent, and somehow as his emotions swept over him like a
tidal wave, he managed to say, ďIím sorry, Iím so sorry, they, the doctors couldnít find a....Ē but he couldnít
finish the sentence.
Disappointment could be seen in her small, dark brown eyes and she quietly started to sob. His strength was
gone and he could hold his tears no longer as they started to steam down his face. Hugging her tightly and
held her small body close to his. She knew if he could, he would give anything to rid her of the force that was
destroying her body. Nothing in his life had ever made him feel so helpless than at this moment when his
daughter was crying softly in his arms.
Hearing the quiet sobbing from upstairs, she struggled to her feet and made the fearful journey to her
daughter's room. As she cautiously opened the door, all she could see was her husbandís body draped over her
daughter, hugging her body close to his and telling her that daddy loved her. Quietly she walked over to the
bed and knelt down beside her husband. She softly stroked her daughter's arm and kissed her forehead,
whispering softly to her daughter that she would always love her. They stayed with her in her room for hours,
trying to comfort an impossible pain until she fell asleep. Then looking at her delicate body, they prayed.
Their daughter died one week later. At the funeral, her father read a poem that his daughter had written that
night, one week ago.
Mom and Dad
Do not cry for me
I will always love you
And I know that you will always love me too
Remember the good times
Remember all the fun we had
Do not cry for me
I will always be your daughter
And I will never stop loving you
Goodbye, My Love
By Leisha Sagan
Jaime ran from Danny's house, slamming the door behind her. Tears of anger
filled her eyes as she hurried down the driveway to her car. Fumbling with the car
keys, she at last managed to start the car. She quickly raced away from the little house
that contained the person that she most loved. Oh my god, she thought suddenly, her
anger ebbing, being replaced with shock, what just happened back there? "Did that
really happen?" she whispered aloud to herself, "Did Danny really just tell me..." She
stopped suddenly. She could not bring herself to say it aloud. If she did, she just knew
that it would be true. "Oh god," she sighed suddenly in exhaustion. A tear rolled down
her cheek. She pulled off the road into a deserted parking lot, feeling what little
composure she had slip away. Her lips trembled. Her mind began to wander suddenly,
remembering, as she realized where she had stopped. This was the parking lot where
she and Danny had come to on their first date. Where they had created so many
memories over the past five months. She looked around the parking lot, surrounded by
grass and picnic tables, by the lake. It was so peaceful, and she let herself remember
They drove into the parking lot, which was empty except for a few cars scattered
throughout. The reflection of the moon on the lake was visible between the tall pines.
They parked in front of a patch of grass, so that the lake was in their view. Danny
switched on the radio, which crooned Elton John. With the car stopped, Jaime
stretched out along the front seat, allowing Danny to lean backwards against her. They
stayed like that for a long time, not speaking, just enjoying each other's company.
Finally, Danny spoke.
"This is nice, Jay, just sitting here, y'know?"
She sighed deeply, "I know."
He turned over and looked at her then. "Jaime, you mentioned before that you
weren't on great terms with your dad. How come?" He paused, "If you don't want to
tell me, that's okay. If it's too personal, I mean."
She looked into his eyes for a few moments, the took a deep breath, beginning,
"My mom got cancer when I was twelve. I, I knew she was sick, but I didn't know how
sick." She paused, "I thought it was just a flu or something. That's what they told me.
They didn't tell me how sick she really was." Her voice was bitter, "I had just turned
twelve. I was so concerned with my life -- boys and clothes, talking on the phone,
y'know. And all that time that I was worrying about whether to pass a note to some
guy, she was dying. And I never knew."
His hand closed over hers as she closed her eyes, remembering.
She continued softly, "My dad never told me. She never told me. I, I just can't
forgive them for that. I should have been told."
Danny sighed. "Jaime, you have to forgive him, and her, sometime. They
probably thought they were doing what was best for you. They probably thought that
they were protecting you." He looked at her, saying, "It's probably been hard for you
dad, y'know. He lost his wife, and then, he lost your love."
"I know," she whispered, "but I still can't. I just can't. I could have been with
her, really been with her, if I had known. If you don't have truth, and trust, what do
"I don't know, Jay, I don't know."
Jaime wiped her cheeks hastily, as she realized that she had been crying. She
looked around the car, around the parking lot. It was still empty, except for a few cars.
The moon still reflected on the water. The pines still stood tall. But, Danny was not
there. She was alone. The memory of that night and her mother overwhelmed her,
and she became angry suddenly. "He knew," she whispered, "he knew about my mom;
he knew I needed trust. He knew it all." But he still kept it from me, she thought to
herself unbelievably. "Why?" She was filled with anger, with hurt. She could not think.
Checking to make sure all the car doors were locked, she climbed into the back seat.
Pulling a blanket over her, she laid down, exhausted, and slept.
The next day at school, Jaime walked through the door with her head held high,
determined not to reveal any emotion. She walked down the hall, confident, and yet
afraid. Afraid to face Danny. She did not yet know how to act around him, what to do
with him. She felt clueless. She was at a complete loss. And she prayed for some
reprieve from facing him.
Jaime walked into her History 12 class and eased herself into a seat. She glanced
across the room at Danny, who looked at her in dismay. He's probably wondering why
I'm not sitting with him, she thought grimly. She turned away from him, not bearing
to look any longer, then sneaked a peek again. He doesn't look sick, she thought
hopefully, he's still in school. She smiled at the way his sandy blond hair persisted in
falling over his eyes, and how he continually brushed it away. Finally, she made herself
look away. She had to. He betrayed her, she thought angrily. All this time, he'd kept it
from her. No, she couldn't forgive him. Not yet, anyways, she thought sadly.
After the teacher gave them their assignment, Jaime tried hard to get to work.
But she just could not keep her mind on anything. Every time she glanced over at
Danny, her stomach began to feel sick. Finally, she quietly closed her books and asked
to be excused to go to the medical room. She left the classroom quickly, eager to get
away, and headed for the lounge. Thankfully, it was empty. Sitting down on the floor
by a window, she laid her head back against the wall, closing her eyes. So much for
composure and not showing emotion, she thought wryly. But she just couldn't stay
there any longer. Her mind was filled with memories. Memories of Danny. Memories
of her mother. God, she could remember her so well, so easily, as if she were still here.
The way she hummed while doing the dishes. How she chewed on her nails when she
thought that no one was looking. The smell of her perfume -- Oscar de la Renta, she
remembered. Finally she remembered that day when she was finally told that her
mother was dying.
She sat on her bed, talking on the phone to a friend. She glanced up impatiently
as her father entered the room.
"Liz," she spoke into the phone, "I've gotta go. My dad's here." She quickly said
good-bye, hanging up. She looked at her father expectantly.
"So, how did Mom's tests go?" she asked him, "All good?"
He looked at her for a moment, then sat down on her bed, taking her hand.
"Hon, Mom didn't go in the hospital just for some tests," he began slowly, "She had a
lot of other things wrong with her."
"Like what?" she asked, listening attentively now.
He paused, seeming to be thinking, "She has cancer, hon. That's why she's been
in the hospital so much lately. It's in her intestines and her colon. It's pretty much in
the final stages now. There's nothing else they can do for her. We've reached the end
of our rope."
She felt as if she had been punched in the stomach. "How long have you known,
Dad?" she asked softly, and then, when he didn't answer, angrily, "How long have you
This was not happening to her, this was not happening, she thought, her mind
whirling. She jumped up from the bed suddenly, shouting at him, "You've known for
that long and you never told me?"
"We were trying to protect you, Jaime. She didn't want you to know how sick
she was, or to see her in the hospital the way she is. You have to understand, Jay, we
thought we were doing what was right."
"How could this be right for me? How? I could've been with all this time! And
now, how much longer do I really have with her? A month? A week?"
"Maybe a few days."
"And you thought that this was right for me?" she yelled at him, agony tearing at
her heart. "I have to go, Dad. I just have to go."
Tears streamed down her cheeks, as she remembered the harsh words that she
had spoken. But she had meant them. And she didn't know how she could forgive him.
She lay on the couch, absently flipping channels. She stared at the screen
blankly, not seeing it. Instead, she was thinking of Danny now. Tears spilled onto her
cheeks, as she finally cried for him. How could he not tell me? she thought
agonizingly, "Why? Why didn't he tell me?" She remembered the words of her father,
"We were trying to protect you, Jaime." And then, Danny, "Jaime, you have to forgive
him, and her, sometime. They probably thought they were doing what was best for
you." She sighed. "But isn't trust, and truth important too?" she whispered into the
empty room. Maybe, she thought. But maybe not all of the time. No, truth is
important, and she should have been told in both cases. But, she thought, they thought
they were doing what was best. All of them. Mom, Dad, and Danny. They didn't
realize what they were doing was wrong.
She stared at the screen, thinking. Suddenly, an image popped into her mind, a
single word that emanated an evil feeling: Cancer. Oh my god, she thought, Danny has
cancer. He's going to die. Just like Mom. Suddenly, her shock and anger gone,
acceptance filling her, she began to sob violently, her body shaking. All her feelings of
anger and pain that had been built up for so long were suddenly pouring from her
body. When she was finished sobbing at last, she knew what she had to do.
She stood in the waiting room of the hospital, waiting for her turn to see Danny.
She had gone to his house after she had made her decision, certain that she was doing
the right thing. But she had never expected that he wouldn't be there. She had never
really thought that this is were he would end up. His mother had told her where he
was. His liver was failing. The doctors felt that there was not much time. This could
be her last chance.
Finally, she was allowed in to see him. She entered the room, prepared because
of her mother, and yet still, frightened because this was not her mother. It was another
person that she loved and was losing. She sat down in a chair by the bed next to him,
looking at him, strands of hair falling into his face as he slept. He looked wan, tired.
He was thin. He was on a respirator, and a heart monitor, and an IV It was
frightening. But she stayed, holding his hand. After a few moments, his lids flickered,
and finally, he opened his eyes.
"Jaime." he whispered softly upon seeing her.
She could feel tears spring to her eyes, "Hi Danny. How you feeling?"
"I didn't.... think.... that you would.... come." he managed to utter softly,
squeezing her hand.
"Of course I came. How could I not?" She brushed the hair from his face, "I'm
sorry Danny. I was so selfish. I was busy being angry at my parents, I never even
looked to see how I was hurting you."
A smile flickered across his lips, "It's okay. You're here now." His eyes closed in
She smiled, bringing his hand up to her lips. "I love you." she whispered softly,
not knowing whether he could hear her.
"I love you.... too," the words came from slowly, quietly, as she watched his
heart monitor slow. She began to cry.
"Danny..... Mom....." she whispered for the last time, "I love you...."
She drove home slowly through the rain, the wipers swishing back and forth
automatically. Upon seeing the turn-off ahead, she pulled the car over into the parking
lot. It was completely deserted tonight. Clouds were present; the moon was invisible;
the pines swayed violently in the rain. The scene matched her mood. She parked the
car, then, turned on the radio the way he had that night. "I don't wanna hear that song
again, from the night we first met. I don't wanna hear you whispering things I'd rather
forget. I don't wanna look into your eyes 'cuz you know what happens then. We'll be
making love and then, I'll fall all over again...." The radio crooned the words. They
tore at her heart. Tears streamed down her cheeks, and she could see Danny in her
mind. I'll fall all over again... She'd already fallen a long time ago. And now it was
time to say goodbye. She closed her eyes to the music, letting her mind wander
backwards. Five months backwards, to "the night we first met..."
They sat on the couch, together, side by side, watching "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves".
She stretched out on the couch. Suddenly, Danny
leaned backwards against her, stretching his legs across the couch, until his head was
on her shoulder. Jaime sighed. This is nice, she thought, smiling, even if nothing
happens and I never see him again after tonight, it's nice just being in his company, in
this moment. She felt happy. Jaime closed her eyes, tired, but still trying to listen to
the movie and to Danny's soft breathing. She could feel herself dozing off.
"I'm dozing," she whispered softly to him.
"Do you want to go to sleep now?" he asked quietly.
She sighed, "No, not really." She continued to doze, when suddenly she felt the
weight of Danny's head increase on her shoulder. She looked up to see Danny's eyes
closed softly, strands of blond hair falling in his eyes. She smiled at the image, gently
pushing the hair back from his face. She looked at him a little longer, and then gently
pulling the blanked closer around them, closed her eyes to darkness.
Copyright © 1996 Leisha Sagan
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Most recent revision Saturday, June 01, 1996