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Eyes on the Prize

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  “Ready, Set, Go!!!”   As the gun went off Zara popped up and sprung into action. She could feel the adrenaline coursing through her veins. She had been training for this marathon – changing her eating habits, lifting weights to strengthen her legs and running; boy had she been running! She went for early morning runs, after work runs, lunchtime treadmill sessions at her office gym (when she could fit them in). She had put in so much and had seen her body, strength and even her thinking change. Today was the day and she was off...

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Mind the Gap (between) Life & Death

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A heart-wrenching scream escaped from her lips as she crumbled to the floor. She could not tell if her legs had given way or if she had landed there on purpose. Her phone, the culprit, lay discarded beside her, screen cracked and a flickering ominous blue light in place of her screensaver. She did not care. She pushed it under the edge of the black velvet couch and held her heavy head in her feeble hands. He was dead. He was gone. Someone, she could not even remember who, had just called to confirm. She had...

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Desperate in the Oasis (part 4)

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“Please Jasmine, just let me explain,” Laurent begged, desperately.   Laurent closed the gap between them and picked up the broken shards from the bowl that had fallen when Jasmine tripped. She stowed them safely under a nearby shrub and came back to where Jasmine was still frozen in place. Then she knelt down and wiped away the congealed porridge on Jasmine’s feet with the hem her robe. She looked up at Jasmine, eyes glistening with tears and pleading for understanding.   “My dearest friend,” she tried again, her voice cracking.   Jasmine sighed a deep sigh and reached down to...

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An Oasis in the Desert (Part 3)

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"'Receive graciously,' he said. 'Give always,' he advised." Jasmine muttered under her breath. Fuming at the thought of Mikhal's parting advice.   She knew none of this was actually his fault, but when emotions overwhelm one it is easiest to become defensive and cast a wide net of blame. Mikhal had been caught in Jasmine’s. After all, he was the one who set her on the path that led to this point. He was the one who encouraged and inspired her to pay the good he had done forward. He was the one who defied the terrible...

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Deserted in the Oasis (Part 2)

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The sun was high in the sky by the time Jasmine regained consciousness. She sat up slowly squinting while she rubbed the sand grains off her face and forearms. She looked around again, dismayed that all her hard work over the last week had been ruined by what was indeed a sandstorm. The temporary shelter she had erected was  scattered everywhere, sand grains had encroached on the space she had meticulously cleared and swept and most importantly that which she had feared had come upon her.   When Jasmine had seen five horses carrying men wearing white robes with...

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A Desert in the Oasis (Part I)

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Once upon a time there lived a young lady who was a nomad. Her name was Jasmine and today was her birthday. It was more significant than any other birthday because Jasmine had reached the “age of maturity” and therefore certain protocols had to be observed. Today was the day she prepared to separate from her entire family. Based on their nomadic culture Jasmine was required to become fully independent no later than two moons after this particular birthday. Over the course of her lifetime her family had relocated every five years, this fifth move...

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Happy Birthday to Me – A Tree Is A Tree Is a Tree

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A few weeks ago it was my birthday. I did not tell my friends, I did not post pictures or words. I did not celebrate myself or invite others to do so. I did not make any sort of deal about it, because I was ashamed. A year had passed and I did not feel like I had enough to show for it, so I tiptoed around the momentous occasion. Facebook reminded me as did other platforms, but I hoped no one would remember and not too many did.   When enough time had passed and the...

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Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown

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  I could not believe it had already been a year. Time had flown so quickly. As I sat down for hair and make up I flipped through my photo album on my iPhone. Gosh, I was stunning. I had an angelic face, a slender gracefully toned body which I had showcased in cultural attire, bathing suits, and all kinds of high end clothing. My smile was perfect too. Although I couldn’t really take all the credit for that, or my body if I was being honest, but it was mine so therefore I was the...

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall

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The mirror hanging on the wall in the hallway is haunted. It has a voice. It says things every time I walk past it. It says things every time I pause in front of it. It never stops saying things. Sometimes these things are minor, “You know you’re not a lipstick person, are you sure you want to slap on that Ruby Woo today?” Or, “Why so serious? Crack a smile every once in a while.”   Other times it says things of greater significance, “What are you even getting dressed up for today? You should have...

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Road Rage and One Foot on the Brake

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On this one slightly uphill road, at this one exit, at this one traffic light – I purposefully piss people off. I hear the honking, see them trying to maneuver bigger cars into smaller spaces behind me out of frustration, and I don’t care. If I’m being honest, I inch closer to the edge so they can't make it past me. I am paying forward my past frustrations. With one foot on the brake I force the lesson I learned the hard way on them in an easier fashion. They just don’t know it yet.   I waste...

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