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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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The Audition for a New Life

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Natasha was nervous. This was unusual for her. Her palms were sweaty, her make-up felt like it was caking and her armpits were prickly. She had given countless presentations to boardrooms full of corporate execs. She had commanded the room and convinced those of the worth of what she was saying. She could accredit her extreme career rise from intern to junior associate in record time to the fact that they bought into almost every pitch and presentation she made. The company recognized Natasha's talent, increasingly gave her more responsibility and as she succeeded and progressed...

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It’s Your Party – DJ If You Want To!

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I had lost control over my own body. My limbs were betraying my initial intentions. It seemed I no longer had a say over an activity I had scheduled myself. Without realizing it my right hand reached out and impatiently tapped the speed button. What had begun as a run at the speed of '8' was down to a ‘5.4’ and getting lower every few seconds. I silently encouraged myself, “You can do it girl. You’re strong. You’re fast. Tired? What’s that?”   Yet body betrayed me further. My heart pounded in my chest and my legs...

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