I always dreamed of writing short stories like the Russian stories I fell in love with in high school senior English class. Unfortunately, my idea of a good short story is not what is being published now, so this is the best way for me to share my “shorts.” I had fun writing them, and I hope you enjoy reading them.


Third in line, Gloria waited on the elderly shopper two carts in front of her.

“Can you fill out the check for me and then I’ll sign it?” The old man shook a piece of paper at the cashier.

Pulling her lips tight against her teeth as she inhaled, the cashier said, “Sure!” as she pushed the check through a slot in her machine. She handed it back to the man and said, “Just sign here.” Read more


Fingernails screeching down a chalkboard didn’t bother Sidney. In fact, she rather liked that texture. That’s how she thought of sound, as a texture or layering of individual noises. The particular texture of fingernails on a chalkboard was something most people avoided. They claimed it hurt their ears, set their teeth on edge, and gave them cold shivers. But the people who didn’t like chalkboard scratching loved to hear a piano being played. To them it was relaxing, entertaining, even exciting. Read more


The upstairs bathroom “throne” wasn’t the most glorious place to sit, but she loved it. Tucked back behind the wall, it provided a perfect spot to survey the world through the floor to ceiling window just beyond her feet. A white wide-slat shade hung in front of the window, closed against the intense early morning summer sun and prying nighttime eyes, but otherwise open, allowing visual access to the outside without being able to be seen. Read more


“What’s the matter, sweetheart?” Old Art eased himself onto the park bench beside me. Draping an arm across my side of the bench, he drawled, “You look just plain down in the dumps, like you haven’t got a friend in this world. Come on, you can tell Old Art all about it. I won’t tell a soul, cross my heart. No, ma’am, mum’s the word.” He zipped his lips shut. “Now, what’s troubling a pretty girl like you?” Read more


I’m thinking. At least, I’m supposed to be thinking. Ticks and tocks echo around the room as the frowning wall clock marks off every second I waste. Tick, tick, tick, tick, and I do nothing but think of nothing. I yawn and massage my watery eyes with long slow blinks, tick tick, take a huge swallow of tea, tick tock, stretch my torso as I reach my arms toward the ceiling, tock tock, pull off my glasses and then shove them back on – nothing helps. Read more


Blue and red. Cool and hot. Running to and from, toward and away, always running, running, running. Evil versus good? Who knows? Who cares? Just running, always in opposition, always oblivious of everything but the need to keep running. Read more


Martha shook her head and sighed. It was always about Mary. It had always been about Mary, ever since their parents died. Mary had been nine, beautiful, with large dark eyes and wavy, almost black hair that always managed to escape her head covering. But Mary had an uncanny ability to read other people’s emotional needs. Read more


© 2015 Diana Webster, Designer Nathan Henderson

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If Only…We’d Have Peace

Every family has at least one thorn in its side. Mine is no exception. For years we have silently thought that if certain things happened, we would all have peace. Well, those things did finally fall into place. But we were so wrong. We didn’t get peace, we got worse! Just this afternoon I was trying to shut my mind to the turmoil, and found myself thinking, could we please just have peace, even for a while?

And then it dawned on me – peace isn’t an external condition. Peace, real peace, is internal. There will always be external conflict and strife. That’s just a given in life, right along with death and taxes. We can work toward alleviating external tension, but we won’t ever completely resolve it.

What we can do, though, is to practice personal peace. This is so hard, especially for those of us who are worry-warts and control freaks. We try to talk people into doing things that bring peace. We try to help them. We try to manipulate situations in order to achieve peace. But in the end, we usually live with more disappointment and ulcers than peace.

If we want peace, we have to make room for it in our lives. We have to let go of the grudges, the fears, the disappointment, anger, sense of betrayal, feelings of rejection, and hate. Real peace is what the ancient Hebrew word shalom is about. It is a centering, a letting go of the external things we can’t control, and just being.

Through being at peace, our priorities are reordered. Our heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep patterns become more normal. Our physical bodies begin to relax, and we find we enjoy life more. Smiling is once again spontaneous. But we have to practice, practice, practice being at peace, because old habits die hard!

I’m not a meditator – I can’t sit still that long! I’m not an exercise freak that works out all my worries. But I am a thinker, a wonderer, and a dreamer. I know that I cannot create personal peace for anyone else in my family, but I am going to try to be personally peaceful for them, so that through me they can sense peace and rest, quiet and calm when the going gets rough.

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