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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I’m Through Apologizing

I’m all about relationships, right? Well, I have often felt guilty for not enjoying people more than I do, for not being all-the-time in love with parenting, and for wishing for somewhere to hide when I am in large groups. But I’m through with all that; I’m just fine the way I am. You see, I went to school this past weekend and learned something: Being around people energizes extroverts; other people drain the energy from introverts.

I’ve known for many years that I am a true introvert. I love ideas, things, projects, and goals. I am much, much happier when I’m working on my own; show me how to do something and let me do it – alone. My best creativity shows up when I’m by myself. But I’ve always felt I should be ashamed of this, that I wasn’t really a good person because I don’t like being around other people much. Yes, I’ve been a teacher for about 40 years, and most of the time I was a good teacher. My classes were almost always large, because that’s the way music classes tend to be, and I enjoyed teaching. But I got to send those kids out the door after class was over, and at the end of the day I had an empty room all to myself. It was such a wonderful feeling!

This week I played Grandma to my two very active, highly creative granddaughters. In the past, this has been highly stressful for me!! But this time, because of what I’d learned in school, I found ways to retreat into some personal quiet space, even in the midst of all our activities, and was delighted to find that I enjoyed grandparenting so much more.

I think it is important for my grandchildren to get to know their great-   grandparents, so I each time I have had our granddaughters, I have arranged to take afternoon tea to their great-grandparents. This involves a lot of driving with the granddaughters, since most of the greats live about 2 hours in different directions from my home. This time, though, I tried to relax and let them figure out how to solve minor differences on their own while I just enjoyed the drive. I sat back, savoring my tea, and let the girls enjoy sharing with their great-grandmothers the gingerbread cookie angels they had made and iced. It was fun to watch them remind each other to crook their little fingers as they sipped cinnamon tea from the china cups we packed for each visit.

There are times I wish I lived way out in the mountains of Wyoming, at least an hour from any town. But I don’t and probably never will. However, now that I am learning how, I can mentally retreat a few paces and recharge my batteries in peace before I have to re-enter the throng of life. I sure wish I’d known this 50 years ago!

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