“Who taught us to embrace life” by Julia at Kits Beach


Monday May 30, 2016
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

There was a gleam in his eye as he let my brother put a cold grape into his hand. He was looking at me with a challenging look like he was about to do a trick and wanted to make sure he had my attention. I started to shake my head, smiling, telling him I knew he was up to something and I didn’t like whatever it was. He put the grape into his mouth and chewed it around for a second. Then when I looked away, he spat it out onto my leg. I looked up at his smug face and it broke my heart. Maybe that’s what the last visit between us was supposed to be like. Jokes and silliness. Him trying to make me laugh. Even at his least self, he managed to let me remember him exactly as he was when we was his most.

“We’ve never found the evidence” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday May 29, 2016
2:10pm
5 minutes
Thunder Head
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child


According to Elliot, Sharon was supposed to be coming home from work at exactly 5:06pm. We had, according to Elliot, up until 5:00pm to do what we needed to do, and get out before anyone noticed a thing. I told Elliot I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through her things. I didn’t know if I might find some troubling things that I would only realize too late in the game that I wasn’t equipped to deal with what I learned. Elliot told me not to be afraid of the unknown. He said that’s what was making me so paranoid in the first place, and either I suck it up, go in there and be an adult about this, or I could go home and live the rest of my life wondering if I was being lied to. He had a point.
“You sure your sister won’t be home before 5:00?” I asked one last time, secretly hoping he’d say no.
“Marcus, my brother. please,” Elliot started, “Why would I lead you astray? You really don’t trust anybody do you?”
As I was about to check myself for being so caught up in the what ifs, we heard a car pull into the drive way.

“I honour this privilege” by Julia at the bus stop


Sunday May 22, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a birthday card

I heard him say it to himself when he thought I had left for the evening. He was reciting it in the mirror, getting ready for his big night. I crept in the house quietly, I had forgotten my wallet by the island. I don’t know why I had left it there but I didn’t want to impose myself. Just a few quiet steps while he rehearsed his speech in the bathroom. The one I had begged him to do for me because I wasn’t able to go. He said no. He didn’t want me anywhere near it. I tried to go as fast as my curiosity would let me. He repeated one line over and over and I wanted to hear him get it right. “I honour this privilege. I honour this privilege.” My hand was reaching for the soft leather while my mind tilted toward him in the bathroom. I felt the wallet graze my hand and I quickly realized that if I could go in this instant I would have a secret but nothing to be sorry for.

“Paul had known” by Julia at her table


Thursday, December 24, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Dune
Frank Herbert


It was hidden in the secret stash, tucked away deep in the back of her closet.
She didn’t want anyone to see. She didn’t want to be reminded.
Paul had known the whole time that Lara was keeping a shoe box sealed with a red ribbon tied in a hundred tiny knots. He had known and he had attempted many times to open it up. He knew Lara didn’t want it to be opened. But his curiosity was bigger than both of them.
One day Paul sneaked to the closet while Laura was napping on the couch in the living room.
He brought with him a Swiss Army knife and a plastic bag, just in case.
Paul didn’t care about the photos Lara kept, or the notes she liked to hold onto from her high school friends.
He slipped out the dusty shoe box and flipped it upside down. Paul held the knife carefully and began to draw a fine line on the box’s seam. He was nervous. He wasn’t sure if what he was doing was worth the findings. Worth Lara never trusting him again. Worth Lara not being able to deal with what seeing the contents might bring up…

“hello, you!” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, December 15, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the bus

That’s what he says to me when I call his cell while he’s at work. He doesn’t want to let anyone know that it’s me. He refuses to use my name. I get it. I don’t want anyone to know either. It’s nice anyway, like he’s happy it’s “me” when he says it like that. Like he’s relieved. He sometimes answers the phone with just a “hello” when he picks it up in the company of others. He leaves quickly enough to go into another room, pretending always that it’s work related or family related, depending who’s nearby. I clear my throat twice, quickly, and that reminds him to adjust his volume. You never know who could be listening for key words or a flirty laugh. I can’t wait to be alone with him and when his volume is lowered I tell him this. He laughs because if he doesn’t he might do something he regrets. I laugh back.
“Were you able to rent the cottage for the weekend? Boys trip?”
“I’m working on it.”
“When will you know? I want to see you…”
“Yup! Let me get back to you, hopefully it all works out, sound good?”
“I miss you..”
“Thanks, I’ll see what I can do.”

“winexpert” By Julia on her couch


Saturday December 12, 2015
11:58pm
5 minutes
from a wine cork

Shari was very excited about her work’s Christmas party. Last year Abigail Hayes won a gift card to the Wine Rack and everyone tried to steal it or trade the ones they got for hers. Shari received a ticket to Cineplex Odeon as her Secret Santa gift but she had the idea to quickly hide it in her sleeve so when everyone crowded around to see what Shari’s gift was, she showed them an empty card and everyone felt so bad for her that they all started offering her their gifts. The only thing Shari wanted was Abigail’s Wine Rack gift card, but she refused to give it to her because she said it wouldn’t be fair to all the other girls. This year Shari had drawn Abigail’s name and was going to return the Christmas spirit that Abigail bestowed upon her the year before. In her white leather purse, Shari had a card addressed to Abigail, but she didn’t include anything else inside it….

“Destroy the evidence” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, July 26, 2014
3:20pm
5 minutes
Cards Against Humanity


Paper trail, burn it up, up in smoke, burn it up

-How’s your book coming?
-My what? I’m not writing a book.
-But I saw your receipts. The ones from the coffee shops.
-Well since when do lattes mean I’m writing a book?
-I know you don’t actually drink the coffee.
-Yes I do!
-No you just like the way it looks beside your laptop. That and I know you don’t write anywhere else.
-That’s not true. I write. I write at parks sometimes.
-Why are you hiding it, you never keep these things a secret.
-Oh my god, fine, it’s about you. Okay? Happy?
-You’re lying.
-What do you want, exactly?
-I just want to know what you’re working on. It seems very sneaky all of a sudden and it makes me anxious. It makes me anxious thinking about what it is you could be doing.
-I told you, it’s about you.