“New experiment? Do they think that we are guinea pigs? Rats? Cruel ... unethical ... inhumane ....”
And the worst thing was “You kill people? Aaaaaa ....”
This is the common expression we generally notice when someone talks about clinical trials.
I happened to come across a pleasant lady on Friday evening, who sat in the seat next to me on the subway. She was charming and apparently seemed to be in a happy-go-lucky-mood. After
exchanging several looks and smiles, she decided to break the ice.
“I like the way you manage to read a novel and play on your phone simultaneously,” she said.
I laughed. “Ha ha. Yes, kinda addicted to both.”
“Oh! So you read a lot?”
“Aaah, not as much as it may seem, but yes, enough that the story I read appears in my dreams.” Read More
All my memories of my earlier Christmases were very good. My Dad’s childhood was not as enjoyable, losing his parents at a young age. Christmases were difficult for the family, as he shared with us. The neighbours helped with gifts, candy and fruit. For that reason he tried hard to make it unique for us. Finances were a struggle as money did not go far. Read More
I sit in quiet contemplation, looking out my window at the tree tops. Like old friends, they are always there for me. Acloud passes by, interrupting the sun’s rays and momentarily I am startled; they are still there.
Spruce and pine, red and silver maple, ash and birch swing and sway and dance in time to the tempo of the wind. I have looked out this window for years and marveled at the simplicity and beauty of nature. The trees I first knew were smaller and sparser and now, they are towering guardians of nature, imposing their presence on the neighbourhood. Read More
Seventy years later, Ed Muldoon is still seeking closure. He is one of the few known remaining survivors of the infamous Almonte Train Wreck of 1942, a tragedy that has been classified as one of the worst railway disasters in Canadian history. In fact, it is one of the worst disasters to have occurred in Canadian history - period. And, after all of this time, the events of that night remain clear in his memory and now, at the age of 85, he wants to have it all get settled in his mind somehow. He wants to put the ghosts and memories to bed. He wants the haunting to stop. Read More
Vol.16, No.92, August/September 2013 WINNER OF THE FICTION: THE BRUNO PENNER PRIZE Hunting for Henry by Donna J. Quick
The first news about the disappearance came when Elsie Halwa phoned over to my Aunt Nellie’s house. I happened to be there having coffee, so Nellie wiped her forehead with the corner of her apron - she’d been canning beets that morning - and turned to me. “Arnie, have you seen Henry Halwa around anywhere today or yesterday? That’s Elsie on the phone, and she says Henry didn’t come home last night.”
Well, I hadn’t seen Henry, but I drove past his farm on my way home. In fact, I even turned up the dusty dirt road that runs along his west quarter, where he always grows his best barley.
Sure enough, I could see the roof of his old International half-ton in the middle of the field, and when I came to the gate, there was a set of tire tracks running right through the grain. Read More
Vol.16, No.92, August/September 2013 WINNER OF THE POETRY: THE JAMES AND MARY CORVESE PRIZE BC Northern Route by Alven G. Ens
like synchronized swimmers
the windshield wipers wave to me
as I watch for moose or is that elk
for the next 30 km
I also watch for trucks turning but see
the curvy road passes
over the North Thompson several times
and I wonder if God could have made the river
straighter Read More
Vol.16, No.91, June/July 2013 Cabin Fever by Elaine Lowe
The cabin nestles at the back of a clearing, well off the road. To find it, drive twenty kilometres west, then north of Whitehorse. Turn left down the Hot Springs Road a piece until you pass an octagonal cabin on the right. Take the first left after that down a narrow, rutted road another half kilometre or so. Read More
Last year in late June, the sun high overhead in a cloudless sky and Ring Of Fire playing on the radio, I edged my Prius over to the side of the road and waited for the dust to settle. I had just passed a sign that said Fresh Strawberries - Picked Today.
It had been many years since I stopped at a roadside stand to buy berries. It was early and the seller’s table, shaded by a picnic canopy, presented an array of red berries framed in green baskets. The air was warm and I began to sweat as I scanned the table waiting for the girl to finish with another customer.
I chose two boxes that were filled with uniform mid-size berries; one for me and one for my children. Before I walked back to the car, I singled out one bright, but not too ripe, berry and slowly bit into the bottom half. It was all still there - the firm fleshiness of the fruit, the subtle flow of juice to the corners of my mouth and the special tartness in the flavour of an earth grown strawberry that is impossible to duplicate.
I looked past the berry seller’s table to a green and earthen striped field with its rows all directed toward me. I took a deep breath. The sight of bodies hunched between the rows, the smell of hot dry clay and the tickle of juice running down my fingers transported me back to my childhood and my first paying job.
With mixed emotions, I threw what was left of the berry, which I was still holding between my two forefingers and thumb, at the telephone pole next to the car. Read More
When I was seven or eight years old, I remember there was much talk of a mysterious light that many in our neighbourhood reported having seen. “It was hovering near that pond, across the field from your house,” a neighbour told my father. Read More
The morning sun crested the horizon casting brilliance on the world below. A soft breeze brushed the maples, their large green masts shuddered high above, whispering. Dawn’s lingering chill stubbornly endured the increasing heat. The contrast of warmth and goosebumps only a summer morning could inspire. Read More
Riptides is a collection of 23 stories by Prince Edward Island writers published by Acorn Press in 2012. If there is a theme to this collection it is that every writer resides in Prince Edward Island and that the editor is the Professor of Canadian and English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Prince Edward Island. No reference is made to previous anthologies of PEI writing in recent times. It is said in the Introduction that the world seems to believe the only writing of consequence from PEI has come from the hands of Lucy Maud Montgomery. This volume attempts to show that other fiction from new pens should also warrant a place in the sun. In this regard Riptides succeeds as a modern statement of new fiction. Not everyone will like every story. But every story leaves the reader thinking: is there more to this story that I might have missed? Read More
Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee as a reigning Queen, has become a role model of graceful aging and dedication to royal duties. I didn’t always have this upbeat opinion about her. As a matter of fact, my initial impression was negative and influenced by my background as a German immigrant to Canada. Read More
Soon - all too soon - I must write a test to try to keep my driver’s licence and I look forward to he trial with dread. For over six decades I have been driving in Imperial and now I must take an exam in metric. Could it be more difficult in Sanskrit or Chinese? Read More