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“Don’t worry,” he whispered, “it’ll be alright.”
“Are you sure?”
“Positive.”
“I’d rather wait a bit…”
He reached out, stroked her face. “Please…”
She closed her eyes, leaned into his hand, sighed.”I’m scared.”
“You’ll like it. Promise.”
“Will it hurt?”
“No,” he lied. “You’ll be fine.”
“Alright…”
“Come here.”
She moved closer to him. He placed his hand on her thigh. She pulled back.
“I can’t,” she whimpered, “I can’t.”
“Shh,” he cooed, “shh. You’ll like it, I promise. Please. If you love me you will.”
“I do love you…”
“Then you will.”
“…”
“Please. For me.”
“…”
“Please.”
“Okay.”
He smiled, pulled her closer to him.
She couldn’t bear to watch the needle as it thrust into her vein.

“Don’t do it.”
“Do what?”
“Don’t do it.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Her tiny lips began to tremble. The boy turned away. The autumn breeze nipped at him through the fine cotton of his tailored summer coat. A small kitten was nestled in his front pocket. He stroked it thoughtfully; it began to purr.
“Septimus…” she whimpered. Septimus stiffened. The purring stopped.
“Don’t call me that, Prissy. Don’t ever call me that. That is father’s name, and I hate it.” The boy was only two years into his second decade, but he was already beginning to resemble his father, the Lord, in both appearance and demeanor. He would be taking his seat in the Parliament one day. He resented it greatly.
“You promised…” she whispered. He ignored her.
The purring started again.
The girl’s eyes began to water. A sniffle escaped her throat. The boy gazed out onto the lake, said nothing. The small wooden bridge they stood on crossed only a small portion of the water’s languid body, at the southeastern edge. It served no purpose but to provide a sublime view of their mansion, Ashenwood. It looked deceptively distant from this vantage point, giving their Hertfordshire estate the illusion of greater acreage. The landscapists had done an excellent job.
They were both quiet for a time.
Suddenly, the boy’s hand jerked violently—a sharp crack rang out—and he flung towards the lake with all his might. He let out a single shriek. Only a faint splash broke the ensuing silence.
Behind him, the girl stood stoically. Tears streamed down her face, but she made not a sound. The boy panted heavily, caught his breath, straightened up. He flattened his pockets.
“Come,” he said calmly, “our dear uncle is due to return from the Raj this evening. We are expected.”
He began walking. She followed.
“Not a word, understand? This will be the last time.”
The girl nodded.
“I promise.”

Leaves
         Fall
Softly,
         Slowly,
      (like)
Gentle
               Whispers

     in

                                 The Wind

Is love to you

what it is to me?

Does it possess you

and arrest you—

or does it hush and soothe

you restless soul?

Does it make you sigh

for a Valentine

when you long, alone,

for pretty things?

Does it drive you wild

(to a point past beguile)

and throw to the wind

your modesty?

Or does it open your eyes

and clarify

what you were always

too blind

to seek?

There once was a man who lost his favorite cat.
He searched and searched, but to no avail: his beloved cat was nowhere to be found.

“Woe is me!” he cried at the end of another fruitless search one day, “There is no use, the search is futile; my beloved cat is gone—he is no longer!”

At that moment, he heard a tapping on the door leading out of his room (he had not thought of looking past there before).

Tap, tap, tap.

He opened the door—Lo and behold, it was his cat! “Where have you been, my dearest cat!” the man shouted, lifting the feline into a loving embrace.
“I was here all along, my master,” the cat replied solemnly, “all you had to do was believe.”

Then the man awoke. His favorite cat lay sleeping at his feet.

He was still hungover.

I do not pretend
to comprehend
The eccentricities
of
heart
you
send.
I find it fruitless to even try.

And though your eyes
do seem to pry,
I beg you please
to
quell
your
mind:
My thoughts are not for you to spend.

How I wish for us
to share in trust
Before our
bodies
turn
to
dust,
but find betrayal more a force:

Should we divorce
our desired course—
through time,
or fate,
or even
worse—
Please understand why part we must.

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