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Tell a story, win some cash, buy some new shoes or a fishing pole, impress your friends and family. Sound like fun? It could happen to you, but first you need to enter my annual Write a DearReader Contest. You don't need to be a writer to enter. The contest is for writing fun. To read last year's winning entries and information about the rules and deadline, go to: http://www.dearreader.com/contest2016/index.html
An Ohio native, Tiffany McDaniel, today's guest author, is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist. The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel.
Please take a moment and welcome Tiffany McDaniel to the book club... firstname.lastname@example.org
The Loss of a Friend
It is easy to rage against mortality. I've known you since I was a kid of twelve and now nineteen years later this friendship is having its grand conclusion. Not by choice. You have not returned to health. You are so thin now you are fallen by a crossing shadow.
I take your picture. I know I don't have enough photos of you when you were well. When you were young and happy. If this is the last sunset coming upon us, give me back the sunrise to start again.
Friendship allows for truth, love, and impossible infinity. When we were young, did you not think we would live forever? Death is for everything, and now we know it is for us. If death is an end to suffering then perhaps it is welcome. No, not welcome in your case because you loved life so. Accepted. That is what death is.
What intimacy death and dying brings us. I still think in some small miracle you will be brought back to health. You will come to represent an extraordinary blessing. You will be someone going nowhere but back into the folds of what we call togetherness. As if in a dream we break the clutches of the grave and we rise above the dirt-line to run the roads of the old hometown and perhaps another Halloween when we first met. Shall we re-enact that October 31st? Go back to the beginning when we were kids and therefore be far from this adult end.
Nineteen years is a long time. Longer would be perfect. Can we join forever as mortals? Endure with these skeletons and stalk the expanses of this earth like we will never end?
I know you don't want to go. I don't want you to go. I asked you could you stay long enough to see my book published. You did. You will not stay long enough to see more published, no matter how much we try to lengthen the day. Why can we not change everything to a hundred happy ways?
I never thought I would see you dying. Living. That is what you did and did so well. Every day a golden forecast set on impulse and feel. Your eyes once so sharp to the surroundings, now you look out at the world with a tired strain holding the truth none of us can bear.
After you're gone, every single June will be mutilated and October will be a cold stain. After you're gone, white rooms will be impossible to live in. Tears alone will stain them with black streaks and rage, yes, rage against mortality because we are old enough to know that even friendships are seized by the last night and in that last night one friend will be asked to bury the other, the heart disturbed by the breaking of that very thing while in the infinite linking of this sphere with the next you will know you have been everything to me. My dear friend, you have been everything.
Email Tiffany, email@example.com
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
KIDS BUZZ: This week, loads of book fun and buzz for middle graders and teens. Meet new authors--send an email, ask a question and they will reply. Plus enter to win a free copy of TRUTH OR DARE by Barbara Dee and GOING GEEK by Charlotte Huang. For a chance to win, say hello to the authors and more, go to: http://www.authorbuzz.com/kidsbuzz
* This month's Penguin Classics book is PERCHANCE TO DREAM: Selected Stories, by Charles Beaumont. Start reading now and don't forget to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Penguin tote bag: http://www.supportlibrary.com/bc/v.cfm?L=drclassqqxqZ1AFE3FA745F&c=CLASSICS