Confident Writing sponsored an end-of-the-year Group Writing Project to which authors were asked to submit a single post representing their best 2008 work. I selected An Unexpected Independence Day Celebration because I believe it is one of my best-crafted short stories. It is based not upon one particular person, but, rather, several people who are dear to me, including a special couple in whose honor I wrote the piece as a way of demonstrating my affection for them upon the occasion of their wedding. My second choice for 2008 is The Keys to Her Future.

“He’s flirting with you,” Marilyn whispered as she leaned toward her coworker’s side of the long reception counter where they worked side by side each day.

“Stop it. He is not,” she protested through slightly clenched teeth as her gaze again wandered to the intriguing stranger seated on the couch near the door to the interior office suite.

“Oh, yeah, he is,” Marilyn pressed. “He is checking you out.”

She could feel heat radiating from her flushed cheeks and the inside of her mouth had suddenly become dry. If Marilyn only knew, she thought to herself.

He stared out the window, considering the cloudless blue sky. From the bed in his third-story hospital room, he could see the tops of the trees in the parking lot below swaying softly with the light summer breeze. He wished that he could return to the marina, hose down the decks of his small vessel, and point its bow toward the San Francisco Bay. He would sail out to sea, allowing the wind to carry him and his boat in any direction it wished for as many days as he had left on earth.

He sighed deeply as he shifted his gaze back to the I.V. pole from which hung several plastic bags containing clear liquids. Three separate tubes carried the substances from the bags to his veins. He winced as he moved his left arm. Looking down, he noticed that a new bruise had developed where the nurse had unsuccessfully tried to reinsert the needle earlier in the day.


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