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One-Page Story Contest

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter story.

-- Mark Twain

Honorable Mention: One Manhattan Evening
By Roy L. Pickering Jr.

A breeze like angels' kisses brushed Johnís face. Wine caressed his senses, blotting out the chaos of rush hour traffic, among other things. The sun descended with breathtaking purpose.

A man on a fire escape breathed into a saxophone. The songís title escaped recollection, but the memories elicited were lucid. Jazz nightclubs; nicotine smoke floating in fluorescent lighting; expensive drinks bought for women with rich appetites; how they writhed and moaned as entrance was secured; sweat and perfume intermingling.

A woman with sloping curves and inviting eyes stared at John as their paths crossed. He resisted temptation, for his bed was already occupied. Waiting at home was Lila. The sweet seductress had laid claim to his body with expert touches, capturing his heart with a mischievous smile. Laying closely by would be their son.

Upon entering the studio apartment, dual howls pierced through his inebriation, a screaming teapot and child. A twist of the wrist silenced the first. John lifted his boy from the crib and carried him to where his mother lay. What an exquisite sight was the nude body of Lila, supine on their marital bed.

Anthony began to take nourishment from her perfect mounds of flesh. He did not even notice the thin line across her neck that funneled to a crimson puddle on the bedsheet. The razor blade that etched it lay on the nightstand, reflecting light from the glow of a nearly extinguished candle. The gold, initialed lighter that earlier alerted John to his wife's affair lay on the floor.

He picked it up, lit a cigarette, and sat on the window sill. The sun had vanished, but this caused John no alarm. He leaned his head back, absorbing the sounds and sights of the Manhattan evening, basking in the glow of the silver moon.

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Quiet Please!
A Taste of Cashmere
The Mystery of the Missing Paperclips
The Courthouse
Howard's Women
One Manhattan Evening
Flowers
Never Again
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The Squirrel and the Aircraft Carrier
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