Of Love and Razorblades: Tales of Lust, Love, and Larceny featuring the short story Ours

I had to escape. Thumbing through the baby name book, nothing sounds right for this child. Well, not yet a child, a fetus. On the black and white ultrasound, the grainy images of this tiny being remind me of a Doppler radar showing an intense unwavering storm. I feel cursed with the burden of growing another human life inside of me. I can feel the hot tears on my face and smell the sickly sweet stale breath of too many glasses of wine. Momentarily frozen, I can feel my blood pressure start to rise stuck back in those moments and unable to escape.

This fetus will never know those feelings, of that one thing I am certain. Alter and I had the same face. Same physical makeup except he had a wider waist and some puppy fat on the face. His receding hairline showed more of his forehead. I had a well-defined jawline, and my hair had not started falling yet. We walked and stood with same gait.

We wore similar clothes, shared similar likings in food, music, movies, books and people. Alter and I grew up on the same day in two parallel worlds to perhaps the same mother. As I wrote, a face became visible on the pages. In the same way as one would see himself on an old, dusty mirror as one would wipe it with a clean cloth. With each stroke of cloth, a little more of the self was revealed. But it was my face as well.

I could see myself with every stroke of the pen. He was larger than me. Larger not in size but in character, he always seemed to be ahead of me and doing things I wanted to. I saw him as the handsome boy of fifteen walking in the corridors of my school as girls would look at him in awe.

His slim-fit school shirt revealed the perfect V-shape of his upper body; his trousers ended just above his shoes; and his shoes always shone black, and socks pulled up and tight. I wished I looked like him. I saw him as the studious, but still handsome, bespectacled boy of twenty in college. He had a girlfriend. They would go out on lunch dates and walk by the sea wall edging the city sky scrapers. I wished I was him. I saw that he was amongst the academically meritorious students of our University. He wrote papers that found place in acclaimed research magazines.

I barely managed to get a first class in my exams. I saw him last when we graduated from university. He left for further studies to a foreign country, and I thought he would never return from that country of dreams. That day I turned to the last of the few pages of the leather-bound book. I felt relegated because Alter and I were meant to be one — he was never to leave me and take me with him in whatever he does.

We were meant to be equals.

About Jess Zafarris

Of Love and Razorblades Tales of Lust, Love and Larceny Featuring the story “ Ours” Tim De Quatro I Heard Everything Right here, right now Were right about. Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story — Russell Banks. . A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: A Tale For Children — Gabriel Garcia Marquez. We made love that morning in my bed for long hours that drifted easily into afternoon. . then get brought up short by the knowledge of the fact of his or her death, and at night.

But he excelled, always. I was still doing my company job.

I never opened the leather-bound book, not one time. Dust had settled on it. An ambient desire to outperform Alter and succeed more than him always burnt within me. I wanted to get ahead of him in earning more money and live a higher quality life. I too chose to relocate to another country with my job. It paid me better in a foreign country. I left my mother and father back home. They were turning old. One day, my father passed away. I saw the leather-bound book hiding in a corner.

My mother also turned sick.

Two Stories

She wished I returned home. My wife and I continued to live away from her. Over time, my wife and I developed differences. She left me and went back to live with my mother. Left alone and with no one to share my dinner, bed or coffee with, I too left everything in the foreign land and returned. One of those days, in one of the many quiet moments at my home that I grew up in, I reached out to my leather-bound book. I turned to the end of the book and started writing, again. Time had aged him more than it had aged me. But deep within, I knew he was happier.

Only my lips smiled. But with Alter I could see that his eyes smiled. I saw myself and Alter parted for life at that moment. I knew he was never returning to me. I learned that after his studies abroad, Alter had returned home and continued staying with parents. He married and had a baby. Together with his mother, wife and daughter he was living happily. He returned each night from work to a home where hot dinner cooked by his wife and mother awaited him, where his daughter awaited his lips to kiss her forehead before she slept.

Alter and I were one. But it was my imaginary me. I wanted to be Alter for years as I grew up from a boy to becoming a man. I see Alter has been better off. Alter has always been better off. I can never be Alter.

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Plans were made, stories were shared, words have been said, but at the end of the day, we just forget about it. It was both a hit and a miss. I was left behind. I fully explored writing when I was in college. It was my output of emotions, my safe haven, my secret keeper of my deepest wishes and desires. Writing stories was my escape, my happiness and also my sadness. College was the same, in terms of friendship.

It was like grade school and high school all over again. But to me, it was all I had, then it all went away after graduation. The four of them have their own lives to worry about and we started to drift apart. I still look at their updates on facebook every once in a while. One is building an empire by being an entrepreneur, one is also doing the same but also has a job, one just had a baby last year and now lives a few miles away from the group with her not yet husband, and the other one is now concentrating on leaving her current job and find a new one.

It was what my dad wanted, and now that I did what he told me to do, graduated and all. I mean, something like that happening to my mom could happen to anyone, but, I just thought, why her? Raf, this is one of the bravest things I ever read in my life. No one can explain why a Mother falls ill and has to suffer or why a father, me, has to watch a daughter fight Melanoma for seven years and then have it come back and take her life away.

Tell your Mom, that I will pray for her but I know not if it will help. I started to write when my daughter passed away to keep my sanity, it has been a big help. Raf, I hope you realize you have a community here of folks who share common goals, who also use writing to communicate, to vent, to offer solutions, to support others in their efforts. But, here we are writers, as are you. He caught us sneaking another can of brown beans when he entered the kitchen. As per usual, he was drunk out of his mind. Careless and reckless and stumbling in the dark, he grabbed my brother by the collar and almost choked him of his oxygen.

What the fuck is this nothing, then? My brother silently sat on the wooden planks, thinking of a way to combat the drunkard fiend. You were never fair with us and you deserve all the bad luck the world has ever given us! Walker started to drunkenly start toward Arrond. Knowing his punches are bone-breaking, Arrond, with his quick willed, hungering body, dodged every blow he could. Unfortunately, such determination could not last long enough. Walker finally managed to hit Arrond in the gut, knocking him completely unconscious.

From the kitchen I could hear the banging of his bedroom door. He claims to be a preacher? Without turning back, we happily opened the door and ran to our freedom, walking for miles and miles until we found a better place. To say that Ambassafor Barbarella was apprehensive about returning to Kryzlak was an oversimplification. To say that her feelings were mixed would be a total authorial cop-out. Reviewing and revising her diplomatic uniforms reminded her that, on her first visit to Kryzlak, she had been revered as a goddess.

Her compact and somewhat chubby body, far from human ideal, happened to conform to Kryzlam ideal of physical beauty, exemplified by their moon. The gloriously wonderous diplomatic uniform that was revered as divine elsewhere in the galaxy had not carried much weight with the Kryzlamei. Her naked body had. Reading her own old reports from Kryzlak reminded her that, by the time she had left a few years later, she had been simply known as the angel, the humane messenger, who had brought the good words of liberation and prosperity of the Galactic Union.

They had been grateful. They had been proud to have been her project. The view of the rolling hills as the shuttle approached the ground reminded her that, after all, the Galactic Union was a sham, an exploitative and avaricious empire that thought nothing of annihilating entire star systems. That was in it for the money. That was in it for the power and control. Not enough to create widespread discontent. Returning to her old embassy—a mere hut in the forest—reminded her that what she really wanted was to return home.

So that she could consolidate her power, orchestrate something big, and finally… Or, so that she could fade away into obscurity, taking up minor desk jobs, maybe teaching future diplomats, perhaps a memoir or two. She was not sure. Her first slice of locally-sourced pizza in many years reminded her that she did not really want to hurt the Kryzlamei.

She loved their culture, their history, their way of life, their folklore, their idiotic probosces, their complicated reproductive anatomy, their disgusting foods, their counterproductive politics, their outlandish idealism. Every last bit of them. Thanks to her, the Kryzlamei were rich. Their art was beloved, their poetry revered, their technological prowess much sought after.

Looking at the uniforms was a good way to review her past. The paragraph listing what she loved about the Kryz was well done. Barbara has come a long way in your saga. She is starting to do that thing that characters do, where she is telling me how things are going to go, my plans be consarned.

It all turned out vastly different… From the start, I thought I would be someone who had a positive effect upon the world. I would become a diplomat, someone who would bring together states at war, or parties in dispute. What greater calling than that? But then, in my teen years, I developed a lisp which advanced into a stutter.

It was difficult, but I held my own. All was proceeding as well as could be expected until one night my house was broken into, and I was threatened at gunpoint. The robber made off with my wife, whom I never saw again. I tried explaining the situation to the police as best I could, but in my agitated state, my lisp and stutter made me sound like a madman.

As time went on the police all but abandoned the case, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

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At a local gun show, I purchased a shotgun and several boxes of shells, and never looked back. As years went by, I realized my dream of statesmanship would never come to fruition, and though I never gave up the search for my wife, I did finally positively identify the criminal. He is still at large. He considers me a stupid pig. I pwomise that I will continue to hunt him d-d-down and f-f-finawy bwing that waskawy wabbit to juthtithe. Humor is so good here, it hurts to read it. You really need some list of words or phrases which keep a post from not posting. I took out every paragraph and nothing helped.

It felt like yesterday — both of us sitting at the bank fishing, him and Grandma making cookies for me. I could still feel his hands on mine when he wished me luck before I left for Paris for my culinary course.

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The recipes he created with my Grandma were the reason I fell hard for cooking. To think my reason for existence was no longer with me was enough to squeeze my heart inside out. The familiar lump settled in my throat. Hours later, I walked into the kitchen and downed a bottle of water, trying to swallow the lump along with it. I wanted to make sure Grandma was doing okay. I knocked on the door twice before opening it.

Helen Fisher on Love, Lust and Attachment

She looked up when the door opened. Her lips quivered as she tried to lift them in a smile. I felt my heart crack as tears welled up in her eyes. But we have to think of all the good times we had with him. She shook her head, making the tears roll down her cheeks. He never wanted to take up our restaurant. He went with regrets, El. My knee slipped on the floor and I hit the marble on my bottom.

Grandma shook her head and held out the diary. As the words started to make sense, I felt the air in my lungs leave. My hands flew to my mouth and somewhere during the reading, I felt my heart drop and shatter. And my first thought was, I need to write a new eulogy. Joe Hill lived a hundred and two years of which eighty-seven years were spent in regret. To the world outside, Mr. Hill was the perfect chef who partnered with his wife and took over the family restaurant business.

But deep inside the corners of his chest cavity, he was constantly haunted by his heart. Something that he left with Ella Santos when he left her and his career in writing as a token of gratitude towards his father. Days before his death, Joe was troubled by his memories of Ella — after whom he named his favorite granddaughter. He received a letter that Ella had passed away. That she remained single all her life waiting for him. So, he rushed to join her in Heaven. Two days later, he did. What a strong piece, with lots of lovely phrases, even in the last paragraph. We never really know another it seems.

My real life versus what I saw in my past. Was I not smart enough? Did I lack self-confidence? Was I not good enough? Yes, I am smart enough. I have a degree in Business Management Information Systems with a 3. Before I received my degree I read an article about the woman who helped develop Java way back in the 90s. Part of my problem is that I have a hard time tooting my own horn. Hence, the self-esteem issue. I was supposed to wait to be invited. I was never one of the cool kids, so I spent a lot of time reading books. Delving into the unknown, the mysterious, the future, the past.

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My first poem appeared on paper when I was I liked it a lot. I wrote more poems. I submitted them to those Do-You-Want-to-be-a-Writer companies I found in the back of comic books and romance magazines. I wrote stories about the boys I had crushes on. After all, she is the one who said to never invite myself anywhere. I joined the military, got married, got divorced twice, had two children, got out of the service, and then survived. I went to college and learned that I really could write.

My term papers were top-notch. I took honors courses. I stretched my wings. Then, I found my husband. He and the kids encouraged me. They said my writing was good and visual. I started on my novel. I wrote two chapters. I reformatted my computer. Where were my chapters?

Not only did I rewrite them, I wrote more of them. He owns the restaurant of his dreams, and he's determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done - that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner. Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there's a connection between Nick and Bryce from the start - a spark they can't deny.

Virgin River

Abigail Barnette Narrated by: Fine, at first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend's place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her heart again. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone, himself included, could even dream he'd turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today. At thirty, eldest brother Byron hasn't dated seriously in a while--not since he became a single dad to his beloved baby girl. Fall for a woman over text messages? It all turned out vastly different… From the start, I thought I would be someone who had a positive effect upon the world. I wrote stories about the boys I had crushes on.

The hardheaded Armstrong brothers are determined to rebuild their tornado-ravaged hometown in the Georgia mountains. They've got the means, they've got the manpower So they place an ad in a northern newspaper and wait for the ladies to answer their call. Porter, the youngest Armstrong, is all for importing women. Still, he's so blown away by the sheer numbers, he falls off the water tower. Luckily, there's a doctor among the newcomers - sweet and sexy Dr. Lucy Lang isn't looking for fireworks. She's looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who'll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbecue, teach their future children to play soccer.

A young widow, Lucy can't risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn't enough either. In seaside Blueberry Cove, Maine, friends are just another word for family, and big-city politics take a backseat to local pride.

But the real treasure on these shores is always love When DC lawyer Hannah McCrae heads home for her brother's wedding, she's dragging a lot of baggage along with her - and she doesn't mean suitcases. Betrayed personally and humiliated professionally, the last thing she wants is a new man.

That's fine with square-jawed, rugged contractor Calder Blue. At thirty, eldest brother Byron hasn't dated seriously in a while--not since he became a single dad to his beloved baby girl. Besides, he's found that most women can't see past his job as a bus driver, and he's not interested in that type of superficial foolishness.

When he meets Cynthia Hall, her disinterest is obvious. Still, there's something about her. Allie Grant doesn't believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida!

What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan. Here's what you need to know about me - I'm well-off, well-hung, and quick with a joke. Women like a guy who makes them laugh - and I don't mean at the size of his you-know-what. No, they want their funny with a side of huge, not to mention loyal. I've got all that plus a big bank account, thanks to my booming construction business. I know how to use all my tools. Hot, sexy, smart, and my new assistant.

Which makes her totally off limits Hey, I'm a good guy. He owns a successful remodeling business in Manhattan that he almost lost after his ex tried to destroy it … His inner dialogues are brilliantly hilarious as he catches himself with very dirty thoughts about his very sexy assistant … Wyatt and Natalie have explosive chemistry but Wyatt realizes that Natalie was never just a hook-up, she is really something so much more.

They have fun together, and their banter is witty while discovering each other's pasts, quirks, hopes and dreams. I dialed before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills. He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing. Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant. Only, turned out, he wasn't an intruder at all. Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He'd been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. My dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy.

I can do this for Dad. After all, I've got him to thank for the family jewels. Charlotte's up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock. Ever notice that sometimes a guy will do something really stupid, like let the love of his life slip through his fingers? But the instant I run into her again I've got one goal and one goal only—a second chance. Go big or go home. Fine, at first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend's place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her heart again.

But trust me on this count—she always liked me best without any clothes on. And sometimes you've got to play to your strengths when you're fighting an uphill battle. Sophie Scaife almost ran away once, trading her ticket to college for a ticket to Tokyo. But a delayed flight and a hot one-night stand with a stranger changed her mind, putting her firmly on track to a coveted position at a New York fashion magazine. When the irresistible stranger from that one incredible night turns out to be her new boss - billionaire and publishing magnate Neil Elwood - Sophie can't resist the chance to rekindle the spark between them.

Sebastian Bennett is a determined man. It's the secret behind the business empire he built from scratch. Under his rule, Bennett Enterprises dominates the jewelry industry. Despite being ruthless in his work, family comes first for Sebastian, and he'd do anything for his parents and eight siblings - even if they drive him crazy sometimes Adam Kingsley reigns as the young prince of Manhattan.

Everything he touches turns to gold, making him the envy of Wall Street. Women swoon at his feet, money is no object, and his killer good looks are as wicked as sin. A dangerous trifecta that allows him to possess anything or anyone he desires. What more could a year-old man wish for? Maybe that his life never changes and his murky past stays far away. Sounds reasonable, yet life seldom is. Been there, done that. Georgia Cummings has zero luck with dating, and the era of the Internet is not her friend. No matter how fast she runs, how many corners she turns, she can't find her way out of this weird, alternate universe where men think dick pics are a replacement for small talk and getting to know a girl.

One more crotch selfie and she might write men off for good. But why can't she stop fantasizing about him? My name is Lucian Quinn, and I own one of the most successful software companies in the world. I'm 29, rich, and single. I'm also a favorite target for every hungry socialite looking to land the uncatchable catch.

What these women don't know, though, is that I'm completely screwed up and damaged beyond repair. The only part of me I'll ever willingly give them is the hour it takes to make them scream Then I saw her Half human and half Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerfuland passionateof the Elder Races.

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member - a man trapped in a hell of his own. Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind - and none of the heart. Born a Psy, Sascha Duncan must hide the emotions that mark her as flawed.

But a passionate Changeling will tempt her to reveal everything - and risk her very soul. He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell's deepest fantasies. But nothing about this nightor this manis what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existeda realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Soon-to-be college freshman Evie Claremont had hoped that once she'd arrived on Crestwood's campus, the nightmare that she'd been having would go away. She may be an inexperienced year-old, but she's grounded She looks for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he's near, she feels an attraction to him - a magnetic kind of force pulling her toward him. Once, Sarah Bingham's biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she's landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive.

Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control After a series of girls are ritualistically murdered on the cold streets of Philadelphia, seasoned detective, Sydney Willows, is forced to work with sexy, alpha vampire, Kade Issacson. While working the case, Sydney finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kade, fighting the passion she feels towards him. Kade, determined to solve the case and mete out justice, is captivated by the independent, fiery detective. To most, they are animals—even when in human form.

They are to be collared and kept on the fringes of society, scorned because they are feared, hated for their extraordinary powers. And attorney Kim Fraser has to go right into the heart of their lair. When year-old Katy Swartz moved to West Virginia right before her senior year, she'd pretty much resigned herself to thick accents, dodgy Internet access, and a whole lot of boring, but then she spotted her hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes.

Things were looking up Daemon Black is infuriating. It's hate at first sight, but when a stranger attacks her and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something The hot guy next door? Well, he's an alien. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. After seeing her maybe-mobster boss murder a guy, Delaney James assumes a new identity and pretends to be a mail order bride. She finds her groom-to-be living in a town that celebrates Halloween every day.

But not as weird as what she doesn't know. Her groom-to-be is a year-old vampire. It's been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident.