Beltane

The Celtic May Day Festival While the men drove the cattle through the fires, Nonna bade me help her with the bannock. “You’ve the touch fer it,” she said, and held up her curled and crooked fingers as proof. I knew the real reason. No […]

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Decorous

Marked by propriety & good taste: correct Mang Berto knew when the Japanese were coming, and he knew the routes they would take. Mama had to make more lugaw for Papa, who could still not get out of bed, so when the morning was still cool Mang […]

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Mulct

To punish by a fine; to default especially of money; to obtain by fraud, duress, or theft The art of a good swindle lies, ultimately, in telling a great story. All actions must contribute. The careful pauses, to build bridges between a hopeless present and […]

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Invincible

Incapable of being conquered, overcome, or subdued I have always thought that I might be a writer someday, but maybe I am just a good daydreamer. Just because you tell good stories in your head, doesn’t mean they’re any good on the page. Where you […]

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Belvedere

A structure designed to command a view I didn’t mind the tower. The witch had filled it with creature comforts: plush rugs and musical instruments and candles that smelled of the ground I had never touched. On the roof we grew vegetables, which kept our […]

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Inverterate

Firmly established by long persistence; habitual I’m locked in a staring contest with some dude across the road. He started it–or did I, by refusing to look away? The winner gets no prize but for the shame of a meaningless victory. He eats his sandwich. […]

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Juxtapose

To place side by side (as to compare or contrast)  She folded the doll into my hands. Dry blond plasticky hair spilled down my knuckles. “For dreams and stories,” she said. She had barely been gone a week before he saw the doll and took […]

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Omniscient

having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight Ever since I was a little girl, I viewed the world in shards. Refractions of light that provided me the bare minimum of where to go, what to say, and what not to do. This is the most [content] […]

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Exodus

Exodus: a mass departure : emigration Before the Japanese took Manila, the US Army threw the doors of their bodegas open. American merchants, too, suddenly opened their warehouses to the public. Papa enlisted everyone in the household to grab food: canned meat, mostly, some sacks […]

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Noetic

Of, relating to, or based on the intellect We were on our third bottle of wine when Chard brought up politics. “We’re only in this situation because our leaders pander to the masa. Keep them happy, keep them ignorant.” I caught Betta’s eye; she rolled hers […]

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