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1. Jealous
2. I mounted up the hill
3. Every murderer is someone’s old friend


The last time I saw Selma Carstairs she was standing on her front porch, her arms firmly folded in front of her, as usual, and an expression on her face that could crumble Kilimanjaro. I knew what caused her rage, but I wasn’t willing to bear the brunt of it that day, so I waved at her from across the street and hurried off on some important errand that I’d think up later. With any luck, some other poor soul would drop in on her before I did and she could vent all her pent-up anger on him instead.

I understood old Selma a little better, I think, than most of the neighbors did, if only because my family had lived on Decker Street almost as long as hers had. Her father and my mother had worked together at the cannery on the St. Paul road for years, so when Selma’s dad passed, my mom offered to let the family use our big back yard for the get-together after his funeral.

Selma and I were young then, maybe twenty-two or twenty-three. It’s strange to think that was almost forty years ago, and here we are, still neighbors, and usually still friends after all that time.

“I’m going to be sixty next week,” she told me a while back. She was going to be sixty-two, but I didn’t argue. I nodded, and she went on. “I hope nobody is planning a big party for me. I’d be so embarrassed.”

Well, knowing Selma from way back, I understood that what she was really saying was “…make sure everyone knows I want a special event made out of my birthday this year.”


This one’s kind of short, and never did reach the prompts, but I couldn’t get started. This was the third attempt for the week. Sometimes it just works that way.