The Worry Dolls by Rebecca Field

There was once a girl who worried about everything. Charlotte worried that her mother would die in a car crash on her way to work- she’d heard that things like that could happen. Her mother said that she always drove carefully, and accidents like that didn’t happen very often, but Charlotte didn’t believe her. She’d seen her mother drive far too fast when they were late to get somewhere. She would screw up her eyes in the back seat and pray that they would get there on time, alive, even though she didn’t believe in God.

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February by Nik Eveleigh

Some days bring sunshine. Some bring rain. And somewhere along the line life settles in hard as a February sky. Locks down your dreams tight against the iron earth and dares you to object. For such a short month it exacts a long toll.

A bunch of scientists did an experiment once with fleas. They took half a dozen of the brightest and bounciest, dropped them in a jar and screwed on the lid. For a couple of days those fleas launched themselves into almost continually. Eventually, through pain or weariness or both, they stopped jumping so high. They settled on a spot two thirds of the way up the sides of the jar and that was their limit. Even after the lid came off and they could have bounded their way to freedom those fleas kept right on jumping to a place well below the potential of possibility.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic but if that leaden February sky ever clears I wonder how high I can still jump.

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Running Errands by Nathan Willis

We saw it coming the whole time. Chase was a nice enough guy; he just wasn’t cut out for this line of work. We watched him fail over and over, everyday. For a while we tried to help but there were just too many mistakes and most of them were pretty big. It would have been a full time job minimizing the damage he caused. When he had to answer to Fisher in the morning meetings he’d stammer out fragments of explanations he hoped one of us would jump in and finish. None of us ever did. We couldn’t. We were as blown away by his mistakes as everyone else. All we could do was look at our shoes and hope he wouldn’t cry again. That only happened a few times but that was enough for all of us.

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