Vmbra Wormwood by Leila Allison

And the name of the star is called Wormwood…

–Revelation 8:11

Pus star Wormwood glowered ceaselessly in the cigarette sky. Although it was only midday, Wormwood pulled long shadows from the sour crabapple trees, whose fruit not even the crows will eat. Embittered little trees, Scotch broom, feral blackberries and scrub grass are all that grow in the brief ridges and ravines and knolls that serve as the community “backyard” throughout the valley. During wildfire season the broom pods burst and the smoky wind disperses their dusty spore. During wildfire season it’s easy to believe in hell.

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How Podcasts Helped Save My Summer…and Life. by Paul Reilly

On the surface this may seem an odd story for publishing on Christmas Day. However, here in LS Towers we like to think that we are a thoughtful bunch and you’ve already had a couple of ‘almost’ traditional Christmas Tales.

This piece blew our minds when it arrived – We have always known what makes  ‘good’ writing is not comma placement and clever verbiage, what makes a good piece in our opinion, is passion.  This writing is so powerful we wanted to share it, as it shows that the degree of passion in a piece can override grammatical and constructional anomalies, it can be cathartic and it can be moving and leave you feeling as if you have been slapped in the face by it.

So, why this – now?

Well, we agreed that apart from anything else this piece of writing reminds us all that at this time of the year when we are all pressured into ‘jolliness’ there are many for whom it’s a struggle to simply exist from day to day. The bloke at the table next to you, wearing a Santa hat and reading Christmas cracker jokes could be falling apart inside. Maybe not the usual Christmas message but if it makes us just a bit kinder to each other – we reckon this story is probably a gift to us all.

*****.

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The Long Way Home by Jason A. Feingold

Robert got up as he did every school day morning to his six-fifty alarm. Liz, his wife, was still asleep. She didn’t get up until seven. He woke his son Jonathan to begin the process of supervising him for getting ready for school. As the boy reluctantly dressed, Robert went to the kitchen and took his blood sugar. It was high, so he cursed under his breath and thought about all the bad things he’d eaten the night before.

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