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“The Land of Nod,” A Short Story by Timothy Holland

“Larry,” Glenn said, “I know what this means for you, but I want to die.”

            Larry and Glenn were brothers and although they often annoyed one another they were as close as two brothers could be, so naturally Larry was terrified to hear this.  Not because it was the first time Glenn had mentioned killing himself, nor even because Larry couldn’t live without Glenn.  It was because Larry, unlike Glenn, had never gotten their Catholic upbringing out of his head.  In fact, the thought of ending it all had occurred to Larry many times himself, but he knew he could never go through with it on account of his fear of God’s promise that his soul would go to Hell.

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“It is Not a House, It is a Home,” a Short Story by Timothy Holland

Samuel Butler looked at the large maple-wood clock and smiled one last time before blowing out the candles so that his wife could sleep.  It was forty minutes after nine o’clock and he had yet to put the girls to bed.  He himself was not tired and had taken it upon himself to set aside time that evening to pen a letter to his brother who had been living for some time now in Pennsylvania.  He would wait until Milly was asleep, however, as he knew she would rise at dawn and struggle to awaken their children.  She had had a difficult day again.  He could always tell when her day had been particularly difficult because she didn’t talk about it and when she no longer freely offered to tell him about it, he was fearful to ask.  Hearing her say “nothing” as though her mind had long ago been severed from her voice was worse than leaving her to say nothing.  I will kiss her on the cheek and tell her I love her, he thought.  It might make her feel better to hear that.  With that, Samuel arose from the Windsor chair at his bedside, finished the last of his tea, and placed it quietly on the saucer on the nightstand.  The white and gold china teapot, along with the fine English cups and saucers, were given to them by the Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Hayden on the day of their wedding.  Milly was wearing the most beautiful of dresses and her hair smelled of lilacs and they made love together that afternoon for the first time on the soft grass.  Thomas Hayden was an awfully good friend to him and it pleased him immensely that their friendship had not suffered nor waned with the duties of husbandry and time.  Perhaps he would call on the Haydens for dinner tomorrow.  Milly too enjoyed the company.  She would make a delectable roast and bring warm bread from the oven.  She cooked with great delight and prudent industry and enjoyed pleasing others when she wasn’t having a particularly difficult day.  After dinner, the men and women would break off and both parties would attend to the natural and appropriate topics of conversation that concerned the interests of their gender. 

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