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“Yeah, maybe. Let’s talk about something else. Are you done with your swatch, Ainsling?”
Ainsling held up her square of knit work, the third attempt at reaching the correct gauge. She laid it down and set a special ruler over it to count the stitches horizontally and vertically. Finally, she got gauge!
“Cool! So, if I follow the instructions, it will be a perfect fit, right?”
Many of the knitters around them giggled.
Ainsling looked at them quizzically.
“Well, that’s not always how it works out, but it’s the best way to aim for the goal. Knitters strive to get gauge but—I know I’ve said it before and I will say it again—knitting keeps you humble,” Ellen chuckled.
-The Red Cloak, Days of the Guardian Vol. 2
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“The Cloak of Dreams?” Li asked.
“It’s a story about an emperor with a sad dilemma,” Ellen explained to Li. “He loved his wife very much, but she had a dreaming soul. When he held her in his arms, her soul wandered far away to her dream world. So she spent five years embroidering the images of her dreams onto a cloak and presented it to the emperor. If he wore the cloak, no longer would she have to choose between the path of her dreams and the path of her love. If he didn’t wear the cloak, he could hold her, but her soul would continue to wander. He chose to wear the cloak.”
“And she followed him at a distance for the rest of her life,” Ainsling finished explaining to Li. “It’s the sacrifice he makes because he loves her. She can’t touch him, but they are closer than ever. Isn’t that beautiful, Li?”
The Red Cloak, Chapter 1, The Cloak of Dreams
The Angel from Mars
By D. Marie Prokop, Copyright 2019
The forced bark reverberates in my skull.
“Well, I’ve never seen a case of this in all my twenty years as a practicing physician. It’s psy-cho-gen-ic a-phon-i-a,” the doctor declares, over-emphasizing each vowel and consonant.
Aunt Kathy stares at the doctor, mute. Like me, but not like me.
Aunt Kathy is familiar with medical terminology. She’s a nurse. It’s her fault I’m here. She insisted I needed looked at by a doctor and Mom was in no position to argue.
“Yes, doctor, I understand. Jenny’s loss of speech is psychological. I don’t know what I expected to hear. But it’s been eight days. I promised Natalie I’d get her checked out.” Her green eyes studied me, as if I were a rat in a cage. She turns away and continues, “Jenny and Robert were together that night, you know, watching the fireworks. She was passed out when Natalie found him—found his—”
“Yes, ma’am. I understand your concern. I saw Robert’s body in the morgue. It was—”
The doctor clears his throat, avoiding my eyes.
Horrific. That’s the word you’re looking for—horrific.
I’m not surprised that he knows. It’s a tight-knit community. When the kindest farmer in the county dies mysteriously, everyone wants to know the details.
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F.R.M. President Glenn Masterson was restless. Usually after a few shots of vodka, he went right to sleep. Not tonight. He tossed and turned until he couldn’t take it anymore and gave up trying.
The world was about to change. How could he sleep?
The Red Knot, Chapter 18, The Knowledge of Good and Evil
Listen to more Agnes.
D. Marie Prokop
“Dr. Griffin, do you understand the importance of impressing Commander Chen?”
The dark-haired neurosurgeon scoffed at his short, scowling companion.
“Before this meeting is over, Comrade Chen will be eating out of my palm.”
This time, it was Dr. Feng who scoffed.
“You are a fool. Chen Changxing is a Chinese soldier—not a naive teenage girl.”
“Oh, I’m a fool, am I? Then maybe you should try and perform this surgery without my guidance. I’m sure you’re talented enough to figure it out on your own. Wait—weren’t you the one who spent years trying to figure out the error in my father’s formula without ever coming close to the answer? Who was the only one able to succeed? Me!”
-The Red Knot, Prologue
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