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Books I’ve Published – 2013

October 7, 2013
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I already have these books listed on My Book Shelf page, but most of you folks don’t visit that (the numbers don’t lie), so I figured I’d do something I rarely do these days, and actually post a link farm. I apologize for those hoping for a new, proper post from me, but I’m a little out of sorts and not feeling too chatty. Included with these links are the brief summaries I wrote for these books a week or two ago:

A series of short stories and novellas about spies, sultans, genies, detectives, bad angels, a man’s best friend, the God of Squirrels, Christmas dinner for two, thieves, sorceresses, lost children, working while you sleep, writer’s block, soul-eating vampires, and a giant squid.

TERMINAL MONDAY: a Dream of New York City
A man meets an old girlfriend who convinces him to return to novel writing, but not before his wife leaves him, he gets his old band back together, and suffers a nervous breakdown.

TERMINAL MONDAY: Under Observation
A man has a mental breakdown and wakes up to find himself under observation in a New York City hospital.

ASHES: Infinite Redress
A scientist becomes infected by a space-borne virus that contains the soul of an alien missionary who bonds with her and draws her into solving the mystery of how the aliens all died.

A knight falls in love with a young woman designated to be sacrificed to a mystical dragon, and undertakes a quest to learn how to defeat the dragon and break the centuries-old pact.

LINKTALES volume one
(excerpts from The Dark Guild) A series of mysterious events lead to the old city of Londonis being invaded by soul-eating vampires.

You know what I’m asking you to do. Please. Thank you.


Like The Dust That Settles All Around Me… I Must Find A New Home

January 29, 2017

Sooo… I’ve been awake for a few hours, trying desperately to get in the mood to do some work. So far, no good. I have oodles of fiction writing to do. I also have hundreds of game board tiles to design and illustrate. And I have some homework to do for The Hamilton Anvil AND the StinZine.

So what have I been doing?

Dickering with my bookselling websites.

I don’t even bother to direct people to this website to read about my books anymore. I have a WooCommerce store on this site that I’ve been procrastinating filling up with art and books and stuff, because NO VISITORS TO THIS SITE GIVE ME FEEDBACK. *ahem*

If I knew what people wanted from me, I’d be doing it. Unless it involves making bowling pins. My years in the bowling pin factory are over.

Genesis is singing to me from the early 80s. Afterglow.

I published a new collection of fiction. You haven’t read any of it. Trust me on this.

So there. Either go buy my latest offering, or ask yourself what you’re doing here.

Thank you for reading.


Running With The Animals Tonight

January 28, 2017

This should probably be listed as a LinkWorlds game update, but it doesn’t feel like one, so I won’t.

The problem is, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and uninspired. The workload is finally getting me down. I was hoping to have a few people come in and get involved, if for no other reason than to provide me with a soundboard. However, for various reasons, I’m alone and getting bogged down in the minutiae.

Currently, I am drawing 3D isomorphic room sections on hex tiles, and also conducting a staring contest with a nearly blank page called Inca Espania. I added two new scenario titles about five minutes ago, after staring for about a week. This is not what I’m in the habit of referring to as progress. As least, not compelling progress.

In other news, I finished the much-too-late December issue of the StinZine. I have made it the January issue. I will probably catch flak for it being late, even though I really needed more communication from the staff. I was working on it in November, so frankly, it could have been on time if I’d had all of the content and decisions made long before now. Ah well. My fault, I’m almost certain. I’ve been so reluctant to usurp control of the paper, and the new team are so ambivalent towards me coming back to work on it further. They don’t seem to appreciate that I did this job without much help in the past. And I was on time. *shrug*

In other news, the Hamilton Anvil WILL be undergoing a radical format shift. So Brandon and I are dicking around with inDesign and Publisher files to demonstrate the format properly. Problem is, Brandon did a bunch of work in his publisher file, and I didn’t anticipate having to tweak his file so much, so it’s created a lot of unnecessary make work for me that I’ve been dicking around not finishing in the last couple of days.

Yesterday, I published a collection of bits and bobs of fiction that I’ve been sitting on for a few years. It’s called UNPLANNED DETOUR TO LIMBO. It’s still under ‘review’. They’ll probably bitch that I didn’t include a hotlinked table of contents. I wrote a ToC out, reluctantly, but I couldn’t be arsed to link it all up, because frankly, it’s not really intended for the reader to be able to surf through. I don’t expect anyone to actually read it. I just wanted to publish something. I’ve been feeling stale. The content is largely stuff being restructured or rewritten for other projects, so it was this or delete, and I couldn’t bring myself to delete the stuff I included, because it’s mostly pretty good stuff. Even some of my sharpest, funniest, most compelling adventure fiction is in there.

Also, some of my smuttiest sex scenes. Not gratuitous, but pretty raunchy. Not a lot. Just enough. I probably would have held that stuff back for the other compilation, Hot Nights in Limbo, but I’m beginning to suspect I won’t be releasing that, now. I don’t mind being identified as an adult author, but I do mind the idea of being thought of as a porn author. I don’t hate porn. I just don’t like the stigma. So, I may pull that title out of circulation.

Now I’ll try to get back to work on The CONSTANT SEA OF NIGHT. Many, many miles of road left to cover.

It’s been almost ten years since I started working on TERMINAL MONDAY. November is the official birthday. I may throw a little party some time this year. TM wasn’t my first completed novel, but it was and remains my longest, most cohesive narrative piece. It’s epic. An opus of sorts. I still find it weird to think I actually published that piece. I don’t even own a printed copy of it; I sold my last print a few years ago. I really need to order more, but there’s never money enough to do so anymore.

The announcement of actor John Hurt’s death came today. No more War Doctor stories. He was a fine, fine actor. I’ll miss him.

I think I’ll end on a positive note: My songwriting partner and best friend Gary is turning some undogly age in a couple of days. I’ll probably forget to mention it here in a few days, so, Happy Birthday, amigo. I love you. Gary and I have been musical partners since the summer of 1994, and really, it’s been a bumpy ride, but worth every minute of it. Marillion still hasn’t retired, so we’re still wannabe second stringers. I hope we get together more this year and actually write and record a new album, to prove we still can. With each passing year, I worry about that more and more.

More to come, I hope.

If you like what you’ve read, please consider finding and adding me on Facebook or Twitter, and also on Patreon (hint hint).


I Would Burn It Down For Love

October 7, 2016

Okay, no more politics today. Gotta get dressed and try to do a bit of cleaning in the kitchen. The cupboards need scrubbing. As it is, the exterminator will dally through here, declare it unclean, blame us for everything, and waltz out without placing so much as a trap, let alone some actual bait. I’m thinking of telling her to stay away if she’s not going to do anything constructive. Probably won’t. I’m Canadian. *sigh*

Listening to music to get some ambition going. The tea is helping, but not much. Caffeine is failing me a lot, lately. Time to consider a cocaine addiction, I suppose. Might lose weight, too.

Actually, I’m going to have my bipolar meds reviewed next Tuesday, so hopefully it won’t come to that.

Still haven’t finished the LRT song, though I did come up with a structure, a lyric, and the basic chord progressions. Just need to go over it again when I have some free time to make sure the chorus and the bridges work. Actually, the middle 8/refrain bothers me. I was hoping for something in a nice key change, but this feels too pedestrian, without lifting the piece to where I want it for the finale. Might need to consult my songwriting partner to see if he has any ideas. I wrote it all on guitar, which might be what’s bothering me, since it was meant to be written on keys, like Born to Run and Thunder Road. But the progression is pretty close to B2R without plagiarizing, so I think it does what’s needed. I even found a nice guitar riff/chord progression to go out on. Just gotta take some more time to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and then demo it and start laying down the tracks.

The underdrawing for the first Tarot painting isn’t any closer to being finished than it was a few days ago. Been stalling. I can’t quite work out why. I think I’m afraid of messing it up, like there’s some judge out there grading me on this. I want to use a bunch of references to get my details right, but it’s not a place that actually exists, so what references I can use is a question. Also, out of toner for the printer, so printing reference sheets is a little difficult just now.

Might do a couple of album reviews. I’ve been stalling, but there ARE a couple of albums this year that I’ve been wanting to write about: Bowie’s Blackstar, and Anderson/Stolt’s Invention of Knowledge. Might also go back and review Toto’s XIV. The album has stuck with me. Listening to it right now. It still stands up beautifully. We’ll see.

Thinking I might restart The CONSTANT SEA of NIGHT for NaNoWriMo, just to get things going.

The Link Worlds Game is still percolating. Anyone wanna work on a board game? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Eratica comes home soon, IIRC. I’ll be looking for buyers again shortly. More similar works to come.

I designed a new cover for The BACK ROADS of LIMBO. The original was incomplete, and a little confusing, I guess. No one has bought a copy that I didn’t sign myself. It’s got some of my best short story writing in it, but no one wants it. *sigh*

I have at least one more collaborative painting with Dawn to finish, though I’m hoping to get an even dozen for a show next year. Dawn thoughtfully assembled the most recent one, though it needs some touch-ups before I varnish it. Sorry, no photos, please. Come to the show, when I get it going.

The Anvil might be in trouble. No money for the new year. Brandon says there are no grants for us. This sucks. We need ad sales to make this sustainable, but haven’t got the trained/skilled sales staff to hustle up ads right now. Might have to try my hand at it. Not anticipating much success.

I’ve got about 25 #yesLRT buttons to give away. Comment below if you want one, or message me on Facebook.

Time to get stuff done. Best Wishes.


I Can Take Humiliation And Hurtful Comments From The Boss

September 20, 2016

Okay, what’s going on here? I posted a few days ago, but my website says I haven’t posted in weeks. Weird.

Site’s probably going to be down for a week or two, until we get things paid up. I’ll keep folks posted if anything important happens on one of my free websites.

Friends of mine sold one of my paintings, Frenzy. Still have to collect the money and distribute the commission payments.

Still trying to get the drawing done for The Fool. It’s gotta be a really tight line drawing, so I can paint without getting lost and painting stuff that doesn’t look real.

Link Worlds game development is on hiatus again. Waiting to hear if Rodney wants in. If not, I may kick it open to another friend or two. Rod is a good partner, but he’s busy.

My upcoming Sci-Fi novel is on hold. Can’t seem to get the plots resolved. Need to spend some time in the mind map program on my tablet, sorting things out. This is a priority project, though, so I’ll get it hashed out sooner or later. The stories are good. Just not fleshed out enough and gelling right, yet.

Band and solo albums are still on hold. Gary’s perpetually busy anyway. Probably next year.

Stinson Creative Lab is going to be my area of focus for community outreach for the next while. I’ve stepped down as co-chair of the Stinson Community Association. I’m not good at bureaucratic rigamarole, and feel I can help better from outside the establishment than from within. Not a dig on the SCA. I just don’t feel like I was effective in that format.

Might do some more stipple drawings, but other than some lists, I don’t have anything planned out yet.

I have other things, but that seems to be all that’s coming to mind. OH! And the next Anvil issue, which is still percolating, will be on the subject of Women’s Issues. Heady stuff, folks.

Time to get stuff sorted. Have a day.


Ozkam’s Five and Other Silly Ideas (including the Invisible Men classic album review

September 4, 2016

Weirdest thing. I woke up from dreaming most of an original rapidfire timed historical quest chain for ‪#‎WorldofWarcraft‬ in my head. Never really had one of those before. I think I could write it down if I do it now.


I’m part way into plotting this WoW quest, even though it will probably never see the light of day. I’ve played a bit of WoW over the years since Dawn and I essentially quit, but really, I don’t have any illusions about working for Blizzard or anything like that. Honestly, if I was going to work for a big franchise, I’d probably prefer to write for Doctor Who. But this is a fun idea, and I don’t want it vanishing until I’ve caught some of it down. I’m considering plopping it into the unfinished fanfic collection I was going to publish for free and give away to people who ordered one of my books. I may take another swing at finishing that up this year, to go out with the two books I’m trying to work on now.


Listening to some classic 80s progressive pop music from my hero, Anthony Phillips, while working on this plot for the quest. I even did a wee bit of research to ground it a bit. Less certain it needs to be written up and included in the fanfic book, but if I DO write it up as I dreamed it, it would be a shoe-in for the collection. I haven’t worked on that in a while because I got bogged down on two stories I really wanted to write: ‘Ferris Bueller’s Lost Weekend’, and ‘Shadow On The Door’. The former was inspired by that dreadful car commercial that invaded Super Bowl Sunday a few years ago and broke my heart. It’s the 31st anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this year, and it’s really time I finished that up. The latter is an ode to one of my favourite rock albums of all time, Synchronicity, by the Police. I love that album so much , I tried to incorporate its bare bones into a novel I planned on writing a couple of years ago, to no avail. I may still write that novel someday, but meanwhile, there’s this perfectly good concept for a novella that needs to happen.


Meanwhile, I have the third issue of The Anvil to work on (The Art and Music Issue ~or as I like to call it~ The Issue with Art and Music), The CONSTANT SEA OF NIGHT waiting for me to return to work on it, and CUSTOMS AND ROAD SONGS of LIMBO, my taboo-exploring wayward stepsister of The BACK ROADS of LIMBO, also on deck. I have LIMBO TAROT: The Fool sitting on my easel. I have a collaboration with my wife, called ‘Rage Sunflowers’, to prepare and complete, and I have designs for the rest of the Tarot series, and also the CHAOS & ORDER collaboration series to work out with Dawn. I keep promising myself I’ll get together with my songwriting partner, Gary, and work on a new album of material. I also still itch to complete Steep Inclinations, an album I’ve been planning since I was in college in ’92.


The Constant Sea of Night gained two more stories, which I’m working to fit into my tale, up in my head, as they haven’t quite managed to come to live on the screen. I do remember writing a little about ‘Giant‘ somewhere (possibly in this blog), but the notes I put in the Scrivener page are pretty spare:

“A middle-aged nanopoet discovers the body of his best friend and mentor, the famous sympop composer Vera Linn, murdered by genefascists before completing her masterpiece, and vows to complete the work in her stead.”

I collected my notes from the blog, and even started working on the story again, which is nice. I hope it continues.


INVISIBLE MEN (Anthony Phillips; Richard Scott) – eponymous (1984) – a classic album (mini) review

TL;DR Version: This is a special album, in both the truest sense and in the short bus sense. It’s a flawed masterpiece in disguise, but you have to dig in to really find what it might have been like if it hadn’t been marred by very parochial 80s production values.

‘Splain, Lucy Version: The only problem I have with Ant’s short career as a rock musician is that his ‘final’ pop album, The Invisible Men is somewhat hit and miss, in comparison to Wise After The Event and Sides. Three of the first four songs are truly great songs, but the rest of the album teeters between solid rock songs with fine performances from Ant on guitar, synth and vocals, with some great drumming in places, but a lot of thinly-recorded drum machine parts and esoteric 80s arrangements throughout.

Boring Version: If you’re not intrigued yet, you probably won’t be by anything else I write in this blog. Take a miss.

For the rest of you, I’ll just add to what I’ve said before about Ant by saying that I have heard tell that Cherry Records, the company that is remastering and redistributing his classic solo works, is teasing a new album out of him, which I have my hopes will be the long awaited return to rock music I have been dying to hear for decades. I may be setting myself up for slight disappointment, but it’s worth the pain to hope that he might have an album of proper songs to contribute to the 21st century.


Golden Bodies is a teensy bit cheesy. It’s fun. The lyrics are cheeky. I don’t dislike it at all. It’s just slight, compared to some other pieces on the album.

The Women Were Watching is a strong and poignant number with a great new wave arrangement and a lyric that discusses the irony of watching the men march off to the Falkland War in the early 80s.

Traces is perhaps the prettiest, most touching love song in Anthony Phillips’ canon. The irony that it lives on this album he seemingly has no love for is striking. I love this song, and have promised myself to cover it someday.

Exocet returns to the theme of the Falkland War, and does it with some more grit and aggression. Strong piece.

Love In A Hot Air Balloon is as slight and goofy as the title suggests. Not a bad song. An earnest attempt at a fun late 70s/early 80s pop song.

Going For Broke is a tour de force.

Falling For Love has a nice bass line and arrangement, but the chorus is a bit conventional, though the guitar and synth horn solos redeem it.

Sally is a fun tune with a pretty respectable synth brass riff; the sax solos, though well done, are perhaps a bit too cliché. Fun song, though.

I Want Your Heart is an interesting and unorthodox synth pop number with a strange drum machine breakbeat and a pulsing synth string section in the bass, and the vocal performance is pretty solid. The synth solo is fun if short, and the only thing holding the song back is that it is a bit straightforward in song structure, and could perhaps do with some more live-sounding drums.

Guru is a good lyric with a smart story marred by a slightly lacklustre song (for me). Not bad. Not hatefully so, at any rate, but we get more R&B sax and drum machine, which I suspect makes the song sound a little too dated and bland. Interesting arrangement, but not compelling.

It’s Not Easy is not bad, but extremely conventional, and the female vocal is a sort of generic female R&B backing singer that seems to cement it as a sort of deliberate attempt to court the radio. I believe it failed resoundingly.

My Time Has Come is actually a lovely piece of twelve-string work floating through a proper rock arrangement, very much in the Genesis mold of recording. I’ve never really taken it too seriously before, but the more I listen to it critically, the more it occurs to me that it wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Trespass, or perhaps The Lamb, if he’d remained with the band up to that point.

Trail of Tears is an instrumental which opens with a drum machine producing a bit of a dirgelike march. The wall of synth parts does little to dispel this until the beat changes and the synth parts start lilting and galloping through the verse section. It goes on a nice little jaunt, but for me, it sounds perhaps too much like some of Ant’s work on Ahead of The Field. It wouldn’t have been out of place on an action TV show of the late 70s or early 80s.

The Ballad of Penlee is a demo with piano and vocal, and some synth string parts. It’s maudlin and doesn’t really take me far. It reminds me of some of Ant’s work on Sides, and in particular Bleak House, which took me some time to warm to. It’s not bad. It’s just not a very engaging number.

Alex is an instrumental piece that has a nice body to it, and reminds me favourably of Tony Banks’ work on The Wicked Lady. The problem is that, as usual by this point, it has some pretty mediocre drum machine all over it, which it probably could have lived without. Even a pop drum track could have saved this from sounding like what it invariably is: an outtake.


I actually love this album, and it grows on me more with every year. But I consider it a personal favourite, and never argue its merits with anyone in the wider Genesis community, because it was, perhaps unfairly, but not grossly so, a critical and commercial flop. Much like Tony Banks, Ant has long had a problem identifying what elements of his musical vision stand him in good stead with rock audiences, and meanders a bit on this album.

All that said, if I had one wish involving Anthony Phillips, I’d dearly love to be able to afford to produce a proper progressive rock album with him again. Prog is back. Why shouldn’t Ant finally have his day in the spotlight… even if it’s of necessity from back stage?

© 2016 Lee Edward McIlmoyle

What Have I Got To Say For Myself ~OR~ Feeding The Bite That Hands You

July 19, 2016

Okay, I’ve been trying to do my part on the latest issue of The Anvil, but everything keeps kinda going sideways. We should have a new printer shortly. Our previous one went out of business without notifying us. Print news isn’t dead yet, but it’s not in great shape. Not at all.

I have two sets of comic strips to draw. No idea if they’ll be done in time for the print.

I’ve also been playing with the idea of re-releasing Terminal Monday, owing to corrections I’ve had to make recently to get it back up on Smashwords’ premium catalogue, including quite a few spelling corrections I did for giggles. I was shocked to see how many typos had crept in there, the little bastards.

I’ve pretty much completed another collaboration with my wife/agent/manager/partner, Dawn, which has had the provisional working title ‘Rage Sunflowers’ for a few months now. It was threatening to be a mediocre piece, but I went back to work on it the other day, and over the last few days, forced it to become something special. It should impress a few people. And we’re prepping another piece for the same show; basically an extension of the Chaos & Order series. We’re talking eight to ten in total. I had concepts for a whole series, but scrapped it because it wasn’t Dawn’s cup of tea. This collaboration thing is harder than I remember it being.

I’ve also also not made any real progress on the Tarot series. I fear I’ve lost momentum. too much going on. I can hardly wait for all of this volunteer work to dry up, so I can focus entirely on my career(s) again.

And that album I promised? Not sure which one, at this point, but I know it won’t be done this year. Sorry. The Etcetera Thesis concept album is stumping me. I may return to the drawing board and tweak the plot until it feels good. We’ll see. And as for The People’s Republic of Limbo stuff? Probably not going to happen any time soon. Gary and I are talking about doing something brand new, instead, but when we actually do that is anybody’s guess.

The new books are still waiting for me to get back to work on them. CUSTOMS and ROAD SONGS of LIMBO and The CONSTANT SEA of NIGHT will soon have my nearly undivided attention.

I have Dreamfall Chapters. I’ve started playing it. It’s good. Just haven’t had enough time to sit and play it much. *sigh*

And finally, I’m thinking that it would be a good idea to move away from Hamilton and start over somewhere else where, perhaps, my art and writing and music careers can thrive. I’d like to make more than one or two sales in a year. Not sure how difficult that will actually be, since I’ve been an ODSP recipient for a handful of years now, and my saleable skills are as a graphic designer, which every monkey with an illegal copy of Adobe Creative Suite or free copies of GIMP and Inkscape think they can do better than the pros.

Ignorance is a powerful tool, used correctly. *chuckles*

It’s too darned hot, and the rent is too damn high. Thank you for reading.


Athena’s Eyes – an excerpt from The Back Roads of Limbo

May 24, 2016


The old man noted, as he put the empty glass down on the table, that the scotch was going down particularly easy tonight. It wasn’t often that it did this, because the stuff really isn’t made for that kind of drinking. Usually this would be a sign that it was time to stop.

He poured another. He called it a finger, but it was probably more like two, in the wide round bottom of the rocks glass. Nicest gift anyone had ever given to him for the kitchen. One had already broken earlier in the year, but this one was holding up just fine. Its strangely patterned golden rim nearly matched the golden glint in the liquid that seemed almost to move by itself, in the dim light of early morning.

The man stroked his hand gently across the table, a deep, glossy cherry wood with a strong stain that almost reminded him of the curls of her hair, as if she was trapped under glass. As if she were only trapped under glass, and not under the ground. Athena.

He remembered the first time they’d met, and how Karen had insisted they bring her home. He’d never seen Karen so happy to bring another woman into their home. A wry grin crossed his lips even now. Karen never felt jealous of Athena, which was fair. Karen and Athena were great together. Karen just couldn’t live with him. But Athena could. She stayed. Thank God, she stayed.

Smartest eyes, always reading him. Always knew when it was time to come sit beside him, park herself at his side on the sofa, lean against him to remind him she was there. Knew when to leave him be, when to be at his side, when to get in his face and remind him it was time to do other things besides brood. Karen never really understood that, but Athena did.

It didn’t seem to matter after that. He’d won and lost the hearts of a few very brave, very lovely women, and they had all loved him in their way. Athena had taken to them all in turn, accepting them and helping them get used to how things worked around the house. One of them had joked that he never considered marrying again because he’d secretly married Athena and merely had mistresses on the side. Ridiculous statement, but perhaps with a kernel of truth.

You can’t replace human companionship with the love of an animal. Not if you’re healthy. Not if you aren’t already a little damaged inside to begin with, and simply can’t connect to people anymore. He was pretty sure it hadn’t been like that for him. Athena just knew. She just made sense. And she knew he needed other things, so she never got in his way, although she did occasionally get in his face about the scotch.

He stopped to take another drink. He watched the liquid slowly, lazily roll around in the glass, sliding down the inside of the glass the way wine does. He’d stopped drinking wine some time ago. Wine was for companions. Scotch was for drinking alone. Athena knew that, too.

The park was like a personal little hell now. He still went for walks, alone, thinking of the past, the people he’d loved, the things they’d done. And always Athena there in the foreground, leading the walks, haring off after something interesting. Athena wasn’t a hunter. A herder, actually. Strange, bright blue eyes, splashes of cherry and ash on her white coat. Always rounding up children and friends who were straggling. Athena was a den mom. She’d come home pretty young, but she’d been with him such a long time. He had to stop and think how many years. Was it fifteen? Did it really matter? Athena had been there forever. Was still there.

Except that she wasn’t.

He slammed back the rest of the glass. Reached for the bottle again. Remembered those eyes imploring him. Held the bottle in front of him. He watched the liquid move around the bottle’s dark brown glass. Fifteen year old scotch. Smoother but richer tasting. This bottle had been distilled and bottled the year Athena was born. They’d aged together. Both of them very expensive, and well worth the price.

What the hell was he thinking? There was no comparison. He’d lost loves that had lasted longer than this bottle would, especially at this rate. Athena was irreplaceable. A lifetime of distilling would not recreate another like her.

He’d never had children. Never wanted to commit to children, in case the relationship didn’t last. Somehow couldn’t get past his fear of being a failure as a father, the way he’d failed so many loves. And over the years, it had just gotten easier to accept that he didn’t need children. And anyway, there was Athena, best daughter he could have hoped for. He could sire daughters from here to the grave and none would know him the way she had.

Cancer. How the hell does a dog get cancer? Dogs should not die of diseases that kill humans. They should be exempt. They weren’t corrupt in the soul. They were pure of heart and brave and true. Dogs shouldn’t have to die the way people died. Dogs should never have to experience tragedy. They didn’t deserve it.


The old man put the bottle back on the table, noticed the glinting golden light wavering in lazy oceanic patterns on the surface of the smooth satin finish of the cherry wood table. He walked slowly to the door, slipped into his shoes and shrugged on his autumn tweed jacket. He draped the scarf around either side of his neck, and then reflexively reached for the leash hanging behind the door. Gripping it, he let his weight settle slightly against its reassuring heft, solidly fixed to the metal hook. He could hear the leather strap creak slightly. He heard a choking noise, and noticed it was his voice. He let go of the leash, and dabbed at his eyes with the end of his black and white checked scarf.

It was a bright, mild autumn day outside. Good day for a long walk. A good day to go see everything like it was brand new, and find new adventures in familiar places. A good day for friends. He wondered idly what Karen was up to, and thought to give her a quick call. Shaking his head, he locked up and went out instead. Maybe later.

~ for Karen, Don, and Layla
© 2012 Lee Edward McIlmoyle

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