Short Story - Sessions 

Short stories from The Vicious Circle

The Whistler Writers Group, also known as The Vicious Circle, will be presenting the Whistler Writers Festival Nov. 3-14, 2004. The festival is designed for writers and readers, with a smorgasbord of creative events, including: discussions with and readings by award-winning West Coast authors; a workshop to inspire new writers; and an intensive workshop for emerging writers on craft and the publishing industry. A schedule of events is available through Stella Harvey at or by calling her at 604-932-4518.

Seconds is the fourth of four short stories written by members of the Vicious Circle that have run in Pique Newsmagazine from Oct. 15 to Nov. Nov. 5. These stories are part of a collection of stories by local writers that will be released at the festival. The journal, appropriately called The Vicious Circle , will be available for sale at the festival for $5. Enjoy the stories! And check out the various events open to the public at the Whistler Writers Festival.


By Stella L. Harvey

There was a time I could’ve reached for you. You'd roll over, quiver your eyes open, smile, then trace my face with your finger and allow my touch. These days, I’m not sure what would happen. The garden, this house, your work. Something gets in our way.

In this dim early morning light I see you curled away from me, hear you wheeze, feel the slight tilt of the mattress holding you. The covers sit at your waist, exposing your knobby back. Your freckled right arm is where it always is, wrapped underneath you, head on bony hand, long fingers clutching at the sheet beneath you, a dark eyed nipple peeking though. A breeze drifts through the open window. The spindles of our headboard burrow into my spine. I don’t move, afraid to wake you.

Yesterday morning we were reading the Sunday Times and enjoying blueberry waffles and balcony-grown mint tea. The sun was beginning to flicker through our treed back yard, touching your hair, accenting its natural red tinge. I looked at you, stared really, as I’ve done ever since we met at the Holbein exhibit at Emily Carr on Granville Island six months ago. Among the dark medieval drawings I saw a slim redhead in black jeans and a burgundy turtleneck. The large red and black eagle imprinted on your shawl wrapped itself around your thin shoulders. Staring at the pencil drawing of Queen Anne Boleyn, exhibit number 27, you didn’t notice me until I slipped in beside you and asked, "What do you see?"

Speaking as if you were having the conversation in your head, you looked into Anne Boleyn’s shadowy eyes and said, "Wonder if she knew?" You paused briefly, took a long deep breath and said, "Maybe she’d have done things differently."


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